Scouting Report: Nebraska

Nebraska has taken down Ohio State and Minnesota in Lincoln, Neb. while keeping within a point of Michigan, the top team in the conference. Terran Petteway and the Cornhuskers will look to continue their home success again Thursday evening against the Hoosiers.

Here's a look at Thursday's Indiana opponent:

Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-9, 2-5)

Last time out: W, 82-78 vs. Minnesota on Sunday

Nebraska pulled off the team's second upset conference victory of the season, both coming at home, with an 82-78 defeat of Minnesota over the weekend. The Cornhuskers were led by a career-high 35 points from sophomore forward Terran Petteway.

The game remained close from the outset, with Nebraska leading 35-30 at halftime, but the team came out on a 13-3 run to start the second half to boost its lead to 15 points at 48-33. The Cornhuskers managed to hold onto the double-digit lead for while before a 7-1 spurt from the Gophers cut the deficit to 59-53 with just over seven minutes to go. Petteway then knocked down a 3-pointer and connected on an alley-oop to put his team back ahead by 11.

Minnesota had one last attack, cutting the game to just one possession with 2.7 seconds left off a 14-4 run, but Petteway was fouled with 1.7 seconds left and knocked down both free throws to put the game away.

2012-13 season

Record: 15-18 (5-13 in the Big Ten Conference)

The Cornhuskers started their season rolling, winning their first four games before a 74-60 loss at home to Kent State. Nebraska then pulled through for its conference, winning on the road against Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge before finishing off the non-conference schedule with a 9-4 record.

But the conference slate brought Nebraska's success to a screeching halt. Facing an incredibly tough start to Big Ten play, the Cornhuskers fell to Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Michigan State, as well as Purdue, before the team's first conference win of the season on the road against Penn State.

Nebraska would never win two conference games in a row during the 2012-13 campaign, but the team also rolled off wins against Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota and another win against the Nittany Lions. They opened the Big Ten tournament with a first round victory against Purdue 57-55, avenging a loss to the Boilermakers the previous season in the conference tournament. Nebraska would end its season the next day in a 71-50 loss to eventual tournament winner Ohio State.

What they do well:

For whatever reason, the Cornhuskers have played vastly better at home compared to on the road during conference play. Their last two victories, against Ohio State (68-62) and Minnesota (82-78) both came at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska's other home conference game ended in a one-point loss to Michigan, who is currently undefeated in Big Ten play. It seems that no matter the team, the Cornhuskers thrive in the home atmosphere this season.

Another strength of Nebraska's is shooting beyond the 3-point line. The team has five shooters this season at a percentage above 35 percent, and as a team, the Cornhuskers are shooting 35.1 percent from beyond the arc per game, sixth in the conference. Petteway (11th, 39.2 percent) and Walter Pitchford (13th, 37.9 percent) lead the team and rank in the top 15 in the Big Ten.

Star players:

F Terran Petteway, So.

Petteway has proven himself as one of the best scorers in the Big Ten this season, leading the Cornhuskers with 18.2 points per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 39.2 from beyond the arc. During Big Ten play, he's raised his game, averaging nearly 20 points per game. It's unlikely the Hoosiers will be completely able to shut him down, but it will be key to keep him from coming out on fire like he did against Minnesota, where he scored a career-high 35 points while shooting nearly 70 percent from the floor, including four 3-pointers.

G Shavon Shields, So.

Shields leads a secondary offensive attack of Nebraska's that includes five players averaging over 7.5 points per game. He's also pulling down 5.7 rebounds per game. He's taken the second-most shots on the team this season, far behind Petteway, but he's shown the potential of taking over games if necessary. While only averaging 11 points per game this season, Shields has scored 15 or more five times this season, including the 18 points he dropped in a win against Ohio State a few games ago.


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