Isaiah Roby and the Huskers take on Minnesota Wednesday evening.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Return Home for Golden Gophers

By NU Athletic Communications
GAME 25: vs. Minnesota
Date: Wed., Feb. 13
Time: 8:07 p.m. 
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Tickets: Huskers.com/Tickets
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
2018-19 Record: 13-11, 3-10 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 110-108 (7th year)
Career Record: 393-328 (24th year)
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
2018-19 Record: 16-8, 6-7 Big Ten
Head coach: Richard Pitino
Record at Minnesota: 106-86 (6th year)
Career Record: 124-100 (7th year)
BROADCAST INFO
Television: BTN
   Play-by-play: Kevin Kugler    
   Analysis: Shon Morris
Internet: FOX Sports App and BTN2Go
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
   Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
   Analysis: Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available online at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.
Satellite Radio: Sirius: 133  XM: 195   Internet: 957
The Husker men's basketball team returns home for an important Big Ten matchup on Wednesday, as Nebraska hosts Minnesota.  Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 8 p.m. and a limited number of returned tickets are available on Huskers.com/Tickets or at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office beginning at 6:30 p.m on Wednesday.
The matchup of the Huskers and Golden Gophers will be televised nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App and BTN2Go with cable authentication.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on both Sirius and XM Radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).
The Huskers (13-11, 3-10 Big Ten) battled No. 15 Purdue for most of the evening and were within 67-57 at the under-four timeout, but missed a front end of a one and one after the break and then split a pair of free throws on the next possession before Purdue pulled away for an 81-62 victory. On the night, Purdue shot 51 percent and went 19-of-21 from the foul line, including 9-of-9 from Carsen Edwards.
One bright spot for the Huskers in the loss was the performance of sophomore guard Thomas Allen, who matched his career high with 18 points against the Boilermakers, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range. Allen, who started for most of the year before moving to the bench, has played well since Isaac Copeland’s injury, averaging 11.5 ppg on 47 percent shooting over the last four contests, including three double-figure performances.
The Huskers will look to avenge an 85-78 loss to the Golden Gophers from back in December. Minnesota (16-8, 6-7 Big Ten) has dropped three straight, including a 79-55 loss at Michigan State on Saturday. In that game, Michigan State forced 16 turnovers and held the Golden Gophers to 37 percent shooting. Freshmen Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturo were the only UM players in double figures, finishing with 17 and 12 points respectively. 
OPENING NUMBER
4 - Thomas Allen became the fourth Husker this year to have at least five 3-pointers in a game this season, joining James Palmer Jr., Glynn Watson Jr. and Nana Akenten.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
-1.0 - Nebraska has only been out-rebounded by 1.0 rebound per game in its last four Big Ten games, a stretch which includes games with nationally ranked Maryland, Wisconsin and Purdue.  Prior to that, NU was out-rebounded by 6.1 per game in its first nine Big Ten contests.
.335 - Nebraska's shooting percentage over the last seven games. Prior to that stretch, NU was hitting at a .473 clip.
1 - Thomas Allen's 18-point effort at Purdue marked the first time he has led the Huskers in scoring in his career.
2 - Purdue became just the second opponent in the last 49 games to shoot better than 50 percent against Nebraska. NU is 24th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.400). 
+3.6 - Nebraska leads the Big Ten in turnover margin, as NU is third in both turnovers per game and forcing turnovers. 
18 - Number of 20-point games for Husker players in 2018-19. James Palmer Jr. has 11 while Isaac Copeland Jr. (three), Isaiah Roby (three) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also enjoyed 20-point games this season.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
Under Richard Pitino, the Gophers are 16-8 on the season and looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Golden Gophers went 10-1 in non-conference play with the only loss coming at Boston College for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The win over the Huskers on Dec. 5 started a stretch where the Golden Gophers won seven of eight, including a seven-point win at Wisconsin. Since then, Minnesota is 3-5 including its three-game losing streak which includes losses to nationally ranked Purdue, Wisconsin and Michigan State. On the year, Minnesota is just 1-6 in true road games.

