MINNEAPOLIS — The shot clock was dying, Minnesota was hanging around, and Evan Taylor had the ball in his hands.

So he did what seniors leaders do and made a play.

Taylor's three-pointer just before the shot clock buzzer gave Nebraska an 81-72 lead with 2:33 left and ended up being a critical play in Nebraska's 91-85 win.

Taylor, more known for his defensive acumen than his offensive explosiveness, finished with seven points on 3 of 6 shooting to go with six rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.

It was the senior's seventh straight game coming off the bench after the Huskers made a lineup change that inserted guard Anton Gill and forward Isaiah Roby into the starting lineup for Taylor and sophomore center Jordy Tshimanga.

And it was one of Taylor's most complete performances as the Huskers improved to 6-1 in those games.

"He's been the guy that does all the dirty work, then I take him out of the starting lineup," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "Which, when you're a grinder, when you're the defensive stopper and you get a starting spot in the Big Ten, that means something to you. It's not like the guy getting 22 (points). You know he's going to start.

"So for him to come off the bench and still have that killer attitude, he showed a lot of huevos tonight."

Taylor's gutty three-pointer put him at an even 50 percent from the arc this season — 15 for 30. Last season Taylor shot just 25 percent from long range (6 for 24).

"I didn't even realize what the score was at that point," Taylor said of his shot. "The shot clock was going down, so I just shot it. It felt good coming off, so thank God I made it."

Roby shows out: While Isaiah Roby's performance turned heads, it was nothing new for the guys who see him every day.

"Were you surprised at how well you played?" Taylor asked Roby during a postgame interview outside the Nebraska locker room.

"No," Roby answered.

"None of us are," Taylor said. "We see it in practice all the time. He's growing, he's getting better every day, and tonight was a product of his hard work and dedication. He puts in a lot of time."

Planning ahead: Nebraska's ninth win assured that it will avoid the dreaded play-in round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Huskers sit fourth in the league with a 9-4 record, and will officially avoid a Wednesday game in New York City after Wisconsin and Illinois play each other Thursday. Why? Both of those teams have nine league losses, and three other teams (Minnesota, Iowa and Rutgers) already have 10.

That means, of course, that the loser of the Illinois-Wisconsin game (the contest is in Madison) will give the Big Ten four teams with 10 conference losses.

Historic numbers: Nebraska continues to send those who follow the team digging through the record books:

* The Huskers' four Big Ten road wins are the program's most road conference victories since winning four in 1998-99. The team's nine conference wins are the most since the 2013-14 season, and guarantee Nebraska's first .500 or better league record since that season.

* Nebraska's 91 points were its most in a conference road game since scoring 96 at Oklahoma January 20, 1999.

* James Palmer's career-high nine assists match the most by a Husker in Miles' six seasons. Glynn Watson had nine against Rutgers in the 2015-16 season.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.