Nebraska MBB: Huskers Host No. 10 Maryland on Senior Night

sports rotator NU basketball

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Game #30 vs. Maryland

Date: Sunday, March 8

Time: 6:36 p.m.

Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena

Capacity: 15,000

Nebraska Cornhuskers

2014-15 Record: 13-16, 5-12 Big Ten

Head coach: Tim Miles

Record at Nebraska: 47-47 (Third year)

Career Record: 330-267 (20th year)

Maryland Terrapins

2014-15 Record: 25-5, 13-4 Big Ten

Head coach: Mark Turgeon

Record at Maryland: 84-48 (Fourth year)

Career Record: 334-207 (17th year)

Broadcast Information

Television: BTN

Play-by-play: Kevin Kugler

Expert Analysis: Stephen Bardo

Online: BTN2Go

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 No. 10 Maryland on Senior Night

Nebraska returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the final time this season, as the Huskers host No. 10/9 (AP/Coaches) Maryland on Senior Night this Sunday.

The tilt between the Huskers and Terrapins is a sellout, although a very limited number of returned tickets could go on sale at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office.

Tipoff is set for 6:36 p.m. and the contest will be televised nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call. Sunday’s game is also available online and on mobile devices on the BTN2Go 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 will honor seniors Moses Abraham, Kye Kurkowski, Trevor Menke, David Rivers and Leslee Smith in pregame ceremonies and fans are urged to be in their seats by 6:15 p.m.

Nebraska (13-16, 5-12 Big Ten) looks to break a seven-game losing streak, while Sunday’s game is only the third home game in the last month for the Huskers. NU has faced a challenging stretch late in the season, as the Maryland game is the seventh straight game against teams who are either expected to be in the NCAA Tournament or on the bubble.

The Huskers had a chance to steal a road win on Wednesday, trailing by six with two minutes left before falling 69-57 at Illinois. The Huskers were done in by strong 3-point shooting from Illinois, which went 7-of-16 from beyond the stripe, while the Illini also went 20-of-23 from the foul line to hold on down the stretch.

The Huskers had three players in double figures, led by Shavon Shields’ 14 points. Seniors David Rivers and Leslee Smith put together strong efforts, as Rivers had 10 points and five rebounds, while Smith nearly had a double-double with season bests in both points (eight) and rebounds (nine).

Maryland (25-5, 13-4 Big Ten) has already locked up the double-bye for the Big Ten Tournament and will be the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament next week in Chicago. The Terrapins have won six straight since a loss at Iowa, including a 60-50 win over Rutgers on Tuesday.

Numbers 2 Know

2 – Rebounds that Shavon Shields needs to reach 500 for his career. He would become the 14th player with 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds at Nebraska.

7.3- Points per game for freshman Tarin Smith over the last four contests. He is shooting 61 percent from the field in that stretch.

10.0 – David Rivers has averaged 10.0 ppg on 75 percent shooting the last two games. It is the first time in his career (105 games) he has had consecutive double-figure efforts.

516 – Terran Petteway points this season, as he is 40 points away from 10th (Marvin Stewart and Aleks Maric) on NU’s single-season list.

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.

Scouting Maryland

Maryland has put together an impressive first season in the Big Ten for Mark Turgeon, as they enter Thursday’s game with a 25-5 record and in second place in the Big Ten with a 13-4 mark. The Terrapins, who can be either the first or second seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament, have won their last six games, most recently a 60-50 win at Rutgers on Tuesday night. The Terrapins finished the regular season by going 18-1 at home, but are just 5-4 in true road games this season.

Turgeon is a familiar face for long-time Husker fans, as he played at Kansas from 1984 to 1987 for Larry Brown and also served as an assistant at KU from 1987 to 1992. He served as a head coach at Jacksonville State, Wichita State and Texas A&M before taking the Maryland job prior to the 2011-12 season.

