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Nebraska Basketball: Huskers Can't Contain Purdue Big Men, Lose 89-74

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Nebraska's lack of size costs them the game against the Boilers in West Lafayette.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Senior center A.J. Hammons had a career high 32 points and dominated in Purdue's win over Nebraska. The Huskers just didn't have an answer for that size inside. If Nebraska could have hit some more 3 point shots, Huskers could have stayed in the game. This was a tough loss for Nebraska and it doesn't get any easier. Maryland comes to Lincoln on Wednesday and they're arguably the best team in the Big Ten this season. Nebraska can take some positives from this game as they move forward in Big Ten Conference play.

The Good

Andrew White III, Shavon Shields and Tai Webster led the way in scoring. White had 18 points, Webster had 17 points and Shields had 16 points. Even with the size trouble, Nebraska still had 22 rebounds. Huskers hung around in this game too. They never quit fighting. That's something that can be looked back on as a huge positive. Remember, Nebraska is a very young team. The majority of this team will be back next season. (Besides Shavon Shields who is a senior.) This team has continued to improve as the season has progressed. Credit Tim Miles for keeping this team motivated and getting them ready for each game. This season isn't over yet either. Nebraska can still get a postseason invite. Whether that will be the NIT or NCAA Tournament, time will tell. But Nebraska will need to start to string together some more Big Ten wins down the stretch.

The Bad

We all knew this was going to be a tough matchup for Nebraska. Purdue has some of the best size in the country. Mix that in with a senior leader like  A.J. Hammons and it spelled disaster for Nebraska. The Huskers need to recruit some more size the next few years. Purdue also isn't a very good 3 point shooting team but they did well against Nebraska. Purdue shot 7-12 3 pointers which is 58.3%. Nebraska only shot 7-21 3 pointers which is 33.3%. There's obviously a big difference there. Say Nebraska made three more 3 pointers, and it's only a 6 point game. That was the only way Nebraska was going to get out of West Lafayette with a win. This was a tough loss for Nebraska, but they need to move on and get ready for Maryland on Wednesday.

What is Next?

Nebraska has some very winnable games down the stretch. This week they get the newest conference foes at home. As Maryland comes to Lincoln on Wednesday and Rutgers plays on Saturday. The Rutgers game should be the last "easy win" on the schedule as they are the worst team in the Big Ten. Nebraska dominated Rutgers earlier this season on the road. Maryland however is arguably the best team in the conference. They just beat a very good Iowa team on Thursday night. The good news? Nebraska is playing at home and the crowd should be incredible for this game. Last season, Nebraska played Maryland twice and lost both games by 4 and 3 points. If Nebraska can hit some shots and get the crowd going, we could be in for another huge win for the Huskers Tip off for that game is 7:30 PM on Wednesday, February 3rd.

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