Once again, Nebraska started out ice cold on the road, failing to score for the first four minutes. If Nebraska wants to win games away from home, they can’t start out road games this cold like they have this season.
After the Huskers trailed 17-10 at the U12 media timeout, they managed to settle down and spark a run late in the first half by means Thomas Allen Jr., who made a deep three with the shot clock low and a breakaway layup to tie the game at 28-28 with around two minutes left.
The big storyline of the first half came from Ethan Happ, who not only scored 18 of his team’s 32 points, but managed to get Isaiah Roby, Jordy Tshimanga, and Duby Okeke all into foul trouble. Tim Miles had to have said something at halftime about Happ, as he only managed to score seven more points in the second half.
One thing the Huskers couldn’t do to start the half was have their frontcourt commit fouls, yet Roby and Tshimanga couldn’t help themselves, both sitting out with four fouls at the U12 media timeout. Nebraska also happened to be down 50-40 during the U12 media timeout.
To make matters worse, Khalil Iverson decided to throw down a just nasty reverse dunk with ten minutes to go, and that seemed to hammer the nail in the coffin for Nebraska. However, Tim Miles famous 1-3-1 defense prevailed once again.
When Iverson made that dunk, Wiscy led 55-44. Nebraska then switched to the 1-3-1, and finished the game on a 30-8 run...the Badgers only managed to score eight points in the final ten minutes! HA!
James Palmer Jr. led that amazing run, scoring 21 of his 28 points in the second half, while the majority of that 21 came during the run. Palmer has scored 28+ points in three out of the last four games, easily playing at an All-Big Ten level.
Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland also played well throughout the game, each scoring double digits and icing the game with some clutch free throws in the final minutes. While Watson didn’t shoot as well, a double digit performance ought to give the Junior point guard some confidence going into the Husker’s long break.
The long break comes at the perfect time, as the Huskers are 3-0 in their past three games during a six day span. In a “must win” type of mode for the Huskers, a “bye” week serves very beneficial for a team in need of rest.
How most of the basketball analysts and bracketologists see Nebraska making the tournament is Nebraska winning their final four home games and winning one more on the road. Nebraska faces Minnesota next week on the road, and then at Illinois sometime later in February.
Their four home games consist of Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, and Penn State. All of these games are winnable, its just a matter of which Nebraska team shows up. The poor-shooting team that gets beat up on the boards, or the highly energetic and quick transition team that cause misfits for most teams in the Big Ten. Michigan State and Purdue are just way too good, but all other teams are fair game for that statement I just made.
A lot of Nebraska’s wins this year have made me and I’m assuming most fans, bite their nails for 35-38 minutes of the game, and that's alright. As long as they win. Let’s make it to the tourney Huskers!