Maryland, which averages 69.9 points per game, feature a trio of double figure scorers in freshman guard Melo Trimble, senior guard Dez Wells and junior forward Jake Layman. The Terrapins rank second nationally in free throws made, as Trimble leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally with 181 free throws, while ranking fifth in the Big Ten at 16.0 points per game. Wells provides a veteran presence who averages 15.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while Layman chips in 13.2 points per game. The Terrapins stretch defenses to the 3-point line, ranking fifth in the Big Ten with 222 3-pointers while shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc.

Nebraska-Maryland Series History

Sunday’s meeting with Maryland is the second of the season and the second between the two teams. The Terrapins won, 69-65, in College Park on Feb. 18. The Huskers do have some history with Mark Turgeon, going 2-3 against him when he served as head coach at Texas A&M from 2007-08 to 2010-11. Both of NU’s wins came over a ranked Texas A&M team with a 65-59 win over the No. 22 Aggies in College Station in 2008 and a 57-48 victory in Lincoln over No. 13 Texas A&M in 2011.

Last Matchup: Maryland 69, Nebraska 65 (Feb. 19)

Nebraska pushed No. 15 Maryland to the limit and had a chance to tie the game in the final 30 seconds, but the Terrapins held on for a 69-65 victory.

Trailing 65-62 with 28.9 seconds left after Walter Pitchford’s fifth 3-pointer of the night, the Huskers called timeout to set up a full court press. Benny Parker then stole the inbounds pass, but as Tai Webster drove to the basket, the sophomore lost the ball and the Huskers were forced to foul.

Melo Trimble then capped a 26-point night with a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left, as he went 10-of-11 from the line to help Maryland hit 21-of-24 from the line. Trimble carried Maryland (22-5, 10-4 Big Ten) to victory with 26 points on 7-of-9 shooting, six rebounds and five assists to pace three Terrapins in double figures.

The win offset a strong effort from a pair of Husker reserves, as Walter Pitchford and Nick Fuller turned in strong performances in a losing effort. Pitchford came off the bench with 19 points, including five 3-pointers and seven rebounds, while Fuller, seeing the most extensive time of his career, set career bests with 12 points and five boards in 26 minutes.

In all, the Husker bench outscored Maryland, 36-6, on a night where Terran Petteway was held to eight points, but dished out a career-high nine assists and had two steals. Shavon Shields was the third Husker in double figures with 13 points and six rebounds.

Last Time Out

Shavon Shields led three Huskers in double figures with 14 points, but Illinois pulled away in the final minutes for a 69-57 win over the Huskers Wednesday evening.

Ravonte Rice scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 1:30 left after Nebraska was within 56-50. Rice got a tough shot over Shields as the shot clock went down, breaking open a game that was back and forth for a good portion of the second half.

The Huskers (13-16, 5-12 Big Ten), had three players finish in double figures, as Terran Petteway added 13 points, while David Rivers finished with 10 points and five rebounds. A fourth Husker was nearly in double figures, as Leslee Smith had season bests in both points (eight) and rebounds (nine).

In all, Illinois (19-11, 9-8 Big Ten) won the game from the 3-point line and the foul line, as the hosts went 7-of-16 from long range and 20-23 from the line, compared to just 4-of-5 for Nebraska. Both teams shot 43 percent from the field, and the Illini held a slim 31-28 advantage on the glass.

With the score tied at 44, Rice hit a basket and a pair of free throws with 9:08 left that put the hosts up by four. Nebraska cut the deficit to 46-44 after a Leslee Smith basket, but a Kendrick Nunn 3-pointer and an Ahmad Starks basket pushed the lead to seven points and forced a Husker timeout.

Nebraska would not go away, cutting the deficit to 53-48 after a Benny Parker layup with 5:48 left and got to 55-50 after a David Rivers basket with 3:58 left. That would be as close as Nebraska would get, as a Rice 3-pointer was the backbreaker for the Huskers.

Notes from the Illinois Game

  • Walter Pitchford did not make the trip because of a hip injury suffered earlier this week. Pitchford had played in all 59 games for the Huskers over the last two seasons before Wednesday’s game.
  • Leslee Smith had season bests in both points (eight) and rebounds (nine), topping his previous best of seven apiece against Michigan State.
  • Nebraska falls to 1-9 all-time in Champaign, including 0-4 in Big Ten action.
  • David Rivers reached double figures with 10 points and has now reached double figures in each of the last two games.

