Sophomore guard Dylan Talley was questionable coming into Wednesday's match-up against Florida Gulf Coast.
You would have never guessed he was injured judging by his on-court performance.
Offensively, the Huskers struggled the entire night. With 30 seconds remaining in the game, they found themselves trailing the Eagles 50-49 — a game that many believe should have been over far before the clock read zero.
With the game on the line and their leading scorer Bo Spencer in a slump, the Huskers needed someone to step up.
As the game clock fell below 15 seconds, point guard Bo Spencer ran into a double team and kicked the ball out to Dylan Talley. p>
With the game on the line, Talley drove the baseline and hit the game winning shot with nine seconds left in the game.
"I just took a dribble and tried to use the ball screen and make a play. I made it, thankfully," he said. "It felt really good."
Even though the huskers squeaked out the win, fans were under the impression that the Huskers shouldn't have even been in that position against a weaker Florida Gulf Coast team.
Coach Sadler, on the other hand, knew that the game wasn't going to be a blowout.
"We knew going into the game that it was going to be very difficult," Sadler said. "Their zone gave us problems. That's the best zone we've played against."
That's why Talley's gutsy performance proved to be the difference in the game. When the Huskers needed a playmaker, Talley was their guy.
What's even more impressive is that he accomplished all of this with an injury.
He saw limited first half action due to the same thigh injury that limited his minutes in the Creighton game on Sunday. Despite being injured and only playing nine first half minutes, Talley was 100 percent from beyond the arc and had recorded three rebounds by halftime. He definitely wasn't playing he was injured.
"It is hurting to be honest," he said. "I hurt it in the South Dakota State game, then hit it again in the game at Creighton. It was hurting pretty bad after that."
It was a smart decision by Coach Sadler to increase his minutes. Talley saw 17 second half minutes, as compared to nine in the first.
His four 3-pointers matched his season high that was set against Oregon on Nov. 23. He also reached double figures for the fifth time in eight games, finishing with 14 points.
It should be interesting to see how the sophomore responds to the thigh injury. A healthy, confident Dylan Talley could be just what this Nebraska offense needs, especially when the Big Ten gauntlet begins on Dec. 27.
Until he gets healthy, Husker fans will just have to settle with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, and 57 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Oh, and a clutch, game winning shot.
How long does a thigh injury take to heal?
- Edited by Josh Harvey -