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Huskers Host No. 11 Ohio State on Monday
Shavon Shields and the Huskers host No. 11 Ohio State on Monday.
Photo Courtesy Nate Olsen/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
01/17/2014
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Game #17     vs. Ohio State
Game Date    Jan. 20, 2014
Tipoff Time   6:01 p.m. (CT)
Venue         Pinnacle Bank Arena
Capacity       15,000

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2013-14 Record: 8-8, 0-4 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
    Record at Nebraska: 23-26 (2nd year)
    Career Record: 306-246 (19th year)

Ohio State Buckeyes
2013-14 Record: 15-3, 2-3 Big Ten
Head Coach: Thad Matta
    Record at Ohio State: 265-76 (10th year)
    Career Record: 367-107 (14th year)

 

Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
Television: BTN
(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
Expert Analysis: Jim Jackson
Online: BTN2Go

 

Radio: 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
Expert Analysis: Matt Davison

 

Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com

 

Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 92, XM Ch. 191

 

Huskers Host No. 11 Ohio State on Monday
The Nebraska basketball team looks to snap a five-game losing streak and pick up its first win over a ranked team this season, as the Huskers welcome No. 11 Ohio State to Pinnacle Bank Arena on Monday, Jan. 20.

An advanced sellout is expected as only a handful of single tickets in the 100 Level were available as of Friday morning. Those are $30 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED or (402) 472-3111.

Tipoff is set for 6:01 p.m. and the game will be carried nationally on BTN (Ch. 610 on DirecTV, Chs. 439 and 9500 on Dish; Chs. 2, 1333 on Time Warner Cable) with Dave Revsine and Jim Jackson on the call. The game will also be available online and on mobile devices on BTN2Go.

Monday’s game will also be carried across the state on the 27-station Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison calling all of the action, including flagship stations KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln and KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha (complete list of affiliates is on page five of the game notes). The game can also be heard on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices, as well as Sirius and XM Radio.

The Huskers (8-8, 0-4 B1G) have been off since a 70-64 loss at Purdue on Jan. 12, as the eight-day break is Nebraska’s longest of the 2013-14 campaign. The matchup with Ohio State - the second of the season between the two programs - begins a stretch of four games over the next 11 days to close January. 

For the second straight game, the Huskers had chances to win late, but could not close out the contest. Against Purdue, Terran Petteway led three Huskers in double figures with 19 points and nine rebounds, but a six-minute drought in the second half proved costly, as Purdue used a 9-0 run to regain the lead for good.

Petteway has been one of the most unsung players in the Big Ten, as he joins Illinois’ Ravonte Rice and Iowa’s Aaron White as the only players who rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding in Big Ten Conference action. Petteway leads the Huskers in conference games in both scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).

If Nebraska is to get its first Big Ten win of the season on Monday night, the Huskers will have to do a good job handling the pressure of an Ohio State (15-2, 2-2 B1G) team which forces over 15 turnovers per game behind the backcourt of Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott.  In the first meeting on Jan. 4, Nebraska committed 13 turnovers which led to 17 Buckeye points. The Buckeyes have lost three straight since the meeting with Nebraska, including a 63-53 loss to Minnesota on Thursday.

By the Numbers
3 - Monday’s game will be the Huskers’ third this season against a ranked opponent. NU is 0-2 with losses to No. 22 Iowa and No. 3 Ohio State.

13 - Consecutive games that Terran Petteway has scored double figures heading into Monday’s game with Ohio State. It is the longest streak since Aleks Maric had 14 consecutive games in double figures in 2007-08.

2:1 - Assist to turnover ratio by freshman Tai Webster in Big Ten play. Prior to conference action, Webster has a 1.1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio during the non-conference portion of the schedule.

65.0 - Shooting percentage of Leslee Smith during Big Ten play. On the season, he is at 61.5 percent, which would be the highest since Kimani Ffriend shot 62.3 percent in 2000-01.

