Nebraska basketball’s season ends in first round of NIT with loss at Mississippi State

Nebraska basketball’s season ends in first round of NIT with loss at Mississippi State
Nebraska forward Isaac Copeland shoots over Mississippi State forward Abdul Ado. (Courtesy Photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Nebraska’s postseason men’s basketball losing skid has reached five games over 10 years.

The Huskers grabbed a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter Wednesday night, but couldn’t hold off Mississippi State in a 66-59 first-round NIT loss.

NU (22-11) finishes tied for the second-most wins in school history.

Scoring droughts have been an issue all season, and another hurt Nebraska against MSU (23-11). The Huskers after taking a 51-50 lead on two James Palmer free throws with 7:41 left, missed 9 of 10 shots in falling behind by eight points.

NU closed to 61-57 with 42 seconds left but got no closer.

Palmer led Nebraska with 13 points, while Isaac Copeland added 12.

In the third quarter, Nebraska wiped away a five-point halftime deficit to tie the game at 40 on guard Evan Taylor’s 3-pointer with 4:52 to go. But by quarter’s end, Mississippi State’s lead was back to five points.

In the first half, Nebraska got an opening 3-pointer from guard Anton Gill, but gave up the lead at 8-7 with 6:06 to go in the first quarter and never got it back.

Mississippi State used a 9-1 run late in the first quarter to go up 15-8, and still led by seven at the end of the quarter.

Nebraska scored the first seven points of the second quarter for a 19-19 tie, but MSU slowly built its lead back to seven points at 30-23, and were still up 33-28 at halftime.

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