Huskers Look to Slow Down Badgers
Game 28: at No. 17 Wisconsin
Game Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Tipoff Time: 8:05 p.m. (CT)
Venue: Kohl Center
2012-13 Record: 13-14, 4-10 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 13-14 (1st year)
Career Record: 296-234 (18th year)
2012-13 Record: 19-8, 10-4 Big Ten
Head coach: Bo Ryan
Record at Wisconsin: 287-109 (12th year)
Career Record: 670-212 (29th year)
Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
Television: BTN and BTN2Go
(Ch. 610 on DirecTV; Chs. 439, 9500 on DISH; Chs. 24 and 333-SD, 1333-HD on Time Warner Cable; Chs. 80 SD, 1080-HD on Cox Cable)
Play-by-play: Dave Revsine
Analyst: Shon Morris
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
Analyst: Jeff Culhane
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com
Satellite Radio (WIS feed): Sirius Ch. 92, XM Ch. 199
Huskers Look to Slow Down Badgers
Following a dramatic comeback win over Iowa, the Nebraska men's basketball team travels to Wisconsin for a matchup with the No. 17 Badgers Tuesday evening.
Tip-off from the Kohl Center is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised on BTN with Dave Revsine and Shon Morris on the call. Tuesday's matchup with Wisconsin is also available on BTN2GO on iOS or android devices.
Tuesday's 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 Jeff Culhane 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.
Saturday's game was a tale of two halves, as the Huskers (13-14, 4-10 Big Ten) overcame a 19-point first-half deficit to hand Iowa a damaging blow to its NCAA Tournament hopes with a 64-60 win. Nebraska shot 34 percent in the first half, but blitzed the Hawkeyes by shooting 63 percent en route to out-scoring the Hawkeyes, 39-19, in the second half. Senior Dylan Talley led four Huskers in double figures with 18 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left to break a 60-all tie. Talley scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, including seven of Nebraska's final 12 points in the final 4:30.
Talley's performance against the Hawkeyes capped a strong run of performances over the last two weeks. Over the last four games, Talley is averaging 19.3 points per game, including 41 percent from 3-point range.
The Huskers climbed past Northwestern into 10th place in the Big Ten standings heading into the final two weeks of the season, but will be tested with three of the final regular-season games on the road.
Wisconsin (19-8, 10-4) has been on a roll, as the Badgers have won five of their last six games, including a 69-41 rout of Northwestern last Wednesday. In the first match-up in Lincoln on Jan. 6, the Huskers made it a one-possession game in the final minute before Wisconsin earned a 47-41 victory.
By the Numbers
1-0 - Nebraska Coach Tim Miles' record in the Kohl Center, as he brought his North Dakota State team to Madison on Jan. 21, 2006, and upset the Badgers, 62-55. It is one of only seven non-conference home losses in Bo Ryan's tenure.
20:21 - Consecutive minutes that the Husker lineup was on the court against Iowa (Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos, David Rivers, Shavon Shields and Brandon Ubel). Nebraska did not sub during the entire second half against Iowa.
9 - No. 17 Wisconsin will be the ninth ranked opponent Nebraska has faced this season, which is the Huskers' highest total since the 1996-97 season. Eight of Nebraska's 14 losses are to ranked teams.
No. Ranked Foes Year
1. 10 1994-95
3. 9 2012-13
Under Coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin has been one of the Big Ten's best programs over the past decade. Ryan, who is in his 12th season in Madison, has guided the Badgers to 11 NCAA Tournaments, including five appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16 in his tenure.
The Badgers have won five Big Ten titles and come off a Sweet 16 appearance in 2011-12. The Badgers brought back four starters and 12 letterwinners from a team that won 26 games in 2011-12, but lost a key cog before the season as point guard Josh Gasser tore his ACL and will miss the season. Gasser who started at shooting guard last year was replacing Jordan Taylor, who was one of the Big Ten's top point guards the previous two seasons.
Wisconsin comes into Tuesday's game with a 19-8 record and are in a tie for third place in the Big Ten with a 10-4 mark. The Badgers have won five of their last six games, including a 69-41 rout of Northwestern in Evanston last Wednesday evening. The wins include victories over Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State at home with the only setback being a 58-53 overtime loss at Minnesota on Feb. 9. UW has been tough in the Kohl Center, posting a 14-2 mark with the only losses coming to Virginia and Michigan State.
