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Nebraska fights off Smith, Gophers

Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Terran Petteway, middle, and Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Deandre Mathieu, left, and guard Austin Hollins fight for a loose ball during the first half Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. USA TODAY Sports

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Terran Petteway scored a career-high 35 points to help the host Nebraska Cornhuskers survive a stellar shooting night by Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Malik Smith and a last-minute flurry in their 82-78 win Sunday.

Petteway was 10-for-15 from the floor and also had six rebounds for Nebraska (10-9, 2-5 Big Ten), which has won 11 of its last 12 home games dating to last season, including a victory over No. 15 Ohio State on Monday. Walter Pitchford had 13 points and Shavon Shields contributed 10 as the Cornhuskers rode a season-high 11 3-pointers to their second straight win in the series.

Smith tied the school record with eight 3-pointers — in only 12 attempts — en route to a career high-tying 29 points. DeAndre Mathieu added 13 points and Austin Hollins added nine points, six boards, four assists and three steals for Minnesota (15-6, 4-4), which fell to 1-3 on the road in league play.

Smith hit his sixth and seventh 3-pointers in a short span to trim Minnesota’s deficit to 58-51 with under nine minutes remaining and matched the school mark with another around the six-minute mark to make it 64-58. Nebraska scored six of the next eight points to push the lead out to double digits and hit 12 free throws in the final 90 seconds to offset a late barrage by the Gophers.

Pitchford scored seven points in the first two-plus minutes as Nebraska opened up a 10-3 lead en route to a 35-30 lead at halftime.

The Gophers were within four points early in the second half before Pitchford hit a 3-pointer and Petteway had consecutive layups to spark an 11-0 run that made it 48-33 with just over 14 minutes to go.

Minnesota was without leading scorer Andre Hollins, out with a sprained ankle.