Lincoln – The Huskers received a career night from freshman Jordy Tshimanga, but Michigan State’s hot shooting keyed the Spartans to a 72-61 victory at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Tshimanga, making his second career start, totaled career highs in both points (15) and rebounds (nine) as three Huskers finished in double figures in a losing effort.
Michigan State (14-9, 6-4) shot 56 percent from the field, including 11-of-17 from 3-point range, to snap a three-game losing streak to the Huskers. Miles Bridges’ 16 points led five MSU players in double figures, as the Spartans shot 63 percent in the second half, including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, to pull away down the stretch.
Tai Webster led NU with 18 points and five assists, while Glynn Watson Jr. added 13, but the Huskers were held to 39 percent shooting, including just 4-of-16 from 3-point range. The performance spoiled the jersey retirement ceremony for former Husker great and Cleveland Cavs coach Tyronn Lue at halftime.
Behind the play of Tshimanga, the Huskers jumped to an early 11-9 lead, but MSU responded with an 11-2 run of its own keyed by Bridges to push the lead to 20-13 after a Cassius Winston jumper. Nebraska climbed back in the game behind its inside play, as NU pulled to within 23-19 after a Michael Jacobson jumper.
The Huskers, who shot 36 percent in the opening period, got to within 27-24 after a Webster free throw with 2:56 left in the half, but MSU ran off five straight to equal its largest lead of the half and took a 32-26 lead into the locker room.
Early in the second half, the Huskers made an early charge, using a 9-3 run to slice an eight-point deficit to 37-33 after a pair of Watson jumpers. The Huskers were within 40-37 after a Webster jumper, but MSU used a 10-1 surge to push the lead to 50-38 after 3-pointers from Alvin Ellis IIII and Cassius Winston, Ellis and Winston comined for 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-6 from long range.
NU made one last run, as Jack McVeigh scored six of his points in an 8-3 surge to pull within 53-46 with 11:28remaining, but NU would get no closer, as the Spartans pulled away with a 17-4 run to push the lead to 20, at 70-50 with 4:14 left. MSU hit 8-of-10 3-pointers in the first 16 minutes of the second half to pull away.
Nebraska returns to action Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers travel to Iowa.