Nebraska MBB: Huskers Look to Bounce Back vs. Minnesota on Saturday

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Link to game notes, radio broadcast, video link, live stats and press conference video (later Friday)

Game #21 at Minnesota
Date: Saturday, Jan. 31
Time: 5:01 p.m. (CT)
Arena: Williams Arena
Capacity: 14,625

Nebraska Cornhuskers
2014-15 Record: 12-8, 4-4 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 46-39 (Third year)
Career Record: 329-259 (20th year)

Minnesota Golden Gophers
2014-15 Record: 13-9, 2-7 Big Ten
Head coach: Richard Pitino
Record at Minnesota: 38-22 (Second year)
Career Record: 56-36 (Third year)

Broadcast Information
Television: BTN
Play-by-play: Cory Provus
Expert Analysis: Shon Morris

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, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio App.
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Expert Analysis: Ben McLaughlin

Satellite Radio (Minn. Feed): Sirius (117), XM (195)

Live Stats:

Huskers Look to Bounce Back vs. Minnesota

The Nebraska men’s basketball team looks for a bounce back performance Saturday afternoon, as the Huskers travel to Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers.
Tipoff is set for 5:01 p.m. (central) from Williams Arena, and the contest will be televised nationally on BTN with Cory Provus and Shon Morris on the call. Saturday’s game is also available online and on mobile devices on BTN2Go.

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 Ben McLaughlin adding color commentary. The game can be heard for free on 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 (12-8, 4-4 Big Ten) struggled in their last outing, a 58-44 loss at Michigan Tuesday evening. Nebraska was held to season lows in points (44) and field goal percentage (30.6), as Michigan took control with an 18-2 spurt and never relinquished. Shavon Shields was the only Husker in double figures with 14 points, while Terran Petteway was held to a season-low seven points on 1-of-11 shooting. Petteway saw his streak of 30 consecutive games in double figures that dated back to last season come to an end. Petteway still is second in the Big Ten in scoring, as the junior guard averages 19.0 points per game.

One of the positives the Huskers could take from the loss was the performance of freshman Tarin Smith, as he set season highs in points (eight), rebounds (seven), steals (two) and minutes (30) against the Wolverines. Smith has emerged as a solid role player in Big Ten play, averaging 4.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

Minnesota (13-9, 2-7 Big Ten) is also looking to rebound after falling at Penn State, 63-58, on Wednesday night. The Golden Gophers were led by Andre Hollins, who finished with 17 points, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, but Minnesota was held to 39 percent shooting and committed 15 turnovers. Six of Minnesota’s seven Big Ten losses have been by five points or less.

Saturday’s matchup is the second between the two schools in less than two weeks, as Nebraska won 52-49 in Lincoln on Jan. 20. In that game, Shavon Shields led NU to victory by scoring 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and Minnesota had three chances to send the game to overtime in the final seconds, but was unable to convert.

Numbers 2 Know
.385 – 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 second in the Big Ten entering this weekend’s action.

2 – The Huskers are looking for their first-ever Big Ten series sweep of Minnesota, but NU won a pair of games against the Gophers in 1905 (Jan. 20-21) and 1914 (Feb. 6-7). All four of the games took place in Minneapolis. NU has never won four straight meetings against Minnesota.

20 – Points that Shavon Shields needs to reach 1,000 points in his career entering Saturday’s game at Minnesota. He is on track to become the 26th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history.

30 – Terran Petteway’s streak of double-figure games which ended Tuesday. In two games at Michigan, he averaged 6.0 ppg, compared to 19.7 in his other 24 Big Ten games over the last two years.

Scouting Minnesota
Second-year Coach Richard Pitino and the Gophers enter Saturday’s game with a 12-9 record, including a 2-7 Big Ten mark. Pitino, who coached at Florida International for a season before taking the Minnesota job, guided the Golden Gophers to a 25-13 record and the NIT title in 2013-14. Minnesota, which returned four starters from last year, went 11-2 in non-conference action with the only losses coming at St. John’s in preseason NIT and against Louisville.

Minnesota dropped its first five Big Ten games, including four by five points or less, before going 2-2 in its last two conference games, earning home victories over Rutgers (89-80) and Illinois (79-71). On Wednesday, the Gophers erased a 13-point second-half deficit before falling 63-58 at Penn State.

Minnesota thrives on its defense, as the Gophers average a Big Ten-leading 10.6 steals per game and force more than 18 turnovers per game. Senior Andre Hollins averages 14.6 points per game and has a team-high 60 3-pointers. Hollins has been on a tear as of late, averaging 24.3 points per game over the Gophers’ last four contests He is one of three Gophers in double figures, as Carlos Morris averages 12.5 points per game while Maurice Walker is at 11.9 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds per outing.

