FLORENCE, Italy — Nebraska escaped with its third win in Italy on Thursday.
The Huskers built a 24-point lead in the first half but nearly blew it and won by just three, 73-70, over Lithuanian pro team BC Silute.
Nebraska was outscored 41-20 in the second half but squeezed out the win thanks to a 53-29 halftime lead.
“I don’t think we could have drawn it up any better, just to witness some type of adversity, in-game adversity, that is,” assistant Matt Abdelmassih told the Husker Sports Network after the game.
The win is Nebraska’s second in two days. The Huskers beat BC Silute 83-58 on Wednesday.
Freshman Samari Curtis led NU with 13 points Thursday. He got help from senior graduate transfer Haanif Cheatham, who finished with 12 points. Junior Dachon Burke scored 11.
The game was not streamed, but the Nebraska athletic department did provide scoring figures. In three games overseas, Burke has led NU in scoring with 14 points per game, followed by 13.0 from Cheatham and 9.7 from Jervay Green. NU hit nine 3-pointers on Thursday, seven coming in the first half.
Nebraska jumped to a 12-4 lead, making four 3-pointers to start the game. It was tied at 22-22 before Nebraska scored 14 straight points and ran away to a 24-point lead.
BC Silute quickly trimmed that to 64-59 in the third quarter.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Abdelmassih said. “I don’t think we could’ve played any better the first 20 minutes, and the second 20 minutes we definitely had the ball stick to our hands. We lost all the concepts we’re trying to enforce in the first half, and ultimately the score showed it in the way we played.”
Playing back-to-back nights while traveling also didn’t help, he said.
A steal from Thorir Thorbjarnarson led to a score from Burke to put Nebraska up 69-61, keeping the game just out of reach in the final minutes.
Nebraska will next play on Monday against Italian Select, the final game of the 10-day foreign trip.