Nebraska vs. Minnesota Postgame
*-Brandon Ubel led Nebraska with 15 points, his highest total in Big Ten play. Ubel scored all 15 points in the second half, including the Huskers final 10 points. Ubel also had a season-high four assists in the win.
*-Nebraska picked up its fifth Big Ten win of the season, increasing its total from a year ago. NU also picked up its first win against a top-50 RPI team.
*-Nebraska held Minnesota to 51 points tonight. The Golden Gophers scored 84 in the win on Jan. 29, the most Nebraska has given up this season.
*-Andre Almeida had three blocks tonight, the eighth time this season that he has had three or more blocks in a game
*-Nebraska has now held 12 team to 60 points or less this season.
*-Nebraska matched Minnesota on the boards tonight after losing the battle of the boards by 17 in the first meeting.
*-Nebraska improves to 11-7 at home this season and 447-148 all-time at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
On how he got Andre Almeida to play huge tonight
"You know I didn't say a word to Andre. I think that he just rose to the occasion, and it's pretty cool stuff. I think all three of our seniors were good in their own way. Brandon [Ubel] took over at the end, Andre played his best 18 minutes of the year I'd say, and Dylan [Talley] was Dylan. He was playing to point for us just trying to find ways to make us effective."
On why the crowd didn't put Andre on their shoulders when they stormed the court
"You'd have to ask them."
On if this is a momentum changer for the team
"It's one game. You don't change momentum, you gain momentum. You gain it little by little by little by little. This program has to take it one step at a time. We have to find a way to beat Iowa on Saturday afternoon, than we have to find a way to be effective in the Big Ten tournament. It's just no bigger than that. It's a great win. What a night to celebrate. Just the historic value of the evening with the last game at the [Bob] Devaney [Center], is awesome, but really that doesn't give us any more momentum than anything else. Our guys believe in themselves and there's just been nights that we've had better nights than others. We have a good group of kids and they're doing their best to try to make us relevant. We still want to make postseason. We have to win "X" amount more games and that's what we are trying to do."
On if he realized they never trailed and if it felt that way
"I knew we weren't behind and at one point I was a little concerned saying, 'I don't want to give up the lead. I don't want to. I don't think we were fragile, but we didn't need to give that lead up."
On Brandon [Ubel] making big plays
"Well I was looking around and trying to figure out who was going to make a big play and it had to be Brandon, I thought. He was our best matchup when I looked out at what was going on. They're quicker than Dylan [Talley] up front, and we couldn't get him through the ball-screen. There was just too much quickness on Minnesota's team. I just thought Brandon did a wonderful job and then he made his free throws."
On how special it was to see two seniors lead the scoring in the final game
"It was awesome. I was given a game ball to present to whoever I felt deserved it at the end of the game. Well you start thinking about it and it's got to go to those three seniors. So I said we're going to paint the ball up and put their names on it because they deserve it, and all three of those guys were special for us tonight. Pretty cool group. I come in and start trying to coach them up and they look at me like 'are you kidding me with this guy' and they were juniors just being unconditional and saying 'alright we'll do that'. They don't flinch; they just keep fighting and keep trying to get better. Some guys look at it when we were eleventh in the league and could pack it in, but this group just absolutely will not; they keep fighting until the end."
On how crucial it was to keep the lead at halftime
"Well Andre scored for us a couple of times. The hard part for us is to find scoring; it was a bench night 26-4. So we have our subs out there, we struggle a lit bit. Dylan hit a shot I think and in the second half, when Shavon [Shields] went out I think we had a nine-point lead and when Shavon went out I don't think we scored until he came back in. You guys might want to check those numbers, but then I think we scored twice in a row. That's saying a lot about a freshman, but he just makes us better. There's no just running a play for him or him creating, he's just a good player and makes a lot of things happen."
On how they looked on the boards tonight
"Other than free throw block out, I thought it was okay. With that block out, I'm going to have to see that and see what was going on."
On foul trouble
"I handled it the only way I could at the time. You just go with your gut and know the matchups and who you can guard out there. If we can guard them then we'll figure out the offense part with this group. It's just can we get the guys on there that can help us with defensive matchups and survive on the glass? You can't go too small against these guys or else they'll just brutalize you."
On where he stands on court storming
"Well now we led the country in court storms at CSU. My son was asking me today if I thought we'd storm the court. I said we just might, you never know. Here's what I want you guys to do. I want you to have them do it in slow motion. I want that to be the new trend. You know how they do the slow motion wave; let's do a slow motion court storming. I think that would be kind of cool, but I want you to know that it was my idea first. So whosever does it, I want a foot note."
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
"First I would like to congratulate and commend Nebraska. They out-played us, out-worked us and out-coached us, and they are deserving of the win. We just didn't do some things-obviously shooting was a big part of it, they shot it better from the free throw line. They seemed to want it more, but we are having a tough time shooting the ball from the outside. That has been a real concern for us. Tonight it showed up again."
