Huskers Look for Fifth Straight Win
Game #26 Purdue
Game Date Feb. 23, 2014
Tipoff Time 3:21 p.m. (CT)
Venue Pinnacle Bank Arena
2013-14 Record: 15-10, 7-6 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 30-28 (2nd year)
Career Record: 313-248 (19th year)
2013-14 Record: 15-11, 5-8 Big Ten
Head Coach: Matt Painter
Record at Purdue: 191-106 (9th year)
Career Record: 216-1011 (10th year)
Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
(Ch. 610 on DirecTV; Chs. 439, 9500 on DISH; Chs. 24 and 333-SD, 1333-HD on Time Warner Cable; Chs. 80 SD, 1080-HD on Cox Cable)
Play by Play: Steve Physioc
Expert Analysis: Shon Morris
Online: BTN2go app on android and iOS devices
Radio: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington.
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Expert Analysis: Matt Davison
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com
Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 134, XM Ch. 196
Huskers Look for Fifth Straight Win
The Nebraska basketball team looks to continue its late-season surge on Sunday, as the Huskers welcome Purdue to Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Sunday’s game should be a sellout by game time, as only a few single tickets were available as of Friday morning. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED or (402) 472-3111 or at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office beginning 90 minutes prior to tipoff, if available. A crowd of over 15,000 is expected.
Tipoff is set for 3:21 p.m. (CT) and the game will be carried nationally on BTN (Ch. 610 on DirecTV, Chs. 439 and 9500 on Dish; Chs. 2, 1333 on Time Warner Cable) with Steve Physioc and Shon Morris on the call. The game will also be available online and on mobile devices on BTN2Go.
Sunday’s game will also be carried across the state on the 27-station Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison calling all of the action, including flagship stations KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln and KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha (complete list of affiliates is on page five of the game notes). The game can also be heard on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices, as well as Sirius and XM Radio.
The Huskers (15-10, 7-6 B1G) come into the weekend as one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten. Nebraska has won four straight games to go above the .500 mark in conference play following an 80-67 win over Penn State Thursday night.
Nebraska relied on its defense and offensive balance in the win over the Nittany Lions. The Huskers held Penn State to 35 percent shooting and led by as many as 27 points with 8:02 left. Nebraska is holding foes to just 40 percent shooting over the past six games, a main reason why the Huskers have run off wins in five of the past six contests.
While Terran Petteway led all scorers with a game-high 26 points - his ninth 20-point effort of the season - Nebraska put five players in double figures against the Nittany Lions and went 37-of-48 from the charity stripe in the win.
Purdue (15-11, 5-8 B1G) looks to bounce back after running into a hot-shooting Michigan State team in a 94-79 loss on Thursday. MSU hit 17 3-pointers - three shy of the Big Ten single-game record - and finished the night shooting 58 percent from the field. Purdue was led by Kendall Stephens, who had 18 points and three steals off the bench. The Boilermakers won the first matchup of the season in West Lafayette, 70-64, on Jan. 12, and NU is looking for its first regular-season win over the Boilermakers since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.
By the Numbers
.846 - Nebraska’s winning percentage in games decided by five points or less under Tim Miles. The Huskers are 11-2 in such games over the last two seasons.
1 - Nebraska is the only Big Ten team with multiple 30-point scorers (Terran Petteway vs. UMass and Minnesota; Shavon Shields vs. Illinois) this season.
3 - Wednesday marked the third time this season that Nebraska has played five players in double figures.
5 - Nebraska has won five straight conference home games for the first time since a five-game Big 12 home win streak spanning the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. A win on Sunday would be the longest conference win streak since a school-record eight-game streak in the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons.
9 - 20-point games by Terran Petteway this season, which is tied for the Big Ten lead entering this weekend.
Purdue comes into the weekend with a 15-11 mark and is 5-8 in Big Ten play following a 94-79 loss to Michigan State. The Boilermakers need a strong finish to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year after Purdue had made seven straight NCAA appearances.
