The Nebraska men’s basketball program plays its first home game since Jan. 10, on Wednesday as the Huskers host No. 21 Wisconsin at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Tipoff between the Huskers and Badgers is slated for 8:40 p.m. (central) and will be carried on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris 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. This matchup was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was moved up a day to accommodate the Huskers’ Friday game with Illinois, which was postponed back in January.
|GAME 15: NEBRASKA VS. NO. 21 WISCONSIN|
Date: Wed., Feb. 10
Time: 8:40 p.m. (CT)
City: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Nebraska (4-10, 0-7 Big Ten) comes off a 79-61 loss to Minnesota on Monday evening. The Huskers, as with many teams coming off a month-long COVID pause, struggled offensively, shooting 37 percent from the floor, including 3-of-17 from 3-point range. NU was stout on the defensive end, and whittled a 19-point deficit to seven with just under seven minutes remaining, but could not complete the comeback. NU held the Golden Gophers to 38 percent shooting, including 30 percent in the second half, and nearly matched UM on the boards (46-43).
Since returning to action, Nebraska has held both of its conference opponents to under 40 percent shooting, the first time that has happened for the Huskers since January of 2019. If NU can hold Wisconsin under 40 percent shooting, it would be the first time that has happened for the Big Red since the 2017-18 season.
One Husker who has regained his offensive form is junior Lat Mayen. The 6-foot-9 forward led the Huskers with 15 points at Minnesota to match his career high, and has reached double figures in each of his last three games. Mayen is averaging 13.3 ppg on 50 percent shooting in Nebraska’s last three game, including 45 percent from 3-point range.
Wisconsin (14-6, 8-5 Big Ten) comes off a 75-60 road loss at No. 12 Illinois on Saturday. D’Mitrik Trice led Wisconsin with 19 points and Nate Reuvers added 11 off the bench, but the Badgers shot 42 percent and were out-rebounded 46-19.
Shamiel Stevenson has given the Huskers a lift off the bench, as he is averaging 9.6 ppg over his last three games. Stevenson tied season highs in both points (14) and rebounds (six) at Minnesota on Monday night.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
.187 – The Huskers are looking to regain their touch from long range following the pause. NU is just 6-of-32 from 3-point range since returning to action. In the two previous games, NU shot .428 (18-42) from beyond the arc.
4.9 – Assists per game for sophomore Dalano Banton, which is fourth in the Big Ten as of Feb. 8. He has had six or more assists seven times in 14 games, including three of the Huskers’ last four contests.
10 – Number of seasons where Nebraska has had multiple 100-point games. The 2020-21 campaign is the first time since 1995-96.
12 – Nebraska’s 12 steals at Michigan State was the Huskers’ fourth game with at least 10 steals in 2020-21 and most since having 16 against Northwestern on March 1, 2020.
24 – Nebraska is 24th nationally in tempo according to KenPom as of Feb. 8. The Huskers are the only Big Ten team in the top 75 nationally.
Under sixth-year coach Greg Gard, the Badgers are 14-6 on the season and tied for fourth in the Big Ten with an 8-5 mark. The Badgers were the hottest Big Ten team down the stretch in 2019-20, winning their last eight games to finish 21-10 and finish in a three-way tie for first with a 14-6 conference mark. Wisconsin returned a bulk of last year’s starting lineup and relies on an eight-man rotation. The Badgers are a balanced group with two double-figure scorers and seven players averaging at least 5.8 points per game. D’Mitrik Trice leads Wisconsin in scoring at 13.8 points per game and dishes out a team-high 3.8 assists per game. Trice also leads UW with 37 3-pointers, as four Badgers average at least a 3-pointer per game. Senior Micah Potter chips in 12.1 points per game on 50 percent shooting and leads UW with 6.4 rebounds per game. Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (63.1 ppg) and is third in field goal defense (.410) and fourth in 3-point defense (.319).
Series History: Wednesday’s matchup is the 34th meeting between the two programs, as Wisconsin has a 19-14 advantage. The Huskers will look to snap a five-game losing streak in the series that dates back to the 2018-19 season. The series dates back to the 1903-04 season, as Nebraska won the first meeting, 25-22 over the Badgers in Lincoln before Wisconsin took five of the next six meetings from 1907 to 1955. Nebraska then won eight straight games before the Badgers won the next five meetings, including the first four in Big Ten play, before the Huskers topped the No. 9 Badgers in the final regular-season game in 2013-14. The Huskers are 4-13 against Wisconsin since joining the Big Ten (3-12 in regular season; 1-1 in Big Ten Tournament).
