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Huskers Battle Buckeyes on Saturday | KTIC Radio

Huskers Battle Buckeyes on Saturday

Huskers Battle Buckeyes on Saturday
Senior Glynn Watson Jr. needs two assists to move into 10th on NU's career assist chart. Photo by Isabel Thalken/Nebraska Communications
The Husker men’s basketball team returns home looking to snap a two-game losing streak, as the Huskers host Ohio State at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday.
Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 11:01 a.m. (central) and any returned tickets will be available at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on FS1 with Jeff Levering and Nick Bahe on the call. The matchup will also be available on the Fox Sports App with cable authentication.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on both Sirius and XM Radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).
The Huskers (13-6, 3-5 Big Ten) let an opportunity for a crucial road win slip through their grasp in a 76-69 loss at Rutgers Monday evening. Nebraska, which led by as many as eight in the second half, rallied from a seven-point deficit to pull even at 67 with 2:02 left, but the Scarlet Knights outscored NU 9-2 down the stretch to earn the victory.
Nebraska had three players in double figures at Rutgers, including a game-high 22 from James Palmer Jr. and 16 points and eight boards from Isaac Copeland Jr., but the Huskers went just 10-of-18 from the charity stripe and committed 12 turnovers in the loss.
After playing four of the last six games on the road, the Huskers will play three of the next four games at Pinnacle Bank Arena beginning with Saturday’s game with Ohio State. The matchup with the Buckeyes is the Huskers’ annual Coaches vs. Cancer game where the Husker basketball program and NU Athletics will recognize members of the Husker Athletic family and fans who have been personally affected by cancer.
Ohio State (12-6, 2-5 Big Ten) comes into Saturday’s game looking to snap a five-game losing streak following a 79-67 loss to Purdue on Wednesday. In that game, Andre Wesson scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting to lead three OSU players in double figures, as the Buckeyes cut a 14-point second-half deficit to two before Purdue pulled away down the stretch.
OPENING NUMBER
11 – Nebraska tallied 11 steals in Monday’s loss at Rutgers. It was the fifth time this season the Huskers tallied 10-or-more steals in a game.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1.39 – Nebraska’s assist-to-turnover ratio, which is on pace to be one of the best marks in school history and ranks 28th nationally.
No. Year Asst.-to-TO ratio
1. 1984-85 1.81
2. 1985-86 1.64
2018-19 1.39
3. 1983-84 1.34

 

2 – Assists that Glynn Watson Jr. needs to move into 10th place on Nebraska’s career list. Watson enters the Ohio State game with 342 assists, while Beau Reid is 10th with 344.
3 – Number of Huskers with double-doubles this season (Isaac Copeland Jr., Isaiah Roby and Glynn Watson Jr.).
10 – Number of 20-point games for James Palmer Jr. in 2018-19. Palmer has scored 20+ points in each of the last two games. Palmer had eight during the 2017-18 campaign.
16 – Number of 20-point games for Husker players in 2018-19. James Palmer Jr. has 10 while Isaac Copeland Jr. (three), Isaiah Roby (two) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also enjoyed 20-point games this season.
18 – The Huskers have had 18 runs of at least 10-0 in 2018-19 and have allowed just four double-figure runs this season.
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
Under the direction of second-year coach Chris Holtmann, Ohio State was one of the early surprises of the Big Ten before hitting a rough patch of late. Prior to taking over the OSU program last season, Holtmann spent the previous three seasons at Butler, guiding the Bulldogs to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017. Last year, the Buckeyes went 25-9 and finished second in the Big Ten before losing to Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Buckeyes started this season with six straight wins, including wins at Cincinnati and at Creighton, before falling to Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes entered January with a 12-1 mark and were ranked as high as 13th before falling against Michigan State on Jan. 4.  Since then, OSU has dropped five straight, including road games at Rutgers and Iowa before falling to Maryland and Purdue at home.
