Bruce Thorson, USA Today Sports

Nebraska: 83 (20) Purdue: 80

Nebraska upset No. 20 Purdue on Sunday afternoon, as the whacky Big Ten basketball schedule continues.


Nebraska Postgame Notes

*-Nebraska improves to 2-3 against ranked teams and has won two straight (vs. No. 16 Indiana on Dec. 28)
*-Jack McVeigh’s 21 points matched his career high (also vs. Louisiana Tech). McVeigh also tied his season high with four 3-pointers (all in the first half). He also established career bests in both free throws (seven) and free throw attempts (10).
*-It is the second time McVeigh has led NU in scoring (also vs. South Dakota)
*-Nebraska got a season-high 39 points from its bench today (previous best was 38 vs. Southern).  It marked the third time in Big Ten play that NU got at least 20 points from its bench.
*-Nebraska out-rebounded Purdue, 40-35, as the Boilermakers were sixth nationally in rebounding margin. It marked only the fourth time Purdue has been out-rebounded all season.
*-Jeriah Horne came off the bench and finished with 16 points and a season-high seven rebounds (previous high of five on two occasions, last vs. Maryland. Horne’s 16 points were his second-highest total of the season (18 vs. Southern). It marked the fourth time he has been in double figures and first since Jan. 5 vs. Iowa.
*-Purdue’s 14 3-pointers were the most by a Husker opponent this season.
*-Nebraska now 21-3 when scoring at least 80 points under Tim Miles
*-Tai Webster has been in double figures all 21 games this season and 22 straight dating back to last season. He is the only Big Ten player in double figures every contest this season. Webster also led NU in both assists (six) and rebounds (eight)
*-Jordy Tshimanga made his first start of his career today and finished with six points and three rebounds before fouling out.

Nebraska Coach Tim Miles
Opening Statement
“This is a very important day for us for a lot of reasons.  Obviously the win caps it off but our Coaches vs Cancer and Avery Strong Day, that really means something to this group.  It’s a personal connection, the way Kristin Eichorst has organized the swabs and the bone marrow registry, I know we had four matches and that could be four saved lives.  I think just all of that combined with such a thrilling game, really made it for a great day.  I just wanted to start with that.”

On Purdue’s shooting performance:
“Our goal was to have them beat us from two, and that worked out really well.  They’re an excellent shooting team on the road, they average almost 12 made threes at almost 48 percent.  Then you have to decide if you’re going to double on the bigs.  Some of it you have to decide because you have to stop them, some of it might be an opportunity if you get a chance to turn them over.  We had to kind of decide throughout the game.  Most of that was [Nebraska Assistant Coach  Kenya] Hunter with the game plan.  At the same time, I think we did a really good job doubling, and knowing when to double and when not to double according to the lineups, whether it be our lineups or theirs.”

On Michael Jacobson’s illness throughout the game:
“We put [freshman center Jordy Tshimanga] in, he got a couple fouls, and we were going to put Michael back in.  Michael was gone. ‘Where’s Michael?’ ‘He’s vomiting.’  He gets back later, gets back in, I’m ready to take Jordy out, I’m like ‘guys, get Jordy.’ ‘Michael’s vomiting.’ Then at halftime he’s laying there with Dr. Albers and the trainer, and I just went in and said, ‘Hey don’t kill yourself for a basketball game.’  He goes, ‘No, no, I’ll be ready.’  He came back out and he had some struggles but at the same time I think there were two or three plays late that he had a stop, and then he had a steal, and somebody hit him for a layup on a cut.  I don’t know who it was, but it put us up by one.”

On being a tough matchup for Purdue:
“I thought that we had a little more pace and tempo to our offense.  Sometimes we kind of get clogged up on things if a team defends us in certain ways.  I thought we did a lot of good things today.  I think really the story of that offensive game today was [sophomore forward Jack McVeigh] and and [freshman Jeriah Horne] getting 37 in ten.  None of us would have predicted it, and to get it, we needed every ounce of it.”

