Huskers eclipse century mark against Aggies

LINCOLN—Hot shooting from behind the arc and sharp ball-handling led the Nebraska men's basketball team to its first 100-point scoring effort in nearly a decade Monday, as the Huskers downed North Carolina A&T, 107-57, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Four Huskers pitched in double-figure scoring efforts and the squad gave away only seven turnovers while reaching the century mark for the first time since Jan. 13, 1996, when Nebraska lost a triple-overtime thriller to Oklahoma, 117-100, the same season NU would go on to claim the NIT title. The Huskers shot 51.6 percent from the field Monday, including 44.4 percent from behind the 3-point line, and committed only three turnovers in the second half.

 Nebraska's 107 points were its most in a game since a 114-106 win overtime win over Oregon during the 1995-96 season, and its most in a regulation game since a 108-71 win against Appalachian State on Dec. 31, 1994.

 Six players combined to drill a season-high 16 3-point attempts for Nebraska. Sophomore guard Joe McCray posted his second straight impressive effort, leading the Huskers with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a game-high five 3-pointers. Senior forward Jason Dourisseau chipped in 16 points while nailing 4-of-5 attempts, while freshman point guard Marcus Walker added a career-high 13 points with a 4-for-6 effort from behind the arc. Junior guard Marcus Perry gave NU a late surge to break the century mark with a career-high 13 points.

 Several other Huskers notched career highs against the Aggies, including redshirt freshman forward Jim Ledsome, who scored his first career points on a dunk en route to five points in only nine minutes of play. Freshman forward Kyle Marks posted a personal-best six points.

 Junior guard Derek Crumpton and sophomore forward Jason Wills were the Aggies' main scoring threats, notching respective totals of 19 and 15 points. While the Huskers stayed hot from the field for the entire game, A&T cooled off in the second half, shooting 27.6 percent from the floor.

 Leading by a comfortable 26-pont margin at halftime, the Huskers opened the second half with a 17-3 run to build a 40-point cushion with just under 15 minutes remaining. Senior forward Wes Wilkinson, Marcus Walker and McCray drilled 3-pointers in a two-minute flurry, followed by a layup from junior forward B.J. Walker. Marcus Walker's fourth trey slammed the door on the Aggies.

 Hot shooting helped Nebraska lead by as much as 26 in the first half. Five Huskers combined to make seven 3-point attempts in the game's first 12 minutes. While NU's shooting was sharp, so was its offensive execution. Nebraska lost a season-low four first-half turnovers to post a 16-1 edge in points off turnovers. The combined effort boosted the squad to 58 first-half points, its most since a 60-point outburst against Texas A&M in 2001.

 NU came out of the locker room gunning, making five 3-point attempts in the first five minutes to build a quick 14-point lead over the Aggies. McCray led the way, draining two quick trey attempts on his way to a 4-for-6 first-half effort. McCray notched a season high for points in a half with 14, while Dourisseau had 11 at the break.

 After sophomore forward Demetrius Guions opened the scoring with an alley-oop slam from sophomore guard Trahern Chaplin on A&T's first possession, Dourisseau hit 1-of-2 free throws and McCray put the Huskers on top with his first trey of the game. Marcus Walker then added another three to give the Huskers an early 7-2 lead.

 McCray then accounted for a quick five points on another 3-pointer followed by a transition layup off a steal to give NU an eight-point cushion, while Marcus Walker followed with another 3 to put Nebraska up 11 points, 15-4, just under four minutes into the game. Wilkinson also got into the act early, drilling his first attempt from behind the arc to give the Huskers an 18-4 edge at the 14:53 mark.

 NU's hot first half overshadowed the Aggies' successful early shooting. North Carolina A&T shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and owned the rebounding advantage for much of the period, but 10 turnovers sealed the Aggies' fate. For the game, the Huskers recorded a 24-3 edge in points of turnovers.

 Nebraska looks to keep its hot streak intact Wednesday when it plays host to its final home matchup before the new year against 2005 NCAA Tournament qualifier Alabama A&M at 7 p.m. at the Devaney Center.

 The win moved NU's season record to 8-2, while Aggies dropped to 0-7 with the loss.


 Nebraska Postgame Notes

• Nebrask picked up its 350th all-time victory at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in high fashion as the Huskers scored at least 100 points in a contest for the first time since 1996 with a 107-57 win over North Carolina A&T. Marcus Perry's free throw with 3:00 left gave the Huskers' their 100th point of the night.

 • The last time the Huskers scored at least 100 points came against Oklahoma on Jan. 13, 1996, in a 117-100 triple overtime loss to the Sooners. In fact, each of the last two times the Huskers hit the century mark they lost, including a 109-104 setback to Northern Iowa on Dec. 16, 1995. The last time Nebraska collected at least 100 points in a victory came on Feb. 8, 1995, in a 100-86 win over Colorado.

 • The 107 points are the most by the Huskers since scored 114 in a 114-106 victory over Oregon on Nov. 25, 1995.

 • The 50-point margin of victory is tied for the third largest in Devaney Center history and ties for the seventh largest win in program history overall. It is the second win of at least 50 points by the Huskers at home in the past two years, joining the 57-point win (97-40) over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the 2004-05 season.

 • Sophomore Joe McCray started the game on a tear, hitting 2-of-3 attempts from 3-point range in the first four minutes. McCray, who had six 3-pointers in the second half last year against North Carolina A&T, finished with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a season-best 5-of-8 from 3-point range. 

