Updates with new lead.
Behind 29 points, nine rebounds and three steals from junior guard Glynn Watson, the Huskers led for almost 34 of 40 minutes and knocked off the Golden Gophers 78-68 in front of a packed house of 15,598 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Minnesota missed its first six shots in each half; the second lapse proved fatal as Nebraska opened the second half with a 9-1 run to push the lead to 48-32. Minnesota made two of its first 10 shots in the half and struggled against the Huskers' switching man-to-man defense. Miles said Watson was very hard on himself after scoring just six points on 2-of-11 shooting at No. 3 Michigan State, and he was even still visibly upset during Monday's practice.
Watson has put together plenty of impressive individual performances over the course of his Nebraska career, but what he did on Tuesday night was as good as any of them.
Most importantly, Nebraska held Minnesota's Jordan Murphy to just 10 points on the night.
"That was the all-conference Glynn, right?" head coach Tim Miles said. He was really determined the whole day and yesterday. "It was just Glynn".
An 8-0 run gave the Cornhuskers (7-3, 1-1) a 22-14 lead with nine minutes left in the first half, and Nebraska maintained the lead the rest of the game. That resulted in the Gophers making three of four free throws and the ball to cut the deficit to 14.
The Gophers didn't make a serious run until the final minutes. Watson and Isaac Copeland made 6 of 8 free throws in the final minute to seal it. "Offensively, obviously, we didn't have it going". We did not do that.
"I feel like this is our team", Watson said.
"Ball-screen (defense) was killing us", Coffey said. That's what we need to start doing. "He's a really good player, and we were able to get him in foul trouble early and kind of throw him off a little bit".
"This was a great win for us", senior center Duby Okeke said. "You can not let them get going inside or they'll brutalize you". "But I think it took all five of us on defense".
Mason, who became Minnesota's 12th-best all-time scorer, led the Gophers with 20 points but was 5 of 16 from the floor. Assists - Minnesota 9 (Mason 3), Nebraska 11 (Palmer 4). The Gophers hit just 32 percent of their shots Tuesday. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are averaging 89.4 points on 49.1 percent shooting and allowing 71.2 points on 39.6 percent shooting. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are averaging 73.6 points on 41.9 percent shooting and allowing 71 points on 44.1 percent shooting.
Nebraska travels to Omaha on Saturday to meet intrastate rival Creighton, which dropped out of the AP Top 25 after being ranked for one week.