On the resolve of the Huskers despite losing five straight games:
“Even when [senior Tai Webster] went out, he twisted his foot/ankle, got hurt, and things had gone wrong because he was hurting and I only had one timeout left.  The next whistle was media, and you don’t want to burn your last timeout, but finally we just had to.  So now we’re down four, and it was funny in the huddle, the guys were mad.  They weren’t mad at Tai, they weren’t mad at the refs, they weren’t mad at me, they were just like, ‘How’d we get in this position?”’  When you have that kind of mentality, I think that’s what’s cool about this group.  I really was impressed with the way they handled it.”



Sophomore Forward Jack McVeigh

McVeigh on big win:

“We battled, like in other games, when you put yourself in a situation where anything is possible. I’m sure, as anyone who’s been watching the Big Ten knows that no game is a joke. Every win is a good win, and that’s been proven here in conference play. That was a big win for the morale and in terms of positioning and everything. It was good. We got the win as a team.”


McVeigh on moving on past the win:

“As the coaches say: you can’t cheat the game. That’s really important. When we go after it again we have to look at it like, ‘It was a good win but we have to move on.’ It’s the exact same thing we say when we lose close games. People say, ‘We have to move on, learn from it, and get better.’ And it’s the exact same mentality with wins. You have to kind of put them aside and be like, ‘Good job team, and now let’s get after it.”


Freshman Forward Jeriah Horne

Horne on rallying back from deficit:

“I feel like that’s been our whole season, especially in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a couple ones, but tonight I feel like we just came together even more. We were able to get over the hump, and we made sure we had each other’s backs. It’s really important when we’re huddling together and talking through things, that shows a lot about our team.”


Senior Guard Tai Webster

Webster on the play of McVeigh and Horne:

“I think a lot of guys contributed tonight and it’s just huge, especially for guys like Jack and Jeriah. Obviously their minutes have not been the same lately, for them to just come in and contribute is just a true show to their character that those young guys have to just stay the course and be faced with adversity and just come through. We couldn’t have done it without those big plays by those guys tonight.”

Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter
On the eight turnovers in the second half:
“We need to do a better job. Obviously trying to get the ball inside and you just need to make a good decision. When you make good decisions and make simple plays... Obviously we shot the ball well on threes, 14-of-24 from three is very impressive so I thought that we had a good balance, we just had to take care of the basketball and get it to where we needed to get it on half court on the interior. Just move the basketball, we were getting pretty good looks but you know when you have those empty possessions and you turn it over, you can’t get a rebound on a turnover. So you have to be able to give yourself a chance and give yourself a chance to rebound. We just had too many turnovers in the second half.”

On the first half allowing 7-11 three pointers:
“I thought #10 Jack McVeighs' were breakdowns. He is known as a shooter. He is a guy we are not leaving, I thought those were breakdowns. #00 Tai Webster made a couple tough ones. I think he was 2 for 2 at half, I thought he made a couple tough ones. He’s a 33-percent shooter, he’s hit or miss, you got to make him hit tough ones. And the main thing you want to do with him is keep him out of the paint. Keep him off the three-point line, not letting him get that rhythm. I thought we did that also. Like I said earlier, you can dissect it many different ways, but their ability to get offensive rebounds and those two guys off the bench were the difference in this game.”

On today's game:
“As you saw, we didn’t play Isaac as much tonight, he was hurt and had a tough time getting going and a tough time playing through contact. But we were trying to match-up to the best of our ability but also times that people are going to have to match-up to us too. It kind of works both ways to where we got the ball where we wanted at the end of the game and we are going to keep going back to it. In those situations, we have to keep making people have to match-up to us and we were one foul away from fouling both centers. We really put them in a bad bind. We have to be better than we were tonight, just making plays. We need to get stops defensively. We had too many breakdowns and let some guys get away from us. We’ll go back and watch film, maybe we overdid it with those two guys and that loosened some things up for those other guys. We definitely have to get consistent in our defensive schemes.

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