Minnesota battled through suspensions and injuries to both Amir Coffey and Dupree McBrayer last season, as both Coffey and McBrayer are back this season. Coffey leads four Minnesota players in double figures with 15.3 points per game while also totaling 3.0 rebounds per game and ranking among the team leaders in steals. Senior Jordan Murphy has been solid inside, as he averages 14.5 points and a Big Ten-leading 11.9 rebounds per game. Daniel Oturu (10.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 1.7 bpg) and Gabe Kalscheur (10.3 ppg, 50 3-pointers) have been valuable producers in their rookie campaigns.

SERIES HISTORY
Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 77th time on Wednesday, which is the most between the Huskers and any other Big Ten member.  It is NU’s longest-running series in the Big Ten, as it dates back to February of 1902. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 55-21, while the Huskers have won six of the past nine meetings. In all, 10 of the last 11 meetings have been won by the home team dating back to 2012.  Nebraska is 6-6 against the Golden Gophers as Big Ten members. Prior to joining the Big Ten in 2011-12, NU and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years. 

LAST MEETING VS. MINNESOTA
Nebraska led by double-digits with 10 minutes left, but the Huskers could not hold the lead down the stretch in an 85-78 loss to the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena on Dec. 5.

Nebraska led for much of the game and was on top 67-56 midway through the second half. But the Husker offense went cold from there and Minnesota’s offense caught fire, as the Gophers outscored Nebraska 29-11 over the game’s final 10 minutes. During that stretch, Nebraska was just 3-of-12 from the field, while Minnesota was 9-of-16. The Gophers used a 9-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 77-73 lead with 2:26 remaining, and the Huskers were never able to get closer than two the rest of the way.

Minnesota won by shooting 51.8 percent from the field – including 57.1 percent in the second half. Amir Coffey paced the Gopher offense with a career-high 32 points, including 18 in the second half while Jordan Murphy had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Nebraska shot 45.9 percent on the game, but the Huskers hit only 38 percent of their shots in the second half. It was a balanced night offensively for the Big Red as six Huskers finished with at least nine points. Isaac Copeland had 17 points and Isaiah Roby added 15 points, but both players fouled out down the stretch. Glynn Watson Jr. had 14 points and James Palmer Jr. rounded out Nebraska’s double-figure scorers with 11 points, but he was held scoreless in the second half.

LAST TIME OUT
Despite Thomas Allen tying a career-high with 18 points, the Huskers fell 81-62 to No. 15 Purdue on Saturday night at Mackey Arena.

Allen also set a new single-game high with five 3-pointers for the Huskers (13-11, 3-10 Big Ten) as he joined James Palmer Jr. (17 points) and Isaiah Roby (10 points) in double figures. Allen’s hot shooting night was not enough, however, as Purdue shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field and 40 percent (8-20) from 3-point range on the way to their eighth straight victory.

Isaiah Roby tied the game with a dunk just 19 seconds into the second half, but NU would score just one more basket in the next 5:36 as Purdue went on a 14-2 run to open up a 47-35 with 14:05 to play.  Needing a spark, Coach Miles brought Thomas Allen in off the bench and he immediately knocked down 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, cutting the Purdue lead to eight.

NU would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way as the Boilermakers rode a steady performance from Carsen Edwards, who scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half. Purdue had four players hit double figures in scoring and senior forward Grady Eifert scored a career-high 16 points. 

HALFTIME TO CELEBRATE UNL'S 150TH BIRTHDAY
As part of the University of Nebraska's weeklong celebration of its 150th birthday, Wednesday's halftime will feature a tribute to the University's first 150 years as well as well as a performance by Nebraska Steel — the university’s first student ensemble dedicated to playing steel drum music. 

HUSKERS LOOK TO CONTINUE HOME SUCCESS VS. GOPHERS
Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten prior to the 2011-12 season, the home team has enjoyed the upper hand in the series with the Gophers. In the 12 meetings since Nebraska has joined the Big Ten, the home team has won 10 times, including 10 of the last 11 meetings dating to March of 2012.