Wisconsin's strength is on the defensive end, where the Badgers are second in the Big Ten in scoring defense at 55.7 points per game. The Badgers have held seven of their 14 Big Ten foes to 55 points or less and have held all 14 conference foes to 70 points or less. The Badgers rarely turn the ball over, averaging a league-low 9.4 turnovers per game, and are second in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio. Wisconsin returned one of the Big Ten's best big men in senior Jared Berggren, who leads the Badgers with 11.9 points per game and grabs 7.0 rebounds per game. Senior Ryan Evans chips in 10.3 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game, while Ben Brust adds 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds an outing.
Nebraska-Wisconsin Series History
Tuesday's matchup is the 20th meeting between the two programs, and Nebraska holds a 10-9 lead in the series that dates back over a century. The Huskers will look to snap a four-game losing streak to the Badgers dating back to November of 1998. Wisconsin has won all three meetings as Big Ten members, including a 47-41 victory in Lincoln on Jan. 6.
The series dates back to the 1903-04 season , as Nebraska won the first meeting, 55-25 over the Badgers in Lincoln before Wisconsin took five of the next six meetings from 1907 to 1955. Nebraska then won eight straight games before the Badgers began their current streak with a 78-41 win at the 1999 Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. Nebraska is 4-5 in Madison with the last win coming in a 75-63 win over the Badgers on Dec. 11, 1990. This is only the second time that either team has been ranked at game time, as UW was ranked 11th on Dec. 27, 2011, Nebraska's first-ever Big Ten contest.
Last Time Out
Dylan Talley's 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left broke a 60-all tie, lifting Nebraska to a 64-60 win over Iowa Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of 12,334 at the Devaney Center Saturday afternoon.
With the score tied at 60, Nebraska got the ball with 44 seconds left after Brandon Ubel drew a charge on Roy Devyn Marble. Nebraska took a timeout with 20 seconds left to set up its final possession. Talley, a 6-foot-5 senior guard, took several seconds before he stopped and pulled up for a long 3-pointer over Mike Gesell to put the Huskers ahead.
Iowa, which saw its three-game win streak snapped, came down quickly after Talley's basket and got off a shot to tie, but Gesell missed a game-tying shot. Iowa then fouled Ray Gallegos, who split a pair of free throws, to give NU a four-point lead.
Talley finished with a game-high 18 points, including 7-of-11 shooting in the second half to lead the Huskers back from a 19-point first half deficit. He was one of four Huskers in double figures, as Shavon Shields had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Brandon Ubel and Ray Gallegos added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Nebraska played some of its best basketball of the season in the second half, shooting 63 percent from the field in out-scoring the Hawkeyes, 39-19 after Iowa built a 41-25 halftime advantage.
Nebraska started to regain its footing early in the second half, as Shields and Talley combined for 10 of Nebraska's 12 points in a 12-4 spurt that whittled a 16-point halftime deficit to 45-37 with 15:34 left. Iowa led 51-40 after an Eric May basket, but Nebraska ran off another 10-2 spurt behind Ubel and Talley, pulling within 54-50 after a pair of Shields free throws with 7:19 left. The Huskers trailed 57-52 after a Roy Devyn Marble basket, but two straight baskets from Talley made it a one-point game before Shields' basket with 2:29 left gave Nebraska its first lead since the opening minute.The Huskers got a stop before Ubel's basket gave Nebraska a 60-57 lead with 1:44 left.
Iowa, which has lost six of its eight Big Ten games by four points or less, quickly responded on an Aaron White 3-pointer to knot the score at 60. The teams traded possessions before Talley's basket gave Nebraska the lead for good.
In the first half, the Huskers struggled to find much offensively, shooting 34 percent as Iowa led by as many as 19 and took a 16-point lead into the locker room. The Hawkeyes took control midway through the half, using a 14-2 run to take a one-point game and turn it into a 26-13 advantage. Nebraska cut a 15-point lead to 32-22, but three consecutive 3-pointers from Iowa, the last two by Marble, gave the visitor a 19-point lead.
Quick Notes From the Iowa Game
- The 19-point comeback was Nebraska's third-largest comeback on record, trailing only 20-point comebacks against Kansas State (1996-97) and USC (2010-11). Prior to Saturday, the largest deficit the Huskers had overcome this season was seven points.
- Nebraska improves to 5-0 on the season in games decided by five points or less.
- Nebraska picks up its first-ever win over Iowa in the Devaney Center. The Huskers were 0-2 at the Devaney Center against Iowa prior to today.
- Nebraska picked up its 13th win of the season, topping the Huskers' 2011-12 total.
- The Huskers improved to 10-7 at the Devaney Center this year, ensuring a winning home record in all 37 years since the building was opened for the 1976-77 season.
- Nebraska matched its season high with four players in double figures, and NU is 11-4 when at least three players reach double figures.
- Dylan Talley led Nebraska with 18 points and has scored 16 or more points in each of the last four games.
- Nebraska used the same lineup the entire second half against Iowa, shooting 63 percent from the floor and out-scoring the Hawkeyes 39-19 after the break.
Huskers Top 2011-12 Win Total
The Huskers picked up their 13th win of the season last Saturday against Iowa on Saturday, topping NU's total for the 2011-12 season. Nebraska's win against the Hawkeyes was also its fourth Big Ten win, matching last year's season total.
Despite losing four starters and five of the team's top six scorers from last year, Nebraska improved its win total while playing one of the nation's toughest schedules.
NU's strength of schedule is 15th nationally entering this week, and 11 of the Huskers' 14 losses are against teams currently in the top 50 of the RPI. Entering this week, four Big Ten teams are among the top 15 in strength of schedule.
Value the Basketball
Under Tim Miles, one thing the Huskers have done well is cut down on the number of turnovers. Despite losing its top three point guards from last year and losing its backup point guard to a season-ending injury, Nebraska is fourth in the Big Ten and in the 14th nationally with 10.9 turnovers per game - two fewer per game than last season - and has committed 10 turnovers or less 12 times this season.
The Huskers are keeping heady company as two of the teams - Wisconsin and Michigan - are second and third nationally in fewest turnovers per game. The Huskers had a school-record two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16, breaking the mark of three set on three previous occasions.
Creep, Crawl, Walk, Run
With four new starters from last season and an eight-player rotation which includes only three players who saw action last season, there have been some bumps along the way, as the Huskers install a new offensive system and the headline has been a common mantra of Coach Miles during his first season on the job.
Last year, his Colorado State team led the Mountain West Conference in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and free throw percentage, ranking in the top-10 nationally in both free throw and 3-point percentage. The 2012-13 Huskers come into Tuesday's game with Wisconsin ranked 10th (.410), 11th (.301) and eighth (.689), in those respective categories.
When Nebraska has put up points, they have enjoyed success, going 11-3 when scoring at least 60 points, following Saturday's win over Iowa.
One adjustment the Huskers have made recently is going to a bigger lineup and moving senior Dylan Talley to the point guard spot prior to the first matchup with Michigan State. Over the last 11 games, Talley and the Huskers have responded well, averaging 14.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, while Nebraska has averaged nearly 15 more points per game since then in their first three Big Ten contests.
Learning to Win the Close Ones
After getting blown out in its Big Ten opener at No. 8 Ohio State, Nebraska has had opportunities in nearly every other Big Ten game.
Seven times in the last 13 games, Nebraska has been within two possessions in the final seven minutes of a game, including four times against ranked teams. While NU was not able to pull out wins in the first four games, the Huskers found a way down the stretch against Penn State for its first Big Ten win on Jan. 19. In the final seven minutes at Penn State, the Huskers hit 60 percent of their field goals and went 9-for-9 from the foul line to earn a four-point win. Against No. 11 Ohio State on Feb. 2, the Huskers were within five points and had the ball with 2:00 left, but were unable to trim the deficit. Against Iowa last Saturday, the Huskers trailed by five with six minutes left, but closed the game on a 14-5 run to pick up the victory.
Nebraska is 5-0 on the season in games decided by five points or less after going 4-3 in games decided by five points or less last season.
