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Nebraska Men’s Basketball Recap: Northwestern Dominates Nebraska 80-68

Another awful road conference game that the score was closer than it really was...

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

First Half Analysis:

Nebraska’s road woes are an absolute thing of horrendous beauty. After what was easily their best road performance in conference play at Illinois, Nebraska could not have come out any flatter at Northwestern. Nebraska would be down 47-31 at half. Boo Buie (who I believe is reaching the Brad Davison age for oldest player in NCAA Basketball history) started out this contest with a point to prove. Boo went 2-15 in the game at Nebraska, and tonight so far he’s barely missed. Buie would finish the half shooting 6-9 from the floor, including 4-5 from deep for 17 points. Nebraska didn’t attempt many three-pointers in the opening 10 minutes, only trying 3 times from beyond the arc. The Huskers were getting plenty of looks inside however, doing a fair amount of damage in the paint. Offensively, both teams shot the ball really well, with both shooting just shy of 50%. The biggest factors to the Northwestern lead were offensive rebounds and points off turnovers. Northwestern had 8 offensive rebounds and scored 14 points off of turnovers, while Nebraska had 1 and 0 respectively.

Nebraska shot 10-21 for 47.6% from the floor, but only 2-7 for 28.6% from 3. The Huskers shot a solid 9-11 from the free throw line. Nebraska only had 13 rebounds in the opening half, only one of them were offensive, something which is a usual bugaboo for Nebraska on the road. Nebraska committed 7 turnovers in the half, while only recording 6 assists. Nebraska had 16 points in the paint.

The Huskers were led by Juwan Gary, who had 13 points. Keisei Tominaga and CJ Wilcher finished the half with 5 each. Brice Williams led Nebraska with 6 rebounds, while Gary was the only other Husker with multiple rebounds.

Northwestern shot 17-35 for 48.6% from the floor, including a stellar 8-16 for 50% from deep. Northwestern only shot 5-8 from the free throw line. Northwestern had 18 rebounds in the first half, 8 of which were offensive. Northwestern converted the 7 Nebraska turnovers into 14 points. The Wildcats recorded 9 assists while only committing 2 turnovers.

The Wildcats were led by Boo Buie, who had 17 points. Ryan Langborg had 13. Matthew Nicholson had 6 rebounds to pace Northwestern, while Brooks Barnhizer, Luke Hunger and Langborg each had 3. Buie and Ty Berry each had 3 assists.

Second Half Analysis:

Nebraska didn’t do much overall in this second half. The Huskers threatened to cut the lead to single digits but continued to shoot itself in the foot multiple times. The Northwestern lead ballooned to 21 about halfway through the second half. Nick Martinelli had a really effective second half for the Wildcats after Ty Berry went down with a knee issue. Boo Buie was shut down in the second half, recording only 5 points, all via free throws. The Nebraska turnover machine was out in full force, committing 10 in the second half, eliminating any hope of climbing back into this one. Northwestern did enough from the free throw line late to keep the lead around double digits.

Final Stats and Thoughts:

For the contest, Nebraska shot 22-48 for 45.8% from the floor, but only 6-19 for 31.6% from deep. They shot a smooth 18-22 for 81.8% from the free throw line. Nebraska collected 29 rebounds, only 3 of which were offensive. Nebraska had 11 assists but committed 17 turnovers in the game. The Huskers had 28 points in the paint.

The Huskers were led by Juwan Gary, who finished with 15 points despite fouling out with about 4 minutes to go. Brice Williams, Jamarques Lawrence and Keisei Tominaga all finished in double figures as well. Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and securing 10 rebounds. Mast was second with 6 boards.

Northwestern shot 27-63 for 42.9% from the floor but an impressive 11-25 for 44% from deep. The Wildcats went 15-22 for 68.2% from the free throw line. Northwestern collected 36 rebounds, 13 of which were offensive. They had 17 assists while committing only 10 turnovers. The biggest stat was Northwestern scoring 26 points off of Nebraska turnovers.

The Wildcats were led by Boo Buie, who had 22 points. Ryan Langborg had 18, while Nick Martinelli had 15 and Brooks Barnhizer had 14. Martinelli scored all of his in the second half. Barnhizer also had 10 rebounds, which gave him a double-double for the Wildcats. Langborg led Northwestern with 6 assists.

Playing every 3 days will eventually catch up to you, specifically if you play multiple games on the road. For all the good Nebraska did in the eventual OT loss to Illinois on Sunday, it was completely undone in another limp performance on the road in Evanston. The Huskers lost by 12, but this game was nowhere near that, as a late spurt by the Huskers made this a much closer game than it truly was. Nebraska never led in this contest, and the road wins continue to hide from the Big Red. It will need to find probably 2 of them soon if they want the committee to take them seriously.

Nebraska returns to the hardwood with another short turnaround, as they host the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff will be at 5:30 and the game will be broadcast on BTN. Michigan beat Wisconsin in the game before Nebraska’s tonight, so they are capable of the upset. Nebraska comes into this game undefeated in conference play.