Big Ten Tournament Possibilities

Nebraska can be anywhere from the 10th-12th seed in the Big Ten Tournament next week depending on the final weekend results. A Husker win vs. Maryland would give Nebraska potential tiebreakers over both Northwestern (head to head), Minnesota (based on record vs. No. 2 seed) and in a 3-way tie with Minnesota and Northwestern (combined record between tied group; Neb.-2-1; NW-1-1; Minn. 1-2) if the teams are tied. The potential scenarios are listed below.

  • Nebraska wins vs. Maryland; Minnesota loses to Penn State; Northwestern loses to Iowa: Huskers are 10th seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will take on either Indiana or Illinois. (3-way tie)
  • Nebraska wins vs. Maryland; Minnesota loses to Penn State; Northwestern beats Iowa: Huskers are 11th seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will take on either Penn State or Rutgers. (Tiebreaker vs. Minn.)
  • Nebraska wins vs. Maryland; Minnesota beats Penn State; Northwestern loses to Iowa: Huskers are 11th seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will take on either Penn State or Rutgers. (Tiebreaker vs. NW)
  • Nebraska wins vs. Maryland; Minnesota beats Penn State; Northwestern beats Iowa: Huskers are 12th seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will take on either Penn State or Rutgers.
  • Nebraska loses to Maryland: Huskers are 12th seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face either Rutgers or Penn State on Tuesday.

Worth Noting

  • Terran Petteway has played his best against ranked teams in his career, averaging 18.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 11 games against ranked opponents. He has a pair of 20-point games against ranked teams this season and also had his career high with nine assists in the first meeting with Maryland.
  • Nebraska looks to snap a five-game losing streak against ranked opponents dating back to last season. NU is 0-3 against ranked teams this season with two losses to Wisconsin and the first setback at Maryland on Feb. 19.
  • Nebraska is 25-6 (.806) at home since opening Pinnacle Bank Arena, including 2-1 (.667) against ranked teams.
  • Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has several ties to Lincoln. His father, Bob, currently lives in Lincoln while his niece is Nebraska women’s basketball signee Maddie Simon, who is a senior at Lincoln Pius X High School. Pius X is the top seed in Class B, as the Girls State Basketball Championship is set for Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • With 498 rebounds, Shields is only two boards away from 500 for his career and would become only the 14th player with 1,000 points and 500 career rebounds.
  • Petteway enters the final weekend of the regular season with 516 points and needs 40 points to move into NU’s top-10 single-season list. Against Ohio State on Feb. 26, he became the seventh Husker to post back-to-back 500-point seasons.
  • If the Huskers are to break their seven-game losing streak on Sunday, one key would be to get to the foul line more often. During this stretch, NU has averaged just 10.6 free throw attempts per game, while opponents are getting to the line an average of 22.6 times per game. In the first meeting NU got to the line just seven times, compared to 25 for Maryland.
  • Nebraska did a solid job for most of the night defensively at Illinois, holding the Illini to 42.9 percent shooting as Illinois did not reach 40 percent until hitting its final three shots to beat NU’s full-court press defense. In the prior two games, Iowa and Ohio State combined to shoot 51.8 percent from the floor.
  • The biggest culprit of Nebraska’s offensive struggles have been at the 3-point line, where the Huskers are last in the Big Ten and 336th nationally in 3-point percentage (.286). Last year, NU was seventh in the conference at .333 from long range. In Big Ten play, the Huskers have made five 3-pointers or less 11 times in 17 games and have a 2-9 record in those games.
  • Another freshman who has seen more time in the last two weeks is freshman Nick Fuller, who is averaging 6.3 points per game in his last three appearances, compared to just 1.3 points per game in NU’s first 25 games.
  • Terran Petteway (1,095) and Shavon Shields (1,081) both are in range of becoming the 24th and 25th player in school history to reach 1,100 career points.
  • The Husker bench has had more scoring punch since adjusting the lineup four games ago. NU’s reserves are averaging 20.0 points and 13.8 rebounds per game and had a season-high 36 at No. 16 Maryland on Feb. 19.
  • 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 action. In Big Ten play, NU is sixth in turnover margin at +0.5 per game. NU has had 10 or fewer turnovers in Big Ten play in eight of 17 games.
  • The Huskers are 5-5 in Big Ten play when shooting over 40 percent from the field, but are winless (0-7) when shooting at or below that percentage.
  • Nebraska had two players reach 1,000 points earlier this month 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).
  • Nebraska is 10th nationally in average attendance with an average of 15,550 per game. With one home game left, 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 had 10 double-figure runs during the season, including a 13-0 spurt at Illinois on Wednesday.

