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NCAAB: Late 3-pointer pushes Western Illinois past Nebraska

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Luka Barisic made a 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds remaining to lift Western Illinois to a 75-74 nonconference victory over Nebraska on Tuesday at Lincoln, Neb., in the season opener for both teams.

Trenton Massner had 21 points and eight rebounds for Western Illinois, fouling out just before Barisic’s winning basket. Barisic had 12 points and nine rebounds and Will Carius scored 11 for the Leathernecks, who were predicted to finish fifth in the Summit League this season.

Alonzo Verge Jr. had 26 points and 13 rebounds before missing a wild layup in traffic at the buzzer, while Bryce McGowens scored 25 points for Nebraska.

Verge was the Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year at Arizona State in the 2019-20 season, and McGowens is the first five-star recruit in program history.

Nebraska took a 73-69 lead with 34 seconds remaining before Massner sank a 3-pointer with 20 seconds to go, ending a scoring drought of 3:28 for the Leathernecks. Verge made one of two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to give Nebraska a 74-72 lead, setting up Barisic’s game-winner.

The Leathernecks took a 33-32 lead into halftime after a tip-in at the buzzer Barisic.

Carius and Massner made 3-pointers in a 6-0 run to start the second half, but Nebraska was back ahead 48-45 with 14:03 remaining.

Each team led by as many as seven points in the first half before the Leathernecks took their one-point advantage into the break.

Nebraska missed its first six shots of the game before McGowens made a layup for a 4-3 lead with 16:25 left in the first half.

Western Illinois strung together an 8-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 13-6 with 13:-57 remaining.

Nebraska reeled the Leathernecks back in and then blew by with a 12-0 run to move ahead 18-13 with 11:37 left

Western Illinois had a 23-7 edge in offensive rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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