The Buckeyes have been solid defensively, holding opponents to 41 percent shooting, including 32 percent from 3-point range. OSU comes into Saturday’s game averaging 74.5 points per game. Sophomore Caleb Wesson leads OSU in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) while shooting 52 percent from the field. Senior C.J. Jackson also averages double figures at 12.7 ppg along with a team-best 3.7 assists per game. Jackson also paces OSU with 35 3-pointers. The Buckeyes’ balance is its strength with seven players averaging at least seven points per game.
SERIES HISTORY VS. OHIO STATE
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 15-4, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes are 11-2 against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten with Nebraska’s wins coming in 2014 (Lincoln) and 2017 (Columbus). The last four meetings have been decided by a total of 10 points, including a pair of one-point decisions in 2016-17. The three meetings between the two teams in PBA have been decided by a total of 10 points.
LAST MEETING VS. OHIO STATE
Despite a career-high 34 points from James Palmer Jr., No. 13 Ohio State edged Nebraska, 64-59, at Value City Arena.
Palmer set an opponent arena record with his 34-point effort, as he went 11-of-18 from the field, including five 3-pointers, topping his previous best of 25 against UTSA on Dec. 20.  Keita Bates-Diop led four Buckeyes in double figures with 20 points.
Nebraska trailed 46-41 with just over nine minutes remaining when Glynn Watson Jr. started an 8-0 Husker run before Palmer hit two straight 3-pointers to put the Huskers up 49-46 and forced the Buckeyes to take a timeout.
OSU went to Bates-Diop, who had 14 of his 20 points in the second half, for two straight baskets to put the Buckeyes ahead before Evan Taylor’s basket put NU up by one. The teams traded 3-pointers, as Anton Gill’s 3-pointer put NU ahead 54-53 with 4:36 remaining before Bates-Diop’s basket gave the Buckeyes the lead for good with 4:09 left.
Trailing by one, Isaiah Roby was fouled with 3:29 left, but was unable to convert the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity. OSU took advantage, as Jae’Sean Tate was fouled and hit both free throws to extend the lead to 57-54. Moments later, C.J. Jackson’s 3-point play with 2:26 left capped the 7-0 run and gave the Buckeyes a 60-54 lead.
LAST TIME OUT
A series of runs cost the Nebraska men’s basketball team Monday night in a 76-69 road loss at Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights strung together four runs of 8-0 or greater, including scoring eight straight points after Nebraska had tied the game at 67 with 2:02 to play. Nebraska led by as many as 13 in the first half and eight in the second half, but every time the Huskers tried to pull away, Rutgers responded.
In the first half, the Scarlet Knights had an 8-0 run to erase a six-point deficit and a 15-0 run to erase a 13-point Husker lead.  Then in the second half, an 8-0 Rutgers run wiped out an eight-point Nebraska lead, and the Scarlet Knights used a 7-0 run to erase a one-point deficit and take the lead for good with less than 10 minutes to play.
James Palmer Jr. led Nebraska with 22 points before fouling out. Isaac Copeland Jr. added 16 points and eight rebounds, but he was held to just two points in the second half. Glynn Watson Jr. chipped in 14 points for a Nebraska team that shot just 41.7 percent from the field, including hitting only 10-of-28 shots in the second half. The Huskers were also just 10-of-18 from the free-throw line on the game and committed 12 turnovers
WORTH NOTING
  • Husker coach Tim Miles will be looking for his 50th conference win at Nebraska on Saturday. Only three Husker coaches (Joe Cipriano, Danny Nee and Moe Iba) won 50 conference games at the school.
  • The Huskers’ 13-6 mark is its best 18-game start since joining the Big Ten and the best since opening the 2010-11 season with a 14-5 mark.
  • Nebraska has been tough to beat at Pinnacle Bank Arena the past two seasons, going 25-2 with the two losses coming to No. 13 Kansas in 2017 and No. 6 Michigan State earlier this month.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. needs two assists to crack Nebraska’s top-10 chart for career assists. When he does that, he will become one of six players currently on NU’s top-10 list in both assists and steals, joining Brian Carr (1984-87), Cookie Belcher (1997-2001), Tyronn Lue (1996-98), Erick Strickland (1993-96) and Clifford Scales (1998-91).
  • Watson could make a move in several categories on Saturday, as he is only eight points away from becoming the 14th player to score at least 1,300 points at Nebraska. He is also two steals shy of fifth place on NU’s career list (Ryan Anderson, 166). A start on Saturday will also move Watson into a tie for 10th place with Jerry Fort in that category.
  • James Palmer Jr. has 10 20-point games this season, bettering his career total in 105 games entering this year. That total ranks among the highest 20-point games in a season under Tim Miles.
  • Palmer is also racing toward becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska basketball history. He has 937 points in his Husker career and is looking to join Dave Hoppen and Terran Petteway in reaching 1,000 points at Nebraska in two seasons or less.
  • The Big Ten is well represented in the latest NET released on Jan. 24, as seven teams are ranked in the top 30 (Michigan State-3; Michigan-6; Purdue-10; Wisconsin-15; Maryland-19; Nebraska-21; Iowa-22).
  • As of the Jan. 24 NET, Nebraska has played 12 of its 18 Division I games against teams in the top two quadrants. Currently, every Big Ten team is in the top-150 of the NET.
  • The Huskers are averaging 77.2 points per game, which is fourth in the Big Ten and NU’s highest scoring average after 19 games since the 1995-96 season (86.4 ppg). During the previous six seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles, NU’s highest average after 19 games was 74.6 ppg in 2015-16.
  • Nebraska’s offense ranks in the top-30 nationally in a trio of categories, including turnovers per game (10.4, 10th), turnover margin (+4.3, 13th) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.38, 28th).
  • Balance has been key for the Husker attack this season. When NU has at least three double-figure scorers, the Huskers are 12-4, but just 1-2 when less than three NU players are in double figures.
  • NU has committed 10 or fewer turnovers in 10 of the last 14 contests dating back to Nov. 24. NU’s 12 turnovers at Rutgers Monday matched its highest total since committing a season-high 16 against Illinois on Dec. 2.
  • Nebraska is one of seven teams in Division I ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal defense, 3-point defense and scoring defense through Jan. 23, a list which also includes Virginia, Texas Tech, Houston, Georgia Tech, VCU and Texas State.
  • After opening the month with a pair of sub-par defensive efforts, the Huskers have been effective on that end of the court in the last four games. Since the loss to Iowa, NU is holding teams to 40 percent shooting, including 28 percent from 3-point range.
  • Nebraska ranks ninth nationally in average attendance at 15,582 per game as of Jan. 23. Of the eight schools ahead of the Huskers, all eight play in facilities of at least 16,300 seats. NU’s attendance is 104 percent of PBA’s 15,000-seat capacity.
  • The Huskers finished non-conference action with a 10-1 mark, including wins over Seton Hall, Clemson, Creighton and Oklahoma State. It marked just the fourth time since World War II that the Huskers finished non-conference play with one loss (10-1, 2003-04; 12-1, 1991-92; and 11-1, 1977-78).

SATURDAY IS COACHES VS. CANCER GAME
Saturday’s game is the annual Coaches vs. Cancer game and is part of the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches Suits and Sneakers Week. Here is a quick rundown of the events.

  • For the sixth straight year, the Huskers will partner with Be the Match, getting information to fans on how they can join the National Bone Marrow Registry. Volunteers will be at all of the Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances on Saturday. Over the previous five years, there have been at least four matches attributed to the registry members added during this event.
  • The Husker coaches and staff will wear suits and sneakers, while the Huskers will also have special shooting shirts for Saturday’s game.
