Huskers Shoot Past Chaparrals

The Nebraska men's basketball team continued its early-season shooting success and ran its record to 3-0 Tuesday evening, as NU downed Lubbock Christian, 65-42, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers shot at better than a 56-percent clip for the third consecutive game during the win while limiting the Chaparrals to only 37 percent from the field.

With the win, Nebraska reached a 3-0 start to the season for the second consecutive campaign, as well as the fourth time in six years.


NU received a balanced offensive effort that featured each starter scoring at least seven points. Junior center Aleks Maric led the squad for the second time in three games with a game-high 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting while adding six rebounds in only 25 minutes. Freshman guard Ryan Anderson added his second straight double-digit scoring effort with 10 points and six boards.


Senior point guard Charles Richardson and freshmen guards Sek Henry and Jay-R Strowbridge notched eight points each, with Henry contributing a team- and career-high six assists. Sophomore guard Jamel White scored seven points and totaled five assists in only 25 minutes of action.


LCU was paced by senior guard Max Eding and junior guard Munir Shakir, who recorded 12 points apiece. Eding and junior forward Bernardo Rocha each totaled five boards to lead the squad, while senior guard Jonah Broussard dished out six assists.


Leading 30-17 at the half, Nebraska exited the locker room and hit the court on fire in the final period to put the game out of reach. The Huskers nailed each of their first eight shots from the field to open up a 21-point lead by the 11:30 mark. Strowbridge notched a pair of buckets from 3-point range during the streak, while Henry added another as NU outscored LCU, 19-11, during the stretch.


Redshirt freshman Paul Velander made his first career shot count, as he drilled a trey at the 7:37 mark to extend NU's lead to 25 at 56-31. The Huskers reached their largest lead at any point this season when freshman forward Kris Douse launched a 3-pointer from the right wing to put the squad up 63-34.


Nebraska was sharp from the field to open the game, utilizing high-percentage shots to take a 22-12 lead. Each of NU's first 10 field goals came in the paint. In fact, NU dominated the inside early, notching an early 17-6 rebounding advantage in the first 15 minutes with six boards for Anderson and five for Maric. The Huskers also were strong defensively, holding LCU scoreless for nearly six minutes until the 3:14 mark. Nebraska led by as many as 13 points in the first half.


After Shakir closed the lead to seven on a trey for the Chaparrals with just under three minutes remaining in the half, the Huskers closed the period with a 6-0 run started by a White 3-pointer. Following White's jumper, Anderson nailed a baseline shot from 18 feet on the next possession and Henry later added a free throw to send the Huskers into the locker room with a 30-17 lead.


Nebraska returns to the court on Monday, Nov. 27, when it plays host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Huskers will look to make Head Coach Doc Sadler the first NU coach to begin his Nebraska tenure 4-0 since Paul Schlisser guided his 1919-20 squad to a 6-0 start.



Nebraska Coach Doc Sadler Postgame Quotes
On the game
"I thought our effort was tremendous. I liked our intensity. They made us play defense for 25-30 seconds (each possession) and that's hard to do. I think we've made a lot of progress (since the first exhibition game). I don't know if we could have beaten Lubbock Christian earlier this season."

"When you look at the stat sheet, I'm happy with our offensive execution. We're shooting over 50 percent over the last three games and that's what you have to do. I was very pleased we got to play against zone (defense). Overall, I'm very pleased. We came out with the right frame of mind. I was happy with tonight, but we still have a long way to go."

On facing a zone defense
"We worked on it for 25-30 minutes yesterday. We anticipated the zone and it was a matchup-type zone. They gave us different looks and we got a chance to play against different types of zones."

On worrying about a letdown after the Creighton game
"The bottom line is we have 22, 23 games left and you have to leave it all out there on the court. The Creighton win was a great win but I said all along one game will not make or break our season. We have too much work to do to worry about last Saturday."

On freshman Ryan Anderson
"I think he's adjusting to the speed of the game. Early on, he missed some shots, but that's expected when you're a freshman. Not a lot of guys get to play as freshmen. Now he's making those shots."

Nebraska Senior guard Charles Richardson
On not having a letdown after big win against Creighton
"We made a statement against Creighton. A lot of people didn't think we could win. But we knew we had to keep the momentum going. The Creighton win isn't important if we can't get the job done the next game. We had to come out with the same intensity as last game."

