For those of you who watched the game, you know there is no need to say how ugly the first half was. For those of you who were doing more entertaining things like watching the snow melt or maybe you got lucky and had to clean out the garage on this nice day, let me paint you a picture.
Nebraska shot 17% in the first half and scored just 13 points. Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway each had five points in the half. The Huskers as a team had just four field goals in the first period. All of this coming off of their best shooting performance of the year in which they shot 63% from the field in a 76-60 win over Northwestern. The Huskers would go into the half down 22-13.
The second half didn't start much better with Penn State opening up with a 15-4 run. Then something odd happened, something nobody thought they would see. Nebraska started to score. At the time, Nebraska was down 37-17. Tim Miles would call a full court press for the rest of the game, and that helped fuel Nebraska on its 24-7 run to bring the score to 44-41 in favor of Penn State. Penn State struggled to break the press, which led to several easy buckets for the Huskers.
That would be the closest the Huskers would get. Penn State was able to pull away late, with the dagger coming from Shep Garner who hit a three with 1:48 left in the game to extend the lead to 10. The final score: 56-43.
Penn State collected its third Big Ten win of the season, while Nebraska drops to 5-6 in league play.
Nebraska has now scored fewer than 45 points in its last three road games, and have scored just 47 points in the first half of those games COMBINED, compare that to the 82 points combined in the second half. The scary thing is these slow starts are coming against the bottom half of the Big Ten. Six of their final seven games come against teams in the top half of the league, with three of those six on the road.
To have any chance at the NCAA Tournament Nebraska will need an impressive run, likely needing to win six of its final seven games. (We can dream... right?)
Nebraska starts the tough seven game stretch on Tuesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena versus Wisconsin. Tip-off has been set for 8:00 PM and the student section is calling for a white-out.