Ames, Iowa A Nebraska basketball season that had seemed lost suddenly has taken a positive turn.
It's becoming just the opposite for Iowa State.
Nebraska followed its victory over No. 4 Oklahoma State on Tuesday with a gritty effort in a 76-69 victory Sunday over Iowa State. The Cornhuskers went deep into their bench to survive a slew of fouls, rebounded with gusto and dealt a blow to ISU's NCAA Tournament hopes.
"I just think our guys are fighting harder," Nebraska coach Barry Collier said. "They see the end of the season, and we're trying to squeeze as much as we can out of it."
Jason Dourisseau scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half to lead the Cornhuskers (13-12, 6-8 Big 12 Conference), who crashed the boards for 23 offensive rebounds-- 16 in the first half -- in building a 51-37 rebounding advantage.
Wes Wilkinson added 16 points, while Aleks Maric had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Joe McCray scored 11, including five in a 12-0 second-half run that put the Cornhuskers ahead to stay.
"Winning on the road in this league is not easy, and anytime you can get a road win it feels tremendous," Dourisseau said. "We're happy right now. We're going to get back on the bus and have a loud ride back."
Iowa State (15-10, 7-7), which beat Nebraska, 65-60, earlier this month in Lincoln, now has lost two straight after putting together a seven-game winning streak that included victories over four Top 25 teams.
A victory Sunday would have gone a long way toward ensuring an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament for the Cyclones. Now, Wednesday's home game with Missouri looms as a must-win for those hopes.
"Obviously we're (ticked) off and upset we didn't get the performance we needed today," said Jared Homan, who led Iowa State with 20 points and 10 rebounds. "I think we were lackadaisical in some areas. We should have stepped up to this occasion."