Scouting Ohio State
Under Thad Matta, Ohio State comes into Thursday’s game at Minnesota with a 15-2 record and a No. 11 national ranking. Matta, who served as an assistant to former Nebraska Coach Barry Collier at Butler, is in his 10th season at OSU and has guided the Buckeyes to seven NCAA appearances, including an NCAA runner-up finish in 2007 and a Final Four appearance in 2012. OSU returned four starters from a team that won 29 games and reached the Elite Eight in 2012-13.

Ohio State had won its first 15 games before suffering a 72-68 loss at No. 4 Michigan State on Jan. 7, and then falling at home to No. 20 Iowa, 84-74, on Jan. 12. OSU has been stout defensively, ranking sixth nationally in scoring defense (57.9 ppg) and allowing two teams to reach 70 points this season.  OSU is also in the top 15 in both field goal percentage defense (38.7 percent) and 3-point defense (26.6 percent). Iowa is the only team that has scored 70 points in regulation on the Buckeyes this season.

The Buckeyes are a balanced team with four players averaging over nine points per game and nine players who average double-figure minutes. As a team, the Buckeyes are among the Big Ten leaders in field goal percentage (.462) and lead the conference in turnover margin at +3.7 per game. Junior forward LaQuinton Ross averages a team-high 14.1 points per game and shoots 41 percent from 3-point range, while senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr., averages 12.0 points per game and is second on the team with 27 3-pointers. All-Big Ten selection Aaron Craft is a four-year starter at point guard who averages 9.0 points, 5.0 assists and a Big Ten-leading 2.4 steals per game. Shannon Scott is third in the Big Ten with 2.2 steals per game and also dishes out nearly four assists per outing. 

Nebraska-Ohio State Series History
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 10-2, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes have won nine straight meetings dating back to 1987, including all six since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12.  Nebraska won two of the first three meetings, including a win in the 1985 Sun Bowl Invitational, but OSU swept a home-and-home series and also picked up an 85-74 win in Columbus in the 1989 NIT before winning the first six matchups as Big Ten schools. Including Monday’s matchup, Ohio State has been ranked eight of the last nine meetings, including five times in the top 10.

Last Meeting
No. 3 Ohio State 84, Nebraska 53 (Jan. 4): Despite Leslee Smith’s third double-double of the season, the Huskers fell at No. 3 Ohio State, 84-53. Smith had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first start of the season, but a 7-0 Buckeye run to end the first half proved costly, as Nebraska fell to 8-6 on the season and 0-2 in Big Ten play.

Nebraska was within 33-30 after a Shavon Shields basket with 2:28 left in the half, but Aaron Craft’s 3-pointer started a 7-0 spurt to close the half to give Ohio State a 10-point halftime lead.  Craft finished with nine points, four assists and three steals, as the Buckeyes put five players in double figures and shot 54 percent in the win.  Amedeo Della Valle came off the bench to lead OSU with 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including a trio of 3-pointers, while Marc Loving added 13 off the bench for the Buckeyes.  Terran Petteway joined Smith in double figures with 13 points, but Nebraska shot 38 percent, including just 9-of-28 after halftime as Ohio State pulled away late. OSU, which shot 54 percent on the day including 9-of-19 from 3-point range, also forced 13 Husker turnovers, leading to 17 Buckeye points.

Last time Out
A six-minute dryspell without a field goal late in the second half proved costly, as Nebraska fell at Purdue, 70-64, at Mackey Arena.

The Huskers, who were down by six in the second half, used a 16-7 surge to fight back and take a 58-55 lead with 6:43 remaining after Terran Petteway split a pair of free throws, but could not hold off Purdue down the stretch.

Ronnie Johnson, who had 14 points took over, scoring five points in 9-0 run to give Purdue (11-5, 1-2 B1G) the lead for good. The guard hit a floater and then two free throws to put Purdue up 59-58 before baskets by Sterling Carter and A.J Hammons and another Johnson free throw put the Huskers in a 64-58 hole with 1:04 left.