With four returning starters, the Boilermakers opened the year with five straight wins, but are just 10-10 over the last 20 games. Purdue is 12-3 at Mackey Arena, but 3-8 away from home this season. Purdue relies on a 10-player rotation for ninth-year coach Matt Painter, while 11 different players have made at least one start. Against MSU, Purdue shot 49 percent from the floor, but the Spartans hit 17 3-pointers and forced 10 Boilermaker turnovers. Kendall Stephens led Purdue off the bench with 19 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
Senior guard Terone Johnson leads the Boilermakers with 11.9 points per game, as Purdue averages 73.3 points per game. Ronnie Johnson is also in double figures at 11.0 points per game, while A.J. Hammons averages 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and a Big Ten-leading 3.0 blocked shots per game.
NU-Purdue Series History
Sunday’s game between the Huskers and Purdue will be the 14th all-time meeting between the two programs in a series that dates back to 1947. Purdue holds a 10-3 lead in the all-time series following the Boilermakers’ win in January. Last season, Nebraska snapped Purdue’s five-game win streak with a 57-55 win at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. The Boilermakers are 4-1 against Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten prior to the 2011-12 season (3-0 in regular season; 1-1 in Big Ten Tournament). Nebraska has won two of the season previous meetings in Lincoln, but not since a 96-85 win in 1964.
Last meeting: A six-minute dryspell without a field goal late in the second half proved costly, as Nebraska fell at Purdue, 70-64. The Huskers, who were down by six in the second half, used a 16-7 surge to fight back and take a 58-55 lead with 6:43 remaining after Terran Petteway split a pair of free throws, but could not hold off Purdue down the stretch.
Ronnie Johnson, who had 14 points took over, scoring five points in a 9-0 run to give Purdue the lead for good. Petteway led three Huskers in double figures with 19 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Ray Gallegos and Deverell Biggs added 10 points each in the loss. A.J. Hammons led Purdue with 18 points as Purdue shot 46 percent, while holding the Huskers to 41.4 percent.
Last Time Out
The Huskers picked up their fourth straight win with an 80-67 victory over Penn State in front of a sellout crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska went above the .500 mark in Big Ten play, hitting 37-for-48 from the charity stripe for the wire-to-wire victory. Terran Petteway paced the Huskers with a game-high 26 points, including 14-of-19 from the foul line to pace five Huskers in double figures. Shavon Shields added 13 points, while Walter Pitchford and Ray Gallegos added 11 points each. Tai Webster tallied 10 points, five rebounds and three assists for NU.
The stingy NU defense managed to hold Penn State to just 34 percent shooting from the field. The Huskers have now held their last four opponents under 40 percent shooting.
Sunday is Red Cross Day
Nebraska Athletics shows its support for the causes of the American Red Cross by encouraging fans to give generously during American Red Cross Appreciation Day on Sunday.
Red Cross volunteers and Husker student-athletes will be at the Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances as well as passing special Red Cross buckets throughout the crowd at halftime of Sunday’s game with Purdue.
Donations will aid the Red Cross in its life-saving disaster relief and emergency response efforts. Donations will also go to support crisis communications for local military families, CPR training and swimming lessons for children throughout the community and to support the Red Cross First Aid Team volunteers at every Husker game at Pinnacle Bank Arena to make sure all fans receive any necessary emergency medical assistance.
*-The Huskers will be looking for their fifth straight conference win, the first time that has happened for the Huskers since the 1998-99 season (Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas).
*-Nebraska looks to improve to a Big Ten-best 13-1 in its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena. A win would be NU’s sixth straight home conference win, the first time that has happened since an eight-game stretch spanning the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons. Dating back to last season, the Huskers have won 14 of their last 15 home games with the only loss coming to now No. 20 Michigan on Jan. 9.
*-Nebraska is bidding for its seventh Big Ten win in the last eight games, which would be a first for the program since the 1998-99 season when Nebraska went 9-1 in a stretch during Big 12 action.
