Husker basketball drops first game of season in KC

Tuesday night in the Hall of Fame Classic final in Kansas City, MO., the Nebraska men’s basketball finished 5-of-23 from three as Texas Tech handed the Huskers their first loss of the season, 70-52.

Post game report/reaction:

 Early highlights:


Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Kansas City, Mo. – Isaac Copland Jr. had 20 points and eight rebounds, but the Huskers could not overcome a poor shooting night in a 70-52 loss to Texas Tech in the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker Wednesday night. 

Copeland’s second straight 20-point effort went for naught, as Nebraska (4-1) was held to 35 percent shooting and was out-rebounded 38-29 against the Red Raiders. Copeland, who averaged 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two games in Kansas City, was selected to the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament team

Jarrett Culver scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, as the Red Raiders pulled away in the second half to improve to 5-0. Culver had 20 of Texas Tech’s 38 second-half points, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, en route to tournament MVP honors.  

James Palmer Jr. added 13 points for NU, but struggled with foul trouble for most of the evening before fouling out. 

Nebraska trailed 34-26 after a Culver basket before the Huskers came back with a run. Copeland’s 3-pointer started an 8-2 spurt that saw the Big Red get within 36-34 after a Glynn Watson Jr. 3-pointer with 16:56 left. Nebraska was within 42-38 after a Nana Akenten jumper with 12:26 left, but two straight Culver 3-pointers stretched the margin back to 10 with 11:00 remaining. 

The Huskers, who came into the contest averaging nearly 90 points per game, pulled to within 48-41 after a pair of Copeland free throws with 10:13 left, but could get no closer, as the Red Raiders used a 9-1 spurt to stretch their lead to 15, at 57-42, and Nebraska was unable to slice the lead back to single-figures. 

In a first half that featured several runs, it was Texas Tech with the final one, as the Red Raiders scored the last six points to take a 32-26 halftime lead. 

The teams were tied at 26 before Matt Mooney’s jumper with 1:25 left got the grad transfer going, as he scored six of his nine first-half points in the Red Raiders surge.  Mooney finished with 15 points for the winners.

The Huskers got off to a blistering start, hitting four of their first seven shots, including a pair of 3-pointers in a 13-2 run, as Nebraska built an early 15-6 lead after an Isaiah Roby dunk. 

Nebraska was up 15-8 before Palmer picked up his second personal foul with 12:13 left in the first half. Palmer, who played just 14 first-half minutes, led Nebraska with nine first-half points.

The Huskers’ early lead would be short lived, Tariq Owens’ basket and 3-point play from Mooney started a 12-0 Red Raider run that gave Texas Tech an 18-15 lead. 

Nebraska trailed 22-19 before a Palmer 3-pointer and two Copeland free throws gave the Huskers a 24-22 lead with 6:06 left, as neither team led by more than four points until Mooney’s half-ending run. 

The Huskers return to action Saturday, Nov. 24, against Western Illinois.

Postgame Notes

*-Isaac Copeland led NU in scoring for the second straight game with 20 points and eight rebounds. It was his second straight 20-point effort. 

*-Issac Copeland set career highs for free throws made (nine) and attempted (14). 

*-Nebraska was held to season lows in points with 52, snapping a streak of four straight games of at least 80 points. 

*-Nebraska’s 32-26 deficit is the Huskers’ first halftime deficit this season.