LINCOLN, Neb. – Playing 11-deep and rotations fans haven’t seen this season; Nebraska wore down a less talented Abilene Christian squad on Saturday afternoon, 73-63.
Nebraska (6-3) found themselves down early in the first four minutes of the contest, but went on a 15-5 run, seven of which came from junior guard Andrew White, to take a 36-34 lead into halftime. White paced the Huskers with 30 points and seven rebounds.
“They executed really well and were really well coached,” said White, who gave credit to the Warriors’ offensive sets early in the game. “At halftime it was really quiet. I think everyone was trying to do their part to internalize what they needed to do for the second half.”
Nebraska head coach Tim Miles admitted after Tuesday night’s contest against No. 21 Miami, a 77-72 overtime loss, he didn’t get enough touches for the junior. White, a transfer, had multiple set plays early in the first half. It led to a career high in points and 16 free throw attempts.
“I think part of that was just crashing the boards,” said White, who didn’t remember a game where he shot as many free throws. “My scoring has been a little down the last couple of games, but in the end it’s not just about me. It’s about everybody. About giving our team the best ability to play well.”
After 28 points against Miami, Nebraska forward Shavon Shields scored 21 points on 6 of 9 shooting. Beyond Tai Webster’s 10 points, Nebraska had no players score more than a bucket to join the three and received only six points from it’s bench.
“Thank goodness for Shavon and Andrew,” said Miles.
“There’s a certain amount of drain from the Miami game. I was drained for a couple days, there was no doubt. We did not practice well two days ago. We were better yesterday. I thought our shootaround was OK, fairly sharp. We just were never there, but that doesn’t take anything away from Abilene Christian.”
Former Chicago prep freshman forward Ed Morrow received his first career start in place of sophomore Jake Hammond. Morrow scored three points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. Hammond was the tenth Nebraska player to check into the game and only registered two rebounds in 12 minutes. He had no shot attempts.
“Just a different look a little bit,” said Miles. “It’s not really well thought-out. You know me (laughter). I wanted to see if a mix of rotations accomplished anything.”
Next up for Nebraska, a rivalry game against Creighton on Wednesday night. In four games, three seasons, Miles
“It’s going to be a big game,” said White. “We want to bring a win back to the school. It’s going to be on the road, so that will test us. It’s going to be hostile in there.
“I know this means a lot to our coaching staff and the guys from the last couple years who lost it. So I’m going to try to do whatever I can to get in there and help my team win.”