Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Huskers Fall to UM in OT

Doc Sadler's Husker basketball team fell in overtime to Ole Miss 85-75 to finish the season 20-13. Senior Aleks Maric played a season high 41 minutes in his last game at NU and led the squad with 18 points and 10 boards, his 39th career double-double. Ade Dagunduro had 16 points, including 5 in the last two minutes to force OT and guard Steve Harley added 14.

"In overtime, center Aleks Maric hit a free throw on the first possession to put Nebraska ahead 71-70. But that was one of few things that went well for the Huskers' lone senior in the extra period. Maric committed turnovers on the next two possessions. Then he missed three of four free throws. By then, Ole Miss (23-10) was up by four with 1:29 to go.

"The momentum was swinging, the tide was turning," Maric said. "But we didn't play the way we wanted to. It cost us the game." Sadler wants no one to lay blame on Maric, who played a career-high 41 minutes because frontcourt mates Ryan Anderson (stomach flu) and Chris Balham (knee) were wobbling.

"It goes back to Aleks playing the most minutes he has all year," Sadler said. "And they are big. And he's involved in ball screens every possession, and that's hard.

"Not having Ryan hurt. We've not got enough depth yet. Chris Balham's knee is so bad. He tries, but he can't give you much. So we had to play Aleks a lot longer minutes that we normally play him."

Ole Miss jumped out to a quick nine point lead in the game that left the Husklers playing catch up all game, trailing at the half by four, 40-36. The 40 points UM put up in the first half were the most points given up by NU at the half in 11 games, and UM shot a blistering 62% for the opening half and 52% for the game. UM was led by Chris Warren's 18 points and Eniel Polynice added 15.

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