*-The Huskers are looking for their 16th win of the season, which would exceed NU’s 2012-13 season total. It is the 13th time in 14 seasons under a Miles’ coached-team has matched or exceeded the previous season. The only time it did not happen in Miles tenure was in 2003-04 at North Dakota State.
*-The Huskers are gunning for their eighth Big Ten win of the season, it would match Nebraska’s most conference wins since 2000 (NU went 8-8 during the 2008-09 campaign).
*-A win on Sunday would be Nebraska’s first regular-season win over Purdue since joining the Big Ten and first victory in Lincoln over the Boilermakers since 1964.
*-Sophomore Terran Petteway is 18 points away from climbing from fifth to third on NU’s sophomore scoring chart.
*-Petteway has nine 20-point games this season, which is the most since Bo Spencer had nine during the 2011-12 season. If he has a 20-point game on Sunday, it would be his 10th of the year, which is the most since Aleks Maric had 12 in 2006-07.
*-Ray Gallegos is also closing in on a couple of other milestones, as he is one assist away from 100 in his career and four points from reaching 750 points. He would be the 56th player in school history to reach 750 career points.
*-Sunday’s win over Michigan State marks the fifth 2013 Sweet 16 team that Nebraska has beaten this season (also Florida Gulf Coast, Miami, Ohio State and Indiana).
*-Tai Webster enters Sunday’s game needing two steals to crack into the top-10 list for steals by a Husker freshman. Webster has 23 on the season, two behind Leslee Smith for the team lead. Cookie Miller is the last Husker freshman to lead NU in steals during the 2007-08 season.
Quick Look at Nebraska
As second-year coach Tim Miles continues the rebuilding process at Nebraska, the Huskers’ roster is starting to take shape. Only two of the 12 recruited scholarship players have been at NU longer than two seasons (Ray Gallegos and David Rivers). Gallegos is the only scholarship senior on the 2013-14 roster before Mike Peltz was put on scholarship in January.
*-Nebraska enters the game at No. 52 in the RPI and a schedule rated as the 25th toughest nationally according to real time RPI.
*-The Huskers have three top-50 wins (at Michigan State, vs. Ohio State and Minnesota) while seven of the 10 losses are to teams in the top 25 of the RPI released Friday.
*-Nebraska has already matched or exceeded its season and conference win totals from last year with five regular-season games left.
*-Of Nebraska’s 10 losses, six are to teams ranked in either the AP or coaches poll this week (Iowa, Cincinnati, Michigan-2x, Ohio State and Creighton) and another is to a UMass team which has been ranked for most of the season.
*-The Huskers started Big Ten play with a 1-5 record with four of their first six on the road, but had chances to win in the final minutes of three of those losses.
• vs. Michigan (Jan. 9) - Led 70-69 with 0:34 left (lost, 71-70)
• at Purdue (Jan. 12) - Led 58-55 with 6:43 left (lost, 70-64)
• at Penn State (Jan. 26) - Led 51-47 with 2:24 left (lost, 58-54)
*-Nebraska has relied on its youth, as its top three active scorers (Petteway, Shields and Pitchford are sophomores and of the nine players who played at least 10 minutes per game, only one is a senior. In fact, 60 percent of the Huskers’ scoring have come from NU’s sophomore class.
*-During Big Ten action, the Huskers have typically started one freshman (Tai Webster), three sophomores (Petteway, Shields and Pitchford) and one senior (Gallegos). Nebraska has been even younger the last two games with junior David Rivers replaced Gallegos in the starting lineup.
*-Miles is not afraid to play freshmen, as at least one freshman has started in 56 of the 58 games he has coached at Nebraska over the last two seasons.
This season, Nebraska is picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 293rd (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom.com. Five of NU’s nine primary rotation players are in their first year of competition at Nebraska, although three of the newcomers (Pitchford-Florida; Smith-SMU; Petteway-Texas Tech) have previous Division I experience.
Miles, who was given a seven-year contract when he was hired in 2012, led the Huskers to a 15-18 record last year, as 14 of NU’s 18 losses came against NCAA Tournament teams despite having only eight recruited scholarship players available. Nebraska played one of the nation’s toughest schedules in 2012-13, facing 10 ranked teams while the strength of schedule was 13th nationally. The Huskers finished 10th in the Big Ten in 2012-13 after being picked to finish last by 23 of the 24 beat writers in the league.
Finding Offensive Pace
Despite having several new faces in the rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging nearly 10 points more per game than at this point last year, including a season-high 90 points against UMass on Nov. 21 - NU’s highest single-game total since the 2009-10 season.
*-Last year, NU was 12th in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 58.3 points per game. So far this season, Nebraska has been held under 60 points just six times in 25 games.
*-The Huskers’ tempo has vastly increased, as Nebraska was over 300th in adjusted tempo in each of the last three seasons and is now 188th coming into Sunday’s game with Purdue.
*-Nebraska’s 82 points against Minnesota on Jan. 26 marked the most points by the Huskers in a conference game since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.
*-Nebraska scored 80 or more points in consecutive games against South Carolina State and UMass, the first time that has happened since the 2008-09 season. Nebraska has already scored 75 or more points six times this season after just reaching that plateau twice in 33 games during the 2012-13 season.
*-Nebraska has had nine players reach double figures at least once this season. The Huskers had three games where five players reached double figures and seven others with four double-figure scorers.
*-In two seasons under Miles, Nebraska is 24-8 when scoring over 60 points.
Record-Breaking Season Ticket Sales
The move to Pinnacle Bank Arena has been a boon to Nebraska basketball, as the Husker program has shattered season-ticket records. On May 3, all of the season tickets allotted for 2013-14 had been accounted for, as season-ticket sales were up nearly 95 percent from 2012-13. It marked the third straight season that tickets sales were up.
*-Nebraska will shatter its single-season attendance record of 13,357 set in 1992-93. Currently, the Huskers are averaging 15,295 fans per game heading into Sunday’s contest with Purdue.
*-Nebraska ranks 12th nationally in average attendance heading into this weekend’s games.
*-The Huskers sold over 14,000 season tickets for its first season in the building, including 1,650 student tickets. The previous school record for season ticket sales was 12,000 set in 1992-93.
*-Over the last five seasons, only four schools have increased their attendance by more than 3,000 fans per game in a single season with the largest increase by BYU in 2010-11 (4,685 per game increase). Nebraska is currently averaging 4,943 more fans per game than in 2012-13.
*-The Huskers have rewarded the fans by going 12-1 in the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska finished non-conference play unbeaten for the first time since 2010-11, and knocked off their first ranked foe since 2012 with the win over No. 15 Ohio State on Jan. 20.
A Historic Win
Nebraska’s 60-51 win at No. 9 Michigan State on Feb. 16 was one of the Huskers’ best road wins in recent history.
*-The win marked just the fourth win over a top-10 opponent outside Lincoln and the first since 1997. NU also snapped a 29-game losing streak against top-10 teams away from Lincoln.
*-Nebraska snapped 21-game losing streak to ranked teams on the road, dating back to a 65-59 win at No. 22 Texas A&M and Feb.23, 2008. It also ended a 24-game streak against ranked teams outside of Lincoln.
*-NU picked up its first Big Ten win against Michigan State, snapping a four-game losing streak to the Spartans. Nebraska’s only other win in an 86-81 overtime win over No. 15 Michigan State on Dec. 18, 1993.
*-The win was the second road win against a top-10 team for Nebraska Coach Tim Miles, as his North Dakota State team topped eighth-ranked Marquette on Dec. 3, 2006.
Petteway Earns Big Ten Honor
Terran Petteway was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 17, after leading the Huskers to a 2-0 week. He averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as Nebraska posted wins against Illinois and at No. 9 Michigan State to improve to 6-6 in Big Ten play.