On having fun on the court
"We're having a lot of fun, and that's what Coach wants us to do. He's the type of coach that will let you play your game as long as it's within the offense."

On the benefit of playing against Lubbock Christian's zone defense
"We didn't play too well against the zone tonight, but I think it will help us in the future if other teams do the same thing against us. We'll just watch the film and continue to work on it."

On the play of the freshmen
"I knew before the season started that the freshman were going to be a big part of our team. They're handling the pressure really well so far, they're all doing a really good job. Ryan (Anderson) has been playing his butt off."

Lubbock Christian Coach John Copeland Postgame Quotes
On the game
"(Aleks) Maric just scored too easily early and (they) got away. We didn't shoot the ball well. I was really disappointed in the way we executed in a big part of the game. The positive side was we had possessions where we got good shots. We just have to get more people who value the ball better and make better decisions with the ball. We only had six turnovers at the half then 16 in the game."

On Nebraska
"I think they're a solid defensive team, but we didn't give ourselves a chance. That's what I told the guys in the locker room. I was just disappointed with the way our man defense was against their inside play."

On Aleks Maric
"We didn't meet him and keep him pushed out enough. We were going to front him some, but we didn't front. We just lunged by the ball and then there's not any help when you lunge by the ball. If we would have got over there and fronted him and they lobbed it over us it would have been different, but we didn't do a good job of getting in front of him and setting on him. I know he's a handful for a lot of people."

Nebraska Postgame Notes vs. Lubbock Christian
• Nebraska improved to 3-0 on the season with the victory over the Chaparrals. The Huskers continue their five-game home stand to open the season on Monday, Nov. 27, when they play host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Devaney Center.

• Coach Doc Sadler became just the seventh Husker head coach (out of 26) in the 111 years of the program to open his career with a 3-0 record.

• Senior guard Charles Richardson Jr. tied his career high for the second time in three games as he had four steals in the contest. Richardson has led the team in steals in each of the Huskers' first three games, and also paced the squad in assists in their first two contests.

• Center Aleks Maric, who was named the Big 12's Player of the Week on Monday, had 13 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes. Maric hit 6-of-6 from the floor, helping NU hit 56.5 percent from the field. He has connected on 25-of-35 attempts (71.4 percent) from the field this season.

• Freshman guard Ryan Anderson had another solid game as he finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Anderson nailed 5-of-6 attempts from the floor and has connected on 12-of-14 field-goal attempts over the past two games. He came into the contest leading the Big 12 in field-goal percentage accuracy and has now hit 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) from the floor.

• Nebraska connected on 26-of-46 field-goal attempts on the night for 56.5 percent accuracy, and has connected on at least 50.0 percent from the floor in every half this season. It was the third straight game NU hit better than 50.0 percent from the field overall, the first time the Huskers have connected on that high of a percentage in three consecutive games since 2003-04.

• The last time NU hit at least 55.0 percent from the floor in three straight games was during the 1991-92 season (Dec. 11, 20 and 21). The Huskers hit 55.2 percent against Wisconsin to start the streak, then added 55.2 percent shooting against Texas A&M and finished the stretch hitting 63.4 percent against Eastern Washington.

• Freshman guard Sek Henry tied his career high with four assists before the intermission and finished with a team-high six assists on the night. He had six assists in his first two games combined. The Huskers recorded 19 assists as a team on 26 baskets, a season-high for assists.

• The Huskers allowed 17 points in the first half, the fewest allowed by NU in any half this season. The previous low was 30 points in the second half against both Nebraska-Omaha and Creighton. The 13-point lead at the intermission was NU's largest of the season to end the first half.

• Sophomore Paul Velander, redshirt freshman Chris Balham and freshman Kris Douse each scored their first career points in the game. Velander hit a 3-pointer with less than 9:00 remaining in the game on his first career field-goal attempts while Balham had a pair of free throws. Douse added a 3-pointer in the final 4:30 for his first career points.

• Sophomore forward Kyle Marks made his season debut, playing four minutes. Marks was returning from a knee injury before the start of preseason practice. With Marks' return, only one scholarship player – Marcus Perry – remains on the injured list. Perry is recovering from surgery to repair cartilage in his knee suffered before the start of the first exhibition game of the year and may return to practice next week.

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