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Men's basketball suffers first loss of season to Kent State 74-60

  • Nedu Izu
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In his first season as the Nebraska men’s basketball coach, Tim Miles is bound to experience a number of firsts this season. Miles picked up his first win at Nebraska against Southern, 66-55, which also resulted in his first double digit victory.

But his victorious track is over four games later.

After defeating Tulane 61-57 on Wednesday, the Huskers (4-1) saw their win streak snapped with a 74-60 loss against Kent State in the final game of the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic.

The Golden Flashes’ hot shooting led to the first loss, according to Miles.

“I thought they did a great job with their offensive execution,” he said. “I can question our effort all I want, but at the end of the day they made some great plays. I thought they executed very well.”

Both teams began Saturday’s matchup with back-and-forth lead changes through the first 20 minutes. Nebraska closed out the first half with an 8-2 run to go into the locker room with a 33-32 lead at halftime.

Senior Dylan Talley led the Nebraska offensive surge in the first half with 17 points. His final two shots lifted Nebraska’s team offensive shooting percentage to 45.8 percent before the break.

It felt like the momentum was on the Huskers side heading into the locker room, Talley said.

“I felt good about the game,” the guard said. “I felt like we didn’t come out with the spark we should have in the first half, and then we came back and got into it.”

Despite finishing the game with a career-high 27 points, the second half was all about Kent State.

Nebraska’s one-point lead would be short-lived after KSU forward Chris Evan keyed a 10-2 run to put his team up 42-35.

“We just didn’t come out with the spark in the second half. They were on the attack all 40 minutes,” Talley said.

Although NU out-blocked its opponent 3-1 and out-rebounded KSU 34-27, the offense was held to 33.3 percent shooting, going 9 for 27, in the second half. The Golden Flashes 60 percent shooting was more than enough as they outscored NU 42-27 in the second half to pick up the team’s fourth win of the season.

KSU guard Darren Goodson shot 8 for 10 in just 17 minutes off the bench. Evans team-leading 19 points assisted in handing NU’s first loss of the 2012-2013 campaign.

“This was a great team effort for us, coming on the road and getting the win against a Big Ten school,” KSU coach Rob Senderoff said. “Great win for us and our program.”

Miles said the Golden Flashes’ ability to get into the paint made the difference.

“We knew that (Evans) was going to post up a whole bunch,” he said. “He was tough, and the Goodson kid was the guy who was averaging three or four points per game that they had expectations for. We just let some guys hurt us who hadn’t been doing those things.

“I thought from the games that I’ve seen, and I’ve seen most of their games, that this was their best game and their most complete game.”

After going 3-1 in the Joe Cipriano Classic, the Huskers will hit the road for the first time Tuesday when they travel to Wake Forest for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Talley, who posted more than 20 points for the second time this season, said the Huskers must improve on defensive before its first road match Tuesday.

“As a team it wasn’t how it should have been … it is not how we practiced it,” he said. “That’s on the players and me as a senior, we got to do better than that. There is no excuse to come out like. We have to do better.”

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