Huskers Tangle with No. 8 Michigan State
Game 26: Michigan State
Game Date: Feb. 16, 2013
Tipoff Time: 7:06 p.m. (CT)
Venue: Bob Devaney Sports Center
2012-13 Record: 12-13, 3-9 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 12-13 (1st year)
Career Record: 295-233 (18th year)
Michigan State Spartans
2012-13 Record: 21-4, 10-2 Big Ten
Head coach: Tom Izzo
Record at Michigan State: 433-173 (18th year)
Career Record: Same
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: Kevin Kugler
Analyst: Tim Doyle
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: Matt Davison
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 135, XM Ch. 196
Huskers Tangle with No. 8 Michigan State
The Nebraska men's basketball team returns to the Devaney Center Saturday night, as they take on the No. 8 Michigan State Spartans.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and tickets are available for as little as $10 by visiting Huskers.com or by calling 800-8-BIGRED. Saturday's game is part of Legends Weekend, as Tyronn Lue will be honored at halftime for his induction into the Nebraska Basketball Hall of Fame. Lue was a two-time All-Big 12 performer and first-round NBA draft pick in 1998 before playing 11 seasons in the NBA.
The game with the Spartans will be carried nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Tim Doyle on the call, as every remaining Husker game in 2012-13 will be televised nationally. Saturday's matchup with Michigan State is also available on BTN2GO on iOS or android devices.
Saturday'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 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.
The Huskers (12-13, 3-9 Big Ten) look to rebound following a 76-47 loss to top-ranked Indiana Wednesday night. Dylan Talley led Nebraska with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, but the Huskers were unable to get anyone else untracked offensively.Brandon Ubel was held to four points in 23 minutes before fouling out, and Ray Gallegos was held to eight points - all coming in the second half.
Saturday's game against No. 8 Michigan State wraps up a stretch of four ranked opponents in the last five games for the Huskers dating back to Jan. 29.
The Spartans (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten) have been on a roll as of late, winning 10 of their last 11 games including a 75-52 win over No. 4 Michigan on Tuesday in East Lansing. Michigan State features one of the best inside combos in the Big Ten in Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne, as the pair combines for 18.7 points and 13 rebounds per game. The pair combined for 31 points in the first matchup, a 66-56 MSU win on Jan. 16, that was a one-point game with two minutes to go.
By The Numbers
1- Rebounds that Brandon Ubel needs against Michigan State to reach 500 for his career. He would become the 25th Husker to reach 500 career rebounds. He also moved over the 800-point plateau on Wednesday vs. Indiana.
1 - Tyronn Lue is the only player on Nebraska's top-10 scoring list to play less than four seasons at Nebraska. His 1,577 points ranks eighth on NU's career scoring list.
16 - Dylan Talley has scored 16 or more four times in the last six games following Wednesday's 16-point effort at No. 1 Indiana.
78.9 - Nebraska has shot nearly 80 percent from the line over the last three games, going 45-of-57 from the charity stripe.
Scouting Michigan State
Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans have been one of the flagship programs in the Big Ten. The Spartans have made six Final Fours in the last 14 seasons and made 15 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. MSU returns three starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that won 28 games and shared the Big Ten regular-season title before winning the Big Ten Tournament.
This season, MSU comes to Lincoln with a 21-4 mark and enters the weekend tied with Indiana for the Big Ten lead at 10-2. The Spartans dropped their Big Ten opener at Minnesota on New Year's Eve, but have lost once since then, a five-point loss at now No. 1 Indiana on Jan. 27. The Spartans have won five straight, including a 75-52 pasting of No. 4 Michigan on Tuesday night. MSU is second in the Big Ten in scoring defense at 58.9 ppg while holding opponents to just 39 percent on the year. The Spartans also control the glass, out-rebounding foes by an average of nearly seven per game.
Junior point guard Keith Appling guides the MSU offense with 14.0 points and 4.0 assists per game, as three Spartans average in double figures and two others average more than nine points per game. Senior Derrick Nix and junior Adreian Payne give the Spartans one of the best inside combos in the conference, as they combine for 18.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Gary Harris is second on the team in scoring at 13.9 points per game and is hitting 44 percent from 3-point range.
