'Huskers extend Spartans'


– Shavon Shields earned a day of rest.

Shields scored 28 points, playing through hip pain, and Denzel Valentine missed a shot near the top of the key just before the buzzer to allow Nebraska to hold on for a 72-71 win over No. 11 Michigan State on Wednesday night.

"He got banged pretty hard," Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles said. "The first thing he said to me after the game is, 'Coach, I'm going to need the day off.' He never asks for a day off, so I knew he was hurting."

The Cornhuskers (12-8, 4-3 Big Ten) have won four in a row, three on the road. They've also won three consecutive against the Spartans.

"That's really big for our program," Shields said. "They're a great team."

Michigan State (17-4, 3-4) has lost three consecutive games and suddenly looks nothing like the top-ranked team it was earlier in the season.

"There's blood in the water right now," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "The sharks are coming."

Shields, who left the game because of a hip injury in the first half and came back to play after halftime, made a shot to put Nebraska ahead by eight points with 2:31 left.

"I honestly didn't think I could play," he said.

Nebraska's Glynn Watson scored 13 and Tai Webster had 10 points but missed a free throw with four seconds left that gave the Spartans an opportunity to avoid another loss.

Valentine's three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left had cut the deficit to one point, but he couldn't connect on one more shot after grabbing a rebound off Webster's missed free throw.

"They deserved to win that game," said Valentine, who also missed a last second jumper Sunday in a one-point loss at Wisconsin.