CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Andrew White III scored 21 points and had 13 rebounds Saturday and three of his teammates scored in double figures to lead Nebraska past Illinois, 78-67.

The win was the third straight for the Cornhuskers (11-8, 3-3 Big Ten). Illinois (9-9, 1-4) lost for the fourth time in five games.

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Nebraska used a 17-2 run to go up by 10 points late in the first half and never trailed over the game’s final 28 minutes.

Glynn Watson Jr. scored 17 for Nebraska while Tai Webster added 16 and Shavon Shields 14.

Illinois relied on the 3-point shot. Thirty-seven of its 59 shots from the field were from 3-point range but the Illini only made 11 (29.7 percent).

Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 17 points and seven assists. Kendrick Nunn added 15 points.

White started slowly, scoring six points in the first half. But he had six boards at that point, and turned his offensive game on.

With 14:05 left in the game and Illinois trying to claw its way back, he drained a 3-pointer that pushed Nebraska back out to a 51-39 lead, matching the Cornhuskers’ largest lead of the game to that point.

Nebraska outrebounded the Illini 42-24.

Illinois’ starting center, Mike Thorne Jr., and starting forward Leron Black, are both out for the season, leaving the Illini short on big bodies and their disadvantage on the boards has been glaring most of the season. Opponents have outrebounded Illinois 659-569 on the season.

Illinois’ frustration was obvious Saturday against a Cornhusker team that started no one taller than 6-foot-7.

Illinois had closed the Nebraska lead to eight points on a 3-pointer by Nunn with six minutes to play and breathed life into what had been a mostly grumbling crowd.

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But at the other end, Nebraska used a pair of offensive boards to turn a pair of misses into a pair of third-chance points from White that pushed the lead back to 10 at 67-57 and quieted the State Farm Center.

Nebraska went on a 17-2 run late in the first half that turned the game, opening up a double-digit lead in what had been a tight, back-and-forth contest.

A pair of free throws from Webster put the Huskers up 33-23 with 4:05 left in the half.

Illinois’ answer at the other was a quick, baseline 3-point attempt by Nunn that missed the basket by at least 3 feet.

“Jack a 3, might as well,” one fan yelled.


Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have struggled to take care of the ball this season, averaging 13.5 turnovers coming into the game. They were better Saturday, with 10.

Illinois: The Illini came into Saturday’s game with a minus-4.2 rebounding margin — worst in the Big Ten.


Nebraska visits No. 4 Michigan State on Wednesday.

Illinois visits Indiana on Tuesday.

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