Nebraska-Michigan State Series History
Michigan State leads the all-time series, 11-6, that dates back to February of 1920, and has won the last three meetings since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011-12. Saturday's matchup will be the eighth straight time Nebraska has taken on a ranked MSU team dating back to November of 1990.
- Nebraska is 3-5 against ranked Spartan teams, including a pair of wins over MSU teams ranked in the top 10. The Huskers posted a 71-69 win over the No. 5 Spartans on Nov. 28, 1990, at the Devaney Center. On Dec. 18, 1993, Nebraska topped No. 6 MSU, 85-81 in East Lansing.
- Nebraska is 4-3 against MSU in Lincoln, with the last win coming in a 96-91 win over No. 15 MSU on Dec. 10, 1994.
- Nebraska won the first two meetings on consecutive days, posting a 43-26 win on Feb. 13, 1920, and a 39-20 win the following day.
- The teams played six times between 1988 and 1994, splitting the six contests. Nebraska's three wins in the span came by a total of 11 points.
- Nebraska's last win in the series was on Dec. 10, 1994, as the Huskers posted a 96-91 overtime win over the No. 15 Spartans. Nebraska rallied from a five-point deficit in the final 46 seconds of regulation to force overtime, as Tom Wald hit three free throws with one second left. Nebraska took control in overtime, scoring the first seven points and never trailed. Jaron Boone's 23 points led five Huskers in double figures, while Shawn Respert had 37 points in a losing effort for Michigan State.
First Meeting: David Rivers led Nebraska with 18 points in his first career start, but No. 22 Michigan State closed the game on an 11-2 run, as the Spartans held on for a 66-56 victory.
Rivers had 18 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field, and added six rebounds to lead three Huskers in double figures. Derrick Nix led MSU with 17 points, while Adreian Payne and Brenden Dawson added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Nix and Payne combined to go 12-of-15 from the floor, including a perfect 6-of-6 night for Payne off the bench.
The Huskers were within 55-54 with 2:36 left after a Ray Gallegos basket. NU had a chance to take the lead on the next possession after Benny Parker's steal, but Talley missed the mid-range jumper and Gary Harris came down on the next possession and drained a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:49 remaining giving Michigan State a four-point lead at 58-54. Harris was 0-of-10 from the field before his 3-pointer sparked MSU to a strong finish.
Last Time Out
Dylan Talley's 16 points tied for game-high honors, but a balanced attack led No. 1 Indiana to a 76-47 victory over Nebraska Wednesday evening.
Talley hit 7-of-12 shots from the floor to lead the Huskers, but Indiana had three players in double figures, led by Cody Zeller's 16 points. Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo added 13 points apiece for the Hoosiers, who improved to 22-3 and remained tied with Michigan State for the Big Ten lead.
The Huskers did a good job of controlling the tempo in the first half and trailed 27-18 heading into the break, holding the Hoosiers to their lowest half total of the year. Nebraska held the Hoosiers to 31.6 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes, but Indiana, which did not have a field goal in the final seven minutes of the half, went 13-of-16 from the foul line in the half and got to the line 29 times on the night, compared to 11 for Nebraska.
Nebraska did a good job of mucking up the game in the first 11 minutes, holding Indiana to 2-of-11 shooting and taking a 14-11 lead after a pair of Jordan Tyrance free throws. Indiana woke up as a basket by Will Sheehey ended a stretch of 5:30 for the Hoosiers without a field goal and started a 10-0 run, keyed by 3-pointers by Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell.
Talley, who had 10 of his 16 points in the first half, got Nebraska within 21-18 after two straight baskets, but the Hoosiers closed the half by scoring the final six points, all coming from the free throw line.
Indiana got out quickly in the second half, as an Oladipo putback started a 7-0 spurt that put the Hoosiers up 34-18 and forced the Huskers to call an early timeout. Nebraska trailed 39-23 before a Ray Gallegos 3-pointer and a Benny Parker jumper pulled the Huskers within 11, at 39-28 with 14:18. The Huskers had a chance to cut the lead back to single digits on the next possession, but Ubel was called for his fourth foul, sending him to the bench.
Indiana took advantage as consecutive 3-pointers from Sheehey and Remy Abell pushed the lead back to 17 points and Indiana used a 15-2 spurt over the next five minutes to build a 24-point lead. Indiana went 6-of-9 from 3-point range in the second half and led by as many as 31 in the final minutes.
