1 2 F Southwest Minn. St. 18 20 - 38 Nebraska 37 42 - 79
Huskers Top Mustangs in Final Big Ten Tuneup
James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. had 16 points apiece as Nebraska closed out nonconference action with a 79-38 victory Saturday afternoon over Southwest Minnesota State at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers, who are ranked 23rd in the coaches poll, jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back in posting their 19th consecutive home win. Nebraska finished nonconference action with a 10-1 mark, its best mark since 2003-04 and the fourth time since World War II that the Huskers had one nonconference loss.
Palmer finished with 16 points, five assists and six rebounds, while Watson had 16 points, five boards, four assists and four steals to lead four Huskers in double figures, as all 10 players who dressed got in the scoring column. Isaac Copeland Jr. had 12 points while Thomas Allen added 10 as no Husker played more than 28 minutes.
Nebraska got out to a blistering start behind the play of Copeland, as the senior keyed a 12-0 spurt in the first 3:12 with five of his seven first-half points.
Southwest Minnesota State chipped away, pulling to within 16-8 following a basket by Braedan Hansen, and was within 19-10 before Nebraska used an 18-3 run to build a comfortable margin. Palmer scored 10 of his 14 first-half points in the surge as Nebraska built a 37-13 cushion after a Brady Heiman basket capped a run of 13 straight points for the hosts.
In all, the Huskers held Southwest Minnesota State to 29 percent shooting in the first half and turned nine Mustang turnovers into 16 points. Nebraska shot 36 percent but went 7-of-13 from 3-point range.
After SMSU pulled within 17 in the opening minute of the second half, Nebraska used an 11-0 spurt, capped by five straight points from Allen, to push the advantage to 48-20, and NU cruised to the 41-point win
Ryan Bruggeman and Steven McNease led Southwest Minnesota State with eight points apiece as the Mustangs shot 30 percent from the field and just 3-of-21 from 3-point range. Saturday’s game was an exhibition game for the Mustangs before resuming conference action Sunday.
The Huskers return to action Wednesday, Jan. 2, when they travel to Maryland. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CST. The game will be carried by the Husker Sports Network and televised on BTN.
- Nebraska improved to 11-2 on the season, including 10-1 in nonconference play. Nebraska finished nonconference play with one loss for the first time since 2003-04 and just the fourth time since World War II.
- Nebraska’s 11-2 start is its best since the 1994-95 team opened with an 11-1 mark. NU also went 11-2 in 2010-11 and 2007-08.
- The victory marked Nebraska’s 19th straight home win dating back to last season. It’s the longest home-win streak since a school-record 20 games spanning the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons and ties for second-longest streak in school history. Of the 19 wins in the current streak, 14 have come by double digits, including all eight in 2018-19.
- The 41-point margin marked the eighth time this season that Nebraska has won by at least 20 points and the third time NU won by at least 40 points.
- The Huskers started the game on a 12-0 run and never trailed.
- Nebraska’s defense held Southwest Minnesota State to 30.2% from the floor. Nebraska has held 12 of its 13 opponents under 50 percent shooting this season.
- Tanner Borchardt made his first career start and finished with season highs in rebounds (nine) and points (four). Borchardt’s previous season high in rebounds was seven against Seton Hall on Nov. 14.
- James Palmer Jr. has now been in double figures in 43 of 46 career games at Nebraska after scoring 16 points today. Palmer also tied his season high with five assists.
- Glynn Watson Jr. made jumps on Nebraska’s career lists in steals and points. With 16 points today, Watson now has 1,218 points, passing Jack Moore (1,204) for 18th place on NU’s scoring chart. With a season-high four steals, Watson moved by Tyronn Lue (154) for eighth place on NU’s all-time steals list.
- Isaac Copeland Jr. scored 12 points for the Huskers, reaching double figures for the 12th time in the 13 games this season.
- Glynn Watson Jr. (16 points) hit four three-pointers, marking the tenth game this season he’s hit multiple threes in a game.
- Thorir Thorbjarnarson played 17 minutes, grabbing five rebounds (career high) to go along with two points and two assists.
- Nebraska hit 10+ 3-pointers for the fifth time this season. As a team, the Huskers and hit over 40% from three for the sixth time this season (11/24-45.8%)
- Nebraska’s six turnovers were a season low (previous low, 7 vs. Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 22).
- Nebraska had three double-figure runs, upping its season total to 17 on the season.