The Nebraska men’s basketball team returns for a Saturday night matchup as the Huskers welcome Minnesota to Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff between the Huskers and Golden Gophers is set for shortly after 6 p.m.
Saturday’s game will be televised on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and John Beilein on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.
|GAME 23: VS. MINNESOTA|
Date: Sat., Feb. 27
Time: 6:01 p.m.
City: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
Saturday is Senior Night, as the Huskers will honor Kobe Webster and Thorir Thorbjarnarson during pregame ceremonies which will begin shortly after 5:30 p.m. Webster and Thorbjarnarson have been solid performers off the bench for the Huskers this season. Webster, who had 12 points at Illinois, is averaging 7.0 ppg and shooting 36 percent from 3-point range, while Thorbjarnarson is scoring 3.3 points per game, but has a nearly a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and is fourth on the team in steals. Saturday’s game is NU’s third game in five nights, as the Huskers also will turnaround and host Rutgers on Monday in the home finale.
The Huskers (5-17, 1-14 Big Ten) was within striking distance early in the second half before Illinois pulled away with an 86-70 win. The Huskers were within 42-36 when a flagrent foul on Eduardo Andre sparked the Fighting Illini to an 11-0 run, all coming from Kofi Cockburn. Behind Trey McGowens, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half, the Huskers trimmed the lead to nine, but could not get closer. Illinois went 22-of-29 from the foul line, including an 8-of-10 effort from Cockburn, who entered the game shooting 56 percent from the charity stripe. Cockburn had 24 points to pace four Illini in double figures.
Minnesota (13-11, 6-11) looks to bounce back following a 67-59 home loss to Northwestern on Thursday. Marcus Carr had 21 points and seven assists, but the Gophers shot just 37 percent, including 4-of-27 from 3-point range. Minnesota, which has dropped four straight, was without Liam Robbins because of injury. The Gopher center averages 11.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and leads the Big Ten in blocks.
Teddy Allen is one of only three Big Ten players to have a 40-point game over the last four seasons following his 41-point night against Penn State on Tuesday, joining Purdue’s Carsen Edwards (three times) and Iowa’s Luka Garza (twice).
NUMBERS TO KNOW
.361 – The Huskers have made steady shooting improvement from 3-point range since returning from their pause. NU shot .234 in the first three games after returning from its pause, but is shooting .361 over the last seven games even after going 5-of-21 from 3-point range on Thursday.
4 – According to KenPom, the Huskers’ strength of schedule ranks fourth nationally as of Feb. 27. In fact, eight of the top-10 toughest schedules on the site are from the Big Ten.
5 – Nebraska has five games with at least 10 steals this season after having just two in 2019-20. NU is third in the Big Ten with 7.2 steals per game.
10 – NU has ten 20-point performances on the season (Teddy Allen-8; Trey McGowens-1; Kobe Webster-1). In addition, NU has had nine players reach double figures at least once this season and nearly had a 10th as Thorir Thorbjarnarson had nine points in Saturday’s loss to Purdue.
31 – Nebraska is 31st nationally in tempo according to KenPom as of Feb. 26. The Huskers and Illinois (83rd) are the only two Big Ten teams in the top-100 nationally in tempo as of Feb. 27. Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten in adjusted tempo.
Under Richard Pitino, the Golden Gophers are 13-10 on the season, 6-11 in Big Ten play, and looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Minnesota went a perfect 7-0 in non-conference play, highlighted by wins over Saint Louis and Boston College. The Golden Gophers were 9-1 following wins over nationally-ranked Iowa and Michigan State in late December, but is just 4-9 since the calendar turned to 2021. UM is 13-3 at Williams Arena, including Big Ten wins over Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue, as the Gophers handed the Wolverines its only loss of the season. UM is 0-8 away from Williams Arena.
Minnesota features one of the Big Ten’s best point guards in Marcus Carr. The junior guard ranks among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (19.1 ppg, fourth) and assists (5.1, third) while also grabbing 3.9 rebounds per game. Junior transfer Liam Robbins is the other Golden Gopher in double figures, as he averages 11.7 points per game and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per game. The Drake transfer paces the Big Ten with 2.7 blocks per game. Minnesota has been hurt by injuries to Robbins, who did not play against Northwestern, and three-year starter Gabe Kalscheur, who averaged 9.2 ppg and is second on the team with 27 3-pointers. In all, four of Minnesota’s top six scorers are in their first year at Minnesota.
Series History: Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 80th time on Saturday, which is the most between the Huskers and any other Big Ten member. It is NU’s longest-running series in the Big Ten, dating back to February of 1902. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 57-22, while the Huskers have won seven of the past 12 meetings. In all, 13 of the last 14 meetings have been won by the home team dating back to March of 2012. Nebraska is 7-8 against the Golden Gophers as Big Ten members. Prior to joining the Big Ten in 2011-12, NU and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years.
Last Meeting: Playing its second road game in three days, the Huskers were unable to overcome a hot-shooting start by Minnesota in a 79-61 loss on Feb. 8. Minnesota made seven straight shots over a four-minute stretch early in the game to turn a one-point lead into a 23-10 advantage. The Gophers had runs of 7-0 and 6-0 while opening the game 9-of-13 from the field. Minnesota then used another 7-0 spurt to stretch the lead to 30-14 before the Huskers dug in defensively.
