Nebraska MBB: Huskers Host Fifth-ranked Badgers on Super Tuesday

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Game #24 vs. Wisconsin
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 10
Time: 8:05 p.m. (CT)
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Capacity: 15,000

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2014-15 Record: 13-10, 5-6 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 47-41 (Third year)
Career Record: 330-261 (20th year)

Wisconsin Badgers
2014-15 Record: 21-2, 9-1 Big Ten
Head coach: Bo Ryan
Record at Wisconsin: 342-123 (14th year)
Career Record: 725-226 (31st year)

Broadcast Information
Television: ESPN
Play-by-play: Mike Tirico
Expert Analysis: Dan Dakich
Sideline: Sam Ponder

Online: WatchESPN

Radio: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington. Also available online at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Expert Analysis: Matt Davison

Satellite Radio: Sirius (84), XM (84)

Live Stats: Huskers.com

Huskers Host Fifth-ranked Badgers on Super Tuesday

The Nebraska men’s basketball team looks for its sixth straight home win Tuesday night, as the Huskers welcome No. 5/4 (AP/Coaches) Wisconsin to Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Tuesday’s game between the Huskers and Badgers is sold out, although any returned tickets, if available, will go on sale at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket office at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Tipoff is set for 8:05 p.m. (central) and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN with Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Sam Ponder on the call. Saturday’s game is also available online and on mobile devices on the WatchESPN app.

The game will be broadcast across the state of Nebraska on the 37-station IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN 1400 AM in Lincoln, 1110 KFAB in Omaha and KRVN 880 AM in Lexington with Kent Pavelka calling the action and Matt Davison adding color commentary. The game can be heard for free on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices, as well as on TuneIn Radio and on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

The Huskers (13-10, 5-6 Big Ten) cut a 20-point deficit to 44-41 in the second half, but could not complete the comeback, falling at Penn State, 56-43, on Saturday. Nebraska struggled from the field, shooting 29 percent in the loss, including just 4-of-23 in the first half in falling behind 22-13.
Nebraska’s second-hald comeback was keyed by backup guards Tai Webster and Tarin Smith, who combined for 13 second-half points. Both players also tied career highs in steals with four and two, respectively, helping NU record a season-high 12 steals.

Nebraska’s 1-2 punch of Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields combined for 25 points and 12 rebounds in the losing effort, but were held to 8-of-25 shooting. Petteway, who went over 1,000 career points at Nebraska on Saturday, is third in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.9 points per game, while Shields ranks seventh in the Big Ten in both scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg).

Nebraska has been a much better team at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Big Ten play this season, averaging 65.0 ppg at home and just 48.6 ppg on the road.

Wisconsin (21-2, 9-1 Big Ten) has been on a roll since the first meeting between the two teams nearly a month ago. The Badgers have won six straight, including a 65-50 win over Northwestern on Saturday. The Badgers feature Big Ten Player of the Year frontrunner Frank Kaminsky, who is averaging 17.5 points and 8.1 rebounds a game to rank in the top five of the Big Ten in both categories.

Numbers 2 Know
.391 – The Huskers’ defensive field goal percentage this season, which is on pace to be the Huskers’ best since the 1960-61 season (.367). NU’s field goal defense is third in the Big Ten entering Tuesday’s game.

1994-95 – The last time that Nebraska had two players average more than 15.0 points per game in a season (Jaron Boone, 17.5; Erick Strickland, 16.3). That is the only time in the last 30 years that Nebraska has had two players average 15 points per game in the same season.

.867 – Nebraska is 13-2 against Big Ten teams at Pinnacle Bank Arena over the last two years with the two losses coming by a combined six points.

.769 – Field goal percentage for Leslee Smith over the last six games, as he has hit 10 of his last 13 shots in that stretch. On the season, Smith, who returned to action on January 8, is shooting 58 percent from the floor.

Scouting Wisconsin
Under Coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin has been one of the Big Ten’s best programs over the past decade. Ryan, who is in his 14th season in Madison, has guided the Badgers to 13 NCAA Tournaments, including six appearances in the NCAA Sweet 16 and last year’s Final Four appearance.

The 2014-15 Badgers have four starters back, including preseason All-American Frank Kaminsky, and have been in the top 10 since the start of the season. Wisconsin’s only loss at full strength was an 80-70 loss to Duke on Dec. 3. In Big Ten play, the Badgers are 9-1 and in control of the league race, as their only Big Ten loss came at Rutgers on Jan. 11 when the Badgers were missing Frank Kaminsky and lost Traevon Jackson to a broken foot. Since then, the Badgers have won six straight, starting with a win over the Huskers on Jan. 15. Wisconsin has won five of the six games in that stretch by double figures.