Huskers Look for Balanced Scoring
One of the biggest keys to success for the Huskers has been finding multiple scoring options. Nebraska has three players averaging in double figures on the season, while six players (Brandon Ubel, Dylan Talley, Ray Gallegos, Andre Almeida, David Rivers and Shavon Shields) have all scored at least 20 points at least once this season.
Nebraska has three players averaging at least 11.4 points per game, which would mark the first time that the Huskers have had three players average double figures in a season since 2005-06.
When Nebraska has three or more players in double figures, the Huskers are 11-4 following Saturday's win over Iowa, but are just 2-10 when not putting at least three players in double figures.
Developing Talent; Looking for Depth
While having to replace four starters and seven of the top nine scorers from last year, Tim Miles has had the challenge of putting players in new roles this year. The Huskers had five returning scholarship players in 2012-13, and all five are integral members of NU's rotation.
Four of the five returnees have seen significant jumps in their averages from their last season of competition and are all enjoying personal bests in both scoring and rebounding. Prior to this season, the Huskers had only one player on the roster with a 20-point game as a Husker (Andre Almeida in 2010-11) and no returning player had averaged more than nine points per game.
One of the problems has been a lack of depth, as Coach Miles signed four players after arriving in late March (the three redshirts and freshman Sergej Vucetic) while NU's other two scholarship freshman (Shavon Shields and Benny Parker) have been mainstays in the rotation. NU's depth will be improved next year, as Miles signed three players in the fall and has two scholarships available for the spring signing period.
Husker Defense Has Been Solid
While NU's offense has been in transition, the Huskers have done a good job slowing tempo and controlling things on the defensive end, as the Huskers are seventh in the Big Ten in scoring defense at 62.7 point per game.
- NU has held 21 of its 27 foes under their 2012-13 scoring averages. Only seven teams have scored 70 against the Huskers this season, as Minnesota's 84 points on Jan. 29 were a season high against the Huskers.
- The Huskers have held 24 of 27 teams to under 50 percent shooting from the field, including 12 teams to under 40 percent, including Iowa on Saturday.
- Nebraska held Penn State to 29.3 percent shooting, the Huskers' best defensive effort in a conference game since holding Kansas State to 23.4 percent on Jan. 11, 2006.
Ubel Proving Offense, Leadership
Senior Brandon Ubel came into the 2012-13 season as the Huskers' most known quantity and NU's most experienced player - by a wide margin. Ubel entered the season with 59 career starts at Nebraska, while the remaining seven returnees on the roster had combined for seven career starts at NU.
While most known for his rebounding, Ubel has picked up some of the scoring slack, setting career bests in both scoring (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg). His rebounding average is on pace to be the highest for a Husker since Aleks Maric averaged 10.2 rebounds per game in 2007-08.
He has been in double figures in 18 games this year, which matches his double-figure games over the first three years at Nebraska. Ubel also has a team-high four double-doubles in 2012-13 (21 points & 12 rebounds vs. Southern, 17 points & 13 rebounds vs. Kent State, 15 points & 10 rebounds vs. Jacksonville State and 14 points and 12 rebounds vs. Northwestern).
Ubel, who had 12 points and eight rebounds in the win over Iowa on Saturday, marking the fourth time in the last five games he has grabbed at least eight rebounds. He has shown toughness this season, suffering an elbow injury at Michigan on Jan. 9 and missed two games - the first time he has missed time since his freshman year. His best game in conference play was against Northwestern when he scored 13 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
He began the season with a career-high 21 points in the win over Southern, before pacing Nebraska with 17 points in a 50-48 win over Horizon League favorite Valparaiso. Ubel had 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the loss to Kent State and also had 18 points, including 10-of-11 shooting from the foul line, against Nicholls State.
The 6-foot-10 forward is the Huskers' top returning rebounder (5.3 rpg) and second-leading scorer (6.7 ppg) while being one of the Huskers' most consistent performers at the free throw line. Ubel is fifth on Nebraska's career free throw percentage list at 80.1 percent. Last year, Ubel shot 82.5 percent from the foul line.
Off the court, Ubel is a broadcasting major who will graduate in May. He has done some women's basketball play-by-by for the campus radio station and interned at a local ABC affiliate over the summer.