Petteway ended the spell with a basket with 43 seconds left, but were unable to cut into the deficit as Purdue hit 6-of-8 from the line in the last minute to hold on. Petteway led three Huskers in double figures with 19 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Ray Gallegos and Deverell Biggs added 10 points apiece in the loss.

Hammons led Purdue with 18 points as Purdue shot 46 percent, while holding the Huskers to 41.4 percent.

Quick Look at Nebraska
As second-year coach Tim Miles continues his rebuilding process at Nebraska, the Huskers’ roster is starting to take shape. Only two of the 12 players on scholarship have been at NU longer than two seasons (Ray Gallegos and David Rivers), while Gallegos is the only scholarship senior on the 2013-14 roster.

This season, Nebraska is picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 293rd (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom.com. Five of NU’s eight primary rotation players are in their first year of competition at Nebraska, although three of the newcomers (Pitchford-Florida; Smith-SMU; Petteway-Texas Tech) have previous Division I experience.

  • Nebraska enters the week at No. 87 in the RPI with a schedule ranked 19th nationally. According to RealtimeRPI, it is the second-toughest schedule in the conference, trailing only Wisconsin (No. 5). 
  • Of Nebraska’s eight losses, five are to teams ranked in the top 20 of this week’s AP poll (OSU, Iowa, UMass, Cincinnati and Creighton), while Michigan is receiving votes.
  • Entering this week’s action, Nebraska has played eight games at road or neutral sites - the most of any B1G school - and is the only Big Ten team to play three of its first four conference games on the road.
  • Nebraska’s youth has been evident so far in Big Ten play, as 77 percent of NU’s points and 79 percent of NU’s individual rebounds have been by newcomers in their first season of Big Ten play.

Miles, who was given a seven-year contract when he was hired in 2012, led the Huskers to a 15-18 record last year, as 14 of NU’s 18 losses came against NCAA Tournament teams despite having only eight recruited scholarship players available. Nebraska played one of the nation’s toughest schedules in 2012-13, facing 10 ranked teams while the strength of schedule was 13th nationally. The Huskers finished 10th in the Big Ten in 2012-13 after being picked to finish last by 23 of the 24 beat writers in the league.

Story Lines

  • Nebraska looks to avoid an 0-5 start in Big Ten play for the second straight year when they host Ohio State.
  • Nebraska will look to snap a 15-game losing streak to ranked teams dating back to a 70-69 win over No. 11 Indiana on Jan. 18, 2012. OSU accounts for five of the 15 losses in the streak.
  • The Huskers will play their third ranked team in five Big Ten games (at Iowa, 2 vs. OSU). It marks the third straight year Nebraska has three ranked foes in their first five conference games.
  • The Huskers have been tough at home, winning nine of their last 10 games dating back to last season, including a 7-1 mark inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • Nebraska has been a much better rebounding team in Big Ten action, posting a +0.8 advantage on the glass in conference play after being out-rebounded by 2.0 before conference play.
  • Ray Gallegos is 11 points away from reaching 700 career points and 28 points away from cracking the top-60 career scoring list at Nebraska. Gallegos is 10 3-pointers away from moving into seventh place on NU’s career 3-point list (145, Tyronn Lue).

Finding Offensive Pace
Despite having several new faces in the rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging 11 points more per game than at this point last year, including a season-high 90 points against UMass on Nov. 21 - NU’s highest single-game total since the 2009-10 season.

  • Nebraska’s team scoring average of 69.4 points per game is on track to be the highest at Nebraska since the 2003-04 season, when Nebraska averaged 70.5 points per game. In fact, Nebraska has averaged 70 points per game twice since 2000.
  • Last year, NU was 12th in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 58.3 points per game. So far this season, Nebraska has been held under 60 points just three times in 16 games.
  • The Huskers’ 70 points against Michigan on Jan. 9, was NU’s highest in a conference game since scoring 80 against Illinois on Feb. 18, 2012.
  • Nebraska scored 80 or more points in consecutive games against South Carolina State and UMass, the first time that has happened since the 2008-09 season.
  • Nebraska has had eight players reach double figures at least once this season. The Huskers had two games where five players reached double figures and six others with four double-figure scorers.
  • Nebraska has already scored 75 or more points five times this season after just reaching that plateau twice in 33 games during the 2012-13 season.
  • In two seasons under Miles, Nebraska is 18-8 when scoring over 60 points.