Wisconsin comes into the contest averaging 74.0 points per game while ranking second in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.486). The Badgers, who lead the conference in fewest turnovers per game (7.5 per game), also boast a Big Ten leading defense, allowing just 56.2 points per game.

Kaminsky is a frontrunner for Big Ten Player of the Year, he averages team highs in both scoring (17.5) and rebounding (8.1) while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. Junior Sam Dekker averages 12.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game while Nigel Hayes is at 12.5 points on 54 percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds per outing.

Nebraska-Wisconsin Series History
Tuesday’s matchup is the 23rd meeting between the two programs and the series is tied at 11 wins apiece. Last year, Nebraska snapped a five-game losing streak to UW with a 77-68 win at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Including Tuesday’s game, the Badgers have been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last three meetings. The series dates back to the 1903-04 season, as Nebraska won the first meeting, 55-25 over the Badgers in Lincoln before Wisconsin took five of the next six meetings from 1907 to 1955. Nebraska then won eight straight games before the Badgers won the next five meetings, including the first four in Big Ten play.

Last Meeting with Wisconsin
Despite a season-high 27 points from Terran Petteway, Nebraska fell to No. 7 Wisconsin, 70-55 on Jan. 16. The Badgers shot 48.8 percent from the field, including 11-of-21 from 3-point range, against a Nebraska defense which was holding opponents to 38 percent. Nebraska was within 40-36 after a Walter Pitchford layup with 17:34 left, but Sam Dekker had eight of his 11 points in a 13-0 Badger run to give Wisconsin a 17-point lead, and Wisconsin was in control the final 10 minutes. Dekker was one of five Wisconsin players in double figures, as Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 22 points.

Worth Noting

  • The first 2,500 fans attending Tuesday’s game will receive Nebraska’s new quarter, the Homestead Quarter, courtesy of First National Bank, the Official Bank of Husker Nation. The quarters will be distributed in the North and South lobby entrances in the arena prior to the start of the game.
  • Tuesday’s game with Wisconsin marks the Huskers’ first home Super Tuesday appearance on ESPN since NU’s inaugural Big Ten game against Wisconsin during the 2011-12 season.
  • Tuesday’s matchup with Wisconsin matches the two best scoring defenses in the Big Ten in Wisconsin (56.2 ppg) and Nebraska (60.9 ppg). In Big Ten Conference play, NU is first at 60.2 ppg, while the Badgers are second, allowing 61.2 points per game.
  • The Huskers have held opponents to 37.5 percent shooting in their six Big Ten home games, including teams which include four of the top six scoring teams in the Big Ten (Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan State and Illinois).
  • Nebraska is 2-0 against ranked teams in Pinnacle Bank Arena, posting wins over No. 18 Ohio State (68-62) and No. 9 Wisconsin (77-68) in 2013-14.
  • Tuesday’s matchup with Wisconsin will mark the first time that Nebraska has hosted a top-five team since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011-12. NU’s last top-five opponent in Lincoln was No. 3 Texas on Feb. 19, 2011, a 70-67 Husker victory. Previously, the highest ranked Big Ten team to come to Lincoln since NU joined the Big Ten was No. 6 Ohio State in 2011-12.
  • Nebraska had two players reach 1,000 points at Nebraska last week in Shavon Shields (vs. Northwestern) and Terran Petteway (at Penn State). It marked the first time since the 1998-99 season (Cookie Belcher and Venson Hamilton) that two Huskers have reached 1,000 points in the same season. The other seasons are 1967-68 (Stuart Lantz and Tom Baack), 1978-79 (Carl McPipe and Brian Banks), 1990-91 (Rich King and Clifford Scales) and 1994-95 (Erick Strickland and Jaron Boone).
  • Shields (1,014) and Petteway (1,010) rank 26th and 27th, respectively, on Nebraska’s career scoring list and are within striking distance of 25th (1,056; Herschell Turner, 1958-60).
  • With 475 rebounds, Shields is only 25 boards away from 500 for his career and would become only the 14th player with 1,000 points and 500 career rebounds.
  • Nebraska is 10th nationally in average attendance with an average of 15,509 per game. The Huskers are on track to break their single-season attendance average for the second straight year after averaging 15,419 in 2013-14.
  • Nebraska has been better with the basketball in Big Ten play, averaging just 11.1 turnovers per game after averaging 15.0 in non-conference play. In Big Ten play, NU is fourth in turnover margin at +1.6 per game and had 10 turnovers in Saturday’s loss at Penn State.
  • The Huskers have enjoyed a second-half lead in six of their 10 losses and were within one possession in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime in five of those contests.
  • Nebraska has had nine double-figure runs during the season, including a 17-0 spurt against Northwestern on Tuesday and a 14-0 run at Penn State.

Last Time Out
NU cut a 20-point deficit to three in the second half, but were unable to get over the hump, falling at Penn State, 56-43 on Saturday.

Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields combined for 25 points, but Nebraska was done in by cold shooting, connecting on just 29.4 percent shooting, including 2-of-20 from 3-point range.

Despite the off shooting night, the Huskers rallied from a 37-17 deficit to make it a one-possession game in the final five minutes. Nebraska used a 14-0 run, including eight points from Shields and Petteway, to close to within 37-31 after a Tai Webster steal and layup. Shep Garner ended the nearly eight minute dry spell for Penn State with a 3-pointer from the corner, to push the lead back to nine. The Nittany Lions got the lead back to 11 after a Devin Foster layup, but the Huskers used their defense to key a 7-0 run over the next two minutes, getting within 42-38 after a Tai Webster 3-point play with 5:56 remaining.

Nebraska’s bench helped the Huskers get back into the game, as Webster had five points and four steals while Tarin Smith matched his career high with eight points and two steals. On the next possession, Nebraska pulled to within 44-41 on Petteway’s 3-pointer with 5:25 left, but would get no closer, as Penn State scored 12 of the final 14 points down the stretch.

Nebraska held D.J. Newbill to 11 points, 10 points below his Big Ten-leading average, but it was the supporting players who keyed the victory. Geno Thorpe led all scorers with 13 points, while Brandon Taylor added 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.

Notes from the Penn State Game

  • Terran Petteway went over 1,000 points at Nebraska on a 3-point play with 5:10 left in the first half. He reached 1,000 points at Nebraska in 55 games, the quickest in school history. The previous fastest to 1,000 was Dave Hoppen, who reached it in 58 games.
  • Nebraska’s 13 first-half points was the lowest since putting up 11 points at Creighton in the 2005-06 season.
  • Nebraska’s 29.4 percent shooting was the Huskers’ second-lowest total of the season while its 10% shooting is its lowest of the season.
  • Tai Webster tied both his season and career high with four steals. He also had four steals against Central Arkansas and in two games as a freshman (Iowa and Miami).
  • Freshman Tarin Smith tied career best in both points (eight) and steals (two).

Petteway and Shields Carry Husker Attack

  • NU features two of the Big Ten’s most dynamic wing players in juniors Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. The pair has been a prolific scoring duo during the first half of 2014-15, combining for 34.6 points per game and ranking among the Big Ten’s top seven scorers entering Tuesday’s game with Wisconsin.
  • } According to Stats Inc., the pair is threatening to become the first Big Ten duo to average 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists since Michigan’s Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose in 1993-94.
  • } In Nebraska’s 119-year history, only five duos have combined to average more than 35 points per game for a season and none since the 1983-84 season.

Hanging Their Hat On Defense
One of the keys to Nebraska’s success the last two seasons has been an emphasis on improved defense. Last year’s midseason turnaround was keyed on the defensive end, as a team that was last in field goal defense entering Big Ten play finished second in the conference in field goal percentage.

This year, Nebraska has been solid defensively while missing its two top interior defenders for long stretches this year. Nebraska is currently second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (60.9) and third in field goal defense (.391). In Big Ten action, the Huskers lead the conference in scoring defense (60.2) and is third in field goal defense (.303).

  • NU is 14th nationally in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com entering Tuesday’s game against Wisconsin.
  • Nebraska’s field goal defense is on pace to be one of the best in recent history. In fact, NU has finished a season with a field goal defense under 40 percent one other time in the last 50 years (.389 in 2010-11).
  • Under Miles, NU is 30-9 over the past three seasons when holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting.
  • Nebraska is 11-3 this season when holding opponents to under a point per possession and 2-7 when an opponent is above the mark.
  • Nebraska held Loyola Marymount to 42 points in the overtime win on Dec. 23. It was the lowest point total allowed by the Husker defense since the 2010-11 season.
  • The 49 points scored by Minnesota on Jan. 20, was not only its lowest total of the season, but 30 points under their season scoring average of 78.9 entering the contest. It was also the Gophers’ lowest point total in 31 games, dating back to Feb. 22, 2014.
  • The Huskers limited Illinois to 43 points on 27.3 percent shooting. It was the lowest field goal percentage by a Husker defense since 2010 and the lowest against a conference opponent since Kansas State shot 23.4 percent on Jan. 11, 2006.
  • Nebraska held Rutgers (49) and Illinois (43) under 50 points per game in consecutive conference games, the first time that has happened since Feb. 23-25, 1963, (Kansas, Oklahoma State).

Petteway Is Among Nation’s Best
Junior wing Terran Petteway entered the season as one of the best players in the country and has played at a high level for the Huskers in 2014-15. The 6-foot-6 junior has raised his numbers across the board, as he averages 18.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. He is third in the Big Ten in scoring and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in 3-pointers per game (fifth) and blocked shots (14th).

