The Husker men’s basketball team looks to bounce back from a one-point loss at Texas Tech this Saturday afternoon, as the Huskers host No. 13 Texas A&M at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Tipoff from the Bob Devaney Sports Center is slated for 1:06 p.m.
The Huskers (14-5, 2-3 Big 12) missed a golden opportunity to pick up a road win, as D’walyn Roberts’ put-back with 3.8 seconds left gave Texas Tech a wild 72-71 victory Saturday night. Nebraska struggled on the boards against Texas Tech, as the Huskers were out-rebounded, 36-25, and allowed a season-high 17 second-chance points.
Prior to Saturday’s loss, NU had out-rebounded 15 of its first 18 opponents and were +16 in rebounding in the previous two contests against Kansas and Colorado.
Texas Tech also shot 51.9 percent from the floor in the win. Prior to Saturday, NU was second nationally in field goal defense and had not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 21 games dating back to last season.
One positive sign from Saturday’s loss was the play of Brandon Richardson. The junior guard totaled a career-high 20 points, as he hit 5-of-6 shots from the field and was a perfect 8-of-8 from the foul line. Richardson gave the Huskers’ their final lead at 71-70 with 11 seconds remaining with a trio of free throws.
Richardson is now averaging 9.8 points per game in Big 12 play after entering conference play with a 5.1 ppg average. He has been able to get to the free throw line more often recently, converting 16-of-17 from the charity stripe in Big 12 action after getting to the line just 15 times in non-conference play.
The Huskers will need to bounce back against a Texas A&M team that has enjoyed a strong start to the season. The Aggies are 17-2 on the season and 4-1 in Big 12 play following a 64-56 win over Kansas State last Saturday. Like Nebraska, Texas A&M has been strong defensively, ranking in the top-10 nationally in points allowed per game.
The Aggies also feature one of the league’s top performers in sophomore Khris Middleton, who averages a team-high 15.9 points per game.
Saturday’s meeting with the Aggies will be the 20th matchup between the teams all-time, Nebraska’s shortest series with any of the Big 12 programs.
Nebraska leads the all-time series, 11-8, including an 8-7 advantage during the Big 12 era. The Aggies have had the better of the series in recent years, winning five of the last six matchups after winning just twice in the previous nine matchups. The Aggies’ three-game win streak is their longest in series history.
The streak began in 2008-09, when Josh Carter hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 57-55 win over the Huskers at the Devaney Center. Last season, the Aggies won both meetings, including a 70-64 win in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
The Huskers have fared well at home, winning six of the nine previous meetings between the two programs and the series has featured solid defense as the winning team has cracked 70 points once in the last five seasons.