LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Nebraska had big leads slip away in both halves but still wound up victorious.
Glynn Watson Jr. scored 26 points and Nebraska hung on after nearly blowing a 22-point lead to beat Long Beach State 85-80 Sunday in the fifth-place game at the Advocare Invitational.
“He’s a disruptive force,” Long Beach head coach Dan Monson said of Watson. “It’s almost like Richard Sherman on defense. You don’t want to challenge him.”
Isaac Copeland and Evan Taylor had 3-point plays during a second-half opening run that put Nebraska ahead 62-40.
Long Beach State responded with a run of its own and got with 76-59 with five minutes to play. The 49ers made it 83-80 on Jordan Griffin’s 3 with three seconds remaining.
“Somehow we have to be able to self-correct and change our trajectory when things start going bad,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said.
Anton Gill added 16 points for Nebraska (5-2) and Copeland finished with 13 points. Watson had 16 points in the first half as the Cornhuskers led by nine.
“I wasn’t really looking at the score,” Watson said. “Just out there playing hard and trying to build the lead.”
Long Beach State (3-4) got 22 points from Gabe Levin and Deishuan Booker added 15.
“I think they showed that they’re good enough to compete in our league, but they’re not consistent enough,” Monson said of his team. “The biggest thing is we got to get more consistent in what we do. You can’t start both halves the way we did and expect to take a Big Ten team and beat them.”
Long Beach State: Levin has scored in double-digits in six of seven games. He averaged 16 points over the three games at the invitational.
Nebraska: Sophomore forward Isaiah Roby, who entered averaging 7.8 points and 19.8 minutes off the bench, landed awkwardly on his left leg and sprained his ankle midway through the first half. He watched the final 18 minutes of the game from the end of the bench with the ankle area taped.
Nebraska converted 21 Long Beach State turnovers into 31 points. The Cornhuskers had 13 turnovers that resulted in 15 points by the 49ers.
FROM THE FLOOR
Nebraska was coming a season-best shooting of 56.7 percent in Friday’s 84-59 win over Marist. After a 58.3 percent performance Sunday in the first half, the Cornhuskers finished at 47.8 percent after making just 35.5 percent of their attempts over the final 20 minutes.
Long Beach State: Plays Wednesday night at Arizona.
Nebraska: Hosts Boston College Wednesday night as part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.