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Tominaga's 'thing of beauty' three-point stroke returns as Huskers roll past South Dakota

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South Dakota vs. Nebraska, 11.27

Nebraska's Keisei Tominaga (30) drives past South Dakota's Kruz Perrott-Hunt in the second half Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Keisei Tominaga found his stroke.

The junior college transfer with the sweet jumper finally started cashing in Saturday, hitting five three-pointers and scoring 23 points to lead the Nebraska men's basketball team to an 83-70 win over South Dakota at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The victory gave Nebraska (5-2) its first four-game winning streak under Fred Hoiberg, and the program's first such streak since early in the 2018-19 season.

The games get significantly more challenging from here on out, but Saturday provided a two-hour window for Tominaga to show just how valuable he can be for Nebraska's offense.

"I was kind of nervous at the beginning of the year," Tominaga said after the game. "So I had too much power in the shooting. So I've just been relaxing when I shoot the ball."

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Tominaga's shooting allowed the entire Husker team to relax.

When the 6-foot-2 Japanese import entered the game 10 minutes into the first half, Nebraska trailed 21-16 and South Dakota was becoming the latest squad to find its own three-point shot against the Huskers.

A little more than three minutes later, Tominaga had a trio of three-pointers, Nebraska had the lead, and a sleepy PBA crowd was coming to life.

There were two assists, two free throws, and a layup for Tominaga before the half ended as NU outscored the Coyotes by 13 points with him on the floor to take an eight-point lead into the locker room.

NU coach Fred Hoiberg hadn't said much to Tominaga during his slow start to the year — the left-hander was 1-for-8 in Nebraska's first three games — because the coach believed in the guard's talent.

Since, Tominaga is 8-for-17 (47%) and giving the Huskers much-needed threat.

"Really trying to get him back out and shoot with confidence, trust the stroke — it’s a thing of beauty. It’s what’s gotten him to this point," Hoiberg said. "And (it was) just a matter of time before he took the lid off. And perfect timing for us. It was great to see him get going like he did."

Tominaga entered with 12:36 left in the second half, and along with a lineup that included Kobe Webster, Bryce McGowens, C.J. Wilcher, and Wilhelm Breidenbach, engineered an 18-2 run to put the game on ice as NU led by as many as 23 down the stretch.

Bryce McGowens had 22 points, nine rebounds, and four assists for the Huskers, the third 20-point game of the freshman's season. Walker added 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting, continuing a pace that has seen him miss just two shot attempts over Nebraska's last four games.

South Dakota (4-2) set a season-high with 12 three-pointers. Kruz Perrott-Hunt led the Coyotes with 19 points.Mason Archambault scored 12 for USD. 

South Dakota travels to San Jose State on Tuesday for a 9 p.m. tip-off against former Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. Miles is in his first season with the Spartans. 


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