Well, last game of the season, nothing to lose right? Playing on a 15 game losing streak, without two of their top three scorers in Cam Mack and Dachon Burke, Nebraska had the opportunity to let it all loose. Could the seven man rotation get the job done?
To start the game, things looked on the up and up, with Charlie Easley and Haanif Cheatham each scoring four points by the U16 media timeout to trail the Gophers only 13-10. It’s pretty wild how Nebraska consistently will start out a game hot, but quickly, almost out of nowhere, turn for the worse.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, that’s how this game went. As it has gone for most games this season, around the ten minute mark of the first half the offense began to fall apart, and Minnesota couldn’t miss. Even though the Huskers limited Daniel Oturu to two points at the U4 media timeout, Minnesota still managed to go on a 14-2 run, and take a 52-37 lead at halftime.
Cheatham and Jervay Green did everything they could to help Nebraska in the first half, but the efficiency wasn’t there. As well as fresh legs, the team was running on fumes by the end of the first half.
To make matters even worse, Minnesota opened the half on a 12-4 run to increase their lead to 64-41. Minnesota’s season high for three pointers was 14, and with still nine minutes left in the second half, they had already reached that total. Gabe Kalscheur went 8-11 from behind the arc by the end of the game, and helped Minnesota finish 18-35 in that category.
There’s not much analysis to write about in the second half, as Minnesota scored basically every possession, and Nebraska scored once every three possessions. Everyone on Minnesota scored, and yes, that includes the senior walk-ons that got the chance to score on their senior day.
Some positives to take from the game:
- Nebraska shot 14-17 from the charity stripe, a beautiful 82%. Last Sunday Nebraska managed to miss more free throws than Fred Hoiberg did in his junior season of college, shooting 8-30, 27%...
- Daniel Oturu only scored 10 points in 23 minutes of play. Granted Nebraska did lose 107-75, but still, Oturu had the matchup of a lifetime and couldn’t do much.
- Akol Arop made his first three!
Nebraska finishes the regular season 7-24 after losing 16 straight games, a program record. Up next we have the Big Ten tournament as the 14 seed, where the Huskers will play the 11 seed Indiana Hooisers. Nebraska hung with them for awhile earlier this season so who knows what could happen! Maybe we need Johnny Trueblood again for this tournament....