PALMER ECLIPSES 1,000 POINTS AT NEBRASKA
James Palmer Jr. joined an exclusive club at Nebraska on Feb. 6, as he became the Huskers' 30th 1,000-point scorer. The 6-foot-6 senior guard has averaged 17.9 points per game in his two seasons and has been in double figures in 54 of his 57 career games since arriving on campus two seasons ago.

  • Nebraska's 30 1,000-point scorers hail from 15 states, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Palmer is the Huskers' first 1,000-point scorer from Maryland.
  • Palmer reached the 1,000-point mark in 56 career games, the second-fastest player to reach that milestone. He is just the third player to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons at NU, joining Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen.
  • He is the fifth Husker under Head Coach Tim Miles to reach the milestone, joining Terran Petteway, Shavon Shields, Tai Webster and Glynn Watson Jr. 

WORTH NOTING

  • Husker coach Tim Miles will be looking for his 50th conference win at Nebraska on Wednesday. Only three Husker coaches (Joe Cipriano, Danny Nee and Moe Iba) won 50 conference games at the school.
  • Eight of Nebraska's 11 losses have been to teams who have been ranked in the top-15 at some point in the season (Texas Tech, Maryland-2x, Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin).
  • According to KenPom, Nebraska's strength of schedule is 10th nationally, as seven of the 10 toughest schedules are by Big Ten teams as of Feb. 10.
  • As of the Feb. 10 NET, Nebraska has played 17 of its 23 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-125 of the NET.
  • Palmer has 11 20-point games this season, more than doubling his career total in 105 games entering this year. That total ranks among the highest 20-point games in a season under Tim Miles.
  • With 1,021 career points entering Wednesday's game, James Palmer Jr. is 38 points shy of Herschell Turner (1,059) for 29th place on NU's scoring list. Turner was NU's first 1,000-point scorer beteern 1957-1960.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 20 consecutive games dating back to Nov. 20.  Over the last two decades, the only Huskers with longer double-figure streaks are Tyronn Lue (36, 1996-97 and 1997-98), Tai Webster (30, 2016-17), Terran Petteway (30, 2013-14 and 2014-15) and Venson Hamilton (24, 1998-99).  Palmer's eight-point effort in a win over Missouri State is the only game in the last 38 games he didn't reach double figures dating back to last season.
  • Two members of the Husker coaching staff have strong ties to Minnesota. Tim Miles served as the head coach at Southwest Minnesota State for four seasons (1997-98 to 2000-01), guiding the program to a Division II Elite Eight in 2001. Jim Molinari worked at Minnesota for three seasons (2004-05 to 2006-07), serving as the interim head coach for part of the 2006-07 campaign.
  • With his four free throws at Purdue, Palmer moved into a tie for seventh on NU's single-season chart with 141 (with Bob Gratropp, 1969). Palmer is now six free throws away from sixth (Aleks Maric, 147).
  • Glynn Watson Jr. is one of six players currently on NU's top-10 list in both assists and steals, joining Brian Carr (1984-87), Cookie Belcher (1997-2001), Tyronn Lue (1996-98), Erick Strickland (1993-96) and Clifford Scales (1998-91). Watson is currently in 10th place on NU's assist list (348) and will break a tie with Ryan Anderson (166) for fifth place on NU's steals list with his next steal.
  • Former walk-on Tanner Borchardt has stepped into a crucial role for the Huskers following Isaac Copeland's injury. Borchardt is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game over the Huskers' last five contests and is averaging 26.6 minutes per game. Prior to Copeland's injury, Borchardt averaged just 2.9 rebounds per game in 12.3 minutes per contest.
  • Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 12-7, but just 1-4 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
  • Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,615 per game as of Feb. 6. Of the eight schools ahead of the Huskers, all eight play in facilities of at least 16,300 seats. NU's attendance is 104 percent of PBA's 15,000-seat capacity. 

HUSKERS LIMIT TURNOVERS
Nebraska has done an exceptional job of limiting turnovers this season. The Huskers are on pace to shatter the school record for fewest turnovers per game.  Nebraska is seventh nationally in that category with an average of 10 per game.

