Nebraska beats Wisconsin 70-58 in Big Ten tournament
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The only time Nebraska faced Wisconsin in the regular season, top scorer Shavon Shields was sidelined with an injury. And the Badgers shot better than 50 percent from the field in an 11-point victory.
Thursday night in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament, Shields was a major factor and Wisconsin simply couldn't shoot straight.
Shields scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead 11th-seeded Nebraska to a 70-58 victory over No. 6 seed Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference tournament.
Wisconsin shot 30.2 percent from the field, its second worst shooting night of the season. The Badgers hit 23.5 percent from the field in a loss at Oklahoma in November. Wisconsin made just two of its final 13 shots Thursday night.
Nebraska (16-17) will face No. 3 seed Maryland in Friday's quarterfinals. Wisconsin (20-12), the defending Big Ten Tournament champion, was eliminated in its first game of the tournament for the first time since 2011.
It was the second win in as many days for Nebraska and the second loss in a row for Wisconsin. The Badgers closed the regular season with a 91-80 loss at Purdue.
It was the fourth time in the last five games that Shields - who had 20 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Rutgers on Wednesday - had eclipsed the 20-point scoring barrier.
''He's their best player on both ends of the floor and I knew that was going to be a factor,'' said Wisconsin coach Greg Gard. ''He's a senior who has been through it and is going on his last lap so to speak. He's a very good player who has hurt us before.''
Shields made 6 of 15 shots from the field and 8 of 9 from the free throw line in 36 minutes.
''As the captain of the team I felt like I added a different element to the game that helped us win,'' Shields said.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles said that Shields is clearly a difference maker in the Cornhuskers program.
''His leadership and his presence really matters to the guys,'' Miles said. ''When he starts driving to the basket I feel sorry for the guy trying to step in his way because he's a big, physical guy trying to go to the rim.''
Glynn Watson Jr. added 16 for the Cornhuskers, Benny Parker had 12 and Andrew White III added 10.
Ethan Happ led Wisconsin with 17 and Vitto Brown had 16.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers' 89 points in Wednesday's victory over Rutgers were the most points by Nebraska since Jan. 9. . Shavon Shields has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive games - the longest streak of his career.
Wisconsin: The Badgers came into the game winners of 11 of their past 13 games. Prior to that run, Wisconsin was 9-9 overall and 1-4 in Big Ten play. . Wisconsin has faced the nation's fourth toughest schedule. . Vitto Brown came into the game averaging 11.9 points over the past nine games. He had 13 points in the first half Thursday.
Nebraska: Nebraska will face No. 3 seed Maryland in Friday's quarterfinals at approximately 9 p.m.
Wisconsin: Awaits a post-season bid after being eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament.