Huskers Travel to Penn State
Game 27: AT PENN STATE
Date: Tues., Feb. 19
Time: 6 p.m. (CT)
Location: State College, Pa.
Arena: Bryce Jordan Center
2018-19 Record: 15-11, 5-10 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 112-108 (7th year)
Career Record: 395-328 (24th year)
PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS
2018-19 Record: 9-16, 2-12 Big Ten
Head coach: Patrick Chambers
Record at Penn State: 122-138 (8th year)
Career Record: 164-166 (10th year)
Play-by-play: Lisa Byington
Analysis: Nick Bahe
Internet: FOX Sports App
Radio: Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analysis: Ben McLaughlin
Online Radio: Available online at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.
Satellite Radio: Sirius: 98 (PSU feed) XM: 328 Internet: 973
The Husker men's basketball team hits the road in search of its third straight win on Tuesday, as Nebraska travels to State College to take on Penn State.
Tipoff at the Bryce Jordan Center is set for 6 p.m. (CT) and the matchup of the Huskers and Nittany Lions will be televised nationally on FS1 with Lisa Byington and Nick Bahe on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App 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 Ben McLaughlin 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 (15-11, 5-10 Big Ten) used a strong performance from junior Isaiah Roby and one of its best defensive efforts of the season in posting a 59-50 win over Northwestern. Roby led three Huskers in double figures with 19 points, a career-high 16 rebounds and matched his season high with five blocked shots. Nebraska took control of the game with an 11-0 second-half run, holding the Wildcats scoreless for more than five and a half minutes to break open a one-point game with seven minutes remaining. Glynn Watson Jr. and Thomas Allen accounted for nine of NU's points in the spurt. The Huskers held Northwestern to 50 points - Nebraska's best defensive effort in a conference game since 2015 - on just 34.5 percent shooting.
Roby has become a focal point of the Husker attack since the season-ending injury to Isaac Copeland Jr. on Jan. 26, as he has averaged 13.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.7 blocks per game over the last six contests.
Penn State (6-16, 2-12) battled Purdue in West Lafayette, but the Boilermakers' second-half shooting was too much in a 76-64 victory. The Nittany Lions got 18 points from Lamar Stevens and 17 off the bench from Rasir Bolton, but shot just 38 percent, including 5-of-24 from 3-point range. Purdue shot 60 percent in the second half, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range, to pull away after leading by three at the break. Penn State forced 23 Purdue turnovers and had 13 steals in a losing effort against the Boilermakers.
3 - Only three Huskers since 2000 have had a game with at least 19 points and 16 rebounds. In addition to Isaiah Roby on Saturday, Aleks Maric did it four times, most recently in 2008, while Kimani Ffriend reached those plateaus twice during his NU career.
SCOUTING PENN STATE
Under eighth-year coach Patrick Chambers, Penn State comes into Tuesday's game with a 9-16 record, but has played much better of late. PSU is 2-3 in its last five games, including a 75-69 win over No. 6 Michigan and a 99-90 overtime loss to No. 12 Purdue. The Nittany Lions, who went 26-13 and won the 2018 NIT, returned three starters from a year ago, have juggled the lineup throughout the season. PSU has been in every game in the last month, as six of its last eight games have been decided by seven points or less. The Nittany Lions are coming off a 76-64 loss at Purdue on Saturday.
Senior forward Lamar Stevens has been the one constant for Penn State, as he leads the Nittany Lions in both scoring (19.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg). Stevens has been in double figures in 23 of 24 contests, including 12 20-point performances. Junior Mike Watkins returns on the interior and is averaging 8.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field. Senior Josh Reaves is one of the premier defensive players in the Big Ten, as he leads the conference in steals at 2.7 per game while also leading Penn State in assists (3.2 apg) while averaging 10.1 points per game. PSU has also gotten solid production from freshmen guards Rasir Bolton (12.0 ppg) and Myles Dread (8.8 ppg).
Tuesday's game is the 19th meeting and the teams are tied at nine wins apiece. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Huskers are 8-7 against the Nittany Lions (8-5 in regular season; 0-2 in Big Ten Tournament). The teams played three times before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, a home-and-home series in 1980 and 1981 and in the second round of the 1995 NIT. Three of the last four matchups in State College have been decided by four points or less, including the last two matchups by a total of three points.
LAST MEETING VS. PENN STATE
Behind a career-high 22 points from Isaiah Roby, Nebraska snapped a two-game losing streak with a 70-64 win over Penn State on Jan. 10.
Roby had 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting and added season bests in both rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four) to propel the Huskers to its 20th straight home win dating back to last season. Glynn Watson Jr. added 19 points and three assists, while James Palmer Jr. added 11 markers, as the Huskers shot nearly 50 percent from the floor, but could not subdue the Nittany Lions until the end.
Clinging to a 58-57 lead, Watson scored eight straight points for the Huskers, the last being a 3-pointer with 2:15 left that gave the hosts a 65-61 lead. Penn State pulled to within 66-62 after a Mike Watkins free throw just under 20 seconds remaining, but Roby salted the game away hitting four straight free throws in the final 17.2 seconds.
