Even with inconsistencies on defense and scoring droughts on offense Nebraska was able to eventually pull ahead late and beat Eastern Illinois 72-68. Not a pretty game but a win none the less that will make 17 straight years that the Huskers have won their first game of the season.
Nebraska started out well, however the 14-11 early run by the Huskers was short lived and the Big Red could never quite get a stable lead the entire game. It took a late surge and some help off the bench brought Nebraska it’s first win of the season.
Isaiah Roby was the Huskers savior tonight coming off the bench with 11 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots. His play was decisive early in the game when the starters play went dry. Roby’s help kept the game from getting to far out of hand before half and sustained it in the second.
Starting guard Glynn Watson Jr. struggled early on with only 4 points in the first half but ended with 21 points, 3 assists, and 1 steal. His final 4 freethrows helped seal the win for the Huskers.
James Palmer and Evan Taylor both had 12 points with 3 and 4 rebounds respectivly. Both played fairly well overall but still struggled early when the team were down on the scoreboard.
Freshman guard Thomas Allen saw his redshirt burned early and ended the night coming off the bench with 6 points, 2 assists, and 1 rebound. Not bad showing for a player who was looked at early as a little raw and needed some time to develop.
The most noticeable trait of this game was the Huskers ability to still get into offensive scoring droughts. It has plagued the team for a few years now and one would hope that they would eventually grow out of it.
In the end the misses at the basket put the Huskers at shooting just 38.6% from the floor. They were lucky enough to hold on to the win with Eastern Illinois hitting just a tad better at 39.7%. The Panthers didn’t exactly play any better than the Huskers but took advantage of their mistakes as the game went on and making this a closer contest than it should have been.
While this was not a pretty game for Nebraska outside of the first few minutes it is nice to pull off the win. First games of the season can be a little rough and the Huskers were able to overcome whatever struggles they were having to pull off the win.
The Huskers have a day off before returning to Pinnacle Bank Arena on Monday, November 13th to take on the North Texas Mean Green at 7pm.