Sometimes, I just feel like opening the window and screaming at the top of my lungs in frustration when I watch the Huskers play. It's one thing to go cold for long stretches. It's another to choke away a huge lead -- at home -- because they stop doing what got them ahead.
It happened earlier this year against Missouri, but the Tigers couldn't hit the shots down the stretch. A&M started drilling shots late in the game, and Nebraska -- which didn't commit a turnover until 11:00 to go in the second half -- had 8 turnovers in the last 11 minutes to give A&M 10 easy points.
What happened? Well, Ade Dagunduro came out with 5 quick points after halftime, then vanished. Steve Harley was hitting shots in the first half, then couldn't hit anything. Velander didn't get touches at all. Anderson was missing shots.
The biggest thing, though, was that the Huskers backed off the aggressive drive-and-shoot scheme they used for a number of easy shots in the first half run. Just like they do every time they get a lead. Seriously -- ATTACK THE BASKET!
A&M kept chipping away. NU would stop them 3 or 4 possessions in a row, but couldn't hit a shot to put it away. NU missed only 2 FTs all game. Unfortunately, one of them was Cookie's 1-and-1 attempt with 20 seconds to go.
The officiating was all over the place on both sides. A&M didn't get called for a number of horrible moving screens, but did get a questionable technical on a "chin-up" dunk. On the other hand, they also got the benefit of two horrible calls in the final minutes.
Then, of course, Josh Carter went and did what he seems to do best -- drain a 3 in the Devaney Center to beat the Huskers.
Offense: F. The offense earns an "A" for the first half, but completely came unglued in the second. The Huskers backed off the aggressive drive offense in the second half, and died.
Defense: B. A+ for most of the game, but there were enough lapses late in the game to drag this down. Huskers stopped A&M seemingly every possession for most of the game.
Rebounding: D. This was an "B" in the first half, when the Huskers were only out-rebounded by 1. The Huskers kept A&M from getting second-chance shots until late, but the Aggies erupted for 11 offensive boards, mostly late in the game.
Ball Handling: B. Zero turnovers for 29 minutes is impressive. Eight in 11 is impressive in a different way. It makes it so much worse that every Husker turnover seemed to be incredibly costly.
Coaching: C. I have no idea what happened after halftime, but the team came out asleep, and that's on Doc. This team is used to being the underdog, but it needs to know how to play with a lead.
Overall: D. It's hard to believe that the first half and second half were from the same game. In the first half, Nebraska looked like the far, far better team. In the "third quarter," the teams looked fairly even. In the last 12 minutes, NU looked like a high school JV team. It doesn't frustrate me that NU loses games; it frustrates me that they should win these games and find a way to lose.