Quick Notes From the Indiana Game
- Nebraska fell to 3-13 all-time against the nation's No. 1 ranked team, including 0-2 against the Hoosiers.
- Nebraska held Indiana to 27 first-half points, its lowest first-half total of the season. Indiana became the sixth team to crack 70 points on Nebraska, but the Huskers held Indiana below its season average of 82.3 points per game.
- The Huskers' 47 points was its lowest total since also scoring 47 against No. 2 Michigan on Jan. 9
- Seven of the Huskers' 13 losses this season have come against ranked teams.
- Dylan Talley was the only Husker to reach double figures, as he finished with 16 points, as Nebraska fell to 2-9 when not having at least three players reach double figures.
- Brandon Ubel, who was held out of Tuesday's practice with strep throat, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, but scored a season-low four points before fouling out.
- Nebraska was out-rebounded 36-24, snapping a two-game streak of out-rebounding Big Ten foes.
- Nebraska went 9-of-11 from the foul line, the fifth time this season that Nebraska has shot at least 80 percent from the foul line.
Huskers Look to Top 2011-12 Win Total
The Huskers will look to eclipse last year's win total Saturday night, as the Huskers host Michigan State. Nebraska picked up its 12th win of the season on Saturday against Penn State and is in the top-100 of the RPI following Sunday's games.
Despite losing five of the team's top six scorers from last year, Nebraska has equaled last year's win total against one of the nation's toughest schedules. NU's strength of schedule is 20th nationally following Wednesday's loss to No. 1 Indiana. In all, 10 of the Huskers' 13 losses are against teams currently in the top 50 of the RPI. Nebraska's schedule will not get any easier in the final month, as the Huskers six remaining regular-season games are all against top 100 teams, including four currently in the top 31 nationally in RPI.
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 top 20 nationally with 11.1 turnovers per game - two fewer per game than last season - and has committed 10 turnovers or less 10 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. The Huskers struggled with turnovers at Indiana with 15 turnovers, including 10 in the first half.
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 Saturday's game with Michigan State ranked 11th (.410), 10th (.298) and eighth (.688), in those respective categories.
When Nebraska has put up points, they have enjoyed success, going 10-2 when scoring at least 60 points, following Saturday's win over Penn State.
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 eight games, Talley and the Huskers have responded well, averaging 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, while Nebraska has averaged nearly 15 more points per game since then.
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.
Six times in the last 11 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.
Nebraska is 4-0 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 11.5 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 10-4, but are just 2-9 when not putting at least three players in double figures, including Wednesday's loss to Indiana.
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.
- Nebraska is eighth in the Big Ten and 75th nationally in scoring defense, allowing 62.4 points per game.
- NU has held 20 of its 25 foes under their 2012-13 scoring averages. Only six 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 23 of 25 teams to under 50 percent shooting from the field, including 11 teams to under 40 percent. 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.
- Nebraska is seventh in Big Ten games in scoring defense, allowing 64.2 points per game.
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.
All five players 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.
Hall of Fame Class Highlights Legends Weekend
Saturday's game caps a busy weekend, as the Huskers host the first-ever Legends Weekend. Nearly 30 former players are back for tonight's game and they will be introduced at halftime ceremonies. The festivities begin Friday night with the Hall of Fame induction of Tyronn Lue.
A two-time All-Big 12 performer, Lue finished his Husker career in 1998 after leading the Huskers to three straight postseason appearances. He ranks in the top-10 at Nebraska in career points, scoring average, steals, assists and 3-pointers. In his final season at Nebraska, he averaged 21.2 points, 4.8 assists and 4.2 steals per game to lead NU to a 20-12 record and the school's first NCAA appearance in four seasons.
Two other special awards will be presented at the banquet, as Tom Osborne will receive the Bud Cuca Special Merit Award, honoring his contributions to the Husker basketball program, while Dave Hoppen will be honored with the Whitehead Distinguished Alumni Award. That award honors a former player and Hall of Fame member who has been a positive force in the state and local community since his playing days ended.
Huskers to Wear Throwback 1976-77 Jerseys
As part of the season-long celebration for the final season at the Devaney Center, the Huskers will don a specially created throwback jersey for Saturday's game against Michigan State. Nebraska will wear jerseys from the 1976-77 season, the first year Nebraska played in the Devaney Center. The jerseys were created by adidas and feature red letters with black trim for the numbers and red and black trim along the sides and waistline. It is the second straight year that the Huskers have worn throwback jerseys, as Nebraska honored its 1949-50 Big Seven Champions with its throwback jersey last year.