Last meeting: The Huskers led by double digits in the first half and were on top with 14:32 left at No. 9 Wisconsin, but the defending Big Ten champion Badgers used a pair of big scoring runs to spoil the Huskers’ upset bid in a 67-53 victory on Dec. 22.
Nebraska led by 10 with less than five minutes to play in the first half before Wisconsin responded with 14 straight points en route to taking a one-point lead into the locker room. After Nebraska battled back to regain the lead six minutes into the second half, the Badgers used a 16-0 run to pull away from the Huskers.
After shooting just 31 percent in the first half, Wisconsin shot 50 percent in the second half, knocking down 13-of-26 shots. Nebraska shot just 33 percent for the night and although the Huskers matched Wisconsin with eight 3-pointers, Nebraska was just 9-of-17 from the free throw line while Wisconsin was 15-of-15. Dalano Banton led three Huskers in double figures with 15 points, with Teddy Allen adding 11 points and Trey McGowens chipping in 10. Four of Wisconsin’s five starters finished in double figures. Brad Davison scored 11 of his team-high 15 points in the second half, while Micah Potter had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT
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 to the Golden Gophers in Minneapolis Monday night.
Minnesota (12-7, 5-7 Big Ten) 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.
After Minnesota scored 30 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers scored only 15 points over the final 10 minutes of the first half. But Nebraska was unable to take advantage of its defensive effort, as the Huskers only trimmed one point off the lead and entered the locker room trailing 45-30.
Minnesota made its first two shots of the second half to stretch the lead to 19 before Nebraska’s defense forced Minnesota into 17 straight misses. Even though it took the Huskers nearly four minutes to make their first basket of the second half, Nebraska was able to take advantage of its strong defense. 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 career-high-tying 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. Three other Gophers finished in double figures, including Brandon Johnson, who had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
• Wednesday’s game will be a matchup of styles, as Nebraska is 24th nationally and tops in the Big Ten in tempo according to KenPom, while Wisconsin is 325th nationally and 14th in the Big Ten.
• NU will look to snap a 13-game losing streak against ranked opponents which began with a 66-62 loss to the Badgers in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. NU’s last win over a top-25 team was a 69-61 win over
Maryland in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament. NU is 0-5 against ranked teams in 2020-21 with four of those losses coming in Big Ten play.
• The Huskers are in the midst of a hectic week, playing their third game in five days (in three different states). NU, which returned to action on Feb. 6 after a nearly month-long pause, played at Michigan State Saturday night before traveling to Minnepolis on Monday. NU, which returned to Lincoln late Monday night, took its required off day today before facing Wisconsin on Wednesday. Nebraska is currently scheduled to play five times in a nine-day stretch from Feb. 6-14. Following Wednesday’s game, the Huskers have seven regular-season games and could have as many as five additional games which were previously postponed to make up before the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.
• The Big Ten had 10 teams in the top 50 of the NET rankings on Feb. 8, including four in the top 10. No other power conference had more than 7. Nebraska’s next seven scheduled games are against teams in the top 50 of the NET. The Big Ten also had seven of the 20 Wooden Award™ Late Season Top 20 players released last week, as no other conference has more than three.
• Teddy Allen is one of only four newcomers among power conference players averaging at least 17.0 points per game as of Feb. 7. Allen is currently sixth in the Big Ten at 17.2 points per game, including 19.6 ppg in NU’s five games against ranked opponents. His scoring average is on pace to be one of the highest scoring averages by a first-year Husker. The current mark is 18.1 points per game by All-Big Ten performer Terran Petteway in 2013-14. Allen did not play in Monday’s loss to Minnesota and his status for Wednesday’s game will be determined on gameday.
• Despite the 3-point struggles of the last two games, NU is sixth in the Big Ten averaging 7.86 3-pointers per game. It is on track to be one of the highest per game totals 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. The Huskers have struggled from beyond the arc this season, shooting just 30.8 percent from 3-point range entering Wednesday’s game. During his five seasons at Iowa State (2010-11 to 2014-15), the Cyclones shot at least 36 percent from the line in each season.
Most 3-Pointers/Game in School History
No. School Games 3-Pointers/Game
1. 2001-02 28 9.54
2. 2019-20 32 7.90
3. 2006-07 31 7.87
– 2019-20 14 7.86
4. 2018-19 36 7.50
• Trevor Lakes enters Wednesday’s game against Wisconsin needing one point to reach 1,000 for his college career. He would become the second current Husker with at least 1,000 career points, joining grad transfer Kobe
Webster (1,521). Junior guard Trey McGowens is now just 80 points from 1,000 for his collegiate career.
• Senior guard Kobe Webster will make his 100th career appearance on Wednesday against Wisconsin. The grad transfer has seen more action in recent games, playing at least 20 minutes in four of the Huskers’ last five contests.