  • Nebraska has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in each of the last four games, including a season low of five against No. 24 Maryland on Feb. 6.
  • Four of the five lowest turnover per game totals have come in Tim Miles' seven seasons at Nebraska.
  • Three of the top seven teams in terms of turnovers per game are in the Big Ten, as NU is joined by Michigan (first) and Wisconsin (third). 

FIVE NAMED TO UNL ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL
Five members of the Husker basketball team were honored last Thursday, as they were named to the NU Athletic Honor Roll for the fall semester. The group included seniors Tanner Borchardt, Isaac Copeland Jr. and Johnny Trueblood, as well as sophomore Thorir Thorbjarnarson and redshirt freshman Justin Costello. It is the sixth time that Borchardt has garnered the honor, while Trueblood (fourth), Copeland (second), Thorbjarnarson (second) and Costello (second) are all multiple-time reciepients. To qualify for the honor roll, student-athletes must have a 3.0 GPA for the previous semester.

TANNER TALLIES REBOUNDS
Senior Tanner Borchardt put together the finest effort of his career against Illinois. The former walk-on from Gothenberg, Neb., posted personal bests in points (12), rebounds (18) and minutes (32) in just the third start of his career. Borchardt's 18-rebound effort was not only a career high, but matched the highest total by any Husker in more than a decade.

  • Borchardt's 18 rebounds tied for the fifth-best rebound day in the last 25 years of Husker basketball, and was the most since Aleks Maric snared 19 rebounds against Missouri on Feb. 24, 2007.
  • His 18-rebound effort tied for the third-highest total by a Big Ten player this season. Only Jordan Murphy, who had 21 rebounds against Penn State on Jan. 19, and Bruno Fernando, who had 19 against the Huskers on Wednesday, have grabbed more rebounds in a Big Ten game than Borchardt this season.
  • Borchardt's 11 offensive rebounds marked only the fourth time in the last nine seasons that a Big Ten player totaled at least 11 offensive rebounds in a game. Borchardt joins Jared Sullinger (2-29-12 vs. Northwestern), Gabriel Olaseni (1-24-15 vs. Purdue) and Dererk Pardon (1-2-18 vs. Nebraska) as the only Big Ten players to accomplish the feat.

Most Rebounds By a Husker in a Game (last 25 seasons)

No

Reb.

Name

Opponent

Date

1.

21

Kimani Ffriend

Oral Roberts

12/22/99

2.

19

Aleks Maric

Missouri

2/24/07

 

19

Steffon Bradford

Eastern Illinois

11/23/99

 

19

Kimani Friend

Baylor

1/22/00

5.

18

Tanner Borchardt

at Illinois

2/2/19

 

18

Ed Morrow Jr.

Gardner-Webb

12/18/16

18

Venson Hamilton

vs. Old Dominion   

12/30/96

 
HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES
Despite the offensive struggles in recent games, Nebraska enters the Minnesota game averaging 72.9 points per game, which is higher than last season's average.  NU has scored at least 70 points 14 times, including seven games of at least 80 points.

  • Nebraska is 48th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Feb. 6. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
  • The Huskers are looking to break out of an offensive slump, as NU has averaged just 60.1 points per game on 35 percent shooting over the last eight contests dating back to Jan. 14.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskers' highest total since the 2005-06 campaign.
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • Nebraska scored 94 points in the win over Creighton, its third-highest total in 52 meetings in the series.
  • The solid offensive effort is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year's team that went 22-11, as Nebraska brought back its top four scorers for the first time in 15 years, including three players who averaged double figures.
  • Nebraska returned three double-figure scorers (James Palmer Jr., 17.2, Isaac Copeland Jr., 12.9 and Glynn Watson Jr., 10.5) for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Eric Piatkowski, 14.3; Derrick Chandler, 12.3; Jamar Johnson, 11.2).
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous year. 

DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
For Nebraska, the biggest thing over the last two seasons has been improvements on the defensive end.

Last season, NU went from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense.  That has continued during the 2018-19 season as he enter the final month of regular-season play.