On if he went back and forth between using the same lineup as he used against Indiana
"Yeah, yes we did, but we went with that one because we played well in the game against Indiana. I thought we had a combination of breakdowns and couldn't get anything out of anyone besides Trevor (Mbakwe). He was the most consistent guy on the court and Elliot (Elliason). I thought Andre Ingram gave us some good play inside. We shoot 38 percent; you are not going to win many games only scoring 51 points."
On the open shots missed from the field at the end of the game
"Yeah they had good looks, they just didn't go down. I thought Andre's shot was challenging from the corner, but we had shots, we had the five second call there, had some stops. We were doing things that stopped them, but Nebraska made all their free throws down the stretch. That is what you have to do to finish the game off and that is what they did."
On if the atmosphere played a role in tonight's loss
"It must have because we were horrible."
On if the team was too confident coming into the game tonight
"Well I'd hate to think that but what else can you look at? That is part of it. Every time we put a good run, some good plays...But we have been inconsistent for a while-in not shooting the ball well. Coming off the two wins, you think we are ready, and we have a lot to play for, but Nebraska has been playing well lately. They took Illinois to the wire; they have been right in every game. Tim has done a good job."
On if this was a different Nebraska team that played in Minnesota
"Oh yeah. They were very physical. They did a good job screening and holding the screens. They were very physical with our players, I thought Almeida was outstanding, very physical and we didn't have an answer for him. He just had a fantastic night. Ubel was outstanding. We did a good job on Gallegos and Dylan (Talley), they did what they had to do to win the game. When you look down and see guys go 6-6 from the free throw line, 4-4 from the free throw line, 3-4 from the free throw line you know they are concentrating and they are into the game and ready."
On playing 18 minutes
I just tried to play my best and help the team in whatever way I could. It's a good feeling.
On if the atmosphere made it feel special
It was crazy, man. It's funny because we had a pretty good crowd today, but they've been great the whole year. We had that feeling that we had to give them something good for the last game in the Devaney. They've been so great with us, at least the last couple of years I've been here. They've been nothing but great. For the last one in the Devaney, it was a pretty sweet game.
On getting a win on senior night
We were talking about it in the locker room. What a game to be the very last one in the Devaney. There have been so many ups and downs, but it's about the team and there's a reason why you wear Nebraska on your chest and your name on your back. It's all about Nebraska. The whole season, I've just tried to help my team in the best way I could, whether I was on the court or cheering from the bench. It's just a great team, great group of guys and I'm just looking forward to the future.
On when he came in after Shavon Shields fouled out
It was crazy. I was just like, let's go. Let's do this. Let's finish this game. He's been playing great. It's kind of hard to describe the feeling we just had. You just feel like all the fans had your back. It's just a great atmosphere to play. It just feels good.
On playing the Brazilian national anthem at the beginning of the game
I was kind of surprised. I didn't really know until a day or two before. Shamus (McKnight) told me, but it was nice. It was kind of weird that I was the only one. They were just playing it for me. There were so many people there and I was the only one that actually knew what was going on. It was good. I appreciated it.
On getting the last points of the game
That was unbelievable. Last game in Devaney, my last game in Nebraska with this group of guys, the way we did it. Closed out a really tough Minnesota team. Fought for 40 minutes. That was unbelievable.
On if there was a different energy in the team
We just had a really good focus about us. Offensively and defensively, we played tough. We knew that the last time out against these guys, they kind of punked us. We came out with the mindset that that was not going to happen again. We played that way for 40 full minutes and the outcome was very, very awesome.
On feeling a need to make a play down the stretch
They were making plays and we needed somebody to step up and make plays. I wanted the ball. I wanted to make the plays in those situations for our team. I was fortunate enough to do it. Andre [Almeida] sealed his man out on both of those drives. I couldn't have done it without him. I couldn't have done it without any of those guys. It was five guys out there and the whole team doing their job. It was awesome.
On playing off the crowd
I kind of lost my mind there. I was just so excited. It was exciting for us, it was exciting for the team, and I wanted to let the crowd know that we were going to do this. Get in the game, because we were going to win this game. They had our backs from the beginning of this game and it was just an awesome atmosphere.
On being up on the shoulders at the end of the game
It was great. I got to see everybody. I looked up and waved to my feeling, so that was an excellent feeling. It was a great feeling.
On where this game ranks
This is definitely up there. This was the last game at the Devaney and to end it with a W, that felt great. We were happy we could do it for the fans. They always help us out. It was definitely up there.
On the sense that Nebraska wanted the game more than Minnesota
I just knew we wanted it a lot. I don't know how much Minnesota wanted it. We just knew we wanted this W tonight, so we went out and played hard.
On the crowd
The crowd was so loud. At some point, I was getting chills because I could just feel it throughout my body. They definitely gave us the extra surge and the extra push. We definitely fed off them a lot tonight. It was just crazy tonight. It was super loud.
On team interaction in the last minutes of the game
We just kept talking. The main thing was to keep on trying to get stops, keep on playing physical. They called a lot of fouls on us, but you've got to play physical against a team like that because they're just so big and physical. It's what they do. You've got to try and fight fire with fire, as coach always said. We weren't trying to get deterred by getting fouls called on us like that. That's just part of the territory when you're playing hard like that.