Gallegos Goes for 30 vs. Gophers
Nebraska junior Ray Gallegos enjoyed the finest offensive performance of his career in the Huskers' loss at Minnesota on Jan. 29.
- His 30-point performance against the Gophers marked the 61st time a Husker had scored 30 points since Feb. 13, 2008, a span of 159 games. It also marked the first time a Husker guard had scored 30 points since Tyronn Lue did so during the 1997-98 season.
- Gallegos became the 24th player in school history to have a 30-point game at Nebraska. Of the 24 players, only 12 have multiple 30-point games in their Husker career.
- His 30 points tied the Big Ten high for a conference game, set two other times this year. In addition, he set Big Ten highs in conference play in field goals made (12) and 3-pointers (six), setting career bests in both categories.
Shields Erupts Against Penn State
Freshman Shavon Shields enjoyed one of the finest efforts by a Husker freshman with his 29-point effort at Penn State on Jan. 19.
- Shields 29-point effort tied for the second-highest scoring effort by a freshman in school history. Only Tyronn Lue, who had 30 points against Oregon in 1995, had more in a single game.
- His 10-of-11 shooting effort against the Nittany Lions is the second-best shooting night by a Big Ten player this season, trailing only David Rivers' 8-of-8 effort at Michigan State on Jan. 13.
- Shields also went 8-of-8 from the foul line, which tied for the second-best effort from the foul line by a Big Ten player this season.
- The 29 points ties for the fourth-highest total in a Big Ten conference game this season.
- He also tied for team-high honors with six rebounds and added a career-high three steals while playing 38 minutes before fouling out.
- Shields earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors on Jan. 23, after averaging 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game against Purdue and Penn State.
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, averaging 11.6 points and a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game, as he ranks among the Big Ten leaders in both categories. He has been in double figures in 17 games this year after reaching double figures just 18 times in his first three seasons. In addition, his rebounding average is on pace to be the highest for a Husker since Aleks Maric in 2007-08. Ubel has shown his toughness, returning after two games after suffering an elbow injury against Michigan on Jan. 9. Ubel had reached double figures in five of his first six games back before being held to a season-low four points at Indiana. He had 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the loss to No. 23 Minnesota on Jan. 29, and dominated on the interior against Northwestern with 14 points and 12 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.
Entering the season, he had one double-double, but already has four this season (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 nearly had another double-double against Wisconsin on Jan. 6 with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and eight rebounds, along with a career-high three blocked shots. Ubel also had a team-high 10 rebounds at No. 2 Michigan on Jan. 9, before suffering the elbow injury in the final minutes of action.
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 fourth on Nebraska's career free throw percentage list at 80.1 percent. Last year, Ubel shot 82.5 percent from the foul line. Ubel is shooting 85 percent (53-of-62) from the foul line dating back to Dec. 15.
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 Michigan State game averaging 13.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He is 15th in the league in scoring and fourth in minutes played with 35.3 per game.
Talley has been in double figures in a team-high 19 contests and has topped the Huskers in scoring 11 times this season, including consecutive 16-point efforts against Indiana and Penn State. His Big Ten high was a 20-point outburst against Northwestern on Feb. 26. In the win over the Wildcats, Talley hit 8-of-15 shots and also grabbed eight rebounds. It marked Talley's fourth 20-point effort of the season after not having one all of 2011-12.
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's role has changed in recent games, serving as one of the Huskers' primary point guards and helping to run the offense. Over the last nine games, he is averaging 13.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game while helping the Huskers average 15 points per game more than in the first three Big Ten 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 13.0 ppg and tops all Big Ten players with 63 3-pointers, which is tied for 10th on the Huskers' single-season list. Gallegos has been in double figures 18 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 last Saturday, 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.
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 11 minutes in the Huskers' first 12 Big Ten contests. 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 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while averaging 26.2 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 9.1 points and 5.8 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 three times in Big Ten play, most recently a 10-point effort at No. 23 Minnesota on Jan. 29.
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 freshmen to lead the team in scoring in three seasons 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.