Ryan Young's putback with 2.7 seconds remaining in the second half gave host Northwestern a 79-78 win over Nebraska on Sunday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.
Young found himself under the basket to collect Pete Nance's missed runner, his sixth rebound to go with six points off the bench. The late basket helped the Wildcats (9-14, 6-13 Big Ten) win their third straight contest after a 13-game losing streak.
Northwestern and Nebraska (7-19, 3-16) traded the lead three times in the final 90 seconds, with Trey McGowens putting the Cornhuskers up 78-77 on a jumper with a minute left. The junior guard had 13 of his 15 points in the second half.
Nebraska had a chance to take a two-possession lead in the final minute but committed a shot clock violation with 12.7 seconds remaining. The turnover set up Northwestern's game-winning possession.
Northwestern led 39-30 at halftime but Nebraska cut the deficit with an 8-0 run early in the second half. Kobe Webster's 3-pointer with 16:33 left got the Cornhuskers within 45-43, only to see the Wildcats run off nine in a row.
The Cornhuskers again closed within one score at 65-63 on Webster's sixth 3-pointer with 5:48 remaining, as Northwestern went scoreless for more than four minutes. Webster's jumper with 4:14 left put Nebraska ahead 68-67 for its first lead since 3-0, and his seventh triple gave his team a 73-69 advantage with 3:16 to go.
Webster, a graduate transfer from Western Illinois, had a Nebraska career-best 23 points. He was 7 of 12 from 3-point range as the Huskers made a season-best 14 triples.
It was the 14th game in 30 days for Nebraska, which didn't play between Jan. 11-Feb. 5 due to a COVID-19 pause. It went 3-11 during that span, with three losses by five or fewer points.
Northwestern used runs of 11-2 and 12-0 to build a 16-point lead with 7:09 left in the first half. The Wildcats made eight straight shots at one point, hitting 17 of their last 24 before halftime after an 0 for 7 start.
The Wildcats shot 53.3 percent for the game, getting six players in double figures for the first time in a Big Ten game since 2002-03. Chase Audige led the way with 14, with Nance contributing 13 and Miller Kopp adding 12.
Northwestern, which finishes as the No. 12 seed, will face No. 13 Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament on Wednesday. That same day Nebraska, as the No. 14 seed, will face No. 11 Penn State.
--Field Level Media