Petteway led the Huskers with 23 points, including four 3-pointers and added five rebounds and two assists in helping the Huskers to their first road win over a top-10 team since 1997. He had 16 of his points in the second half, as the Huskers snapped a 29-game road winning streak against top-10 teams and won for the fifth time in the last six outings. Petteway also had 16 points and four rebounds in NU’s 67-58 win against Illinois on Wednesday.
Petteway is the second Husker to earn the weekly honor, joining Shavon Shields, who won the award during the opening week of the season. It marked the first time since 2007-08 that Nebraska had multiple conference players of the week.
The Son Also Rises
Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields is on his way to creating an impressive resume in his own right. While his father, Will, is one of the greatest linemen in college and NFL history and a three-time NFL Hall of Fame finalist, the younger Shields has played an integral role over the last two years on the court for the Huskers.
As a freshman, Shavon overcame an early season elbow injury and averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 29 games. Shields started to shine during the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State.
*-Shields, who was hampered by a knee bruise suffered in practice early in Big Ten play, is averaging 11.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, as leads NU in rebounding, is second in scoring and third in assists. All three categories are up from his freshman year.
*-After a week off during Nebraska’s first conference bye to get healthy, Shields has been solid, averaging 13.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game over the last nine contests. The stretch began against No. 17 Ohio State on Jan. 20 when he scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Shields had 11 points and set career bests in both assists (four) and steals (four) against Indiana and led NU with 13 points at No. 10 Michigan on Feb. 5.
*-He enjoyed a career-high 33 point performance against Illinois on Feb. 12, when he hit 8-of-12 shots from the field and all 15 of his free throws. Shields tied Nebraska’s single-game record for free throws without a miss and became only the 11th Big Ten player to hit at least 15 free throws without a miss and the first since 1997.
*-Shields has the team's longest starting streak at 44 games dating back to last season.
*-He has been in double figures 14 times, and has grabbed at least six rebounds 13 times, including a season-high 10 rebounds at Penn State on Jan. 23.
*-Shields has paced the Huskers in scoring six times and has a pair of 20-point games this season. All three of his 20-point nights came against 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifiers (Florida Gulf Coast, Creighton and Illinois).
*-He was named Big Ten Player of the Week and Lute Olson National Player of the Week for his effort against Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast in the season opener. In that game he scored a game-high 28 points - one off his career high - hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the line. The 6-foot-7 forward also led NU in rebounds (six) and assists (three).
*-Last summer, Shields played for the Denmark U-20 National Team, leading the country to the 2013 Nordic Cup Championship. He averaged 13.3 points per game in wins over Sweden, Finland and Estonia, capping the tournament with a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in a 101-94 double overtime win over Estonia.
*-Off the court, Shields is a microbiology major who wants to become a doctor following his basketball career and was named first-team Academic All-District VII on Jan. 31, as he carries a 3.77 GPA in mircobiology.
Petteway on Track for Historic Season
Sophomore Terrran Petteway has enjoyed one of the most prolific seasons by a Husker in recent years. The 6-foot-6 wing from Galveston, Texas, enters the weekend leading the Big Ten with 18.0 points per game while averaging 5.2 caroms per outing. Petteway, who sat out last year after transferring from Texas Tech, has been among the Big Ten’s biggest surprises during the 2013-14 season.
*-Petteway is on track to enjoy one of the highest scoring sophomore seasons in school history. At 18.0 points per game, it would be the highest by a Husker sophomore since Tyronn Lue averaged 18.8 points per game in 1996-97. In fact, only three players have averaged more than 16 points per game as a sophomore - Dave Hoppen (19.9), Lue and Jerry Fort (18.0).*-He is challenging to become the first Husker since Tyronn Lue in 1997-98 and only the fourth Husker in the last 40 years to rank among the conference’s top three scorers (Andre Smith and Dave Hoppen are the others).
*-Petteway has raised his scoring average nearly 15 points from his true freshman year at Texas Tech, as his career high entering this season was a 13-point effort against DePaul.
*-Petteway is the only player in the Big Ten over the last two seasons with multiple 30-point games. The last person with three 30-point games in a season was John Shurna of Northwestern in 2011-12. Only nine Big Ten players have had multiple 30-point games in a season since 2010
*-He put together the finest game of his career in the win over Minnesota on Jan. 26 with a career-high 35 points on 10-of-15 shooting and six rebounds. Petteway hit four 3-pointers in the win and went 11-of-14 from the foul line.*-Reached double figures in 23 of 25 games after just having one double-figure effort prior to this season and has tied or led Nebraska in scoring in 10 straight games before the streak was snapped against Michigan on Feb. 5.
*-Petteway picked up his ninth 20-point game of the season in the win over Penn State with 26 points, including 14-of-19 from the foul line.
*-He put together a strong outing in the win at No. 9 Michigan State with 23 points, including 16 second-half points, and five rebounds.
*-Petteway had a streak of three straight 20-point games (27 vs. Citadel; 22 at Cincinnati; 20 at Iowa) - the first time that has happened at Nebraska since Aleks Maric had four consecutive 20-point games in 2006-07.
*-Nearly put together a double-double in the loss at Purdue with 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, along with two blocked shots.
*-Recorded his first career double-double at Iowa on Dec. 31, leading all scorers with 20 points and grabbing a career-high 12 rebounds.
*-Ranks seventh in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 81.8 percent after shooting just 46 percent from the line during his lone season at Texas Tech.
*-Led NU with a strong road performance at Northwestern on Feb. 8 when he led Nebraska in scoring (17), rebounds (eight) and assists (four) in NU’s 53-49 win.
*-Led the Huskers at the Charleston Classic in November, averaging 22 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in three games.
*-Put together his first 30-point game of the season in a 96-91 loss to UMass at the Charleston Classic, and is now only one of 13 players in school history with multiple 30-point games at Nebraska.
Pitchford Provides Scoring Punch
Another one of Nebraska’s transfers, sophomore Walter Pitchford has developed into a consistent scoring option for the Huskers. The 6-foot-10 forward began his career at Florida, where he was a reserve on the Gators’ Elite Eight squad in 2011-12. This year, he has taken advantage of the new surroundings and has been productive, averaging 9.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. One of the Huskers’ best athletes with a 42-inch vertical leap, Pitchford is also one of the Huskers’ top 3-point shooters at 40 percent on the season.
*- Is playing some of his best basketball of the season over the last three weeks, averaging 12.1 points per game on 56 percent shooting over the last seven games. Pitchford has been in double figures six times in that stretch and has set season highs in points on two occasions, most recently at Michigan State on Feb. 16.
*-Finished with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 24 minutes against Penn State on Thursday.
*-Enjoyed a successful homecoming at Michigan State on Feb. 16, totaling a career-high 18 points, including a season-high four 3-pointers, along with five rebounds and two steals in Nebraska's win over the No. 9 Spartans.
*-Reached double figures in scoring 12 times this year, including a then-career-high 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the four-point win over Northwestern on Nov. 8. In that game, he scored 13 second-half points, including five straight points after the Wildcats cut an eight-point lead to 44-all in the final four minutes.
*-Put together the best game of his career at Iowa on Dec. 31, finishing with 13 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the year. Pitchford also had eight offensive rebounds and helped NU cut a 20-point deficit to five in the second half.
*-Finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting against Michigan on Jan. 9.
*-Posted his first career double-double against Arkansas State on Dec. 14 with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
*-Played a key role in the Huskers’ win over Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 4 with 13 points and five rebounds
*-Totaled an incredible 339:23 without a turnover dating back to his time at Florida before his first turnover on Jan. 9. The streak lasted 22 games dating back to his freshman year at Florida, as he was the last regular rotation player in the country without a turnover.