Talley Takes Offensive Role
Senior Dylan Talley came into the 2012-13 season as the Huskers' most proven scorer and has shouldered a significant role in NU's offense. The 6-foot-5 senior enters the Wisconsin game averaging a team-high 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He is ninth in the conference in scoring and third in minutes played with 35.3 per game.
Talley has been in double figures in a team-high 21 contests and has topped the Huskers in scoring 13 times this season, including a career-high 28 point performance against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16. Over the last four games, Talley is averaging 19.5 points per game, following an 18-point effort against Iowa on Saturday. Against the Hawkeyes, he scored 16 of his points in the second half, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left.
In the loss against Michigan State, Talley hit 8-of-16 shots, including four 3-pointers en route to the most points by a Spartan opponent this season. His first 20-point effort in Big Ten play came against Northwestern on Jan. 26, when he also had 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds.
He put on a display against Kent State on Nov. 24, scoring a career-high 27 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Talley also had 22 points against Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 18 and 21 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, against Central Michigan on Dec. 22.
Talley has become more of the Huskers' point guard after Nebraska averaged just 44 points in its first three Big Ten games, and that has sparked the attack. He is averaging 14.8 ppg since then while Nebraska is averaging 59.8 points per game over the last 11 contests.
He handled much of the point guard duties at No. 2 Michigan as Benny Parker battled foul trouble, and finished with 12 points and a then-career-high five assists. Talley started at point guard against No. 22 Michigan State on Jan. 13 and had 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes. Against Purdue on Jan. 16, he had just six points, but led the Huskers in rebounds (eight), steals (four) and assists (three). He dished out a season-high six assists and added eight points and four rebounds in the win at Penn State on Jan. 19.
In his first season at Nebraska, Talley tied for the Big Ten lead in scoring by a reserve, averaging 8.9 points per game, as he was in double figures 11 times. Talley has been a prolific scorer throughout his collegiate career, earning America East Conference Rookie-of-the-Year honors in 2009-10, averaging 11.8 points per game at Binghamton University. At Blinn (Texas) College, he was sixth nationally in scoring at 23.0 points per game.
Gallegos Provides Ray of Light for Offense
One of the biggest surprises for the Huskers has been the emergence of Ray Gallegos. The fourth-year junior from Salt Lake City redshirted last year and spent the year adding strength and improving his shooting range. The work has paid off for Gallegos, who may be one of the Big Ten's biggest surprises in 2012-13.
Gallegos, who averaged 2.6 points per game in 2010-11, is second on the team in scoring at 12.5 ppg and is third in the Big Ten with 65 3-pointers this season, which is eighth on Nebraska's single-season list. He needs only five 3-pointers to become the sixth Husker to connect on 70 3-pointers in a season. Gallegos has been in double figures 19 times this season after accomplishing the feat just three times in his first two seasons at Nebraska.
Gallegos has led the Huskers in scoring four times in conference play, highlighted by a 30-point effort at Minnesota on Jan. 29. In that game, he tied or set career bests in 3-pointers (six) and field goals (12) while becoming the first Husker since 2008 to have a 30-point game. His previous Big Ten high was a 19-point night at No. 2 Michigan on Jan. 9, which was part of a seven-game stretch where he was in double figures. Gallegos had 11 points in the Huskers' win over Penn State on Feb. 9, and keyed Nebraska's win over Northwestern on Jan. 26 with 11 second-half points, including a trio of 3-pointers in an 11-2 run to put the game away. He had struggled in his last two games before bouncing back with an 11-point effort in the win over Iowa on Saturday.
Earlier this season, Gallegos put on a show in El Paso, as he earned a spot on the Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament team. He averaged 20.5 ppg, including a career-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Nebraska's loss to UTEP. In the semifinals against Central Michigan, he scored 11 of Nebraska's first 16 points to help the Huskers get out to an early lead and finished with 19 points.
Gallegos put together the best two-game stretch of his career, posting consecutive 20-point efforts at Wake Forest and USC, a stretch where he shot 56 percent from 3-point range. Against USC on Dec. 3, Gallegos had a career-high six 3-pointers and scored the Huskers' final 11 points of the first half to break open a tie game. At Wake Forest on Nov. 27, he finished with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, as he made his first seven shots of the second half and totaled 17 of his 20 points after halftime.
