Harley, Henry lead Nebraska to upset victory

COLLEGE STATION, Texas —As he watched Nebraska point guard Cookie Miller helped to the locker room grimacing in pain with a shoulder injury, Sek Henry became even more determined to get the Cornhuskers a win.

After Nebraska calmed down, he did just that, hitting two 3-pointers in the last 5 minutes to help the Cornhuskers to a 65-59 victory over No. 22 Texas A&M on Saturday, their second straight win over a ranked team.

“They (coaches) just told us to stay in it and we could still get this win,” said Henry, who along with Steve Harley led Nebraska with 11 points. “Just take your time and we can get this win. And that’s what we did.”

Added senior Aleks Maric: “When he went down, we got close and we just played our hearts out.”

The loss was the third straight for the Aggies (20-7, 6-6 Big 12).

Nebraska (16-9, 5-7) beat No. 24 Kansas State 71-64 on Wednesday and this win marks the first time since 1999 that the Huskers beat ranked teams in consecutive games.

With about 6 minutes to go, Miller, a freshman, crashed into Dominique Kirk fighting for a loose ball and remained on the court writhing in pain for several minutes. The 5-foot-7 Miller, who was called for the foul, injured his left shoulder. Miller, who had eight points, was taken to the locker room by trainers.

Nebraska coach Doc Sadler wasn’t sure of the extent of Miller’s injury.

The momentum seemed to shift after the injury and the Aggies had their first lead less than 2 minutes later.

They did it on a 9-2 run that was fueled by 3-pointers by Kirk and Donald Sloan to give them their first lead of the game, 53-50, with about 4 1/2 minutes to go.

The lead wouldn’t last long as Henry’s 3-pointer seconds later tied it and a jumper by Harley put Nebraska back on top.

The teams exchanged layups and the Cornhuskers went ahead 57-55 before a layup by Sloan tied it again.

Henry hit another 3-pointer with 1:23 to go before Jay-R Strowbridge made a free throw that gave Nebraska a 61-57 lead with 35 seconds to play.

“We had Sek Henry step up and make an unbelievable shot,” Sadler said.

The Aggies lost the ball on a bad pass and were forced to foul and Henry missed both shots, but Nebraska got the rebound. Harley hit both free throws after another foul to make it 63-57 with 17 seconds left.

Derrick Roland’s slam dunk made it 63-59 but A&M had to foul again and Harley hit two more free throws to secure the win.

“To come in here and beat a team like that you have to do what we did—you have to make some big plays,” Sadler said.

Roland led Texas A&M with 13 points.

Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said the Aggies seem like a different team in this losing streak than they were in the five-game winning streak that was capped with a 77-59 win over Missouri on Feb. 9.

“I don’t what happened to the guys I was coaching when we left Missouri,” he said. “It just looked like we were totally disinterested to start this game. You can’t start games like that. It gives the other team hope.”

Still, he was confident Texas A&M would pull this one out.

“I never thought we were going to lose the game,” he said. “Give Nebraska credit, they made every shot down the stretch.”

Texas A&M’s first-half shooting woes continued after halftime and the Aggies went without a field goal for an almost 7 1/2 -minute span in the second half. A three-point play by Sloan finally broke the drought and made it 46-41.

A 3-pointer by Kirk after a layup by Nebraska’s Ade Dagunduro got A&M within 48-44.

The Aggies outscored Nebraska 6-2 in the opening minutes of the second half to cut the lead to 34-31. Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer on the possession pushed Nebraska’s lead back to six.

Roland made a 3-pointer before A&M’s 7-foot freshman DeAndre Jordan blocked a shot by Miller giving the Aggies the ball back.

Two free throws by Josh Carter got A&M within 37-36, but the Cornhuskers reeled off six straight points, punctuated by a two-handed dunk by Chris Balham to extend their lead to 43-36 with 11 minutes to go.

“It’s not a lot of fun right now and they’re playing like it’s not a lot of fun,” Turgeon said. “We’ve got to do something. We’ve got to start playing again.”