The Huskers picked up their 10th win of the season by defeating the Titans of Cal State Fullerton, 86-62. Nebraska has stumbled in sleepy December games like this one before under head coach Tim Miles (just ask Incarnate Word). However, the Huskers were able to cruise to a comfortable victory, despite a couple of scoring droughts.
It was a lethargic start for Nebraska. The first two minutes of action went scoreless. James Palmer Jr. hit a three ball to break the stalemate, but the Huskers were unable to eclipse double digits until the 14 minute mark. At the halftime buzzer, Nebraska had struggled their way to an 11 point lead over a three win mid-major team. The Husker’s success at the foul line was their saving grace, going 10-11 from the charity stripe before they had to hit the locker room.
“We started off slow, but we picked it up,” senior guard Glynn Watson said. “We got it done.”
Nebraska put their foot down on Cal State Fullerton’s throat in the second half, shooting the ball at a much better clip of 50%, compared to their mark of 37.9% in the first. The Huskers were also helped in large part by the Titan’s abysmal performance from the three point line, which was poor in both halves. They wound up going 4-19 from downtown.
It wasn’t a perfect performance for Nebraska, but Miles won’t need to harp on the team’s shortcomings, as they pulled off a decisive victory in spite of it all.
“There are probably nine things you could take from that game and try and get better at,” Miles said. “But at the end of the day, I thought we did a good job of slowly extending the lead.”
Palmer led the team in scoring, with 23. Watson had a double-double. His 10 assists were the most by a Husker since Lance Jeter. Roby also put in a fine effort, finishing with 20 points on the day.
One more game awaits Nebraska before they begin the Big 10 schedule in earnest, a Saturday showdown against Southwest Minnesota State, the team Miles spent four seasons as head coach, from 1997 to 2001.