Huskers get physical with Wolverines!

Nebraska gathered momentum tonight for the final part of the Big XII battle as they defeated Utah Valley State 91-57. The Huskers proved that they can come out and beat the teams they are supposed to beat by a considerable margin. Gaining momentum for the rest of the tough schedule was part of the reasoning behind the timing of the game and the Huskers accomplished everything they intended.

Seniors for the team are stepping up their level of play at different times. John Turek must have had a dream last night that he would make his defender look silly at times and score at will. Turek now would have to classify that as déjà vu because that is exactly what happened. He came out of the gates fast and right from the first minute of the game set the tone for the Huskers. Finishing with 24 points on 10-14 shooting and a team high 13 rebounds, Turek seemed to prepare himself for this weekend's game against Kansas. It was against Kansas last year when Turek had a game similar to tonight with only one difference -- that game was against All-American Wayne Simien
Joe McCray chipped in 16 points and five assists to continue his roll through his freshman campaign. Nine Huskers scored and all available players saw significant playing time as early as the first half. Aleks Maric was not available for the game and that allowed seldom used Tony Wilbrand to show off his moves to the tune of 8 points and 3 rebounds. Wilbrand was a key part of the "play of the game" as he made a no look pass to Bronson Schliep for a thunderous dunk from the baseline. 

Nebraska looked impressive even against the competition of Utah Valley State. They fought back from a tough loss at Texas Tech last weekend by shooting 56% from the floor. The Huskers shot even better at the free throw line making 20-22 shots for 91%. When either team did miss, it was likely a player with a white uniform was grabbing the rebound. Nebraska won that battle as well, pulling in 42 rebounds compared to only 19 from the Wolverines. 

My MVP of the game goes to Tony Wilbrand. I know John Turek had a career high night and dominated the game from start to finish, but he is supposed to do that. Who would have expected Wilbrand to come in and really provide some scoring in the paint? He is a player from Nebraska and I love it when in-state kids like himself and Schliep can make the state proud. Ok, so maybe I am dogging on Turek because he really deserves the MVP. However, I have always wanted to write a story and give an award to Wilbrand and this may be my only chance as the 6-10 junior battles for playing time.
From the start of the contest, Nebraska dominated in all facets. It was a solid victory for a team that will take them as they come. The Huskers have a few days left to practice for the biggest game of the year annually for fans and players alike. Nebraska hosts Kansas Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with ESPN picking up the game.

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