Nebraska-Minnesota Series History
Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 71st time on Saturday, which is the most between the Huskers and any other Big Ten member. To put it in perspective, Nebraska had faced the other 10 teams in the league just 96 times prior to joining the Big Ten in 2011. It is also NU’s longest-running series in the Big Ten, as it dates back to February of 1902. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 52-18, with the Huskers winning the last three matchups. Prior to joining the Big Ten, NU and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years.

The teams have split the six meetings since the Huskers joined the Big Ten, as the current win streak began with a 53-51 win in the Devaney Center finale on March 6, 2013.

Jan. 20 (Nebraska 52, Minnesota 49)
Shavon Shields scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, while Nebraska withstood a trio of 3-point attempts in the final seconds to hold on for a 52-49 victory over Minnesota. Shields led the Huskers with 15 points, including 7-of-11 from the foul line, and added seven rebounds and three steals to lead a pair of Huskers in double figures. Terran Petteway added 11 points and five rebounds, as Nebraska held Minnesota to just 31 percent shooting, including 29 percent in the second half.

After Benny Parker hit a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to give the Huskers a 52-49 lead, Minnesota got a good look for Andre Hollins, who led all scorers with 21 points, but he missed the initial shot before Carlos Morris and DeAndre Mathieu missed attempts in the waning seconds, giving Nebraska a three-point win. The Huskers, who were shaky from the line in the first 34 minutes, were at their best down the stretch, hitting 11 of their final 12 shots from the line, including a perfect 6-of-6 from Parker and 5-of-6 from Shields. In all, NU went 14-of-21 from the line, compared to just 9-of-19 for Minnesota.

Worth Noting

  • Saturday’s game is the second between the Huskers and Gophers in the last two weeks, as Nebraska won 52-49 on Jan. 20 in Lincoln. It is also the first time Nebraska has played in Minnesota since Jan. 29, 2013, a game where former Husker Ray Gallegos had a career-high 30 points.
  • Nebraska Coach Tim Miles spent four seasons coaching at Southwest Minnesota State, leading the school to a 78-39 record, including a Division II Elite Eight berth in 2001. NU assistant coach Jim Molinari spent three seasons at Minnesota, serving as the interim head coach during part of the 2006-07 season. Minnesota also has a pair with Nebraska ties, as Gopher assistant Ben Johnson spent the 2012-13 season on Miles’ first staff at Nebraska while reserve center Elliott Eliason is from Chadron, Neb. This season, he is averaging 3.9 and 3.2 rebounds per game while playing in all 22 games.
  • Saturday could be a memorable day for Shavon Shields and family. Shavon Shields is 20 points away from the 1,000 point mark, while his father, Will, is one of 15 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which will be announced Saturday evening. Currently, there are three Huskers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Guy Chamberlin, Roy Lyman and Bob Brown), while former Husker Mick Tingelhoff is the Senior Nominee for this year’s class.
  • Terran Petteway was held out of double figures for only the third time in his career on Tuesday at Michigan. Petteway has bounced back well in the next game in both occasions, averaging 23.5 points per game in the following contest, including 30 points against UMass last season.
  • The Huskers are 3-5 away from home in road and neutral site games this season, but have been solid defensively, holding opponents to 38.8 percent shooting and 61.9 points per game.
  • Nebraska is 10th nationally in average attendance with an average of 15,511 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 is now 4-2 since getting backup post players Leslee Smith (torn left ACL) and Moses Abraham (broken right hand) back from injuries on Jan. 8. David Rivers, who missed Saturday’s win over Michigan State, played 11 minutes in NU’s loss to Michigan on Tuesday night.
  • NU has done a much better job with turnovers in recent games, averaging 10.5 turnovers per game in the last 10 contests dating back to Dec. 23, after averaging 15.5 turnovers in the first 10 contests. In Big Ten play, the Huskers are tied for third (with Illinois) in the conference at 10.0 turnovers per game, trailing only Wisconsin (6.3) and Michigan (9.0). Nebraska is second in the Big Ten in turnover margin entering the weekend.
  • The Huskers have enjoyed a second-half lead in six of their eight losses and were within one possession in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime in five of those contests.
  • As juniors Shavon Shields (980) and Terran Petteway (959) climb toward 1,000 career points, it could mark the sixth time in school history when Nebraska has a pair of players reach 1,000 points in the same season (1967-68-Stuart Lantz and Tom Baack; 1978-79-Carl McPipe and Brian Banks; 1990-91-Rich King and Clifford Scales; 1994-95-Erick Strickland and Jaron Boone; 1998-99-Cookie Belcher and Venson Hamilton). Nebraska’s last 1,000-point scorer was Ryan Anderson during the 2009-10 season.
  • Nebraska has had seven double-figure runs during the season, including a 10-0 spurt in overtime against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 22.

