From: Nebraska Athletics

It is opening night for the Husker basketball program, as the Huskers host UC Riverside on Tuesday, Nov. 5, in the 2019-20 season opener.

Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is slated for 8 p.m., and a very limited number of tickets are available. Those tickets can be purchased online at Huskers.com/Tickets, by calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED or at the PBA Ticket Office 90 minutes before tipoff.

Tuesday’s opener will be carried nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield-IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Fans got their first look at Coach Fred Hoiberg’s squad on Oct. 30, as the Huskers posted a 91-63 win over Doane in an exhibition contest. Dachon Burke’s 15 points paced five Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska shot 53 percent from the field and used a 31-3 run to build a 20-point first half lead.

While Burke and junior guard Thorir Thorbjarnarson (10 points) are the only two returning players from last year’s NIT qualifier, NU showed depth in the win,

as 10 players played at least double-figure minutes while the Huskers had 11 players break into the scoring column. Freshman Kevin Cross had a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes while Samari Curtis totaled 12 points, five boards and a team-high three steals in 21 minutes. NU also moved the ball well with 22 assists on its 36 field goals with Cam Mack recording eight assists and just one turnover in 23 minutes of work.

UC Riverside opens its second season under Head Coach David Patrick. The Highlanders, who were picked seventh in the Big West, return three starters and add several newcomers from a team that went 10-23 last season. UC Riverside returns preseason All-Big West pick Dikymbe Martin, who averaged 14.8 points per game last year and ranked second in 3-point percentage (.442). Martin, who reached double figures 28 times in 2018-19, is the Big West’s active career scorer with 1,087 points. UC Riverside downed Life Pacific University, 73-45, in an exhibition contest on Nov. 1.

WATCH

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SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE

Second-year coach David Patrick brings his UC Riverside team to Lincoln for the 2019-20 season opener.  The Highlanders went 10-23 and placed eighth in the Big West in Patrick’s first season. The team returns three starters and six letterwinners, while adding a pair of Division I transfers. UC Riverside was picked seventh in the Big West preseason poll.

Prior to taking the UC Riverside job, Patrick spent two seasons at TCU under Jamie Dixon and four years at LSU, where he served as the Tigers’ recruiting coordinator for Johnny Jones. Patrick, whose godson is NBA star Ben Simmons, played on Syracuse’s 1996 Final Four team before transferring to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Senior guard Dikymbe Martin comes into the 2019-20 season as one of the best players in the Big West Conference. Martin led the Highlanders in both scoring (14.8 ppg), assists (2.6 apg) and steals (0.8 spg). Martin was a preseason All-Big West selection and totaled six 20-point games during his junior season.

Sophomore Callum McRae gives UC Riverside size inside as the 7-foot-1, 275-pound sophomore averaged 7.6 points and a team-high 4.8 rebounds per game.

McRae led the Highlanders in their exhibition win with 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Dragan Elkaz is the Highlanders’ third returning starter and averaged 7.5 points per game and was second on the team with 65 3-pointers last season. George Willborn III (7.5 ppg at UTSA in 2017-18) and Khyber Kabellis (4.1 ppg at Pacific in 2018-19) give UC Riverside additional depth.

Tuesday’s matchup is the first meeting between the two teams. NU is 12-9 all-time against Big West schools.