LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) It took less than five minutes for Glynn Watson, Jr. to put his imprint on Nebraska's 67-44 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Thursday night.
Nebraska was in the midst of a scoring drought, leading Arkansas-Pine Bluff by six when Watson entered the game late in the first half. When the buzzer sounded five minutes later, the Huskers were up by 18 on their way to a 67-44 win.
The Cornhuskers (4-1) held the Golden Lions (1-4) without a field goal for the last 8:03 of the half. The Huskers closed the final 4:23 of the half with a 15-3 run, behind Watson, who had a 3-pointer and three assists during that stretch, one that led to Shavon Shields' dunk that put the Huskers up 31-15 with 1:40 left.
Watson provided the spark for Nebraska, said Andrew White III, who led the Huskers with 15 points, seven of them coming in the half-ending spurt.
''We kind of hit a slow spurt again tonight,'' White said. ''That was a good opportunity for him to kind of lead the team, lead the bunch. When you're the point guard, the ball is in your hands. I think he made good decisions. I think he grew up a little bit before our eyes.''
Watson's performance, said coach Tim Miles, reflected his growing confidence in his fifth game as a Husker.
''He just felt like `Okay, I can do this. I can get to these guys and make the plays I need to make,''' Miles said. ''And he did. His line was very solid.''
Watson, who finished with six points three assists, two steals and a rebound, said he was trying to do what was expected of him throughout the game.
''I just play my role, do what coach Miles wants me to do and try to get better defensively,'' he said. ''Right then, Miles told me to come out, get a couple steals and get the team going,''
Nebraska stretched the lead to 22 early in the second half as the Arkansas-Pine Bluff field goal drought continued. The Golden Lions got a Ghiavonni Robinson 3 pointer with 17:06 left that cut the lead to 19. But Arkansas-Pine Bluff got no closer than 17 the rest of the game.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff coach George Ivory, nonetheless, had good things to say about his team's performance.
''I thought we played a lot better than we did the last couple of games,'' Ivory said. ''We took care of the ball better. I thought we missed a couple of open people on drives and made some unforced turnovers that we shouldn't have made, but overall I thought we played hard.''
Both teams shot poorly. Nebraska hit 38 percent (21 of 55) after going 2 of 19 from 3-point range. The Huskers did hit 23 of 32 free throws while the Golden Lions were 11 of 20 and had a 50-33 rebounding advantage. Arkansas-Pine Bluff made 15 of 49 for 31 percent, including 3 of 13 behind the arc.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: The Golden Lions played their fifth of 18 consecutive road games to open the season. Their first home game is Jan. 16 against Southern.
Nebraska: Newcomers to the Huskers accounted for 63 percent of Nebraska's scoring in the first four games of the season. They had 39 of 67 on Tuesday.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff plays Army in West Point, N.Y.
Nebraska plays No. 24 Cincinnati in the Barclays Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.