Honolulu — It may be a modest two-game winning streak, but the Nebraska Cornhuskers are hoping to parlay that into some early success when they open Big Ten Conference play next week.
Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields each scored 22 points as Nebraska beat Ohio 72-58 on Thursday to claim fifth place in the Diamond Head Classic.
The Cornhuskers (8-4) fell to tournament-host Hawaii in a quarterfinal Monday, but rebounded to edge Loyola Marymount in overtime in a consolation semifinal Tuesday.
"I saw progress over the past three games and it's always fun to be able to play and get better playing because you can only practice so much and get better," Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles said. "That's a big thing going into the Big Ten having this tournament so close."
Petteway shot 6 of 14 from the field and 9 of 13 from the free-throw line and grabbed 10 rebounds. Shields made 7 of 14 field goals and hit all seven of his free-throw attempts.
"It's just something I have to build on and we have to build off of as a team," Petteway said. "The way we played tonight, that describes Nebraska and Nebraska basketball."
The Cornhuskers did not trail in the game and got 13 rebounds and eight points from David Rivers. It was their second consecutive victory and third in their last four games.
Javarez Willis had team-highs of 15 points and eight rebounds and Maurice Ndour chipped in 12 points for the Bobcats (4-6).
Nebraska went scoreless for more than six minutes in the first half, which allowed Ohio to pull within 20-17 with a 6-0 run.
Shields finally ended the scoring drought at the 6:22 mark with a pair of free throws to put the Cornhuskers up 22-17, only to see the Bobcats tie it following a Ryan Taylor 3-pointer and a putback by Treg Setty.
However, Nebraska scored the next eight points to pull ahead 30-22. Ohio answered with an 8-0 run of its own, capped by Willis' 3-pointer from straight away to knot it at 30.
Shields, who scored 13 points after halftime, drew a foul on a drive to the basket and hit both free throws to send the Cornhuskers into halftime with a 32-30 lead.
"It was good that we found a way to win and got a second win in a row," Shields said. "We know what makes us successful and we know what players need to do what and we just need to put it all together and be on the same page in the end, but for sure this is a great carry over heading into the Big Ten."
Nebraska shot 45 percent from field, including 50 percent in the second half, and was 21 of 27 from the free-throw line.
Ohio shot 44 percent from the field in the second half, but got to the free-throw line just four times after halftime and finished 11 of 15.
George Washington 60, No. 11 Wichita State 54: Kethan Savage sparked a late rally and scored 12 points to lead George Washington to an upset in the final of the Diamond Head Classic. The Colonials (9-3) won their first in-season tournament since they knocked off Michigan State and Maryland in the 2004 BB&T Classic.
They trailed 50-43 with just under 7 minutes remaining when Savage twice swatted away a pass down the court and recovered the ball for a layup. Yuta Watanabe put the Colonials ahead for good with a 3-pointer with 3:32 remaining.
The Shockers (10-2) made only one field goal over the last 6 minutes. Fred VanVleet led Wichita State with 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. The Shockers shot 34 percent for the game.