LINCOLN, NE -- The Southern men's basketball team opened up its first of three games in the state of Nebraska Friday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena dropping a heartbreaker in overtime to the Huskers 93-86.
Graduate transfer Micah Bradford had a career and season-high 31 points, including 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, three rebounds, three steals and three assist to lead three Jaguars in double figures. Senior Darius Williams had his first career double-double and season-high 14 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Damiree Burns had 14 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Jayden Saddler lead the Jaguars with five assist, seven points and five rebounds.
A very fast paced first half, were the score was tied three times and had seven different lead changes. The Jaguars were able to use an 18-2 run from Bradford, who scored 10 of his 13 first half points during that span. Ashante Shivers free throws with 1:13 left in the first half helped SU take the lead 38-35 before giving up five straight points before the horn sounded. As the Jaguars headed to the locker room they found themselves trailing by two points 40-38. The Jaguars out-rebound the Huskers in the first half, 13-1 on the offensive boards.
Southern (2-3) hit its first five shots from the field to start the second half, turning a 42-38 deficit into a 51-46 lead after a Lamarcus Lee bucket with 15:23 left in the half. The Jags were able to stretch the lead twice, by getting up as much as eight points, building a 59-51 lead before the Huskers (2-2) went on a 7-0 run cutting the SU lead to 59-58.
The Jaguars kept fighting and eventually were able to erase a 70-65 deficit and take the lead 80-79 after a Williams layup with 33.9 seconds left in regulation. After a Green free throw that tied the game at 80 with 15.6 seconds left to play the Jaguars had two chances in the final seconds of regulation to pull out the upset. Bradford missed a jump shot that rimmed out, but the rebound was tipped and went out of bounds in favor of the Jaguars with 2.1 seconds left on the clock. Montese Blake's 3-point attempt was off the mark and forced overtime.
SU traded baskets with the Huskers in overtime, getting down by as much as 10 points before fighting back and cutting the Nebraska lead to seven points but that was as close as they would get. Southern shot 50% from field goal range going 18-of-36 and 42% from three point range going 5-of-12 in the second half. The Jaguars outscored the Huskers 16-3 on second chance points and out rebounded Nebraska 54-28, 25 were offensive rebounds to Nebraska four. The Huskers attempted more free throws then the Jaguars 37-10.
Next up, Southern travels to Omaha for the Mainland Tournament at Omaha (Caymen Island Classic) Monday Nov. 25 at 7:05 p.m. to face the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Jaguars will face either IUPUI or Loyola Maryland on Tuesday Nov. 26 at 4:35 p.m. at UNO Baxter Arena.
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