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Benny Parker and the Huskers take on UTEP tonight at 8 p.m.
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
          Release: 12/23/2012
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Huskers Face UTEP for Sun Bowl Title

Game 12: at UTEP
Game Date: Dec. 23, 2012
Tipoff Time: 8 p.m. (CT)
Venue: Don Haskins Center
Capacity: 12,000

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2012-13 Record: 8-3, 0-0 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
                Record at Nebraska: 8-3 (1st year)
                Career Record: 291-223 (18th year)

UTEP Miners
2012-13 Record: 5-5, 0-0 WAC
Head coach: Tim Floyd
                Record at UTEP: 45-32 (3rd year)
                Career Record: 373-212 (19th year)

Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
Television: None
Internet: UTEPathletics.com (subscription required)
Radio: Across the state on the IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington.

Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka; Color: Matt Davison
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com

Huskers Look to Win Sun Bowl Title
The Nebraska basketball team looks to bring home some hardware Sunday night, as the Huskers take on UTEP in the title game of the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. central, or 30 minutes following the conclusion for the third-place game between Central Michigan and Arkansas Pine Bluff.

Sunday's Nebraska-UTEP game will be carried across the state on the 29-station Husker Sports Network, including flagship stations KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington, with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison calling all of the action. The game can be heard for free at Huskers.com and is also available on the Huskers' app on iOS or android devices. 

It will also be video streamed on UTEP's website (UTEPathletics.com), but a subscription is required to view the first-ever match up between the two programs on the hardwood.

Nebraska (8-3) comes off its best offensive performance since the 2009-10 season, an 89-75 win over Central Michigan. Dylan Talley's 21 points led four Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska shot a season-high 57.1 percent, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range. Talley had a career-high six 3-pointers, while sophomore David Rivers came off the bench with the best effort of his career, a 20-point, seven-rebound performance. Rivers, who had played just 11 minutes over the previous two games because of an ankle injury, hit 8-of-10 shots from the floor in 25 minutes of action. Rivers' 20-point effort against Central Michigan matched his entire freshman year total over 19 games.

While Nebraska's three primary scorers - Talley, Ray Gallegos and Brandon Ubel - have provided the bulk of the offense, it has been the supporting cast who has stepped up in the last two games. Against Jacksonville State, freshman Shavon Shields had a career-high 14 points, while Rivers' effort against CMU helped the Huskers outscore the Chippewas bench by a 28-15 count.

Nebraska coach Tim Miles aims for his second straight Sun Bowl Invitational title, as his Colorado State Rams team won the event in 2011. Nebraska looks to become the first Big Ten team to win the event since Purdue in 1992. The Boilermakers are the only Big Ten team to win the event in the tournament's first 50 years, also capturing the title in 1984. 

By The Numbers
1- Nebraska fell one point shy of having three players score 20+ points for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Dylan Talley had 21 points, David Rivers finished with 20 and Ray Gallegos had 19 in Saturday's win.

20 - Points from David Rivers against Central Michigan on Saturday night. The sophomore set career bests in both points and rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. His 20-point night equaled his entire

40 - Nebraska's 57.1 percent field goal percentage against Central Michigan was the Huskers best shooting night in 40 games dating back to last season against Rhode Island.

Huskers Look for First Tournament Title Since 2000
Nebraska will make a bid for its first in-season tournament title in over a decade tonight at UTEP. The last tournament title the Huskers won outright was the San Juan Shootout title in 2000. NU shared the Joe Cipriano Nebraska Classic earlier this season with a 3-1 record, but lost a four-way tiebreaker for the tournament trophy. Husker coach Tim Miles will look for his second Sun Bowl Invitational title, as his Colorado State Rams team won the 2011 event. 

