Final - OT
  for this game

Nebraska holds off Oregon in overtime

Dec 15, 2007 - 11:35 PM OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- Nebraska survived a potentially critical mistake by Steve Harley.

Tajuan Porter failed to complete a four-point play after getting fouled by Harley with nine seconds left in regulation and the Cornhuskers went on to defeat the 16th-ranked Ducks, 88-79, in overtime on Saturday.

After Aleks Maric hit two free throws to give Nebraska (8-2) a 77-74 lead with 22 seconds left in regulation, Oregon looked for a game-tying 3-pointer.

The Ducks got it when Porter drilled a 20-footer from the right wing. As Porter released his shot, he was bumped by Harley but the sophomore guard missed the free throw.

The game went to overtime when Harley missed a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer.

"With 20 seconds to go, I thought we did an excellent job of switching out on Porter but about the fifth time he went off the ball screen, we didn't make the switch, and being the great player he is, he hit a 3," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said.

"We were fortunate that he didn't make the free throw and we got it into overtime."

Nebraska never trailed in overtime, snapping Oregon's four-game winning streak.

Maric scored 23 points and Ryan Anderson added 21 for the Cornhuskers, including a 3-pointer that started the extra session.

"I think this was a great win for our team, to give the team a feel of what conference play will be like," Anderson said.

Nebraska has won three straight since a 69-62 overtime loss at Western Kentucky.

"I think that overtime (in the Western Kentucky game) really brought it out of us, and we've been practicing hard ever since," Maric said. "Like I said about two or three weeks ago, we just started tweaking. We've still got some tweaking to do."

Porter paced the Ducks (8-2) with 29 points but had only two in the extra period.

Oregon not no closer than 79-77 on a pair of free throws by Joevan Catron with 1:28 remaining.

Jay-R Strowbridge and Maric hit jumpers to extend Nebraska's lead to 83-77 with 45 seconds remaining before the Cornhuskers scored their final five points from the line.

Nebraska appeared to take control early in the second half, opening a 52-39 cushion on Paul Verlander's 3-pointer with 16:17 remaining.

But Oregon slowly battled back behind leading scorer Malik Hairston and Porter and finally tied the contest, 62-62, on Porter's 3-pointer with 6:55 left.

"Oregon is an Elite Eight team from last year, so you knew they were going to compete for 40 minutes, or for 45 as it turned out to be," Sadler added.

Hairston, who missed Oregon's last contest with a knee injury, scored seven points for the Ducks, including a pair of free throws that brought them within 72-71 with 2:01 to go.

Oregon had a chance to take the lead but turned the ball over on consecutive possessions - two of the Ducks' 18 turnovers.

With 1:27 left, Hairston got the ball in the lane but was stripped by Anderson. On Oregon's next possession, Hairston mishandled an entry pass, resulting in another turnover.

"I thought the whole game we had way too many unforced turnovers," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We had them at the start of the game, the start of the second half and in overtime.

"For a veteran team, that's unacceptable to have those types of turnovers, because those were not forced where somebody's up the lane and pressuring you."

Ade Dagunduro contributed 15 points for Nebraska, which handled the ball much better, committing only seven turnovers.

The Cornhuskers shot 48 percent (31-of-65) while holding Oregon to 42 percent (25-of-59).