EL PASO, Texas - Kyle Randall led all players in scoring and rebounding but a 10-0 deficit in the first 90 seconds was too much for Randall and Central Michigan to overcome in an 89-75 loss to Nebraska in the first round of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.
Randall scored 11 of the team's final 17 points and had 20 of his game-high 27 in the second half.
The senior point guard hit all 15 of his free throw attempts and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
The Cornhuskers (8-3) jumped out to the double-digit lead by the 18:24 mark with buckets on their first four possessions while forcing the Chippewas (6-5) into two turnovers and a missed jumper. Central settled down to come right back within six on their next two possessions, but after the Huskers missed a field goal they hit eight of their next nine attempts to go up 30-15 midway through the half.
Down 19 six minutes before the break, the Chippewas used a 14-5 run to close within 10, 43-33, and improve their shooting percentage to 43 percent by halftime. With about eight minutes remaining, Nebraska had an 86-36 advantage in field goal percentage.
The Chippewas employed the full-court press most of the second half, allowing them to stay close. A 7-0 run, all scored by Randall, brought CMU within seven, 69-62, with 6:25 to play, but Nebraska responded with its own 14-4 run to keep the Chippewas at bay and go up 17 with 3:04 left.
Central got to the line 33 times, converting 27 (81.8%) and forced Nebraska into 15 turnovers, but the Huskers became the third consecutive opponent to shoot better than 50 percent from the floor.
CMU will face either Arkansas-Pine Bluff or host UTEP Sunday at 7 pm Eastern Time.