  • During starting lineups and at halftime, the Huskers will recognize a special group of people who are either battling cancer or have donated bone marrow thru the Be the Match program. The honorees include two bone marrow transplant recipients (Avery Harriman and Dylan Downes), two people who are currently battling cancer with Athletic Department ties (Katie Jewell and Brent Bargen) and Cameron Beck, a former Husker basketball student trainer who was a bone marrow donor and is currently in medical school.
  • At halftime, Florence Dalby, a breast cancer survivor who has been a basketball season ticket holder for 80 years will be honored. She will celebrate her 99th birthday on Feb. 2.
  • Nebraska will have several promotions geared toward students. The first 1,000 students will receive a special gameday t-shirt, while the first 500 students in the gates will receive a Herbie Husker tie for the occasion. In addition, any student that dresses in a suit and sneakers will have a chance to win a $500 gift card for a new suit.
HUSKER OFFENSIVE NOTES
Nebraska comes into the Ohio State game averaging 77.2 points per game after averaging 72.3 points per game last year.  NU has scored at least 70 points in 14 of 19 contests, including seven games of at least 80 points.
  • Nebraska is 18th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom through Jan. 23. In the KenPom era, only the 2003-04 team (25th) ranked in the top-50 nationally in offensive efficiency.
  • Nebraska’s 77.2 points per game would rank ninth in school history and is on pace to be the Huskers’ highest single-season average since 1995-96 (80.2 ppg).
  • The Huskers are fourth in all games and fourth in conference play (72.3 ppg) in scoring offense.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points in the opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Huskers’ highest total since the 2005-06 campaign.
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • Nebraska scored 94 points in the win over Creighton, its third-highest total in 52 meetings in the series.
  • The solid offensive effort is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year’s team that went 22-11, as Nebraska brought back its top four scorers for the first time in 15 years, including three players who averaged double figures.
  • Nebraska returned three double-figure scorers (James Palmer Jr., 17.2, Isaac Copeland Jr., 12.9 and Glynn Watson Jr., 10.5) for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Eric Piatkowski, 14.3; Derrick Chandler, 12.3; Jamar Johnson, 11.2).
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous year.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
For Nebraska, the biggest thing over the last two seasons – a stretch where the Huskers are 34-17 – has been improvements on the defensive end.
Last season, NU went from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense.  That has continued during the 2018-19 season at the halfway point of the season.
  • NU ranks in the top-25 nationally in scoring defense (62.1 ppg, 13th), field goal defense (.389, 15th) and 3-point defense (.284, 13th) as of Jan. 23. The Huskers also lead the Big Ten in steals (8.5 spg) and are fourth in blocked shots (4.6 bpg).
  • Only one opponent has shot over 50 percent against Nebraska in the last 44 games dating back to last season. In 2018-19, NU has held 18 of its 19 opponents under 50 percent shooting, as only Minnesota has shot over 50 percent.
  • NU limited 10 of its 19 opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles’ seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 27th in Kenpom’s adjusted defense through Jan. 18.
  • The Huskers have held seven opponents to their lowest offensive total of the season, most recently Indiana on Jan. 14. Nebraska held the Hoosiers to 51 points, its lowest point total since Michigan State held the Hoosiers to 50 points on Jan. 5, 2015.
  • In the loss to No. 6 Michigan State on Jan. 17, the Huskers held the Spartans to their second-lowest point total (70) and field goal percentage (.436) of the season.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 50-5 (.909) when holding opponents under 60 points.
NEW NUMBER, SAME GAME FOR PALMER
While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. Earlier this month, he was named to the midseason watch list for both the Wooden and Lute Olson awards. This season, the 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 19.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game entering the matchup with Ohio State.
  • He is among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (second), steals (eighth), free throw percentage (.800, seventh) and 3-pointers per game (2.1, 11th).