Setting a Benchmark
For Nebraska, one of the biggest improvements has been the development of its bench this season, most notably the development of Deverell Biggs and Leslee Smith. The Huskers are averaging 21.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game from its bench entering Monday’s game with Ohio State.

Biggs is third on the team in scoring at 9.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg while averaging 20.0 minutes per outing. He is shooting 42 percent from the floor and is fourth among all Big Ten bench players in scoring average.

  • Biggs has been productive in Big Ten play, raising his scoring and rebounding averages to 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
  • He has reached double figures six times, including three of the Huskers’ first four games. At Purdue, he had 10 points, a career-high seven rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and two steals.
  • Biggs’ high in conference play was 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the one-point loss against Michigan on Jan.9.
  • He helped the Huskers cut a 20-point second-half deficit to five at No. 22 Iowa on Dec. 31 with 12 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals.
  • His season high in points was an 18-point effort against Northern Illinois on Nov. 30. In that game, he hit four free throws in the final eight seconds after NIU cut the lead to one.

Smith has been the Huskers’ most consistent performer according to Tim Miles, as he gives NU a physical post presence. Smith is averaging 7.9 points on 62 percent shooting and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game to rank 12th in the Big Ten. Smith is one of only two players from the British Virgin Islands playing Division I basketball.

  • Leads the Huskers and is eighth in the Big Ten in double-doubles, most recently an 11-point, 10-rebound effort at No. 3 Ohio State on Jan. 4.
  • Has five games with at least 10 rebounds, as he is fifth in the Big Ten in that category.
  • Has five games with at least 10 rebounds, as he is fifth in the Big Ten in that category.
  • Consistency has been a hallmark, as he has scored at least eight points in seven of NU’s last eight games. The only time he didn’t is at Iowa when he played a season-low 10 minutes with a sore foot.
  • Leads the Huskers with 14 blocked shots and also averages more than a steal per game.

Sophomore Benny Parker has been in the lineup all 16 games this year and will make his 50th straight appearance on Monday against Ohio State. He has a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as NU’s backup point guard.

  • Nebraska’s bench has out-scored its opponents in nine of the last 14 games since Biggs and Ray Gallegos returned to the lineup on Nov. 17.
  • Nebraska has received 14 double-figure games from its bench through the first 16 games, including six from Biggs and five from Leslee Smith.
  • Against South Carolina State, Nebraska’s bench combined for 51 of the 83 points, making the fifth time in the last decade NU has received at least 50 points from its bench.
  • Last year, Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley both ranked among the top five in the Big Ten in minutes per game at over 35 minutes per game.  This year, no Husker is averaging more than 31.4 minutes per game, while eight Huskers average at least 12.7 minutes per game.
  • Nebraska had three players reach double figures in the win over Georgia (Tai Webster-14; Ray Gallegos-11; Leslee Smith-18).

Record-Breaking Season Ticket Sales
The move to Pinnacle Bank Arena has been a boon to Nebraska basketball, as the Husker program has shattered season-ticket records. On May 3, all of the season tickets allotted for 2013-14 had been accounted for, as season-ticket sales were up nearly 95 percent from 2012-13. It marked the third straight season that tickets sales were up.

  • Nebraska is on track to shatter the school’s single-season attendance record of 13,357 per game set in 1992-93.
  • The previous school record for season ticket sales was 12,000 set in 1992-93. Nebraska is averaging 15,127 fans per game in 2013-14, including the four largest crowds in school history.
  • During non-conference action, attendance was up 56 percent from the 2012-13 season.
  • Over the last five seasons, only four schools have increased their attendance by more than 3,000 fans per game in a single season with the largest increase by BYU in 2010-11 (4,685 per game increase). Nebraska is currently averaging 4,775 more fans per game than in 2012-13.
  • The Huskers have rewarded the fans by going 7-1 in the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska finished non-conference play unbeaten for the first time since 2010-11.