Series History
Tonight's match up is the first-ever meeting between the Huskers and UTEP...Nebraska is 1-0 against Conference USA schools this season, defeating Tulane, 61-57 on Nov. 21...Tim Miles is 1-0 against UTEP following a 56-53 win in the semifinals of the 2011 Sun Bowl Invitational...Tim Floyd is 7-3 against Nebraska, all when coaching Iowa State from 1994-95 to 1997-98, but the Huskers won the last three meetings, including a series sweep in 1997-98...The Huskers have won their last three meetings against C-USA schools dating back to the 2006-07 campaign...Former Husker coach Doc Sadler spent two seasons as the head coach at UTEP (2004-06), guiding the Miners to a pair of postseason appearances (NCAA, NIT)...Former Nebraska coach Moe Iba was an assistant on Texas Western's 1966 NCAA title team, which is still the only Division I men's basketball title won by a school in Texas...NU's David Rivers was AAU teammates with UTEP's Hooper Vint on the Arkansas Wings..

Last Time Out
Nebraska scored the game's first 10 points and never looked back, advancing to the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational with an 89-75 win over Central Michigan Saturday evening.

The Huskers shot a season-high 57 percent from the floor, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range, in posting their highest offensive output since the 2009-10 season.

Dylan Talley scored a game-high 21 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, led four Huskers in double figures. Sophomore David Rivers established career bests with 20 points and seven rebounds, while junior Ray Gallegos had 19 points, including three early 3-pointers to get Nebraska going early. Brandon Ubel added 14 points, as NU set season bests in points, assists and field goal percentage in picking up its second straight win.

Gallegos and Talley combined for eight of the Huskers' first 10 points, as they scored on their first four possessions to force an early Central Michigan timeout. Moments later, Gallegos hit 3-pointers to give Nebraska a 16-6 lead.  While Nebraska was red hot from the floor in the first half, Central Michigan (6-5) took advantage of several Husker miscues to pull within 22-15 before Nebraska took control.

The Huskers, who hit 12 of their first 15 shots from the floor, went on a 14-2 surge, as Talley connected on consecutive 3-pointers to help Nebraska build a 36-17 lead after a Brandon Ubel basket. Nebraska led 41-24 before Central Michigan ended the half on a 9-2 run to pull within 43-33 at the break. Central Michigan shot just 42 percent in the first half, but made 14 of 18 from the foul line to stay with striking distance.

Early in the second half, Central Michigan pulled to within 50-44 with 14:54 after a Kyle Randall 3-pointer, but a Talley 3-point play helped Nebraska regain the momentum, as the Huskers used a 10-2 spurt to make it 60-46 after a Rivers free throw with 12:32 left. CMU continued to chip away behind Randall, who led all scorers with 27 points, pulling within 69-62 with 6:25 remaining, but Nebraska salted the game away as a Talley 3-pointer sparked a 7-0 surge to put Nebraska ahead 76-62 after Benny Parker's acrobatic basket.

Quick Notes from Saturday's Win over Central Michigan

  • Nebraska's 89 points is the Huskers' highest total since scoring 94 on Southern Utah on Dec. 29, 2009. NU's previous season high was 79 at Wake Forest on Nov. 27. Nebraska's two highest point totals this season have come in game away from Lincoln.
  • The 89 points against Central Michigan is Nebraska's highest total in a road or neutral site since scoring 89 in a 101-89 loss at TCU on March 15, 1999.
  • Nebraska matched its season best with four players in double figures, and is now 6-0 when getting at least three players in double figures.
  • Nebraska had two players reach 20 points for the second time this season in Saturday's win (Dylan Talley, 21; David Rivers, 20). It also happened in the Huskers' win at Wake Forest.
  • David Rivers had a career-high with 20 points, topping his previous best of eight set against South Dakota State as a freshman. Rivers, whose previous season best was seven against Valparaiso on Nov. 15, totaled just 20 points in 19 games during his freshman season. Rivers also had a career-high seven rebounds.
  • Dylan Talley collected his third 20-point game of the season with a game-high 21 points. His six 3-pointers was career high (previous high was four at Minnesota last March).
  • Nebraska shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the floor, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range. The Huskers shot 61 percent in the first half.
  • Freshman Shavon Shields totaled six points and grabbed a career-high seven rebounds, as Nebraska's bench outscored Central Michigan's 28-15. It marked the second straight game NU's bench had outscored its opponents.
  • The 14-point margin of victory was Nebraska's second-largest of the season (16 at Wake Forest).
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