Michigan ends losing streak with 79-68 win over Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. - LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Eli Brooks scored 20 points, Franz Wagner added 18 and and short-handed Michigan pulled away in the middle of the second half for a 79-68 win over Nebraska on Tuesday night.
The Wolverines (12-8, 3-6 Big Ten) ended a four-game losing streak, their longest since 2014-15, and won on the road for the first time this season.
They did it without two starters. Senior captain and national assists leader Zavier Simpson was suspended for violating team rules and Isaiah Livers is out indefinitely after aggravating a groin injury against Illinois on Saturday.
Nebraska (7-14, 2-8) lost its sixth straight.
Kevin Cross's step-back jumper from the baseline gave the Cornhuskers their last lead, 52-50, before Michigan went on a 21-4 run to go up by double digits.
Wagner started the run with a 3 from the top of the key, and Brandon Johns Jr. made a 3 and dunked over Jervay Green on his way to a career-high 16 points.
Nebraska missed 11 of 12 shots over a nine-minute stretch and went scoreless for four while the Wolverines pulled away.
Sophomore David DeJulius got his first career start in place of Simpson. He finished with five points and three assists.
Cam Mack made a season-high five 3-pointers and led the Huskers with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Cross and Haanif Cheatham had 17 apiece.
In memory of Kobe Bryant, the retired NBA great who died in a helicopter crash Sunday, the Wolverines took an intentional 10-second backcourt violation after winning the opening tip, and the Huskers took an intentional 30-second shot clock violation on their first possession. The gestures were greeted with applause from fans, officials, coaches and players. There were 24 seconds of silence before the game, with Bryant's numbers 24 and 8 displayed on the clocks over the baskets and his picture on the big screen.
Michigan: This was a gritty win for the Wolverines, who were coming off a 64-62 home loss to Illinois on a last-second shot. They could ill afford to have a loss to the No. 158 team in the NET rankings on their NCAA Tournament resume.
Nebraska: The Huskers came close to knocking off nationally ranked Rutgers on Saturday but couldn't match that effort at home, getting outrebounded 41-27 by the bigger Wolverines and missing 11 of their last 15 shots.
Nebraska hosts No. 24 Penn State on Saturday.
Michigan plays Rutgers on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York.