LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Terran Petteway scored 23 points, Shavon Shields added 16 and No. 21 Nebraska shook off a sloppy first half to beat Central Arkansas 82-56 on Tuesday night.
Tai Webster had 11 of his 13 points in the second half for the Cornhuskers (2-0), who turned the game into a rout after leading their opponent from the Southland Conference by only five points shortly after halftime.
Jake Zuilhof led Central Arkansas (0-3) with 12 points. Albert Christensson had 11 points, and Jordan Howard scored 10.
The Huskers slogged through the first half, shooting 42 percent with nine turnovers and only three assists. They shot 64 percent with six turnovers and nine assists in the second.
The Bears shot 29.6 percent after halftime and 32.8 percent for the game.
The Bears stayed close early on, slowing the pace with fouls aplenty and benefiting from Nebraska’s sloppy play on both ends. Nebraska led just 32-30 at the under-4 minute timeout. But Shields made three free throws and had a steal and dunk to start an 11-2 spurt that put the Huskers up by double digits.
Central Arkansas closed to five points early in the second half before Nebraska scored 14 straight points to lead 61-42. The Bears missed eight straight shots and committed a couple turnovers as the Huskers pulled away. That had to console Nebraska coach Tim Miles, who in his customary halftime tweet said, “We have to play defense with a purpose.”
Webster’s 3-pointer from the corner closed a 21-4 spurt that gave Nebraska a 68-46 lead with under eight minutes to play.
Nebraska: The Huskers had a 40-35 advantage on the boards after getting outrebounded 36-33 by Northern Kentucky in their opener. Shields led the Huskers with 11 rebounds.
Central Arkansas: The Bears finished 0-3 on their season-opening trip to the state of Nebraska, also losing to Creighton and Omaha. Mathieu Kamba had 10 rebounds to go along with seven points and five assists.
Nebraska visits Rhode Island on Saturday.
Central Arkansas hosts Southeast Missouri State on Saturday.