  • Palmer is challenging to be the first Husker to average 20.0 ppg since Tyronn Lue averaged 21.2 ppg in 1997-98. Only six Husker players have ever averaged 20.0 ppg in a season.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line, as he ranks in the top-10 nationally in both free throws (116, 12th) and attempts (145, 13th), while shooting a career best 80.0 percent from the foul line. Entering this year, Palmer was a career 72 percent shooter.
  • He joins Marquette’s Markus Howard and Tennessee’s Grant Williams as the only power conference players, and two of just 15 players nationally, to attempt 125 free throws and shoot 80 percent from the foul line as of Jan. 24.
  • His Husker career scoring average of 18.0 points per game is eighth among all power conference players spanning the last two seasons. The Big Ten features three of the top eight with Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 49 of 52 career games at Nebraska, including 18 20-point efforts and a pair of 30-point performances.
  • Since Dec. 1, Palmer is averaging 20.4 points and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.
  • Palmer had 24 points, including 11-of-11 from the foul line, and a team-high eight rebounds against No. 6 Michigan State.
  • He put together one of his best all-around games at No. 25 Indiana with 11 points along with a career-high nine rebounds and season-high seven assists.
  • Palmer led NU with 26 points at Maryland while adding seven rebounds, four assists and a career-high five steals.
  • Palmer shouldered the scoring load in the win over Oklahoma State with a game-high 29 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the foul line.
  • Palmer enjoyed one of the best performances of his career with a 30-point game against Creighton. The effort included a career-high six 3-pointers.
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers’ win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds.
  • Finished with 29 points against Seton Hall, the third-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half.

Last season, Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth.  Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue’s Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.

  • Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.
WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK
Senior Glynn Watson Jr. is in his fourth year as Nebraska’s starting guard and is putting together his best season as a Husker. He comes into the Ohio State game averaging 13.2 points per game on 44 percent shooting, including 41 percent from 3-point range. He is also averaging career bests in assists (3.8 apg), rebounds (4.2 rpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4-to-1).
  • His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.40-to-1 this season is on pace to be the best by a Husker since Charles Richardson Jr. (2.57-to-1) in 2006-07.
  • Watson has been in double figures 15 times this season, including his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in the win over Cal State Fullerton.
  • His on-ball defense has been instrumental in Nebraska ranking among the national leaders in field goal and scoring defense.
  • Watson comes off a 14-point, four-assist, five-rebound effort on Monday against Rutgers.
  • He turned in a strong effort at No. 25 Indiana, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the second half, while adding five rebounds and two steals.
  • Watson led NU to a win over Penn State with 19 points and three assists. He scored eight straight Husker points late in the second half to extend a one-point lead.
  • He guided the Husker attack in the win over Creighton with 13 points, five assists and a season-high three steals, while holding Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander to just 2-of-10 shooting.
  • Watson led NU with a season-high 20 points and a career-high nine boards against Western Illinois.
  • He showed his playmaking ability by dishing out eight assists and totaling 14 points in the win over Seton Hall.
  • Watson has a career 2.14-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has more steals (164) than turnovers (141) in his career.
  • His older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school.
ISAAC MAKES IT TOUGH FOR OPPONENTS TO COPE
Isaac Copeland Jr. is back to make the most of his senior year. The 6-foot-9 forward joined the program in January of 2017, but then was unable to practice because of a herniated disc that eventually required surgery.
Despite not being able to practice until school started, Copeland finished second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg) in his first year at NU, setting personal bests in all three areas and earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors.
Copeland has improved many of his numbers in 2018-19, as he averages 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the field. He is also averaging 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest.
  • He has 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting against North Dakota last year and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown.
  • Copeland has reached double figures 16 times this season, including a trio of 20-point efforts.
  • His most recent game was a 16-point, eight-rebound effort at Rutgers which also included a pair of blocked shots.
  • He tallied 13 points and five rebounds in the loss at No. 6 Michigan State and is now averaging 17.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in three games against ranked opponents this season.
  • Copeland was vital in Nebraska’s win at No. 25 Indiana with 14 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes of work.
