Nebraska 61

(10-4, 0-3 Big 12)

(18) Texas 63

(11-2, 2-0 Big 12)

    1:30 PM ET, January 17, 2004

    Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Austin, Texas

    1 2 T
    NEB 27 3461
    #18TEX 31 3263

    Ivey nails big shot with 2.4 seconds left

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The scene looked very familiar. The score was tied in the final seconds and Texas had the ball with a chance to win.

    Two weeks earlier, it was P.J. Tucker's last-second driving layup that beat Providence in overtime. On Saturday, it was Royal Ivey's 16-footer from the left wing with 2.4 seconds that lifted the No. 18 Longhorns past Nebraska 63-61.

    "You're going to be in situations like this," Ivey said. "It's going to be good for us come March. It's good to have games like this to have confidence come crunch time."

    More likely it was a big scare for Texas, brimming with self-confidence after a 94-81 win over No. 4 Wake Forest earlier in the week.

    But unlike that game, Texas (11-2, 2-0 Big 12) never got its supercharged offense cranked up against a tough zone defense that stalled the action to a steady rhythm of half-court sets for 40 minutes.

    The stingiest defense in the Big 12 held Texas to nearly 30 points below its average and 39 percent shooting. Ivey and Kenny Taylor each finished with 13 points to lead the Longhorns.

    Nebraska (10-4, 0-3) also forced Texas into a nearly seven-minute scoring drought when the Longhorns missed 14 consecutive shots as the score swung from Texas ahead 52-46 to Nebraska leading 56-52 with 2:32 to play.

    "They knew what they needed to do to make it a game," Ivey said. "I expected it to be tough. I didn't expect us to be down with two minutes left."

    "We deserved to win," Nebraska coach Barry Collier said. "So did Texas."

    Andrew Drevo scored 23 to lead Nebraska. He scored eight consecutive points in the late stretch when the Cornhuskers took the lead. His 3-pointer made it 59-55 with 2:01 left.

    Texas fought off the potential upset with a pair of 3s from Brian Boddicker and Kenny Taylor on the other end.

    Taylor's shot cut the lead to one and after Jake Muhleisen's back door layup made it 61-58, Boddicker drained his 3-pointer from the right corner to tie it with 59 seconds left.

    "You need to know where Taylor and Boddicker are all the time," Collier said. "They still had to make the shots and they did."

    Drevo had a chance to give Nebraska the lead but he missed a 3-pointer when Brad Buckman got a hand in his face at the top of the arc.

    Taylor grabbed the rebound and Texas called timeout with 12 seconds left. Ivey took the ball on the inbounds pass and dribbled up the right side of the court before circling left and launching the shot over the outstretched arm of Corey Simms.

    "Roy's been around. We were going to let Roy make a play with it," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "We wanted him to get the ball across the timeline a little quicker in case they tried to use a trap. I wanted him to dance a little."

    Instead, Ivey took his time before swishing the shot that saved the game.

    "I'm confident," Ivey said. "It felt good when I let it go."

    After a timeout, Nebraska got the ball upcourt to Muhleisen, whose desperation 3-pointer bounced off the back of the rim.

    "In this league," Barnes said, "there are no gimmies."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

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