Nebraska easily turns back Southern Utah 94-61

Nebraska easily turns back Southern Utah 94-61

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LINCOLN, NEB. -- Nebraska forward Quincy Henkins-Cole led with 15 points of the bench and Brandon Ubel added 13 more to power the Cornhuskers (10-3) past Southern Utah 94-61 at the Devaney Center Tuesday night.

"They were just bigger and stronger than we were," Ron Carling, assistant Head Coach for Thunderbirds, said during a post game interview with Power 91's Art Challis. "That's why they got so many points in the paint against us, that's why they got more offensive rebounds than we did. They're bigger and stronger and they played really hard today at home."

The Thunderbirds (4-9) opened the game taking two different five-point leads (5-0 and 10-5) in the opening five minutes of the game; however, Nebraska outscored SUU 33-13 in the following 15 minutes to head into halftime with a 37-23 lead.

The T-Birds opened the game making five of its first six shots, but finished the half shooting 2-13 from the floor in the final 15 minutes of the half.

Nebraska didn't trail at any point in the second half and used a 13-2 run in the first two minutes of the second half to pull away from the T-Birds and turn a close game into a laugher.

SUU closed within 15 points of the Huskers after a layup by freshman center Dallin Bachynski closed the deficit to 50-35 with 14:40 left in the second half, but it was the closest they got to Nebraska before losing by 33 points. The Huskers' largest lead was 36 points.

Nebraska outshot the T-Birds 54 to 46 percent from the field and committed just four turnovers to SUU's 19. The Huskers also outrebounded the T-Birds 34 to 26 in the game and 12 to 4 on the offensive glass.

The 94 points are the most Nebraska has scored in four years.

T-Bird Head Coach Roger Reid found some silver lining in the tough loss, which was mainly the play of freshman guards Damon Heuir and Jordan Weirick as well as senior guard Drew Allen.

"We had four or five guys that came in and we just started executing better," Reid said. "The game was out of hand at that time, but the guys executed and hit shots. All those guys came in with a little enthusiasm and for (the time they played) they did a nice job."

Heuir played 22 minutes off the bench running the offense and picked up a career-high seven points. Heuir, who didn't play in SUU's game against UC Riverside, saw more minutes than sophomore guard Jake Nielson and freshman guard Scott Friel, who combined to play just 17 minutes for the T-Birds in a losing effort.

"I thought Damon really did a nice job getting the ball up the floor," Reid said. "I thought he handled their pressure and ran our team well."

Nielson and Friel combined to just score one point, while managing to turn the ball over seven times and pick up just one assist. Heuir turned the ball over just two times during the minutes he played and also picked up one assist.

Weirick, Allen and Bachynski all finished with six points apiece off the bench for the T-Birds.

SUU also finished 11-for-20 (55 percent) from 3-point range, which bettered its previous season-high (10-for-20, 50 percent) against UCR on Dec. 21.

Senior guard Davis Baker led the T-Birds with 14 points and junior guard Ryan Brimley added 11 more in the defeat.

The loss also wraps up SUU's non-conference schedule, a stretch where the T-Birds went 3-7.

"We have played a very, very difficult schedule," Reid said. "When you play Utah State at their place and a team just coming off a WAC championship; played Weber State at their place and they're a threat to win a Big Sky championship, we played UNLV and travelled to Hawaii."

Reid said he hoped the tough schedule would help his team as they carry over to play within The Summit League.

"We have to make sure we've learned from (the tough non-conference schedule)," he said. "We have (Missouri-Kansas City next) and that's our season. All of this playing tough teams, hopefully will be a plus when we get into league play and I think it will be."

The T-Birds will travel to Kansas City, Mo. on Jan. 2 to take on UMKC; tip-off against the Kangaroos is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central time in Kansas City.

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