The Son Also Rises
Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields is on his way to creating an impressive resume in his own right. While his father, Will, is one of the greatest linemen in college and NFL history, the younger Shields has played an integral role over the last two years on the court.

As a freshman, Shavon overcame an early season elbow injury and averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 29 games. Shields started to shine during the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State.

  • Shields, who is battling a sore knee over the last two weeks, enters the Ohio State game averaging 10.9 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, as he is second on the team in scoring and assists and third in rebounding.
  • Shields has the team's longest starting streak at 35 games dating back to last season.
  • He has been in double figures nine times, and has grabbed at least six rebounds in nine of NU’s 16 contests, including a season-high nine rebounds at Purdue on Jan. 12.
  • Shields looks to break out of a slump over the last five games, where he’s averaged five points per game on 24 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds per game.
  • Shields has paced the Huskers in scoring three times and has a pair of 20-point games this season. Both of his 20-point nights came against 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers (Florida Gulf Coast and Creighton).
  • He was named Big Ten Player of the Week and Lute Olson National Player of the Week for his effort against Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast in the season opener. In that game he scored a game-high 28 points - one off his career high - hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the line. The 6-foot-7 forward also led NU in rebounds (six) and assists (three).
  • Last summer, Shields played for the Denmark U-20 National Team, leading the country to the 2013 Nordic Cup Championship. He averaged 13.3 points per game in wins over Sweden, Finland and Estonia, capping the tournament with a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in a 101-94 double overtime win over Estonia.
  • Off the court, Shields is a microbiology major who wants to become a doctor following his basketball career and will be a candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors this season.

Transfers Make Immediate Impact for Big Red
While the Huskers were short-handed last year with just eight recruited scholarship players available for action, Nebraska knew that help was on the way in the form of transfers Terran Petteway, Walter Pitchford and Deverell Biggs. The trio led a scout team which regularly pushed the Husker starters in practice and set the stage for the 2013-14 season. All three have played significant roles for the Huskers this season.

Petteway, who began his career at Texas Tech, has been one of the Big Ten’s best newcomers. He enters the weekend ranked fifth in the conference in scoring at 17.3 ppg, while also averaging 5.3 caroms per outing.

  • Petteway has raised his scoring average more than 14 points from his true freshman year at Texas Tech. Prior to joining the Husker roster, his career high in points at the college level was 13 against DePaul in 2011-12.
  • Petteway is on track to enjoy one of the highest scoring sophomore seasons in school history. At 17.3 points per game, it would be the highest by a Husker sophomore since Tyronn Lue averaged 18.8 points per game in 1996-97. In fact, only three players have averaged more than 16 points per game as a sophomore - Dave Hoppen (19.9), Lue and Jerry Fort (18.0).
  • He has six games of at least 20 points this season, including a career-high 30 points against UMass in the Charleston Classic. He is tied for second in the Big Ten in 20-point games.
  • Petteway had a streak of three straight 20-point games (27 vs. Citadel; 22 at Cincinnati; 20 at Iowa) - the first time that has happened at Nebraska since Aleks Maric had four consecutive 20-point games in 2006-07.
  • Nearly put together a double-double in the loss at Purdue with 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, along with two blocked shots.
  • Recorded his first career double-double at Iowa on Dec. 31, leading all scorers with 20 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds.
  • Ranks third in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 85.7 percent after shooting just 46 percent from the line during his lone season at Texas Tech.
  • Reached double figures in 15 of 16 games after just having one double-figure effort prior to this season.
  • Led the Huskers at the Charleston Classic in November, averaging 22 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in three games.
  • Became the 25th Husker to post a 30-point game, as he had 30 points in a 96-91 loss to UMass. In that game, he hit 8-of-20 shots from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, and converted 11 of 12 shots from the foul line.