Shields Earns Academic All-America Honors

Nebraska’s Shavon Shields became the first Husker men’s basketball player to earn first-team academic All-America honors, as the Capital One Academic All-America┬« Division I basketball teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) were announced on Feb. 26.

Shields earned the accolade, as he was one of five players selected to the first team. The junior forward carries a 3.73 GPA in biologicial sciences. Shields has been a five-time member of the UNL Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and served for two years on the NU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He is also active in the Huskers’ Life Skills program, serving as a keynote speaker for the Sportsmanship Pep Rally, as well as a volunteer for Husker Heroes, Ollie Webb and Nebrasketball Buddies Clinics among other activities.

Last year, he was one of 16 national finalists for the 2014 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.

Shields becomes the sixth Husker to be a CoSIDA Academic All-American in basketball (a combined seven times), and the first since Beau Reid in 1991. His selection increases Nebraska’s nation-leading total to 315.

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 in 2014-15, combining for 32.7 points per game and ranking among the Big Ten’s top 10 scorers entering Sunday’s regular-season finale against Maryland.

  • They are the Big Ten’s top scoring duo, just ahead of Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. (31.5 ppg).
  • It could be the first time since 1994-95 that Nebraska has had two players average more than 15 points per game in a season, and the highest average by a Husker duo since Dave Hoppen (23.5 ppg) and Curtis Moore (13.5 ppg) since 1984-85.

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.

Despite an offense that is close to 300th in offensive efficiency, the defense has kept Nebraska in most games this season. NU is sixth in scoring defense (62.9 pgg) and sixth in field goal defense (.403).

  • NU is 33rd nationally and in defensive efficiency according to KenPom.com entering Sunday’s game with Maryland.
  • 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 30-10 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 2-13 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 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 and 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 leads NU with 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. He is fourth in the Big Ten in scoring and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in 3-pointers per game (ninth) and assists (14th).

  • Petteway is one of only 13 players nationally – and one of five from a power conference – averaging 17.5 points, 4.75 rebounds and 2.55 assists per game in 2014-15.
  • Petteway was one of 15 players selected to the Julius Erving Award, presented to the nation’s top small forwards, last month.
  • Petteway was one of 25 players selected to the Lute Olson Award mid-season watch list last month.
  • Petteway has 12 20-point games in 2014-15, including a season-high 32 points against Michigan State on Jan. 26, and 24 20-point games for his career. He has five 20-point efforts in Big Ten play, most recently against No. 5 Wisconsin on Feb. 10.
  • Petteway has been in double figures in 57 of 61 games as a Husker, including 32 of 35 Big Ten games in that span.
  • 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 18.0 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 was held to eight points at No. 16 Maryland on Feb. 19, but dished out a career-high nine assists – the most by a Husker since the 2011-12 season.

Throughout the season Petteway has been dealing with the health of his mother Joetta, who has been battling a rare form of bone cancer (follicular dendritic cell sarcoma). Terran talked to the team and the media about her ongoing battle late before the Purdue game in mid-February.

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

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 14.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, ranking 10th in scoring, 15th in rebounding and sixth in free throw percentage (.823).

  • He has been in double figures in 24 of 29 contests this season, which already topped his entire 2013-14 total of double-figure games.
  • Shields has seven 20-point games this season, which already topped his entire career total entering the 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 earned first-team Academic All-America honors last week. Last year, Shields 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. The elder 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.