NASSAU, Bahamas - Nebraska saved some of its best basketball for last, using a strong third quarter spurt to break open a close game in posting an 87-59 victory over the Cyborts Friday evening.
The Huskers, who won four games in as many days, broke open the game in the third period with a zone defense that allowed one field goal over the first seven minutes to break open an 11-point halftime lead.
In all, the Cyborts shot just 30 percent in the second half and had just four three throw attempts after getting to the line 16 times in the first half to stay within striking distance.
"The whole trip you are trying to do things that can help you down the road," Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler said. "We played some zone in the second half, and gave us a look that we can show the team on video. We can be very long in that zone and teams can struggle from the perimeter. That team played hard tonight, but we were too strong and physical for them."
Christian Standhardinger bounced back from a sub-par shooting night, hitting 10-of-13 shots from the floor en route to 22 points. The sophomore hit nine of his first 10 shots from the field and had nine points in third quarter as the Huskers outscored the Cyborts, 28-10, in leading by as many as 33 points.
Standhardinger was one of four Huskers to finish in double figures, as Caleb Walker totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals, while Jorge Brian Diaz and Brandon Ubel added 10 points apiece. Diaz tied Walker for team-high honors with eight rebounds, as the Huskers had a 35-31 advantage on the glass and shot 55 percent from the floor.
Nebraska held the Cybots to two field goals in the first quarter, but a plethora of fouls kept the hosts within nine at the end of the first quarter. The Huskers went inside early, as Christopher Niemann and Diaz combined for six of Nebraska's first 10 points to help the Huskers to an early eight-point lead.
The Cybots pulled within 12-10 before Eshaunte Jones hit a pair of three-points to extend the margin to 18-12 with 1:18 remaining in the frame. The Huskers then relied on the hot shooting of Standhardinger, who scored five straight points to push the lead to 23-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The Huskers eventually got the lead to 11 points, at 27-16, on a Diaz layup. But two straight Cybort three-pointers trimmed the margin to 27-22 before a Diaz layup ended the spurt. NU was up 31-24 before running off six straight points, capped by a Brandon Richardson's steal and hoop to push the lead back to 37-24.
Nebraska took the momentum quickly after halftime, using an 11-0 spurt to build a 22-point lead at 52-30. Diaz and Walker combined for all 11 points, as a Walker slam silenced the partisan crowd, while Diaz scored six of his 10 points the 3:33 spurt.
The Cyborts finally snapped the run, as Jamaris King hit an off-balanced 3-pointer to beat the shot clock, but Nebraska came back with 11 unanswered points to take a 65-33 lead. Standhardinger was the catalyst with seven straight Husker points to put the game out of reach.
There are some guys who played well who we didn't know much about," Sadler said. "I knew Caleb Walker was a good player, but he has a chance to be really good and is going to put some pressure on some guys on the perimeter.
"This trip also benefitted players like Christopher and Toney (McCray). We have some good players and it's a matter of getting them together. We can spend the next month and a half getting ready for October."