SW Minnesota State vs. Nebraska, 12.29

Nebraska guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson (34) drives to the hoop past Southwest Minnesota State's Steven McNease (23) and Ryan Bruggeman (right) at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Dec. 29.

The Nebraska men's basketball team built a 24-point halftime lead, then gave nearly all of it back before hanging on for a 73-70 win over Silute BC Thursday in Italy.

The Huskers outscored the Lithuanian club 31-7 in the second quarter to take a 53-29 lead into the break, hitting seven three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

But NU coach Fred Hoiberg has mentioned often the need for his team to learn to deal with adversity, and the Huskers got a taste of that Thursday.

Nebraska didn't score for the first four minutes of the third quarter as BC Silute began climbing back into the game. The Huskers were outscored 41-20 in the second half, with Silute BC pulling withing four points with 47 seconds to play. A Dachon Burke tip-in with 11 seconds to go helped NU hang on.

"I don't think we could have drew it up any better just to witness some type of in-game adversity," NU assistant Matt Abdelmassih to the Husker Sports Radio Network after the game.

Freshman Samari Curtis scored 13 points, to go with seven rebounds and three steals, for the Huskers while Haanif Cheatham had 12 and Burke 11. NU hit nine total three-pointers, with Matej Kavas making three for his nine points. 

Jervay Green scored eight points while Thorir Thorbjarnarson finished with seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.

"Overall I think we were absolutely gassed, exhausted (playing) back-to-back nights, which we're going to experience a couple times during the season," Abdelmassih said. "So just to learn from this is going to be key. But ultimately, I felt like our composure was there."

Nebraska will spend the next three days traveling and sightseeing before playing its final game of the trip Monday against Italian Select.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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