Nebraska vs. Mississippi Valley State: Postgame Notes/Quotes
*-The 106 points was NU’s highest total since scoring 107 vs. North Carolina A&T on Dec. 19, 2006. It is the 17th most points in school history and the 41st time NU has scored more than 100 points in a game.
*-The 37 points allowed ties for the sixth-fewest points allowed in school history and the lowest since allowing Savannah State 37 points on Dec. 11, 2007.
*-The 69-point margin of victory is the second-largest margin in school history and the largest since a school-record 74-point win over Crete during the 1906-07 season.
*-With the win, Nebraska improved to 84-39 (.683) all time and have won 18 straight season openers.
*-Nebraska’s 55-point first half matched the highest-scoring half since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena, matching the 55-point second-half against UTSA on Dec. 20, 2017.
*-James Palmer Jr. has now reached double figures in 15 consecutive games dating back to last season. Palmer also added five assists and a career-high three blocked shots in 20 minutes of work.
*-The 13 points allowed matches the lowest points NU has allowed to an opponent in Pinnacle Bank Arena. Miami also had 13 points in the first half on Dec. 4, 2013.
*-With 19 points, Glynn Watson Jr. moved past Herschell Turner (1,056, 1958-60) for 28th on NU’s scoring list. Watson now has 1060 career points.
*-Nebraska’s 15 3-pointers were the most under Tim Miles. The previous high was 13 against Delaware State last season.
*-Nana Akenten came off the bench for a career-high 18 points, including five 3-pointers. Akenten tallied just seven points in seven games last season.
*-Freshman Brady Heiman grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds which was the highest total since Isaiah Roby grabbed 13 in last season’s opener against Eastern Illinois.
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles
On the game
“I’ll start with just the team mentality. I thought the guys respected the game and played hard throughout the game. Then, I look a little bit about how the young guys did. I thought that Brady Heiman did a very nice job and Nana Akenten, too. I think people can see what we saw in him (Akenten). He’s never really had a chance to show out (last year) so it was good for him to get some reps up and down the court. You can see why we like him. And then I look at those other guys. Like how is Glynn (Watson Jr.) going to respond to what is going on? I thought Glynn was really good. James Palmer Jr. put up a great line. After that, were we solid defensively? Just checking the boxes. We did a lot of things right tonight. Sometimes after a game like this, you don’t feel good, whatever, but, I thought our guys just hung in there and kept doing the right things for a long time.”
On the shooting
“We are day by day. I like the way we shoot it. I have seen us do it in practice, I know what our numbers are in practice. I think it is going to be one of those things where we are going to have some tough nights, but, we are going to have some good nights. Even Brady (Heiman) put one up late, and I am fine with that even though the end result maybe wasn’t what we hoped but I think he has got to be able to take those because he is going to end up stretch-four stretch-five kind of guy for us.”
On how the team continues to play hard during the second half with a large lead
James Palmer Jr.: “At halftime, we preached to just finish the game strong and to not worry about the score.”
On how much fun to get extended minutes and produce
Nana Akenten: “It’s always fun, first off, all glory goes to God, but my teammates just kept encouraging me. My coach as well. I was just out there having a fun time.”
On if the team answered questions regarding its shooting
Glynn Watson Jr.: “Yes, but it’s just the first game. We’re just going to keep working each and every day.”
On what the team needs to work on heading into its next game
James Palmer Jr.: “I mean we just have to work on everything. It was a good win for us and to get our feet wet, but we still need to up our overall game, offense and defense.”
On his performance
Glynn Watson Jr.: “I’m just doing whatever the team needs from me. I’m going to be aggressive, Coach Miles wants me to be aggressive. That’s just one thing I’m going to, be aggressive more and try to get my teammates open and make open shots.”
Mississippi Valley State Coach Andre Payne
On playing a team like Nebraska and what his team can learn from a game like this
“What my team has to learn from a game like this is that I’ve been truthful to them. I’ve told them how it is to play in this environment and how it is to play a high level team, but when you got seven new guys and they think ‘well coach may just be trying to scare me’ they actually think that they’re that good. Tonight was a reality check. These guys are really that good. They’re really that tall, they’re really that long, they’re really that athletic and they really shoot it that well. It’s a reality check.”
On what he liked from his team today
“There wasn’t a whole lot that I liked from today. I’m not concerned with what I liked from them today. I’m concerned about when we practice tomorrow. Am I going to like what I see when they get out on the court and practice tomorrow? That’s what I’m concerned about.”
On takeaways from tonight’s game
“We have to learn that we have to be 10 times smarter, play 10 times harder, and make 10 times less mistakes in order for us to compete.”
On what he is most excited about for his team this season
“If we ever get our big guys in and get them eligible, I think we can compete better. When you’re small and you can’t hold down the middle, it makes it very hard.”