Nebraska's Nick Fuller, center, stumbles over Nebraska's Glynn Watson Jr., right, who is guarded by Rutgers' Corey Sanders (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
Nati Harnik
February 06, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska ended its three-game losing streak with a 87-63 win over Rutgers on Saturday, but that meant very little to the Cornhuskers after team leader Shavon Shields was injured and taken out of the arena on a stretcher in the second half.

The senior, who has started 106 consecutive games, flipped over the back of Rutgers' D.J. Foreman, landed on his shoulder and struck his head on the court. The athletic department said in a statement late Saturday afternoon that Shields was released from a Lincoln hospital after a CT scan was negative. He will enter Nebraska's concussion protocol.

''We are relieved and thankful Shavon has been released, and that his injuries aren't more serious,'' coach Tim Miles said. ''We will follow the proper protocol to get him back to full speed. I know Shavon and his family are grateful for everyone's thoughts and prayers.''

The Huskers led by 17 when Shields was hurt with 8:49 left, and coach Miles just wanted to get the game over. Shields was unconscious briefly but was alert and able to move his arms and legs as he left the arena.

''At that point, you're trying to get through the game as quick as you can,'' Miles said. ''The game feels so unimportant, right?''

Andrew White had 21 points and eight rebounds as the Huskers (13-11, 5-6 Big Ten) beat the Scarlet Knights for the second time this season. They won 90-56 in New Jersey on Jan. 9.

Shields scored 17 points, and freshmen Mike Jacobson, Ed Morrow and Glynn Watson combined for 31 points and 15 rebounds.

Freshman Corey Sanders scored 28 to lead Rutgers (6-18, 0-11), which has lost 26 straight against Big Ten opponents and is 0-15 all-time in conference road games.

The Huskers put the game out of reach with a 24-3 run spanning the halves. Rutgers had shot 60 percent (12 of 20) through the first 12 1/2 minutes. Then the Huskers switched to a 2-3 zone defense, and the Knights had no field goals the final 7 1/2 minutes of the half.

With Nebraska in man defense, the Knights were able to penetrate and get easy baskets.

''That's why we had to go zone, because they were going to get anything they wanted,'' Miles said. ''I tried to cycle everyone in and out. We didn't get a spark from anyone until we went zone. We got confidence, we got transition.''

After going to the zone, Nebraska turned a 33-27 deficit into a 45-36 halftime lead. Before the Knights scored another field goal, it was 51-36 with 18 minutes left in the game.

The injury-depleted Knights, three days after a triple-overtime loss to Illinois, were pretty much done at that point.

''I liked the way we started the game and we did a lot of good things early,'' Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan said. ''Tim threw a zone at us and we got stagnant. We didn't make fundamental plays that were in front of us. That 18-3 run (before half), that was pretty much the game.''

Shields was hurt when Foreman started to go up for a shot under the basket. Shields, approaching Foreman from behind, flipped over Foreman's back.

Shields' mother, Senia Shields, rushed to his side as medics tended to him. He was put on a backboard and taken from the arena to a standing ovation.

''You see him in the air and as soon as his hip hit the kid's shoulder, or whatever it was, and his feet go way up, you know it's not good,'' Miles said. ''I was just worried for him. Just scared for him. Then when I got there, I think Michael (Jacobson) had said, `He's out, coach.' Just seemed like he was out for a long time.''



Rutgers: The Knights' last road win was Dec. 28, 2014 against Monmouth. ... Sanders came in leading Big Ten freshmen with a 15.4-point average. It took him less than 12 minutes to score 16. ... Greg Lewis, who had a career-high 16 rebounds against Illinois on Wednesday, had five against the Huskers.

Nebraska: Freshman Glynn Watson had a season-high nine assists. ... The Huskers' scoring average of 73.8 points in Big Ten play is their highest in conference games since the 2001-02 season.


Nebraska honored one of its best teams during the fourth annual Legends Weekend. The 1990-91 team celebrated the 25th anniversary of a season that saw the Huskers win a school-record 26 games and be ranked for 14 straight weeks, reaching as high as No. 11. The team featured NBA players in Eric Piatkowski, Rich King and Tony Farmer. The Huskers wore 1990-91 throwback jerseys against Rutgers.


Rutgers hosts Ohio State next Saturday.

Nebraska visits Wisconsin on Wednesday.

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