Nebraska defeats Creighton 94-75, beating the Bluejays for the first time since 2010. The all time series is now tied at 26. With the win, Nebraska basketball head coach Tim Miles has picked up his first victory against Creighton’s Greg McDermott in his career.
The Huskers had a great shooting night, hitting 53.3% of their shots from the floor. James Palmer Jr. led the Huskers in scoring with 30 points, going 6 of 7 from the three point line.
“They played like a veteran team that was desperate for a win,” McDermott said. When asked to elaborate, McDermott simply said “We beat them seven times in a row. Talk about desperate.”
Nebraska was fueled by an explosive Pinnacle Bank Arena crowd. With 15,590 in attendance, Saturday’s game was the sixth most attended game at PBA. The Huskers are 6-0 this year at home, and have won 17 straight home games, the most since the 1966-67 season.
Nebraska is now 8-2 overall (1-1 Big 10). Next, the Huskers will take on Oklahoma State December 16th in the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Huskers defeated Illinois 75-60 on Sunday for their first conference win, improving to 7-1 on the season. It was a sloppy game at times. Nebraska went through a number of scoring droughts throughout the contest and turned the ball over a season high 16 times. The Huskers also picked up plenty of fouls, as both Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaiah Roby had four fouls to their name, nearly fouling out of the game.
Halfway through the first half, Isaac Copeland knocked down a jumper to give Nebraska a 12 point lead. However, the Huskers would not score another field goal until the three minute mark. It hardly mattered though, as their lead never dipped under 5 points during that stretch, thanks largely to Nebraska’s effort from the charity stripe. The Huskers were 14-16 from the line in the first half and 11-14 in the second.
“You just always worry about being too dependent on free throws, because quite frankly, you’re not in control,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said. “I don’t think we made enough scoring plays in transition. That’s something we’re going to need to clean up.”
James Palmer Jr. was the leading scorer with 23 points on just four field goals, with 12 of his points coming from the free throw line.
“We definitely wanted to get to the free throw line,” Palmer said. “We knew they extended defensive pressure early, so we knew we wanted to get to the basket.” Palmer was the main cause of frustration for Illinois head coach Brad Underwood.
“I thought we might try and set a Nebraska record to see how many free throws we’d let James Palmer shoot tonight,” Underwood said.
It was another tough loss for the Illini, who are coming off a two point defeat to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. For Coach Underwood though, the two games aren’t even comparable. “No disrespect in any sort of capacity to Notre Dame,” Underwood said. “This place was just a little more juiced and (had) a little more atmosphere than South Bend.”
Nebraska will be switching their attention to their next game, where they’ll be heading up to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers. “When I walked into the locker room after the game, somebody had written ‘Minnesota’ on the board,” Miles said. “I thought that was a mark that someone’s mind on the right spot.”
Tip off set for 8 pm Central on the NET Network.
Nebraska outside linebacker Guy Thomas has transferred from the program, as first reported by Michael Bruntz of 247sports.com. Thomas, a redshirt freshman, played in four games in 2018, recording four tackles. Three of those tackles came against Bethune-Cookman on October 28th.
Thomas committed to Nebraska from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Florida. Thomas is the latest Husker from the 2017 class to leave the program, and was the last linebacker from that class left from a group that included Avery Roberts, Willie Hampton, and Andrew Ward.
The 2017 recruiting class has not proven to be fruitful for Nebraska, with eight of its members who enrolled at the University have since transferred. Keyshawn Johnson Jr., Tristan Gebbia, Tyjon Lindsey, Avery Roberts, Ben Miles, Willie Hampton, Ward, and now Thomas have all left. Elijah Blades and Deiontae Watts never made it to campus.
Senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. made the All-Big 10 2nd team list as both a coaches and media selection. Morgan became the first Husker ever to gain over 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. Morgan also surpassed former Husker receiver Kenny Bell for most career receptions in team history, with 189 catches in his career.
Morgan wasn’t the only Husker to receive All-Big 10 recognition on Wednesday. Senior running back Devine Ozigbo and sophomore wide receiver J.D. Spielman were selected on the All-Big 10 third team. Spielman made both the coaches and media’s list; however Ozigbo was selected only by the Big 10 coaches.
Cornerback Dicaprio Bootle and linebacker Mohammed Barry were honored by the Big Ten on Tuesday, who were selected as defensive members of the All-Big 10 third team. Bootle was placed on both the Big Ten Coaches and Big Ten Media third team lists, while Barry was recognized on the Big Ten Media’s list.
Bootle had 15 pass breakups on the season, the most from a Husker since 2004, and the 17th most in the nation. Barry led Nebraska in tackles with 112, and had seven games with tackles in the double digits, only the fifth Husker ever to do so.
Also honored by the Big Ten, was senior linebacker Luke Gifford, who was named the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner for Nebraska. In the honorable mentions category for the Coaches’ list, is defensive lineman Carlos Davis, punter Isaac Armstrong, as well as Gifford and Barry. Receiving honorable mentions in the Media’s list were defensive lineman Khalil Davis, along with Gifford and Armstrong.
The Big 10 all conference selections for the offense will be announced on Wednesday.
For the second consecutive year, the Huskers won’t be headed to a bowl game. However, one Husker will be representing Nebraska this postseason. Senior running back Devine Ozigbo has accepted an invitation to participate in the annual East-West Shrine Game in January.
The Shrine Game is an opportunity for players who hope to move on to the NFL to showcase their abilities. The game will be held in Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida on January 19th.
Ozigbo enjoyed a breakout season for the Huskers, becoming the first 1,000 yard rusher since Ameer Abdullah back in 2014.