  • NU ranks in the top-40 nationally in scoring defense (63.5 ppg, 18th), field goal defense (.400, 24th) and 3-point defense (.306, 36th) as of Feb. 10. The Huskers are also third in the Big Ten in steals (7.5 spg).
  • Nebraska's opponents are shooting .400 from the field, which ranks among the best numbers since the 3-point line was established in 1987-88. Only the 2010-11 defense held opponents to a lower field goal percentage.
  • Only two opponents have shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 49 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 22 of its 24 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota (Dec. 5) and Purdue (Feb. 6) have shot over 50 percent.
  • NU has limited 10 opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles' seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 35th in Kenpom's adjusted defense through Feb. 9.
  • The Huskers have held six opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season.
  • In the loss to No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Huskers held the Spartans to their second-lowest point total (70) and field goal percentage (.436) of the season at the time.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 50-5 (.909) when holding opponents under 60 points, including 16-0 the past three seasons.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 58-18 (.763) when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 21-4 (.840) the past three seasons. Nebraska is now 6-1 this season when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting following the loss to Maryland on Feb. 6.

Charting Defensive Improvement

 

2016-17 Season

2017-18 Season

2018-19 Season

Category

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

Overall (Conf. Rk.)

PPG Allowed

73.0 (12)

68.6 (10)

63.5 (3)

FG Pct. Def.

.447 (13)

.423 (6)

.400 (3)

3-Pt. Pct. Def.

.399 (14)

.322 (2)

.306 (3)

 

NEW GAME, SAME NUMBER FOR PALMER

While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. Last month, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards. This season, the 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 18.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game entering the matchup with Minnesota.

  • He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (second), steals (ninth), free throw percentage (.788, 11th), 3-pointers per game (1.9, 14th) and assists (14th).
  • Palmer is challenging to be the first Husker to average 20.0 ppg since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-20 nationally in both free throws (141, 14th) and attempts (179, 12th), while shooting a career best 78.8 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
  • His Husker career scoring average of 17.9 points per game is third among Big Ten players and 10th among all power conference players spanning the last two seasons. The Big Ten features three of the top 10 with Purdue's Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin's Ethan Happ.
  • He is on pace to post one of the highest scoring averages in Nebraska history. Only two other players - Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen - have averaged 18.0 ppg as a Husker during their career.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 54 of 57 career games at Nebraska, including 19 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances.
  • He had most recent 20-point effort at Illinois on Feb. 2, finishing with 22 points and eight rebounds.
  • Palmer had 24 points, including 11-of-11 from the foul line, and a team-high eight caroms against No. 6 Michigan State.
  • He put together one of his best all-around games at No. 25 Indiana with 11 points along with a career-high nine rebounds and season-high seven assists.
  • Palmer led NU with 26 points at Maryland while adding seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals.
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the best performances of his career with a 30-point game against Creighton. The effort included a career-high six 3-pointers.
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers' win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds.
  • Finished with 29 points against Seton Hall, the third-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half.

Last season, Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth.  Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue's Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.

} Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.

WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK
Glynn Watson Jr. is in his fourth year as Nebraska's starting point guard and comes into the Minnesota game averaging 11.8 points per game while averaging career bests in assists (3.3 apg) and rebounds (4.0 rpg).

  • His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense.
  • Watson has been in double figures 16 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton.
  • He put together an 18-point performance against Ohio State, which included a season-best 7-of-7 performance from the foul line.
  • He turned in a strong effort at No. 25 Indiana, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
  • Watson led NU to a win over Penn State with 19 points and three assists. He scored eight straight Husker points late in the second half to extend a one-point lead.
  • He guided the Husker attack in the win over Creighton with 13 points, five assists and a season-high three steals, while holding Creighton's Ty-Shon Alexander to just 2-of-10 shooting.
  • Watson led NU with a season-high 20 points and a career-high nine boards against Western Illinois.
  • He showed his playmaking ability by dishing out eight assists and totaling 14 points in the win over Seton Hall.
  • His older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school.

ROBY FILLS STAT SHEET
Isaiah Roby compliments the Husker attack with a unique skill set. The 6-foot-8 junior averages 11.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.  He leads the Huskers in blocked shots and rebounding and is the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals as of Feb. 9.

