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Derrick Walker powers Nebraska past Minnesota

Jan 7, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers center Treyton Thompson (42) and Nebraska Cornhuskers forward Derrick Walker (13) dive for the ball during the first half at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Walker had 22 points and Nebraska had its best foul-shooting performance of the season in an 81-79 overtime win at Minnesota on Saturday afternoon in a Big Ten Conference game in Minneapolis.

Walker added eight rebounds and seven assists and was 4 of 6 from the line. He entered the game shooting 40.9 percent on free throws.

A 63.4 percent foul-shooting team for the season, Nebraska (9-7, 2-3 Big Ten) won at Minnesota for the first time since 2018 by going 13 of 17 from the line. That included 8 of 11 in overtime, with Walker making 3 of 4 and Sam Griesel hitting all four in the final minute as part of his 15 points.

Minnesota (6-8, 0-4) forced overtime on a 3-pointer by Taurus Samuels with 4.8 seconds left in regulation. The Golden Gophers made nine shots from beyond the arc — including four from Jamison Battle, who had 20 points.

Dawson Garcia went for 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

Minnesota led 39-33 at the half thanks to six 3-pointers, and that advantage lasted until C.J. Wilcher scored inside with 14:35 left to put Nebraska ahead. That was part of the Cornhuskers’ 12-0 run to build a 54-47 lead with 12:52 remaining.

Nebraska shot 50.8 percent, its best field goal rate in a Big Ten game since March.

A layup by Joshua Ola-Joseph put the Gophers back in front 58-57 with 7:39 to go. Nebraska responded with a 7-0 run for a 65-61 edge with 3:54 left.

Minnesota led by as many as seven in the first half, up 22-15 with 10:42 left. A 9-0 Nebraska run gave it a 31-26 advantage with 5:22 to go before halftime, but the Gophers ran off 11 in a row to lead 37-31 with 56 seconds remaining.

Nebraska heads home to face Illinois on Tuesday, while Minnesota visits No. 24 Ohio State on Thursday. The Gophers are off to their worst start in conference play since 2015-16.

–Field Level Media