The Huskers were victorious in game one of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge, defeating the Clemson Tigers away from home, 68-66. It was a wild game, with both teams trading baskets all night. Heading into halftime, the score was tied 31-31.
Although they led the entirety of the second half, the Huskers had not safely secured the victory until the final buzzer sounded. With two and a half minutes remaining in the 2nd, it appeared as if Nebraska had hit a dagger when Thomas Allen’s three pointer extended their lead to 8. However, Clemson whittled down the lead to just two points with a little under a minute to go on a David Skara dunk in transition.
James Palmer Jr. came up empty the next possession, missing a three point jump shot. Ultimately, Clemson couldn’t capitalize, as senior guard Marcquise Reed turned the ball over, giving the Huskers a chance to ice the game. Glynn Watson Jr. was fouled after he caught a baseline inbound pass with less than 10 seconds remaining in the game. He hit both of his free throws, making it a two possession game at 68-64. The Tigers would make a lay-up with two seconds left in the contest, but by then it was too late, as Nebraska went on to win.
The significance of the win wasn’t lost on Husker basketball head coach, Tim Miles. “This will be a quality win in March,” Miles said. “We know that. They (the NCAA) can’t take that from us now.” Palmer, who led the way for Nebraska on the court with 20 points, was in agreement with his head coach. “It was a hard fought game tonight. We just wanted to come and prove a point,” Palmer said. “We knew this was a statement game. We just wanted to come and take care of business.” With the loss against Texas Tech in Kansas City, this win will do wonders for the Husker’s resume.
Also making a statement of sorts was Watson. He scored 12 points, which was good enough to catapult him from 25th to 21st on the list of Nebraska’s all time leading scorers in team history.
Nebraska will be in action next when they take on Illinois on December 2nd for their first conference game of the season at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
(By Tim Curran)
The Huskers improved to 5-1 on the Season Saturday, defeating Western Illinois 73-49. It was a slow start for Nebraska, as they trailed 9-6 heading into the first media timeout. The Huskers trailed all the way until the 13 minute mark, when Nana Akenten tied things up at 9 after knocking down a free throw. A couple of minutes later, Akenten made a layup to give Nebraska the lead, which they never gave up for the remainder of the game.
In the second half, the Huskers were able to extend their lead to 33 points. The lead was eventually whittled down to 18, which provoked the ire of Nebraska Basketball head coach Tim Miles. “You don’t build a 33 point lead on anybody unless you’re locking them up,” Miles said. “I thought we did a lot of things right for a long time. Now, we didn’t finish the job, so I’m not happy about that.”
It wasn’t always pretty on the offensive side of the ball either, but the Huskers were still able to secure a comfortable victory, thanks in large part to Glynn Watson Jr. and James Palmer Jr. After starting out the night 0-4 from the floor, Palmer wound up with 19 points on the day. Besides scoring 20 points, Watson tied his career high total of nine rebounds in a game, a nice total for a guard.
“I’m just cleaning up,” Watson said after the game. “Coach Miles told us we need to come out and rebound and play nice defense today, so that’s what I tried to do.” Late in the second half, Watson had a chance to snatch his 10th rebound to earn himself a double-double, however teammate Isaiah Roby grabbed it instead. “It just wasn’t for me, I guess” Watson said with a smile.
Coming off a loss to Texas Tech in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Nebraska gave themselves a much needed boost as they get prepared for their biggest test of the season – heading on the road to battle it out against the Clemson Tigers. Although they’re ranked 16th in the nation, Clemson’s stock has fallen slightly after losing to the Creighton Bluejays 87-82 this past Wednesday.
“I’m sure our guys will be excited. It’ll be a very difficult game,” Miles said. “I’m sure we’re the underdog, and that’s fair. It’s going to be something where we’re going to have to play a great game to win.”
Nebraska takes on Clemson Monday at six o’clock.
As he stood on the second floor of the Hawks Championship Center, Erik Chinander must’ve known it was coming. After all, he graduated from Iowa. Its natural there would be some questions about what’s on his mind as he prepares to coach against his Alma Mater.
At first though, Chinander was coy about his thoughts when asked by reporters. “Obviously it’ll be good to go back to that stadium. I’ve got a lot of friends and family coming wearing red, so that’ll be good.” Chinander then pivoted to the importance of the game and what it would mean to the players.
Of course, Chinander wouldn’t escape that easily. He was asked next about his friendly rivalry he maintained with Scott Frost where they would rib one another about their respective schools.
“It was fun to go back and forth alumni to alumni,” Chinander said. “I tell the kids all the time, you’ve got great stuff here. The facilities are unbelievable… the training table, the academics.” Chinander then offered an impassioned statement on his pride for being a part of Nebraska’s football program.
“My favorite place in the whole building and the whole complex, is when we get to walk out of that gate and it says ‘I play for Nebraska.’ I coach at Nebraska. I get to coach at Nebraska. There’s no doubt about it, I grew up in Iowa. But my home is in Lincoln. My heart is in Lincoln.”
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters says that it’s business as usual for Chinander. “He’s the same guy,” Walters said. “This means a lot to him, but he’s approaching it the same way.” Coach Frost knows the feeling.
“I’m sure it’ll be as emotional for him going over there as it was for me coming back here,” Frost said. “But we have to put all that aside when we go play, and it all comes down to what happens on the field.”
Kickoff set for 11 A.M. Central on FOX. The Hawkeyes are 7-4 (4-4 Big 10) and are coming off a 63-0 victory over Illinois.
In other news and notes from the Husker’s practice:
-Sophomore receiver J.D. Spielman is still considered “day to day” according to Walters.
-Redshirt senior from Hiawatha, Kansas, Peyton Newell is now a Blackshirt