  • He led NU with a season-high 24-point effort at No. 25 Iowa while adding six rebounds and two steals.
  • Copeland had 16 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists in the win over Oklahoma State, keying the Huskers’ comeback in the first half with five straight points as part of an 11-2 run.
  • The senior carried NU to a win at Clemson with 16 points, six boards and three assists while his biggest play was a blocked shot which led to James Palmer’s dunk after Clemson closed to within five.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland collected his fifth career double-double in Nebraska’s win over Seton Hall with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had one during his redshirt year at Georgetown (2016-17) and three in 2017-18.
  • A top-20 recruit coming out of high school, his 2014 Brewster Academy team also featured Donovan Mitchell (Utah), Devonte’ Graham (Charlotte) and Jonah Bolden (Philadelphia).
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is working on his Master’s Degree. He comes from a basketball family, as his father (Ike) played collegiately at East Carolina. As a senior, he helped East Carolina make the NCAA Tournament.
ROBY FILLS STAT SHEET
Isaiah Roby compliments the Husker attack with a unique skill set. The 6-foot-8 junior averages 10.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.  He leads the Huskers in blocked shots and rebounding and is the only Big Ten player ranked in the top 10 in the conference in both blocked shots and steals as of Jan. 24.
  • He is one of only six players nationally and three in power conferences averaging 1.4 blocks and 1.4 steals per game. Only three Big Ten players have accomplished the feat over the last 25 seasons.
  • Roby has played some of his best basketball over the past six weeks, averaging 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game over his last 10 contests dating back to Dec. 5.
  • He put together his best performance of the year in the Huskers’ win over Penn State, totaling 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, along with season bests in rebounds (11) and blocked shots (four).
  • He enjoyed a solid performance against Iowa, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and a season-high nine rebounds despite foul trouble.
  • He scored a then-career-high 20 points against Cal State Fullerton while also topping the Huskers with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
  • Roby put together a complete game in the win over Creighton, with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he’s had a top-10 play on SportsCenter at NU, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016).
  • Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Roby is also one of four Huskers to have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King.
THE A TEAM: ALLEN AND AKENTEN
One of the biggest questions entering the season was who would emerge as the Huskers’ fifth starter. Sophomores Thomas Allen and Nana Akenten have shared the duties and provided the Huskers with an offensive punch.
  • Allen has started most of the season and is averaging 8.6 points per game on 47 percent shooting, including almost 40 percent from 3-point range, while chipping in 2.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He has been in double figures six times after reaching double figures twice as a freshman.
  • Allen is third in the Big Ten in steals per game and leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.73-to-1).
  • He has been playing well over the last 12 contests, averaging 9.8 points per game on 51 percent shooting along with 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He also has a 2.87-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in that stretch.
  • Allen had a career-high 18 points, five assists and four rebounds against Creighton and had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Oklahoma State after missing most of the week with an illness.
  • Akenten has started twice and is averaging 4.9 points per game on nearly 40 percent shooting. He is shooting 35 percent from 3-point range and has given the Huskers a pair of double-figure efforts.
  • He had a career-high 18 points off the bench against Mississippi Valley State, including five 3-pointers, in just 13 minutes. He also had 11 points in the win over Missouri State and nine points in a start against Cal State Fullerton.
FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full every game in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets were sold out for the 2018-19 season. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section.
Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span.
PROTECTING THE VAULT
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in the fall of 2013.
  • NU has posted a 68-25 (.731) all-time record in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • Over the last two seasons, the Huskers are 25-2 (.957) at home with the losses coming to No. 13 Kansas and No. 6 Michigan State.
  • NU tied a school record with 20 straight home wins from Dec. 20, 2017 to Jan. 10, 2019. It tied the school record which was originally set during the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. Of the 20 wins in the most recent streak, 14 were by double-digits.
  • Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play in 2017-18, the first time NU went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season.
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