  • He is one of only six players nationally and three in power conferences averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game as of Feb. 9.
  • Roby has played some of his best basketball since conference play began in December, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game over his last 15 contests dating back to Dec. 5.
  • Roby has played his best against NU's toughest foes, averaging 13.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in NU's six games against nationally ranked opponents.
  • Roby had 10 points at No. 15 Purdue, but led NU in assists (four), steals (two) and blocked shots (one).
  • He collected his second double-double against No. 24 Maryland on Feb. 6 with 20 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and a season-high five blocked shots.
  • Roby put together a strong effort against No. 24 Wisconsin on Jan. 29 with 18 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.
  • He keyed NU's 70-64 win over Penn State with 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, along with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
  • He enjoyed a solid performance against Iowa, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble.
  • He scored a then-career-high 20 points against Cal State Fullerton while also topping the Huskers with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he's had a top-10 play on SportsCenter at NU, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016).

ALLEN ANSWERS THE BELL
Sophomore Thomas Allen has emerged during his sophomore campaign, averaging 9.0 points per game on 45 percent shooting, including 40 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He has been in double figures nine times after reaching double figures twice as a freshman.

  • Allen is fourth in the Big Ten in steals per game and is second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0-to-1).
  • He has been in double figures in eight of NU's last 15 games after reaching double figures once in the Huskers' first nine contests.
  • Since the injury to Isaac Copeland Jr., Allen has averaged 11.5 points per game, including his first consecutive double-figure efforts in Big Ten action against No. 24 Wisconsin and at Illinois.
  • Allen comes off a career night at No. 15 Purdue when he came off the bench to tie his career high with 18 points, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range.
  • Allen also had 18 points, five assists and four rebounds against Creighton and had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Oklahoma State after missing most of the week with an illness.

BENCH LOOKS TO CREATE A SPARK

With the loss of Isaac Copeland Jr., the Husker bench will be counted on to make a significant impact. NU's bench features Thomas Allen along with sophomore Nana Akenten and freshmen Amir Harris and Brady Heiman.

  • Akenten has started twice and is averaging 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He is fifth on the team with 22 3-pointers and has a pair of double-figure efforts. He had a career-high 18 points off the bench against Mississippi Valley State, including five 3-pointers, in just 13 minutes. He also had 11 points in the win over Missouri State and nine points in a start against Cal State Fullerton.
  • Heiman has played in 20 games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game in just under 10 minutes per contest. He had 10 points against Southeastern Louisiana and nine points at Minnesota. He grabbed 13 rebounds in NU's opener against MVSU.
  • Harris has played in 16 games, averaging 1.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He missed nearly a month of action with mono and has played in seven of the Huskers' last eight games. He had season bests in points (six) and rebounds (five) against Mississippi Valley State in the opener.

COPELAND'S STRONG SENIOR CAMPAIGN DERAILED BY INJURY
Senior forward Isaac Copeland Jr. was putting together a strong senior year before suffering a torn left ACL on Jan. 26 against Ohio State. Copeland had surgery on his knee on Friday, Feb. 1.  After earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors as a junior, Copeland raised many of his numbers in 2018-19, averaging 14.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocks per contest.

  • Including his two-plus seasons at Georgetown, Copeland finished his collegiate career with over 1,300 points, 600 rebounds and nearly 100 blocked shots.
  • Copeland reached double figures 16 times this season, including a trio of 20-point efforts (vs. Missouri State, vs. Texas Tech and at Iowa).
  • He had 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points against North Dakota in 2017 and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown.
  • He led NU with a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa while adding six rebounds and two steals.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is currently working on his Master's Degree. 

FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full every game in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets were sold out for the 2018-19 season. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section.

Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span. 

 

PROTECTING THE VAULT

The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in the fall of 2013.  NU has posted a 68-28 (.708) all-time record in Pinnacle Bank Arena.

  • Over the last two seasons, the Huskers are 25-5 (.833) with four of the losses coming to ranked teams.
  • NU tied a school record with 20 straight home wins from Dec. 20, 2017 to Jan. 10, 2019. It tied the school record which was originally set during the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. Of the 20 wins in the most recent streak, 14 were by double-digits.
  • Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play in 2017-18, the first time NU went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season. 

 

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