The Huskers shot 39.1percent from the field and 29.7 percent from beyond the three-point line. In the first half, NU missed all 10 three-point attempts and shot an abysmal 21.7 percent from the field. Let's face it, Nebraska drastically needs to improve those numbers. Plain and simple. Coach Sadler attributed the low offensive output to the absence of Jorge Brian Diaz.
"I have said before today, the last two games, where you don't have a low post presence and we haven't had enough time yet to switch some things up," Sadler said. "We only had two days of preparation, and didn't have time to take advantage of a smaller line up that we're going to have to play for the rest of the year probably."
Nothing illustrates NU's lackluster performance better than one particular play. With one second remaining in the game, Dylan Talley received the ball outside the three point line and nailed the shot to beat the buzzer. Those Husker fans who remained in their seats were treated to one of the most exciting plays in basketball: A last second buzzer-beater. The fans seemed excited, even though it didn't change to outcome of the game. Nebraska lost 46-62.
As the shot-clock was winding down, junior Mike Fox received the ball behind the three point arc and heaved up a shot. The ball miraculously made its way through the hoop and the 7,019 Devaney Center attendees jumped to their feet, cheering loudly for the first time of the night. As if things couldn't go worse for a struggling Husker offense, the referee decided the ball left Fox's hand too late and waved off the play. The sentiments of the crowd quickly changed to from happiness to disgust.
Strong first half for Richardson
Midway through the first half, the game looked like a typical Nebraska basketball game: boring and low-scoring. The Huskers were struggling to put points on the board and it looked like the Huskers would have been lucky to score 10 points in that first half. Then, in an instant, Richardson scored seven unanswered points and gave NU the spark it needed to get back in the game. With a 22-15 halftime deficit, Richardson accounted for 46.6 percent of Nebraska's offense. When Richardson plays aggressive on offense, he adds a huge spark to a team that lacks a true scoring threat. Remember his 25 points against Iowa?
Even though the night didn't end the way most Husker fans would have liked, Coach Sadler did point to his team's effort as a positive to take away. "I'm so proud of our guys. I thought they played as hard as you could play. To not make shots; any of you who have played basketball understand how difficult it could be, maybe to quit competing on the defensive end. I thought our guys competed for forty minutes on that end. We just didn't shoot the basketball. You get up tomorrow and get back to work."
- Josh Harvey -