Nebraska vs. Wisconsin: Postgame Notes and Quotes
*-With the win, Nebraska improved to 12-6 on the season, matching last year’s win total (12-19). It is Nebraska's best 18-game mark since 2010-11.
*-Nebraska's win was its first regular-season win over the Badgers since 2014 (NU downed Wisconsin in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament). NU improves to 3-8 against UW since joining the Big Ten.
*-Nebraska won for the first time this season when scoring fewer than 70 points. The Huskers had been 0-5 when scoring less than 70 points.
*-Nebraska failed to score 70 points for the first time in 10 home games this season. The Huskers’ streak of scoring 70 or more points in nine consecutive home games was the program’s longest since the 1993-94 team scored at least 70 points in all 16 home games.
*-The 22 points allowed in the first half was Nebraska’s best defensive first half of the season. The previous best was 24 against Stetson on Dec. 29.
*-Nebraska trailed only once in the game by one point for a total of 57 seconds.
*-Thirteen of Nebraska’s final 15 points came at the free throw line , as the Huskers made only one field goal over the final 7:50. During that time, NU made 13-of-18 from the charity stripe, and the Huskers were 18-of-24 from the free throw line in the game. It marks the third straight game NU has shot .750 or better from the foul line.
*-Jordy Tshimanga finished with a season-high nine points, topping his previous best of six on three occasions, most recently against Stetson on Dec. 29.
*- With 18 points, James Palmer Jr. finished in double figures for the 16th time in 17 games and for the 14th straight game.
*-Freshman guard Thomas Allen had eight points on 3-of-5 shooting. In his first four career Big Ten Conference games, Allen combined for five points on 2-of-6 shooting. Nebraska's bench outscored Wisconsin's 20-3.
Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
On Jordy Tshimanga’s season-high performance
“I thought Jordy (Tshimanga) did a really nice job the second half. He defended well. He was good for us on offense and on the glass. It was good to see and should give him a shot of confidence.“
On Nebraska’s mentality and crediting Wisconsin
“We need to tighten up. First of all, give credit to Wisconsin. Greg (Gard) is doing a great job. I just told him it’s like playing Jim Molinari’s teams. They just do a great job of making it difficult to score. You can’t extend on the lead and any mistake, they’re going to take advantage of and you can see that on points off turnovers. Right now, those younger guys aren’t quite ready to score the way he needs them to and that’s probably because he’s short handed and he’s lost a whole bunch of real talent two out of the last three years. But they’ll be back soon. There’s no doubt about it. I thought they did a good job later in the game of taking advantage of our small lineup, especially getting (Ethan) Happ on top down (plays) as opposed to the swing. They got out of the swing and made us adjust again. It was good. I thought he did a really good job managing the game. I don’t think our mentality is where it needed to be either and you can see it in the amount of assists and the poor shooting percentage from three and then just some of the guys and they’re performances.“
On what Wisconsin scoring against NU's small lineup
“We didn’t guard. They just took advantage of us, especially inside.“
On Wisconsin’s defense
“They’re a strong defensive team. I thought they did a good job of switching and then I thought we made bad decisions on the switches. We had Ethan Happ out there and the only guy that really drove him hard was Thomas (Allen). Thomas played a really good game and the rest of the guys settled for jumpers."
Nebraska Player Quotes
Isaac Copeland, James Palmer Jr., Jordy Tshimanga
On the importance of getting to the free throw line given the choppy nature of the game:
Palmer: “Definitely. I think that’s what we wanted to do in the second half since they’re a slow- paced team so we want to try to do something, instead of a high-paced game. We want to try to get to the free throw line. I think we did that.”
On Tshimanga’s performance in the game after some struggles in previous games:
Tshimanga: “Like [Coach Miles] probably told you guys, he told me just stick with it and my teammates here have been great with me, been patient, and I’ve just been sticking with it. Getting in the gym, getting extra reps and just working.”
On the team’s performance against Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ:
Copeland: “First half we did a good job. Second half, he got going a little bit. When you play with a team where they go through one person almost every play, he’s going to get his baskets. So our job is to make it as tough as we can and win the game, so we did that.”
On guarding Happ in the second half specifically:
Palmer: “He saw a couple baskets fall through, and once a good scorer sees a couple baskets fall through they start feeling good. He got a couple layups to go and started getting to the free throw line.”
Wisconsin Head Coach Greg Gard
"Obviously disappointed in the outcome. I can't fault the effort of guys, and there's areas we've got to continue to improve upon, but we know that our margin for error is extremely slim, and it shows in areas that we struggle at times, whether it's depth or whether it's scoring. But again the effort, in terms of continuing to battle and fight back and claw, I'm proud of, and now we've got to continue to improve in some areas and continue to try to manufacture ways to compete, as we have, and continue to battle and improve."
On whether Wisconsin had the three-point shooting it wanted
"We have some limitations but I thought we did a decent job, specifically the second half, of playing through [Ethan Happ] as much as we could. We went to him a lot from different angles and different ways. We had some decent looks from three, made two [three pointers] there at the end, like to have some more go down earlier in the game and be able to get to the free throw line more, convert at the free throw line. I thought for the most part, we had the pace set where we wanted it in terms of the number of possessions and be able to make it a grinder type of game, and we did that but we have to be able to put the ball in the basket and score more consistently. "
On finishing shots
"I don't know what we were. I haven't seen a shot chart yet, postgame, but I know we were 5-for-12 in the paint in the first half, and we had several where we could've done a better job of finishing through contact, finishing altogether, adding a pump fake, getting under control, so there was opportunities there. I don't know what the final numbers were, what the second-half numbers were."
On junior Nebraska guard James Palmer Jr.
"He adds a dimension, with his ability to put the ball on the floor, and I know he shot a lot of free throws, he shot nine tonight, he's, by 50-something. I think he's led them on the year, so he has a different dimension, a wing they can attack, that you have to go play on the perimeter. He's a handful when he comes downhill, on those lane lines, on the hand-offs and ball screen, so he does a good job of taking advantage of what his skill set is and making the most of it. But I think their team, in watching in preparation for this, I think their team does a pretty good job of, all have different strengths, and they all do a pretty good job of staying in their lane and understanding what their strengths are."