  • Petteway is one of only 14 players nationally – and one of four from a power conference – averaging 18 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 2014-15.
  • Petteway’s 18.7 points per game is on pace to be the highest by a Husker since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 points per game in 1997-98.
  • Petteway has 11 20-point games in 2014-15, including a season-high 32 points against Michigan State on Jan. 26, and 23 20-point games for his career. He has four 20-point efforts in Big Ten play, most recently against Northwestern on Feb. 3.
  • Petteway has been in double figures in 52 of 55 games as a Husker.
  • Petteway was one of 25 players selected to the Lute Olson Award mid-season watch list last month.
  • Petteway saw his streak of double-figure games reach 30 before it was snapped at Michigan on Jan. 22. It was the longest streak by a Husker since 1998 NBA first-round pick (and current Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach) Tyronn Lue posted 36 consecutive double-figure efforts spanning the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
  • He went over 1,000 points at Nebraska at Penn State on Feb. 7, reaching the plateau in just 55 games. Petteway was the fastest Husker to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, eclipsing the previous mark of 58 games by Dave Hoppen. Petteway and Hoppen are the only Huskers to reach 1,000 points in their second season at Nebraska.
  • Petteway’s career scoring average of 18.4 points per game at NU is second only to Dave Hoppen (19.5 ppg).
  • He leads the Huskers with two double-doubles in 2014-15 (20 points, 12 rebounds vs. Omaha; 22 points, 10 rebounds vs. Ohio) and has four double-doubles in his NU career.
  • Petteway had 18 points along with a career-best eight assists against Tennessee-Martin, which was the most by a Husker since the 2011-12 season.
  • Petteway looks to become the first player since Ohio State’s Evan Turner (2009-10) to lead the Big Ten in scoring in consecutive seasons. Over the last 30 years, only three players – Turner, Purdue’s Glenn Robinson (1993-94) and Michigan’s Glen Rice (1988-89) – have accomplished the feat.
  • He was chosen for the Wooden Award Men’s Preseason Top 50 and was the first Husker on the list since Aleks Maric in the 2007-08 season.
  • Petteway is bidding to become the first Husker to earn All-America honors since Carl McPipe during the 1977-78 season.

Last season, Petteway became the first player to earn unanimous first-team all-conference honors since Venson Hamilton in 1999, and also earned first-team all-district honors by the NABC (coaches) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (writers). Petteway finished Big Ten play as the conference scoring leader, averaging 18.6 points per game. He became the fifth Husker in the last century to lead a conference in scoring in conference games and first since former Big Eight Player of the Year Andre Smith in 1980-81. He also led the conference at 18.1 points per game in all games, becoming the first Husker since 1950 (first year the Big Seven Conference kept records) to ever lead the league in scoring for all games.

Shields Keys Husker Attack
While Petteway was one of the best players in the Big Ten last season, Shavon Shields may have been one of the most underrated players in the conference in 2013-14. The 6-foot-7 wing started all 32 games and averaged 12.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game to earn honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and media. As a sophomore, Shields was second on the team in scoring and led Nebraska in rebounding.
This season, Shields has continued his emergence, averaging 15.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, ranking seventh in scoring, rebounding and free throw percentage (.837). He has been in double figures in 20 of 23 contests this season.

  • Shields is one of only 20 players in the country averaging at least 15.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game heading into this week’s action.
  • He is one of three players in the Big Ten who ranks in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
  • Shields has seven 20-point games this season, which already topped his entire career total entering the 2014-15 season, most recently a 21-point effort vs. Michigan State on Jan. 24. It was his third 20-point effort in Big Ten play, as he had 20 points against Indiana on. Dec. 31 and 25 points at Iowa on Jan. 5.
  • His 35-point effort against Omaha on Nov. 22 is the second-highest total in the Big Ten this season and is 10th in school history. In that game, Shields went 12-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
  • With his 35-point game against UNO, he became one of only 14 players in school history – including Terran Petteway – with multiple 30-point games in school history. Shields scored 33 points against Illinois on Feb. 14, 2014.
  • Picked up his fourth career double-double against Central Arkansas with 16 points – all in the first half – and 11 rebounds while dishing out four assists. He also nearly had a double-double at Rhode Island with 25 points and nine rebounds.
  • Shields showed a well-rounded game against Northwestern with 11 points and a career-high eight assists.
  • Shields also excels off the court, carrying a 3.73 GPA in biological sciences and is a two-time first-team Academic All-District selection (2014-15). He was also one of 16 national finalists across all of Division I for the 2014 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.
  • Despite the loss at Minnesota, Jan. 31 was a memorable day for Shields, as his father, Will, was chosen to be a member of the Class of 2015 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Will Shields will become the third Husker (joining Bob Brown and Guy Chamberlain) to be in both the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fames when he is enshrined in August.