EVANSTON, Ill. - Ryan Young’s putback with 2.7 seconds left gave Northwestern a 79-78 win over Nebraska in a regular-season finale on Sunday.
Young had missed the front-end of a one-and-one, giving Nebraska the ball back with 42.7 seconds left and a one-point lead. But the Huskers turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation. Pete Nance, who had made an old-school, right-handed hook for a 76-75 lead, put up a running hook that missed but drew three defenders, leaving Young alone for the putback. Kobe Webster missed a 3-pointer that appeared to be after the final buzzer.
The Wildcats (9-14, 6-13) won their third straight game after losing 13 in a row. Both they and the Cornhuskers (7-19, 3-16) begin play in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Chase Audige scored 14 points, Nance 13, Miller Kopp 12, Boo Buie and Robbie Beran 11 each and Ty Berry 10 for the Wildcats, who had six in double figures in a conference game for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Northwestern shot 53%, including 11 of 25 behind the arc.
Webster had 23 points and seven 3-pointers for Nebraska, both career highs for the Western Illinois grad transfer. Trey McGowens added 15 points. The Cornhuskers hit 14 of 33 3-point attempts and shot 46% overall.
Northwest built a 16-point lead in the first half and went into the break ahead by nine.
Webster’s 3-pointer started a 15-4 run over six minutes of the second half for a 70-67 Nebraska lead with just under four minutes left.