Minnesota stretched the lead to 19 before Nebraska’s defense forced Minnesota into 17 straight misses. Lat Mayen hit a pair of 3-pointers and Shamiel Stevenson had two baskets during a 10-0 Husker run that cut the Minnesota lead to nine. A Kobe Webster jumper then capped a larger 13-1 run that made it 52-45 with 10:53 to play. It remained a seven-point game with seven minutes remaining before Minnesota used a 9-2 run to push the lead back to 12 with four minutes to play.
Mayen, who sat for much of the first half with three fouls, scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half to lead Nebraska. Stevenson added 14 points, tying his highest total as a Husker. Marcus Carr led Minnesota with game-high totals of 21 points and eight assists in only 19 minutes.
LAST TIME OUT
The Huskers trailed No. 5 Illinois by just six three minutes into the second half, but a series of runs doomed the Huskers in an 86-70 loss to the Illini.
Kofi Cockburn scored nine straight points after Nebraska cut the lead to six, and Illinois scored six consecutive points four minutes later. The Huskers continued to hang around until a late 12-3 Illini run put the game away. The win came less than two weeks after the Illini needed overtime to escape Lincoln with a five-point victory.
Trey McGowens paced three Huskers in double figures with 16 points, giving him 33 points in his last two contests. McGowens scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Shamiel Stevenson added 12 points – two shy of his season high – and Kobe Webster chipped in 12 points after he was held scoreless in the first matchup with the Illini.
Illinois was led by Cockburn, as the All-America candidate had a game-high 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and an 8-of-10 effort from the line. Adam Miller added 18 points – his most in a Big Ten game this season – while Jacob Grandison had a season-high 14 points. Andre Curbelo nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, as Illinois was without Ayo Dosunmu because of a broken nose.
• Nebraska continues with its frantic February pace, as the Huskers will play 11 games between Feb. 6-27 following the rescheduling of games against Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota. The 2020-21 season will mark the fifth time in school history and the first since 1919-20, that NU will play double-digit games in February (based on dates listed in the media guide). Saturday’s matchup with the Golden Gophers was originally set for Jan. 20.
• Trey McGowens will enter Saturday’s game needing two points to reach 1,000 for his career. He will be the second Husker to reach 1,000 career points this season, as Trevor Lakes accomplished the feat on Feb. 17 at Maryland. McGowens is fourth in the Big Ten in steals with 1.4 per game and has averaged 1.6 in conference play.
• In addition to the seniors, junior forward Derrick Walker will be honored prior to Saturday’s game, as he will be the first member of his family to graduate college when he graduates in May with a degree in human development and family science.
• Nebraska’s Shamiel Stevenson and Minnesota’s Marcus Carr were teammates at Pittsburgh during the 2017-18 season. In fact, three of the top four scorers from that team are now at Big Ten schools (Parker Stewart, Indiana).
• Nebraska’s strength of schedule is now fourth nationally by KenPom entering Friday’s action. The 2020-21 season marks the second straight season NU has had a strength of schedule in the top 10 in KenPom. NU’s schedule was eighth in 2019-20. The Huskers are one of only three teams nationally (also Minnesota and Iowa State) to have top-10 strength of schedules by KenPom in each of the last two years.
• The Big Ten had nine teams in the top 40 of the NET rankings on Feb. 26, including four of the top eight spots. This season, 12 of the Huskers’ 17 losses have been Quad 1 losses.
• Nebraska will look to shore up its defense after allowing 86 points to both Illinois and Penn State this week. In the two losses, NU has held both teams under their season field goal averages, but allowed a combined 28 second-chance points and 37 points off turnovers. PSU and Illinois also combined to go 38-of-48 from the foul line (79 percent).
• Despite the last two games, the Huskers’ defense has been significantly better since returning from their pause earlier this month. NU has allowed 7.6 fewer points per game over the past 10 games, while holding teams to 41 percent shooting, including 30 percent from 3-point range.
|When||FG Pct.||3PT. Pct||Reb||PPG|
• Teddy Allen and his younger brother Timmy are one of the highest scoring duos in college basketball. The pair combines for more than 35 points a game, a total which ranks second nationally among brother duos.
2020-21 Highest Scoring Brother Duos
|1.||38.8||Julian Champagnie-St. John’s (20.0) and Justin Champagnie-Pitt (18.8)|
|2.||34.0||Teddy Allen-Nebraska (17.2) and Timmy Allen-Utah (16.8)|
|3.||30.0||Michael Weathers-Texas Southern (14.7) and Marcus Weathers, Duquesne (15.3)|
as of Feb. 26
• Nebraska is on track for one of its most prolific 3-point shooting seasons in school history. NU enters the Minnesota game with 8.0 3-pointers per game which is on pace to rank second in school history. It is not surprising that Nebraska has relied on its 3-point shooting in Hoiberg’s tenure, as his Iowa State teams led the Big 12 in 3-pointers in four of his five seasons at the school.
Most 3-Pointers/Game in School History
• Teddy Allen is one of just eight newcomers at power conference schools averaging at least 16.0 points per game. Allen is currently sixth in the Big Ten in scoring and the only newcomer in the top 10 of the Big Ten in scoring as of Feb. 23. His scoring average is on pace to be one of the highest scoring averages by a first-year Husker.
Highest Scoring NU Newcomers
|2.||James Palmer Jr.||17.2||2017-18|
|3.||Andrew White III||16.6||2015-16|
• Seven members of the Nebraska basketball team were honored on Feb. 19 with spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll. The Huskers on the list include Teddy Allen, Lat Mayen, Chris McGraw, Jace Piatkowski, Bret Porter, Thorir Thorbjarnarson, Derrick Walker and Kobe Webster. All Husker student-athletes combined for a school-record fall GPA of 3.325.
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