Nebraska taking on Rutgers in Big Ten play. Yes, I’m still struggling to get use to it. These two teams came into this matchup looking for a much needed win. For Rutgers it was to prove the doubters that they were still a decent team from last year. Nebraska, on the other hand, needed a win to just keep their season afloat.
The game started nice enough. The Huskers came out fairly hot and aggressive. They even had a 7-0 run. Leading by as much as five points at one point. It looked like Hoiberg’s crew would have an opportunity to have their first conference win of the season.
Things were looking up on this cold Saturday afternoon.
Then, the shots started to dry up. Rutgers began to clamp down on defense and befuddle the Huskers into poor play and frustration that kept going through the rest of the game. Yes, poor shooting, defense, and fouls doomed the Huskers once again in a 93-65 loss to the eastern Big Ten outpost of Rutgers.
Yes, a 23 point loss to a 9-5 Rutgers squad.
The Huskers did keep the Rutgers star Geo Baker to just 5 points all game but that was more to Geo playing cold and others on his team playing lights out.
The Scarlet Knights dominated the Huskers with big man Ron Harper who had a whopping 29 points, 4 rebounds, and two assists. The 6’6” forward basically had his way in the paint and on the outside throughout the game. Shooting 8-13 and 10-10 from the free throw line. No, the Huskers did not have an answer for him all afternoon.
The Huskers were lead once again by Bryce McGowans who had 17 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist. A solid game scoring but overall ineffective for the Huskers in the loss. Derek Walker had another good game for the Big Red having 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Outside of those two, the Huskers had little from their starters on the day. Lat Mayen had 4 rebounds but only 4 points and was pushed around most of the game. Off the bench there was help from C.J. Wilcher who had 11 points and 1 assist.
This was another game that was tough to watch. Fred Needs to figure out what does and does not work. There is enough talent to make something happen. Yes, Rutgers is better than they are probably perceived at this point. They do have two nice wins over ranked Purdue and Michigan on their resume. However, this game left any progress that was made during the last couple of losses look like they happened eons ago.
The Huskers come back home to take on the Illinois Illini on Tuesday, January 11th. They will need to start figuring out their game plan by then because Illinois has considerably more talent than Rutgers.