Nebraska shot 36.5% and fell 56-53 to the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cornhuskers (12-6, 0-3) dropped their third consecutive game, and second consecutive on their home court. The theme of the game was missed shots. Nebraska missed 40 shots, and finished the game hitting just two of eight free throws.
"We cannot continue to take shots we can't take," said NU Coach Doc Sadler. "If we're going to continue to shoot 26 percent from the (3-point line), then we better not shoot. We all think that we get down, we're going to bring the game back and other teams will go to the free throw line. We're going to try and score on jump shots, you're not going to win in this league doing that."
After leading for the majority of the second half, the Cyclones gained momentum and held their lead till the end. However, Nebraska had an opportunity to tie the game. In the final seconds of the game, Iowa State had possession of the ball. Husker coach Doc Sadler elected to foul the Cyclones with under ten seconds remaining, and the shot clock still running. But Iowa State had just five fouls, and was not in the bonus.
"It was a huge mistake on my part,"
said Sadler. "The mistake that I made in
that basketball game is bigger than any mistake a player has made for us in four
years. I'm very, very upset about it. I didn't know there were five team fouls. That is the mistake that I made."
After making the first shot, Cyclone guard Lucca Staiger missed the second shot. A tie-up insued on the court, but the possession arrow pointed in Nebraska's direction, so the Huskers had one last shot. With NU trailing by three, guard Lance Jeter attempted what would have been the game-tying three pointer, but his shot didn't even hit the rim.
"Again, we didn't execute that either," said Sadler. "We should have taken it to the basket; that
is what we talked about doing. I thought they would try to foul us. The first guy was supposed to sprint out, I
knew they would pick him up. The second
guy was going to switch out everything, I figured they would pick up the second
guy and the third guy could get to the basket. I wanted smaller people in the game to try and
get it down. Five seconds is a long time
and we didn't do it; that is my fault also. We have to execute better at the end of the
Ryan Anderson led all NU scorers with just 13 points, and Lance Jeter had 12 points, but in the end, it was the shots that didn't fall that killed the Huskers. Nebraska had just eight chances from the free throw line, and Sek Henry had seven of those attempts, but Henry went 2-7 from the line, and his team came up short.
"They go to the free throw line, they almost made more than we attempted," said Sadler. "We have to get tougher. It's frustrating, I thought our guys played extremely hard, but once again it's free throws that are the biggest difference in this basketball game."
After starting the season with a 12-3 record, the Huskers have now dropped their first three games in conference play. Things don't get any easier for Nebraska. After a week off, Nebraska travels to Mizzou Arena to take on the Missouri Tigers, and then the team takes a trip to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. The Huskers finally return home on January 30th when they take on the Oklahoma Sooners at the Devaney Center.
Post Game Audio
Head Coach Doc Sadler -
Senior Guard Ryan Anderson -