Nebraska’s defense held Penn State to just one field goal in the final 2:51, as the Nittany Lions shot just 36 percent, but used a 46-32 advantage on the glass and a 17-4 advantage in second-chance points to stay in the contest. Josh Reaves led four PSU players in double figures with 20 points while Lamar Stevens and Myles Dread added 13 apiece.
LAST TIME OUT
Behind a big night from Isaiah Roby, the Nebraska men’s basketball team won its second straight game with a 59-50 victory over Northwestern Saturday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Roby filled up the stat sheet while producing his third double-double of the season. He scored a game-high 19 points, pulled down a game- and career-high 16 rebounds, tied his season high with a game-high five blocks and added a pair of assists and two steals. With Nebraska’s offense struggling early in the second half, Roby scored the Huskers’ first 10 points of the period and finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the second half alone.
In addition to Roby’s performance, James Palmer Jr. chipped in 13 points – his 22nd straight game in double figures – and dished out six assists, one shy of his season high. Glynn Watson Jr. added 12 points and six rebounds. Nebraska shot only 32.8 percent from the field, but the Husker defense had seven blocks and eight steals while forcing 15 Northwestern turnovers. The Wildcats shot only 34.5 percent and were just 5-of-25 from the 3-point line en route to its second-lowest total of the year.
With its second win of the week, Nebraska improved to 15-11 on the year and moved to 5-10 in Big Ten Conference play. Northwestern (12-13, 3-11 Big Ten) was led by a double-double from Dererk Pardon (13 points and 12 rebounds), while Vic Law scored 15 points and Anthony Gaines added 10 points.
PALMER SEEKS 2ND STRAIGHT 500-POINT SEASON
Nebraska senior guard James Palmer Jr. comes into Tuesday's game against Penn State needing only 10 points to reach 500 for the season. If he does that, Palmer will become just the eighth player in school history to post consecutive 500-point seasons and the first since Terran Petteway in 2015.
- The others on the list include Jerry Fort (1974-75 & 1975-76), Dave Hoppen (1983-84 & 1984-85), Eric Piatkowski (1992-93 & 1993-94), Erick Strickland (1994-95 & 1995-96), Tyronn Lue (1996-97 & 1997-98), Aleks Maric (2006-07 & 2007-08) and Terran Petteway (2013-14 & 2014-15).
- Tuesday's matchup will feature two of the top steals teams in the Big Ten, as Penn State is second at 7.8 spg, while the Huskers rank third at 7.3 spg.
- Nebraska ranks in the top 30 nationally in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and 3-point percentage defense.
- Nebraska is 38th in the latest NET rankings released on Feb. 15. All five of NU's remaining regular-season games are currently in Quadrant 1.
- According to KenPom, Nebraska's strength of schedule is 12th nationally, as seven of the 12 toughest schedules are by Big Ten teams as of Feb. 16.
- 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).
- As of the Feb. 15 NET, Nebraska has played 19 of its 25 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-125 of the NET, including eight of the top 50 teams.
- With 1,058 career points entering Tuesday's game, James Palmer Jr. is one point shy of Herschell Turner (1,059) for 29th place on NU's scoring list. Turner was NU's first 1,000-point scorer between 1957 and 1960.
- Palmer has 12 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.
- Palmer has reached double figures in 22 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 40 games he didn't reach double figures dating back to last season.
- Palmer is now in sixth place on NU's single-season chart with 156, and is in position to climb on Tuesday. He is two free throws behind Dave Hoppen (158, 1984) for fifth place and needs seven to match his entire 2017-18 total.
- 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 (351) and fifth on NU's steals list (168).
- Former walk-on Tanner Borchardt has stepped into a crucial role for the Huskers following Isaac Copeland's injury. Borchardt is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game over the Huskers' last seven contests and is averaging 28.1 minutes per game. Prior to Copeland's injury, Borchardt averaged just 2.9 rebounds per game in 12.3 minutes per contest and had never played more than 20 minutes in a game.
- Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 13-7, but just 2-4 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
- Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,638 per game as of Feb. 16. 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 9.9 per game.
- Nebraska has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in five of the last six 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 Wisconsin (third) and Michigan (fourth).
HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES
Despite the offensive struggles since Isaac Copeland's season-ending injury, NU comes into the Penn State game averaging 71.9 points per game. The Huskers have scored at least 70 points 14 times, including seven games of at least 80 points.
- Nebraska is 47th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Feb. 13. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
- Nebraska is 14-4 when averaging at least one point per possession, but 1-7 when held under one point per possession.
- The Huskers have shown signs of breaking out of an offensive slump. In a six-game stretch from Jan. 17-Feb. 6, NU shot just 33 percent and averaged 58.8 points per game. NU also failed to score one point per possession in each of those contests. In the last three games, NU is shooting 40 percent from the field, including 35 percent from 3-point range.
- 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 we hit the homestretch.
- NU ranks in the top-30 nationally in scoring defense (62.9 ppg, 18th), field goal defense (.400, 23rd) and 3-point defense (.304, 29th) as of Feb. 16. The Huskers are also third in the Big Ten in steals (7.3 spg) and fourth in blocked shots (4.3 bpg).