Last Time Out
Michigan used an 18-2 run to take control, while the Wolverines shot 54 percent in the second half to earn a 58-44 victory over Nebraska Tuesday night. The Wolverines used a balanced attack despite being without Derrick Walton Jr. because of injury, as Zak Irvin had 14 points and 12 boards while Aubrey Dawkins and Max Bielfelt had 13 and 12 points, respectively for the winners.

Dawkins had all 13 of his points in the first half, as Michigan built a 23-18 lead at the break before jumping on the Huskers by scoring 15 of the first 17 points in the second half to build an 18-point lead.

Shavon Shields led NU (12-8, 4-4 Big Ten) with 14 points, but was the only Husker in double figures. Terran Petteway was held to seven points, snapping a streak of 30 straight games in double figures, as the Huskers were held to a season-low 44 points.

Notes from the Michigan Game

  • Nebraska’s 44 points was a season low (previous low was 50 vs. Loyola Marymount) and the lowest since scoring 41 vs. Wisconsin during the 2012-13 season.
  • Nebraska’s 30.6 percent shooting was also a season low, as the Huskers had shot 40 percent or better in each of the last six contests.
  • Terran Petteway was held to a season-low seven points, the first time in 31 games he was held out of double figures. It is only the second time he has been held to single-figures in conference play and both have come at Michigan.
  • Tarin Smith tied or set career highs in points (eight, also at Hawaii), rebounds (seven), steals (two) and minutes (30).
  • Nebraska fell to 0-5 against Michigan since joining the Big Ten.

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 35.6 points per game and ranking among the Big Ten’s top five scorers entering Tuesday’s game at Michigan.

  • Only 13 schools in Division I have two players averaging at least 16 points per game, and of those 14, only three are from major conferences (Nebraska, Arkansas’ Michael Qualls & Bobby Portis and Oklahoma State’s Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash). Nebraska’s duo is the only power conference duo averaging at least 35 points per game.
  • 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 leads the Big Ten in 3-point defense (.304) and is second in both scoring defense (61.2) and field goal defense (.385)
The Huskers have been their best since the loss to Incarnate Word on Dec. 10, holding their last 12 opponents to a combined 37.2 percent shooting and just 58.9 points per game, a stretch which includes five of the Big Ten’s top six scoring offenses.
NU is 11th nationally in defensive efficiency according to entering Saturday’s game at Minnesota.

  • Nebraska’s field goal defense is on pace to be the lowest by a Husker defense since the 1960-61 season. 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).
  • The Husker defense ranks 27th nationally in field goal percentage defense and 41st in 3-point defense entering Saturday’s game at Minnesota.
  • Under Miles, NU is 30-9 over the past three seasons when holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting.
  • Nebraska is 11-2 this season when holding opponents to under a point per possession and 1-6 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 this season. The 6-foot-6 junior has raised his numbers across the board from his sophomore season, as he averages 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. He is second in the Big Ten in scoring and ranks among the Big Ten leaders in 3-pointers per game (seventh) and blocked shots (13th).

  • Petteway is one of only six players nationally – and one of two from a power conference – averaging 19 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 2014-15. Ohio State freshman D’Angelo Russell is the only other player from a power conference putting up those numbers.
  • Petteway was one of 25 players selected to the Lute Olson Award mid-season watch list last week.
  • Petteway has 10 20-point games in 2014-15, including a season-high 32 points against Michigan State on Saturday. It was his fourth 20-point effort in Big Ten play this season. He now has 22 career games with at least 20 points.
  • Petteway saw his streak of double-figure games reach 30 before it was snapped at Michigan on Tuesday. 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.
  • Petteway has been in double figures in 49 of 52 games as a Husker.
  • Petteway’s 19.0 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.
  • With 959 points over the last two years at Nebraska, his career scoring average of 18.4 points per game is second only to Dave Hoppen (19.5 ppg). Hoppen, who is Nebraka’s all-time leading scorer, is the only Husker to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons at Nebraska. He reached 1,000 points in his 58th game at Nebraska.
  • 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.
  • He 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 and became 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 more 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 16.6 points on 46 percent shooting and 6.5 rebounds per game heading into Saturday’s game at Minnesota. He is currently fifth in the Big Ten in scoring, eighth in free throw percentage (.833) and 10th in rebounding.

  • He is one of three players in the Big Ten who ranks in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
  • Shields is one of only 11 players in the country averaging at least 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game entering this weekend’s action. He is one of only five players from power conferences on the list, joining Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Rayvonte Rice (Illinois) and Tyrone Wallace (Cal).
  • 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 Saturday. 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 also excels off the court, carrying a 3.73 GPA in biology and was a first-team Academic All-District selection in 2014. He was also one of 16 national finalists across all of Division I for the 2014 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.