CJ Wilcher plays unlikely hero for Nebraska basketball vs North Dakota

On a night when most of the Nebraska basketball team was struggling mighily, CJ Wilcher gave the team a lift it needed.
Nebraska basketball guard CJ Wilcher
Nebraska basketball guard CJ Wilcher / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

For the first 20 minutes of Nebraska basketball's game against North Dakota, it looked like Hoiberg's Heroes were going to put a damper on what had been a very good Wednesday. The Nebraska football team just wrapped up a Top 20 recruiting class headlined by Dylan Raiola. It was supposed to be a good night for the Huskers in general.

And then the Nebrasketball team went out and played about as poorly as it has all season in the first half against North Dakota. They went into half down 42-32. Eventually, the Cornhuskers woke up. They needed a big run, but they got it, outscoring its opponent 51-33 in the second half in order to pull off the 83-75 win to improve to 10-2.

Had the Huskers not managed to shake itself away, the team was in real danger of wiping out the good feelings it generated by toppling Michigan State and Kansas State in back-to-back games.

They ran the danger of looking as bad as they did in back-to-back horrendous losses to Creighton and Minnesota. There was a chance they were going to put a very big bump in the road to the NCAA Tournament this season. However, they ended up avoiding all of that, and CJ Wilcher was a big reason why.

Nebraska basketball leans on unlikely hero for 10th win

After a frustrating 2022-23 season, CJ Wilcher has already had a better campaign this year. But it's entirely possible this was his best performance of his Nebraska basketball career when you factor in how important it was.

Wilcher finished the game with 16 points, 4 rebounds and an assist, but it was his 9 points in the first half that really lifted the Huskers to a win on Wednesday night. He was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in a half where nobody was really able to get it going.

In the end, six different Nebraska basketball players scored in double digits. However, had Wilcher not given the team a shot in the arm when they needed it most, Wednesday night could have gone a very different way.