Gallegos Looks to Prove Less is More
While senior guard Ray Gallegos was Nebraska’s top returning scorer heading into the season, the Huskers’ increased depth has made him a more efficient player in 2013-14.
While Gallegos is known for being a long-range shooter who can hit shots in bunches, he has been a more well-rounded player in 2013-14. He is fourth on the team in scoring at 7.6 points per game while averaging 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Last year, Gallegos averaged a Big Ten-high 37.5 minutes per game, including nearly 39 minutes per game in conference play.
*-Leads the Huskers with a career-high 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the season and has nearly twice as many steals as turnovers on the year.
*-Ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 1.9 3-pointers per game, including a trio of 3-pointers in the win over Indiana on Jan. 31. He also has four 3-pointers in the first matchup with Michigan on Jan. 9 and broke out of a mini slump with 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, against Penn State on Thursday night.
*-Has already set career high in assists on two occasions, including five assists against The Citadel on Dec. 21 and Minnesota on Jan. 23.
*-Enjoyed one of his best games of the season at Cincinnati on Dec. 28 with a season-high 18 points, including four 3-pointers, while dishing out three assists.
*-Leads the Huskers with 43 3-pointers this season and now sits in seventh place on Nebraska’s career 3-point chart with 147. He passed Cookie Belcher (146, 1997-01) against Penn State.
*-Opened the 2013-14 season by hitting six of 10 3-pointers in a win over South Carolina State on Nov. 17, the fifth time he has hit on at least six 3-pointers in a game.
As a junior, he connected on 83 3-pointers, a total which ranked second on Nebraska’s single-season list. It is more impressive when you consider that Gallegos made only 21 3-pointers during his first two seasons at Nebraska before redshirting in 2011-12.
*-Led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game (2.5 per game) during the 2012-13 season. He became the first Husker basketball player to lead the Big Ten in any statistical category.
*-Connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers at Iowa on March 9, 2013, a total which is one shy of Nebraska’s single-game record.
Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point
Tai Webster has found a home in the Huskers’ backcourt, averaging 4.9 points, 2.2 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game heading into Sunday’s game against Purdue. While he is averaging just 3.4 points per game in Big Ten play, Webster has found other ways to help the Huskers win, as he is first on the team in steals (12) and assists (25) while hitting 73 percent from the foul line.
Webster comes off his best Big Ten performance of the year, totaling 10 points, a season-high five rebounds and a team-best three assists at Penn State on Thursday. It marked his first double-digit effort in Big Ten play, as he went 8-of-10 from the line against the Nittany Lions and hit his only shot from the field. He also performed well in NU’s win over No. 17 Ohio State with nine points, including 5-of-6 from the foul line, and two rebounds. A Webster had five points and four assists in 29 minutes in the win over Minnesota on Jan. 26 and had four points, two assists and two steals against Indiana on Jan. 30. He dished out four assists and matched his personal best with four steals at No. 22 Iowa on Dec. 31.
The 6-foot-4 freshman enjoyed the best game of his career on Nov. 24 against Georgia, scoring 14 points and dishing out three assists in NU’s 73-65 win. Webster scored 13 of his points in the second half and went 7-of-9 from the foul line. It was his second double-figure effort of the Charleston Classic, as he totaled 12 points and two assists in NU’s loss to UMass. He has dished out a season-high five assists on three occasions, most recently against Arkansas State on Dec. 14.
With his start against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, Webster became just the ninth true freshman to start a season opener in the last 18 years. Webster totaled nine points, two rebounds and an assist in helping the Huskers to a 79-55 win. He reached double figures for the first time in his young career against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Although he is a freshman who does not turn 19 until after this season, Webster was considered one of the top international guards in this year’s senior class. He played for New Zealand’s national team in qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, averaging 13.5 points per game in 52.5 percent shooting in three games. He also played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last spring despite being the youngest player in the league. Webster is among the five Big Ten freshmen to watch by ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, joining Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes.