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updated: 11/21/2012 10:39 PM

Nebraska fights off Tulane in 61-57 win

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Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Andre Almeida had seven of Nebraska's final 12 points, including a dunk with 1:45 left put Nebraska up for good, and the Cornhuskers turned back Tulane 61-57 Wednesday.

The dunk was business as usual for the 6-foot-11, 314-pound Brazilian. The basket that had teammates talking was a 6-foot bank shot that put Nebraska up 56-55 with 4:51 left.

"I've seen him make it a bunch of times," Dylan Talley said. "He probably should pull out a little more in the game. Kiss it off the glass, all net. Dre's got it. He might be a big man, he might be 300 pounds, but he's got it."

Almeida said he's been practicing on the shot all summer.

"That's something I've been working on," Almeida said. "Coach Miles has been telling me if I get a wide open look to shoot the ball. I've been working on it. I'm trying to get more comfortable with little jump shots."

Nebraska (4-0), which led for nearly the entire first half, saw Tulane (3-2) take the lead on Jordan Callahan's jumper with 16:53 left which made the score 40-39. The Green Wave stayed in front until Almeida hit the 6-footer.

Almeida's dunk broke a tie at 57 and was the final basket of the game. Jordan Callahan missed three free throws with 1:06 remaining after having been fouled on a 3-point attempt. Talley missed a driving shot. Josh Davis and Callahan each missed shots in the final 40 seconds for Tulane.

Ray Gallegos hit a pair of free throws with 3.5 seconds left to seal the win for Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers held Tulane to without a field goal for the last 7:02, which was key to the victory, said Nebraska coach Tim Miles.

"It was a gritty win," he said. "I thought we did enough on defense. Tulane did a great job in the second half. They got off to a slow start, but didn't let us get away from them. And then in the second half, they were in control the first 10-12 minutes of the second half, but I thought we buckled down at the end and played gritty defense and made enough hustle plays to hang in there."

Tulane scored just two points, on a pair of Davis free throws, in the last seven minutes.

"We just didn't execute down the stretch," said Tulane coach Ed Conroy. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had, whether it was free throws at the line or out of bounds situations. That's why we play these games and go on the road. But we will get better. We have to get better."

The win should a springboard for the Huskers, which are learning a new system under first year coach Miles, Talley said.

"This is a game that will help our confidence," Talley said. "I feel, we know can get better. We know we did a lot of things wrong. We did some things good. But we competed for 40 minutes with a tough team that didn't let up for 40 minutes. They was coming at us the whole night. We just competed and toughed out a win."

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