LINCOLN — Nebraska tried one more time Saturday night to wake up the echoes in the house that Bob Devaney built.
The Huskers pounded on the upset-door long and loud against Devaney's former school — No. 8 Michigan State, a team on an arc to reach the Final Four with its strong play of late.
A crowd of 11,947 for the second-to-last game at the Devaney Center roared as NU closed to one point with 14 minutes to play. But MSU steadily pulled away from there to claim a 73-64 victory.
Husker forward Shavon Shields made up for a scoreless first half by going wild in the first six minutes of the second half.
The freshman scored 12 points in that stretch. His basket with 14:15 left in the game brought Nebraska with one point at 41-40, the closest NU had been since it was 10-9.
But Michigan State cranked up its second-in-the-country scoring defense from there. Nebraska made only two field goals in the next 11 minutes, falling behind 61-46 with 3:52 left.
Dylan Talley had 28 points and Shields 19 points and 13 rebounds for Nebraska (12-14, 3-10). Guard Keith Appling had 16 points to lead MSU (22-4, 11-2).
Nebraska forced 10 turnovers in the first half, but it wasn't enough to ever claim a lead.
The Spartans hit three free throws on the game's first possession and soon built leads of 8-4, 17-9 and 23-12. Appling had 10 of those 23 points.
The basket that produced MSU's 11-point lead angered NU coach Tim Miles. Nebraska threw a wild pass near midcourt and two Huskers watched it bounce, allowing Michigan State's Gary Harris to grab and go for a dunk.
After Miles called time, Nebraska responded with a 12-4 run to cut the deficit to 27-24 with 2:01 to go. Talley hit two 3-pointers in that surge.
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