Pitchford, who played 13 games at Florida in helping the Gators to the Elite Eight in 2011-12, has started at center for the Huskers, averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10 forward is a threat from long range, shooting 37 percent from 3-point range.

  • Put together the best game of his career at Iowa on Dec. 31, finishing with 13 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the year. Pitchford had eight offensive rebounds in the loss to the Hawkeyes.
  • Reached double figures in scoring seven times, including a season-high 14 points against Western Illinois.
  • Finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting in Thursday’s loss to Michigan.
  • Posted his first career double-double against Arkansas State on Dec. 14 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Played a key role in the Huskers’ win over Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with 13 points and five rebounds against Miami.
  • Totaled an incredible 339:23 without a turnover dating back to his time at Florida before his first turnover on Jan. 9. The streak lasted 22 games, as he was the last regular rotation player in the country without a turnover.

Biggs has become a vital spark plug off the bench, as he averages 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.   He was a first-team NJCAA All-American at Seward (Kan.) Community College in 2011-12 before redshirting last season. Biggs, who is from Omaha, was the Huskers’ first scholarship recruit from Nebraska since 2001.

  • Enjoyed a memorable debut against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, scoring 17 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
  • Reached double figures six times, including a season-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting in NU’s win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 30. In that win, he preserved NU’s lead by hitting four free throws in the final eight seconds to clinch the win.
  • Dished out a season-high six assists against Arkansas State on Dec. 14, the highest single-game total for a Husker this season.
  • Nearly led Nebraska to a comeback win at Iowa, finishing with 11 points, four rebounds and a pair of steals, as the Huskers cut a 20-point deficit to five in the final two minutes.
  • Put up 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting and five rebounds in 20 minutes against Michigan on Jan. 9.
  • Totaled 10 points and set personal bests in rebounds (seven), blocked shots (two) and minutes (27) at Purdue.

Huskers Vs. Ranked Teams
Monday marks the third ranked opponent the Huskers will see in Big Ten play. In all, the conference has four teams ranked this week, including two of the top four, while two others are receiving votes.

  • Nebraska is 59-233 all-time against ranked teams and has knocked off at least one ranked team in 11 of the past 13 seasons (all but 2010-11 & 2012-13).
  • Nebraska is winless in 12 tries against ranked teams under Tim Miles and has lost 15 straight games against ranked opponents since a 70-69 win over No. 11 Indiana at the Devaney Center on Jan. 18, 2012.

Value the Basketball
Under Tim Miles, one major emphasis is taking care of the basketball, and the Huskers were among the nation’s best in that category in 2012-13.  Nebraska finished 10th nationally with 10.7 turnovers per game - nearly three fewer than 2011-12. NU’s turnovers per game were the fewest in school history, bettering the 11.30 per game in 1984-85. Nebraska committed 10 turnovers or less 15 times in 2012-13, including a school-record two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16.

This season, the Huskers have also been among the national leaders in that category, ranking 44th nationally with 10.8 turnovers per game. Nebraska is fifth in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +2.4 per contest. The Huskers also do a good job of getting the ball from opponents, ranking third in the Big Ten in both steals with 7.5 per game.

Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point
Tai Webster has found a home in the Huskers’ backcourt, averaging 5.8 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game entering Monday’s game with Ohio State. Webster has been a much better distributor in recent games, averaging 2.9 assists per game and nearly a 1.5-to-1 assist to turnover ratio in that stretch. He had three games with a season-high five assists (Miami, Creighton, Arkansas State).

In conference play, he has averaging 3.5 points per game, but tops the Huskers in both assists (2.0 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) while posting a 2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Webster had four assists and matched his personal best with four steals at No. 22 Iowa and had five points and an assist in the loss at Purdue on Jan. 12.

