Nebraska beats Tennessee 82-71 in 3rd place game at Barclays

NEW YORK -- Wait until Tai Webster feels well.

The junior guard from New Zealand played both games of the Barclays Center Classic feeling under the weather with some stomach issues.

Still, he was able to score 39 points in the two games, including 18 on Saturday in the tournament's third-place game, an 82-71 Nebraska victory over Tennessee.

"It's definitely on its way out but not quite 100 percent," Webster said of his upset stomach.

Nebraska coach Tim Miles was really impressed by Webster's effort against the Volunteers.

"He was really strong to the rim. I think the last two days was as strong as I've seen him play at the rim," Miles said. "He's using an inside game instead of an outside game and then obviously he's been an excellent defender for us, too. That's a staple of our program."

It was the key to the big run that gave the Cornhuskers control of the game.

The Cornhuskers (5-2) used a 21-5 run spanning halftime to take command and their biggest lead was 60-38 with 12:29 to play. Nebraska used some stifling defense and control of the boards to take control, holding the Volunteers to 2-for-16 shooting during the big run.

Tennessee (4-3) was able to get to 70-60 with 7:19 to go but couldn't cut the lead to single digits until the final minute.

"I think we played a strong first half but the start of the second half obviously built the big lead. I think making eight of our first 10 shots (in the second half) and then being able to hang on," Miles said.

Andrew White III scored all of his 15 points in the second half for Nebraska.

"Obviously he had his struggles in the first half but I thought he did a great job of focusing in the second half, correcting his play and just knocking down shots like he's capable of," Webster said White.

Shavon Shields and Jake Hammond both had 11 points for Nebraska, whose only losses this season have been to ranked teams: then-No. 11 Villanova and No. 24 Cincinnati in the opening round of this tournament.

Kevin Punter led the Volunteers with 23 while Robert Hubbs III had 13 and Admiral Schofield added 12.

Hammond had 10 rebounds to lead Nebraska, which dominated the rebounding 46-30. Tennessee was outrebounded 47-30 in its opening-round loss to George Washington,

"I think we got outplayed and outworked and the rebounding edge, when you look at that, that really kind of speaks to what happened in the game, 46-30 with 14 offensive rebounds," Texas assistant coach Rob Lanier said. "A lot of that was a byproduct of how often we were getting beat off the dribble during the course of the game.

"Defensively we're just not very good right now," he said. "We got a long way to go. We're a team with a lot of growth ahead of us."

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has been fighting a bad cold and he didn't address the media after the game.

There were five ties and five lead changes in the opening 14:30 before Nebraska's defense turned the Volunteers' shooting cold and the Cornhuskers took a 40-32 halftime lead. Nebraska opened the second half with a 7-0 run.


Tennessee: Hubbs has scored in double figures in every game this season. ... The Volunteers had six turnovers against George Washington, none in the final 20 minutes. They had seven at halftime against Nebraska and finished with 11. ... Punter has scored (97) points in the last four games.

Nebraska: The win gives coach Tim Miles a 52-51 record in his four seasons with the Cornhuskers. ... This was the Cornhuskers' seventh game in 15 days. ... Nebraska leads the all-time series 3-0 and the last win before Saturday was in December 2004.


Tennessee is at Butler on Dec. 12.

Nebraska hosts Miami on Tuesday.