FLORENCE, Italy — Nebraska remained undefeated in Italy with an 83-58 win over Lithuanian professional team BC Silute on Wednesday.
In a gym with no air conditioning, junior Dachon Burke and senior Haanif Cheatham scored 20 points apiece. Nebraska hit 10 3-pointers, three coming from Seattle University transfer Matej Kavas. He shot 45% from 3-point range last season.
Kavas finished with nine points. Freshman Samari Curtis added eight with six apiece from Shamiel Stevenson and Jervay Green.
The two teams will play again at 11 a.m. Thursday.
BC Silute finished 22-20 last season, fifth in its conference. The game was not streamed online, nor was there a box score available afterward.
Nebraska switched up its starters for its second game of four games in Italy, with Kevin Cross, Stevenson, Curtis, Cheatham and Kavas taking the floor first. But that group was sluggish early on, assistant Armon Gates said in a postgame radio interview.
Things changed when the reserves came in, he said.
That included Thorir Thorbjarnarson, Green, Burke and Dalano Banton. A 3-pointer from Green and three-point play from Burke put NU ahead 20-18. Nebraska built a 35-23 lead with a 21-5 run in the second quarter and led 39-30 at halftime.
“We started off sluggish, watching on shots,” Gates said. “Since we’re so small, everyone has to engage and rebound and put a body on someone. Our switching and talking was bad early. But that second group that came in at the start of the game came in and kind of ignited us a little bit.”
BC Silute kept it close through three quarters, but a big fourth led to the 25-point win. Cheatham and Burke scored 11 straight during a 15-4 run to blow the game open. The victory was punctuated in the final minutes with an alley-oop pass off the backboard from Green to Banton.
“We just gotta continue to grow, we’re still getting familiar with each other,” Gates said.
After Thursday’s game, the Huskers will spend Friday traveling to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Saturday will be a trip to Como.
NU’s final game is Monday against Italian Select, which tips off at noon Central time.