NU rebounded from its second loss of
the season by shooting a season-high 52.8 percent from the field against the
Cougars. While the Huskers were sizzling from the field, their big men were
dominating inside, helping the squad to a 40-16 rebounding edge and 30-14
scoring advantage in the paint.
Junior guard Royce Parran led CSU
with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including a 6-for-9 effort from
3-point land, while sophomore guard David Holston and junior guard Kevin Jones
Jr. added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Leading by only one at halftime, 35-34,
The Huskers then rattled off an
eight-point run to build an 11-point lead and take control of the game.
Wilkinson started the streak with a 3-pointer to help NU regain its six-point
cushion. The lead was extended to eight on a McCray layup at the 12:45 mark,
before Wilkinson drilled his third trey of the game.
After a pair of foul shots by Jones
Jr. ended the run, Marcus Walker sank a jumper and senior point guard Charles Richardson Jr. added a pair of free throws to give
While CSU eventually cut NU's lead
to eight on
Both teams shot lights-out in the
first half. The Huskers hit at a 56 percent clip, while the Cougars shot 57
percent, including a 6-for-9 effort from behind the arc. Parran, who did not
start the game, was CSU's main weapon, as he nailed four of five treys for a
game-high 17 first-half points. He helped the Cougar bench post a 23-3
first-half advantage in bench points.
After Marcus Walker hit a transition
pull-up jumper from the foul line to give NU a one-point lead, 24-23,
Wilkinson ended the run with a
transition dunk that he followed with a foul shot. NU then forced a CSU turnover
before McCray iced a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two. McCray would
later tie the game at 34-34 with 55 seconds remaining on his second trey of the
first half. Senior forward Bronson Schliep put the Huskers back on top on a free
throw after being fouled in the paint with only two seconds remaining in the
• Wes Wilkinson
had his streak of double-figure rebounding games snapped at three as he recorded
seven boards to go with 20 points and two blocked shots. Wilkinson, who leads
the Big 12 Conference in 3-point percentage and blocked shots, was 5-of-9 from
the floor in the first period and finished 8-of-13 from the
• Wilkinson recorded his third 20-point effort of his career and his second of the season. It was also the sixth time this season he had at least two blocked shots in a contest, including each of the past five.
• The 47.9 percent
"I thought we had some pretty good plays tonight against a team that's really hard to guard with its quickness and penchant for shooting threes. They shot them really well, I know that. Too many of them were when we weren't into them enough off a screen or playing quite tight enough. But some of them were just long (shots). We had some good balance offensively, and we played a little more poised. We turned the ball over a couple of times on the break, which is not good. I'm hoping we can continue to work on that."
rebounding from the Creighton loss:
"I thought we had some good practices, but we had some good practices last week, too. We gave a much better effort and we did a lot more good things tonight."
the concern of not winning games big:
"No, not really. We play to get a big lead there midway through the (second) half, and they drain some threes in and come back on us. Our goal is to win by one or more. We'd love to play great on every possession, both ends of the floor, but we have to live with what we do."
coming back from the first-half deficit:
"I think the start of the second half was key, as well. But being down like we were, I just felt that we had a stretch there where we mishandled the ball a time or two, we didn't defend and cut off the screen. So when we came back, I thought most of our veterans established themselves well, and I thought we got good play out of Kyle Marks."
"He was injured in practice yesterday. We tried to see if he could go tonight, but he couldn't. Hopefully soon he will be back."
Forward Wes Wilkinson
"We came out and played with more intensity but we were just not consistent enough throughout the game. But they made shots late in the half and that helped them. You have to credit them because they hit big 3-pointers. We did not do a very good job trailing and getting a hand in their face. We just need to pick it up on the defensive end."
if the team panicked late in the first half when CSU made a run to take the
"We could have panicked but we talked about that in practice and before games. There is a point in a game where you break or you come back. I was pleased with the way we came back tonight."
whether it was tough to get going without a big crowd
"It was not after a blowout loss to Creighton. We had to prove something to ourselves and it was important for us to get on the floor and just play with intensity, so the size of the crowd did not matter."
Charles Richardson Jr.
"I knew about 50 percent of the team and know the point guard fairly well. I told our team that they would not be bashful about shooting the ball. They came out gunning and made us think the worse."
what the team was thinking when it went down seven points in the first
"I didn't know we were down seven points until a timeout, but I told everyone on the bench that when we get back in the game, we have to get it under control. I just wanted to bring some intensity and effort off the bench and be a spark."
if finals were a distraction this week during practice
"We have practiced fairly well this week even with finals going on. They have been shorter practices and help us come out and get off and get a better effort. "
State Head Coach Kevin Jones quotes
On the game
"I knew coming in that this game would be tough, but I felt like we put ourselves in a position to win. If not for them beating us in rebounding, we may have won the game. They simply had better inside players than us tonight. I'm pleased with our effort. We never gave up during the game. We weren't expected to win, but we put ourselves in a position to win."
the performance of Royce Parran and
"He did everything that we needed him to do tonight. He didn't start because of disciplinary reasons after the
playing a difficult non-conference schedule
"We have set up a difficult non-conference schedule because we want to play in the best atmospheres so that we'll be able to compete in the conference."
"This is a well-coached team. Wes Wilkinson is one of the best inside guys that we've faced this year. He's able to handle the ball well and shoot for a big guy."