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December 17, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Alcorn State

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Alcorn State Braves
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 - 7:00 p.m. CT
TV: NET-1 (Nebraska only) / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Alcorn State (1-7)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Point University 106-101 OT
G Jarvis Moore (averaging 3.5 points per game) Jr. 5-11 165
G Kendrick McDonald (second-leading scorer with 7.4 ppg) Sr. 6-0 165
G Twann Oakley (leads team with 11.5 ppg and 2.0 assist per game) Jr. 6-5 175
F Ian Francis (averaging 6.3 ppg and a team-high 5.1 rebounds per game) Jr. 6-8 210
F Chris Brand (scoring 6.9 ppg with 4.5 rpg) Jr. 6-8 210

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (6-3)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated TCU 69-57
G Bo Spencer (scored a game-high 22 points in win over TCU) Sr. 6-2 196
G Brandon Richardson (ranks third in NU history with an 83.0 career FT percentage) Sr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (had nine points and eight rebounds against TCU) Sr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (starting in place of injured center Jorge Brian Diaz) Jr. 6-10 235
F Brandon Ubel (has averaged 7.8 ppg on 53% shooting in last seven games) Jr. 6-10 235

Keep it rolling

Nebraska is coming off what head coach Doc Sadler called arguably the best half of basketball it's played all season in the second half against TCU. Against a far inferior opponent like Alcorn State, the Huskers need to come out and jump all over the Braves from the opening tip to keep the momentum they gained from last Saturday's win going. The problem is NU has been off for a full week since its win over TCU, so a fast start would certainly be a good sign that there hasn't been any drop off during the break.
Replace Diaz

Nebraska suffered a bit of a blow this week when it learned that junior center Jorge Brian Diaz would dhave to miss the next two games after his previously injured foot was re-injured in practice. The Huskers are already very thin in the post, and could in a lot of trouble should Diaz be forced to miss any Big Ten Conference games. Senior guard Toney McCray will likely start in his place for as long as Diaz is out, and junior forward Brandon Ubel will be counted on to handle the bulk of the work down low.
Execute the offense

If there was one complaint Sadler had of his team's second half comeback performance against TCU, it was that Nebraska again struggled to effectively execute the offense and create easy scoring opportunities. While the Huskers were able to get around that by hitting a number of tough shots down the stretch, Sadler wants to see them work the ball around and be much more efficient in the half-court offense. Against a team that just gave up 101 points to Point University, that shouldn't too difficult of a task.

Senior guard Caleb Walker on Nebraska improving its 3-point shooting:

"We have very talented guys who can shoot the ball. We're not going to be perfect, but I think with time in the gym guys are going to make shots. I don't think that's much of a worry right now."
Head coach Doc Sadler on what NU could have done better in the second half against TCU:

"I thought at times we did play well in the second half, but then again, there were so many things we've got to win it. Our offensive execution still wasn't what it needed to be. The difference is we made some tough shots. If we don't make those tough shots, then it probably doesn't end the way we want it to."

Nebraska 82-60

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