Nebraska: 80 / Omaha: 67
Game recap: CLICK HERE
Player of the game: It’s hard to argue anyone but Nebraska forward Shavon Shields, who poured in a career-high 35 points and snagged eight rebounds.
The moment it was over: At the 9:00 minute mark, Shields hit a wide open three-pointer, putting the Huskers up by double-digits. Omaha never could get below ten at that point.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Some might saying schedule Omaha, a transiting D-1 team, is a no win situation for Nebraska. To those critics, Tuesday night’s win over the Mavericks will help the Huskers later in the season.
Down 16 at one point in the first half, Nebraska might have had an early season gut check - a moment where they realized they can still be beat by anybody. A moment where they needed to return to the things that made them a pretty good team late last year.
“They scored 21 points in the first four minutes,” said Shields. “They hit four three-pointers. We should probably get the shooters then, rebound, finish possessions. Actually, we didn’t even have a chance to get a rebound.”
It was then, after a media timeout, the ball game changed. The Huskers went on a 23-2 run. The offense was good. The defensive intensity was better. Their stops are what got them back in the game. The same type of stops they used to win so many games late in the season last season.
“We have to do what we know to win,” said Shields. “We turned it around and got our energy up and made plays to win.”
Shields a big part of comeback:
On Monday Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said wait until Shavon Shields starts knocking down three-pointers – it started on Tuesday night.
The junior went 4-for-4 from three-point land, showing teams they will have to respect his range going forward. Did we mention he had 35 points?
“He’s playing with great confidence and poise,” said Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. “He’s taking what the defense gives him and when we run something for him, he scores most times. It works good.”
As far as an opposing coach’s thoughts…
”To see him play in high school and AAU and then to see him here with his development--Tim and his staff have done it has been tremendous,” said Omaha head coach Darrin Hansen. “He was really good down the stretch, we couldn't do anything with him five six or seven feet away from the basket. He was too quick with the ball and was good with his back to the basket.”
Shields has been Nebraska’s player of the game the last three contests and showing that he might be the most dangerous player in the Huskers lineup.
”I just tried to play within the offense and take shots when they come,” said Shields. “They were falling tonight. I know I put in the work in for them to fall so, I didn’t change anything.”
* Nebraska point guard Benny Parker got his first start of the season, playing 29 minutes, scoring five points and dishing out four assists.
* Parker’s insertion into the starting lineup allowed sophomore guard Tai Webster to sub for either Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields as the first wing off the bench. Webster responded with one of the best games of his career – 10 points and four assists.
* Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford continued to struggle, going 2-for-8 from the field for four points. He also committed four turnovers. The junior is bound to break out of his early season slump at some point - he’s too good of a player not to. But, after only pulling down two rebounds on Tuesday night, Pitchford could improve other areas of his game to try to help the squad while struggling from the field.
* Petteway recorded his third career double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 boards. The impressive thing was he shot over 50 percent from the field for the first time this season. Turnovers were still an issue, but more importantly his three-point shot was still off, finishing the game 1-for-5.
Terran Petteway dunk
Benny Parker with the steal
Walter Pitchford and Terran Pittway with the pressure
Tai Webster layup drive