The 6-foot-4 freshman enjoyed the best game of his career on Nov. 24 against Georgia, scoring 14 points and dishing out three assists in NU’s 73-65 win. Webster scored 13 of his points in the second half and went 7-of-9 from the foul line. It was his second double-figure effort of the Charleston Classic, as he totaled 12 points and two assists in NU’s loss to UMass.

With his start against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, Webster became just the ninth true freshman to start a season opener in the last 18 years. Webster totaled nine points, two rebounds and an assist in helping the Huskers to a 79-55 win. He reached double figures for the first time in his young career against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.

Although he is a freshman who does not turn 19 until after this season, Webster was considered one of the top international guards in this year’s senior class. He played for New Zealand’s national team in qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, averaging 13.5 points per game in 52.5 percent shooting in three games. He also played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last spring despite being the youngest player in the league. Webster is among the five Big Ten freshmen to watch by ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, joining Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes.

Gallegos Dials in From Long Distance
Senior guard Ray Gallegos is Nebraska’s top returning scorer, giving Tim Miles a luxury that few Husker coaches have had over the past few years. Gallegos’ 12.5 points per game average is the highest for a Husker returnee since Aleks Maric in 2007-08.

While Gallegos is known for being a long-range shooter who can hit shots in bunches, he has been more well rounded in 2013-14. He is fourth on the team in scoring at 8.4 points per game while averaging 1.6 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game.

  • Leads the Huskers with a career-high 3.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover rate on the season. He has been even better since moving back into the starting lineup on Dec. 4, posting a 5.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio over Nebraska’s last nine games.
  • Is enjoying his best shooting season both overall (.412, previous best was .366 as a freshman) and from 3-point range (.396, previous best was .349 in 2009-10).
  • Ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 2.2 3-pointers per game and comes off a pair of solid efforts last week. Against Michigan on Jan. 9, he hit four 3-pointers en route to a 14-point night before adding 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting at the loss to Purdue.
  • Has already set career high in assists on two occasions, including five assists against The Citadel on Dec. 21.
  • Enjoyed one of his best games of the season at Cincinnati on Dec. 28 with a season-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while dishing out three assists.
  • Leads the Huskers with 31 3-pointers this season and now sits in ninth place on Nebraska’s career 3-point chart with 135. He is 10 3-pointers away from eighth place on NU’s career chart (Tyronn Lue, 145, 1996-98).
  • Opened the 2013-14 season by hitting six of 10 3-pointers in a win over South Carolina State on Nov. 17, the fifth time he has hit on at least six 3-pointers in a game.

As a junior, he connected on 83 3-pointers, a total which ranked second on Nebraska’s single-season list. It is more impressive when you consider that Gallegos made only 21 3-pointers during his first two seasons at Nebraska before redshirting in 2011-12.

  • Led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game (2.5 per game) during the 2012-13 season. He became the first Husker basketball player to lead the Big Ten in any statistical category.
  • Connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers at Iowa on March 9, 2013, a total which is one shy of Nebraska’s single-game record.

The Huskers’ New Home
Opened on Aug. 29, 2013, the 15,000-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena is the new home of the Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball programs. Pinnacle Bank Arena is part of a $344 million project in the Haymarket District which also includes a 200-room hotel, 100,000 square feet of retail space, another 100,000 square feet of office space and 100 residential units.

The $179 million dollar arena is easily accessible in downtown Lincoln as nearly 5,100 parking stalls will be within walking distance of the facility by the fall of 2014. Pinnacle Bank Arena includes an expansive student section with 1,000 seats on the 100 Level, including behind the team benches. Pinnacle Bank Arena also includes 36 suites, 20 loge boxes and 11 permanent concession stands around the arena.

Containing 470,400 square feet, the Pinnacle Bank Arena seats over 15,000 fans when configured for Husker basketball games. It is divided into two bowls (upper and lower) and three levels (100, 200, 300) with Premium Seating Suites and Loge Boxes located between Level 100 and Level 200.  There are over 160 concession points of sale and two private Club Lounges, one located on the Main Concourse (Level 100) and one on the Premium Level Concourse.

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