 Nebraska opened the game on an 18-4 run, which included an 11-0 streak, the fifth double-figure scoring streak this season while holding an opponent scoreless.

 • Marcus Perry and Aleks Maric returned to the court after missing Saturday's contest against Chicago State. Perry missed the contest to be with his wife, who had their second daughter, Akayla, early last Friday morning, while Maric missed Saturday's game with an injury.

 • Perry finished the game with a career-high 13 points on 3-of-9 shooting, while redshirt-freshman Jim Ledsome recorded a career-best five points and seven boards. Nebraska recorded 48 rebounds, the third-highest total of the year and two off NU's season high. 

 Nebraska's 58 points in the opening frame were the most points in any half this season, bettering its 48 against Marquette in the opening period. It was the most points by the Huskers in any half since scoring 60 in the opening half against Texas A&M on Feb. 28, 2001.

 Nebraska recorded a season-high 16 3-pointers in the game, including nine in the first half when it went 9-of-16 from behind the arc. The Huskers' previous high for a game was eight 3-pointers in each of the last two games.

 • The 16 3-pointers are just two off the school record of 18 set in 2002 in a one-point home loss to No. 1 Kansas. The Huskers' 36 attempts from 3-point range were also one off the school record of 37 also set against No. 1 Kansas in 2002.

 Nebraska hit 58.6 percent from the floor and 56.3 percent from beyond the arc in the opening half, the Huskers' highest percentage and 3-point percentage in any period this year. The Huskers finished hitting 51.6 percent from the floor, marking the second straight game hitting better than 50.0 percent of its shots.

 Nebraska reached its season scoring average (70.3 ppg) on Joe McCray's 3-pointer with 16 minutes left in the second half. Nebraska set a season high with its 85th point at the 10:08 mark when Marcus Perry hit a 3-pointer.

 • Freshman Marcus Walker recorded 13 points and a career-high tying six assists. It marked his fourth double-figure scoring effort of the season and fourth in the last five games. Walker has averaged 10.6 points and 3.2 assists per game over the past five contests.

 • The Huskers set a season high with 28 assists as a team, the highest total in Coach Barry Collier's tenure, bettering the 27 assists set in 2001 against Texas A&M. The 28 assists are the most by the Huskers since recording 35 assists in a 101-60 win over Northeastern Illinois on Dec. 21, 1994.

 • Senior guard Jason Dourisseau recorded 14 free throw attempts on the night, a career high. Dourisseau had 12 attempts from the charity stripe in the first half to tie his then-season high.

 Nebraska recorded seven turnovers, including three in the second half. It was the fewest turnovers in a game since posting seven against Arizona State on Dec. 3, 2003.

  Nebraska Coach Barry Collier quotes
On the hot shooting night
"A number of guys got off to a good start and the shooting was there from the get-go. We buried 3-pointers because they clogged the middle, but I thought we took care of the ball well and the shooting was really the story."

On the game plan
"It depends on what the (opposing) defense wants to do. Our intent is to go inside and get the ball off the glass on defense. With a little bit of pressure on the ball, we got a bunch of penetration and kicks to people stepping into their shot. We got into a rhythm and a bunch of them knocked it down."

On Joe McCray finding his shot recently
"Well, the last two games he has, but I don't think anyone could say that three games ago. He's been working to continue to get in better shape. Sometimes you've got to live through some difficult times to learn from those. It's part of the experience."

On the defensive strategy
"We just try to mix up the defenses and try not to let the other team get in a rhythm. We were able to have a bunch of different units in there. The rotation in some instances was pretty good in there. We made a few drastic errors but not a whole lot of them. I think all in all it really helped us."

 Nebraska player quotes
Guard Marcus Walker
On scoring 100 points
"It was exciting. Coming off of the Creighton loss, we talked a lot about our intensity. We're all about getting better over the next (three) games heading into the conference season."

On the fast pace of the game
"That's how the game played out. We ran more motion than set offensive plays, and it will be a fast-paced game when that happens."

On the confidence the team can take from this game
"With a win like this anyone can get confidence. Hopefully we'll take this confidence and build on it. We'll look at the film and see what we did right and what we did wrong and we'll try to correct our mistakes. It's a big confidence builder to hit 100 points, and it's also big that everybody got to play."

On the ball movement
"Anybody on the court had an open shot today, there was a lot of unselfishness. Our main focus was playing hard for 40 minutes and if we do that the offense will come."

On when the team thought about reaching the 100-point plateau
"Maybe with around 10 minutes left, we realized we could get 100 points. Our main focus tonight was not getting 100 points, but just going out and playing hard."

 Guard Jason Dourisseau
On the game
"Tonight was fun. Everyone got to play. We've been focusing on our effort and doing the little things and we really did that tonight. It felt good to come out and get a blowout win. When you play with effort like tonight, good things will happen."

On the play of the offense
"We've got some guys who can score. Tonight we had a lot of guys making the extra pass on penetration. We have enough good shooters that they can hit a lot of shots, especially if we make the extra pass to get them open. You have to give the guys a lot of credit, there was a lot of unselfishness out there tonight."

 North Carolina A&T Head Coach Jerry Eaves quotes
On Nebraska
"They just shot the lights out and that is the bottom line. It was a night and day difference for them from the Creighton game to tonight. There was really nothing we could do."

On what Nebraska did that gave North Carolina A&T trouble
"It was the physical nature of the game. They are a strong and mature team and much bigger and physical."

On Nebraska's shooting
"They came out firing. We have some young freshman who are really not ready (to play a team in) the Big 12 but it was good experience for them."

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