- 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 two opponents have shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 51 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 24 of its 26 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota (Dec. 5) and Purdue (Feb. 6) have shot over 50 percent.
- NU has limited 11 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 31st in Kenpom's adjusted defense through Feb. 16.
- The Huskers have held six opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season.
- Under Miles, the Huskers are 51-5 (.911) when holding foes under 60 points, including 17-0 the past three years.
- Under Miles, the Huskers are 59-18 (.766) when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 22-4 (.846) over the past three seasons.
Charting Defensive Improvement
Overall (Conf. Rk.)
Overall (Conf. Rk.)
Overall (Conf. Rk.)
FG Pct. Def.
3-Pt. Pct. Def.
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. Earlier this season, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards, and is currently averaging 18.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
- He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (third), assists (eighth), steals (10th), free throw percentage (.788, 10th), and 3-pointers per game (1.9, 14th).
- Palmer's scoring average is the highest by a Husker since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Palmer has flirted with 20.0 ppg for most of the year, as only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
- He is on pace to post one of the highest scoring averages in Nebraska history. Only two players - Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen - have averaged 18.0 ppg as a Husker during their career.
- 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.
- Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-10 nationally in both free throws (156, 11th) and attempts (198, 10th), while shooting a career best 78.8 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
- Palmer has reached double figures in 56 of 59 career games at Nebraska, including 20 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances.
- He had his most recent 20-point effort against Minnesota when he had a game-high 24 points on 7-of-10 shooting and went 8-of-10 from the line, including a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left to give Nebraska a 62-61 win.
- He joined an exclusive club at Nebraska on Feb. 6, as he became the Huskers' 30th 1,000-point scorer He reached the 1,000-point mark in 56 career games, the second-fastest player to reach that milestone. He is also just the third player to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons at NU, joining Terran Petteway and Dave Hoppen.
- 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 is currently averaging 12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.
- Watson will make his 104th career start on Tuesday which ranks fifth on NU's career list. He has played all 124 games of his collegiate career.
- His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense, as he can switch on bigger guards and some forwards.
- Watson has been in double figures 18 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton
- Watson put together a strong effort against Minnesota on Feb. 13, finishing with 19 points, while limiting Amir Coffey to 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
- He had an 18-point performance against Ohio State, which included going 7-of-7 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 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 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. 16.
- Roby comes off one of the best performances of the year, as he had 19 points, 16 rebounds, five blocked shots, two steals and two assists in NU's 59-50 win over Northwestern. His 16 rebounds was a career high while his five blocked shots matched a season best.
- He is one of only six players nationally and three in power conferences averaging at least 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game as of Feb. 16. The others are Duke's Zion Williamson and Washington's Matisse Thybulle.
- 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.
- 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 8.9 points per game on 44 percent shooting, including 39 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 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 on the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.89-to-1).
- He has been in double figures in eight of NU's last 17 games after reaching double figures once in the Huskers' first nine contests.
- Since the injury to Isaac Copeland Jr., Allen has averaged 10.3 points per game.
- Allen had 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.
- In Wednesday's win over Minnesota, Allen led the Huskers with a career-high nine rebound while also chipping in seven points and a team-high three assists.
- 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.
TANNER'S BIG DAY
Senior Tanner Borchardt put together the finest effort of his career against Illinois on Feb. 2. 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 Feb. 6, 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.
- He showed his toughness against Indiana on Jan. 15, putting up seven points and five rebounds in 17 minutes despite missing shoot around with tooth pain that required a root canal upon returning to Lincoln.
- Borchardt has grabbed seven or more rebounds four times this season after grabbing a total of 45 rebounds in his collegiate career entering this season.
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 sophomores Thorir Thorbjarnarson and Nana Akenten and freshmen Amir Harris and Brady Heiman.
- Thorbjarnarson has played in 16 games, averaging 1.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. He has reached double figures in minutes in four of the last six games, a stretch where he averaged 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Against No. 24 Wisconsin, he had 10 rebounds in 17 minutes. He added six boards and three assists in 17 minutes against Illinois
- 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 22 games, averaging 2.2 points and 2.1 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 18 games, averaging 1.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He missed nearly a month of action with mono and has played in nine of the Huskers' last 10 games since returning to action. He had season bests in points (six) and rebounds (five) against Mississippi Valley State.
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 a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa on Jan. 6
- 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 while at Gorgetown.
- Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is currently working on his Master's Degree.
Wednesday's win over Minnesota on Feb. 13 marked the Huskers' largest comeback of the year, as Nebraska overcame a pair of 11-point deficits in the first half. Prior to Wednesday, the largest deficit the Huskers overcame this season was seven against Oklahoma State in Sioux Falls on Dec. 16.
- The 11-point deficit marked the largest home deficit NU has overcome since Nov. 25, 2014, against Omaha. NU's last three double-figure comebacks before Wednesday had been on the road.
- Nebraska has had at least one double-digit comeback in each of Tim Miles' seven seasons and in 11 straight seasons dating back to the 2008-09 campaign.
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 70-28 (.714) all-time record in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
- Over the last two seasons, the Huskers are 27-5 (.843) 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.
- 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.