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February 13, 2010Nebraska needed a win as badly as ever heading into its road game at No. 14 Texas on Saturday. Instead, it ended the afternoon with its worst loss in two years.
Facing a Longhorn team that looked more like the squad that was once ranked No. 1 in the country earlier this season instead of a team on a three-game losing streak, the Huskers never stood a chance in a 91-51 loss at the Frank Irwin Center.
Coming into the game, Nebraska had led the Big 12 Conference with just 62 points allowed per game. The loss was the worst since NU suffered a 92-39 defeat at Kansas in 2006-07.
"We played a very good basketball team that obviously at one time was ranked No. 1 in the country," NU head coach Doc Sadler said on his post-game radio show. "You knew that the way they had been playing, they were probably going to be aggressive, and they came out and it was, for a lack of better words, it was men playing against boys.
"They just took it right at us. I'm not saying we weren't prepared or anything, it's just they were that much better than we were."
What started as a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley just 16 seconds into the game ended with a 20-point first half by Texas's freshman guard, as he went a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc to lead the Longhorns to a 53-26 lead going into halftime.
Sparked by Bradley's first 3, Texas kicked off the game with a 7-0 lead. Nebraska was able to cut the deficit to four on a 3-pointer by senior guard Sek Henry, but UT senior forward Damion James threw down a dunk on the ensuing possession to swing the momentum back in the Longhorns' favor.
James converted a 3-pointer the old fashioned way on the next possession, and 3 by Brown and then another by Jordan Hamilton helped Texas go up 26-12 with 10:44 left in the half.
The Huskers responded with a brief 7-2 rally, but the comeback attempt didn't last long. The Longhorns closed out the half with a 22-2 run in the final 5 minutes, 31 seconds.
One of the highlights of Texas's run and the entire game for that matter was a breakaway alley-oop from guard J'Covan Brown to Bradley, who took the lob pass and slammed it down with one hand while being fouled in the process.
"The thing that we just didn't do, for whatever reason, that first four or five minutes, they were just so much better than we were," Sadler said. "We couldn't get it turned around. When they hit 11 3s, and then you've got to guard the perimeter and the inside, it's a difficult match-up, especially for us."
The second half only got worst for Nebraska, as Texas eventually increased it's lead to as much as 42 points before eventually finishing up with a 40-point victory.
Bradley ended the day with a game-high 23 points, hitting his first six 3s of the day and finishing 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Hamilton and James added 16 and 15 points, respectively, as a total of five Longhorns scored in double figures.
On the other side, no Nebraska player broke the 10-point mark, as senior guard Ryan Anderson led the team with nine points.
Texas dominated in basically every aspect on the stat sheet, including out-rebounding NU 49-27 and shooting 46.0 percent from the floor while the Huskers ended at a season-low 28.1 percent.
Unless it can somehow find a way to get a whole lot better in a matter of just three days, things might not be much better in Nebraska's next game when it travels to take on No. 9 Kansas State on Wednesday night.
"I thought the defensive pressure (by Texas) really effected us tonight, and we're going to see the same type of effort on Wednesday night," Sadler said. "We've got to get better offensively. We've got to put this one behind us and hopefully come out Wednesday night and understand that the first five minutes are going to be very important."