Nebraska (7-3) led 50-35 after a pair of Talley free throws with 7 minutes remaining. Jacksonville State (8-3) then outscored the Cornhuskers 18-4, closing with 56-55 on Ronnie Boggs' corner 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
"First of all, we're up, I think 13 at the under-eight timeout. I think it's 13, and I said, ‘Okay, here's how you win the game: from the under-eight to the under-four, you extend the lead,'" said Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. "'Just play your butt off, play defense, handle the ball well, be on the attack.' Whatever their run was from there, we just did completely the opposite. It was so disappointing. We were fortunate. We just plain got luck."
Nebraska's Ray Gallegos made one of two free throws to put the Huskers up two. Then Jacksonville State's Chris Deanes drove the lane, missing a wide-open layup. Talley was fouled on the rebound and hit the clinching free throws.
Jacksonville State hit 9-of-10 free throws during its stretch surge. Nebraska made 5-of-8 from the line during that period, but managed only two field goals in the final seven minutes while the Gamecocks hit five.
"We had a great defensive stand in the half: eight straight, 13 out of 14 possessions. We went from up five to down seven to up seven, and that was really good defense. I thought we did a lot of good things," said Miles. "But you've got to finish the ballgame. It's a 40-minute game and you've got to have some courage. That helps."
*** The Associated Press contributed to this report ***