Gallegos, who never played more than 27 minutes in any game during his first two seasons, leads the Big Ten and is 11th nationally with 37.3 minutes per game. He played every minute of the Huskers' first five Big Ten games and saw his streak of consecutive minutes end at 218:39 when he exited the game midway through the first half at Penn State on Jan. 19. He has sat just 17 minutes in Big Ten play.
His minutes per game are the most since Dave Hoppen averaged 38.5 minutes per game in 1984-85. In the last 25 years, Charles Richardson Jr. is the only Husker to average more than 35 minutes per game for a full season when he averaged 36.3 minutes per game in 2006-07.
As a sophomore, Gallegos played in 25 games, including a start in the season opener, and averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebound per game. The Salt Lake City native's best game of 2010-11 came against Grambling, when he came off the bench for 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Shields Makes Name For Himself
After missing most of the first month of the season, Shavon Shields has become a mainstay in the Husker lineup.
On the season, Shields is averaging 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while averaging 27.3 minutes per game. In Big Ten play, he has continued to make strides, raising his scoring and rebounding numbers from his non-conference totals, averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per outing. He is making a bid to become the first Husker freshman since the 2005-06 season to average double figures in conference games. Shields has reached double figures five times in Big Ten play, most recently a 19-point, 13-rebound effort against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16 and a 17-point performance in the win over Iowa on Feb. 23. Shields earned his second Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honor Monday morning, as he had 17 points and seven rebounds in the Huskers' win over Iowa.
Shields set career highs in consecutive games last month, highlighted by a 29-point effort at Penn State on Jan. 19. Shields hit 10-of-11 shots from the field and went 8-of-8 from the line in posting the highest scoring effort by a Husker freshman since 2007 (Ryan Anderson at Hawaii). He also had team bests in both rebounds (six) and steals (three) to help NU to its first Big Ten win. On Jan. 16 against Purdue, Shields became the first Husker freshman to lead the team in scoring in three years with 18 points and eight rebounds. Shields was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Jan. 21, the first time since 2009 that a Husker freshman was honored by the league.
In Big Ten play, Shields is second among Big Ten freshman in rebounding, fifth in scoring and sixth in field goal percentage (.466). He has grabbed at least six rebounds in nine of the Huskers' 14 Big Ten games, including 13 rebounds against No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16 and nine rebounds at No. 8 Ohio State on Jan. 2.
At the Sun Bowl Invitational, he averaged 5.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, as he grabbed seven rebounds in each game. Against Jacksonville State on Dec. 18, Shields came off the bench to score a then-career-high 14 points, hitting 6-of-7 shots from the field.
A Double-Double for Shields
Shavon Shields posted his first career double-double against Michigan State on Feb. 16, with 19 points and 13 rebounds, becoming the first Husker freshman since 2005 to record a double-double. Over the last decade, he is only the third player to post a double-double as a freshman, joining Aleks Maric and Joe McCray.
Rivers Looks to Get into Offensive Flow
Throughout the summer and the preseason, one Husker returnee who was flying under the radar was sophomore David Rivers. The 6-foot-7 wing totaled only 20 points and 16 rebounds in 19 contests as a freshman, but has added nearly 20 pounds since last year and has made significant strides.
Rivers' improvement has been evident, as he is averaging 6.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while playing in all 27 contests. He has become a consistent performer for the Huskers, averaging 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this month after averaging 5.6 points and 3.1 rebounds, respectively, per game entering February. He led the Huskers in scoring for the second time this season against No. 11 Ohio State on Feb. 2, with 13 points, as he hit five of seven shots from the floor and added six rebounds. Against Penn State on Feb. 9, Rivers had nine points, six rebounds and a career-best five assists and had seven points and two rebounds in the loss to No. 8 Michigan State on Feb. 16.
He made his first career start at No. 22 Michigan State on Jan. 13, leading the Huskers with 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field. His eight field goals without a miss was one off Nebraska's single-game record, and he also chipped in six rebounds while playing all 40 minutes.
Rivers put on a show in Nebraska's win over Central Michigan on Dec. 22, scoring a career-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting and matching his personal best with seven rebounds. His effort against CMU matched his entire season output as a freshman. Prior to that game, Rivers turned an ankle against Oregon on Dec. 15 and played just 11 minutes in NU's previous two contests.