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March 3, 2012

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Minnesota

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 11:31 a.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Minnesota (17-13, 5-12 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 6
Last Game: Lost to No. 15 Wisconsin 52-45
G Andre Hollins (scoring 6.6 ppg with 1.5 rpg) Fr. 6-1 200
G Austin Hollins (averaging 8.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game) So. 6-4 180
G Joe Coleman (averaging 5.4 ppg and 2.5 rpg) Fr. 6-4 200
F Rodney Williams (leads teams with 10.7 ppg and 5.5 rpg) Jr. 6-7 200
F/C Ralph Sampson III (averaging 7.7 ppg and 4.6 rpg) Sr. 6-11 241

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (12-16, 4-13 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 3
Last Game: Lost to Iowa 62-53
G Bo Spencer (held under 10 points two games in a row) Sr. 6-2 196
G Brandon Richardson (had six assists in loss to Iowa) Sr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (had 15 points against Iowa) Sr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (scored 15 points in first game vs. Minnesota) Jr. 6-6 215
F Brandon Ubel (has 30 points in last two games) Jr. 6-10 235

Feed Ubel

Until junior forward Brandon Ubel finally starts missing some shots, Nebraska needs to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. In the Huskers' last two games, the 6-10 Ubel has scored a total of 30 points on 13-of-16 shooting, including a career-high 17 points on a perfect 7-of-7 night in Wednesday's loss to Iowa. He's shooting better than 74 percent from the floor over NU's past four games, averaging 11.0 points over that span. Nebraska would be well served to continue to feed Ubel and ride his hot hand as long as it can.
Knock down shots

It's pretty much been the story of Nebraska's season, but once again, the Huskers have to be able to take advantage when they get open shots today against Minnesota. In its last two losses, NU had numerous easy looks against zone defenses, but was unable to convert them into points more often than not. With the problems the Huskers have had with scoring all year long, nothing would give this team a boost more heading into the Big Ten Tournament more than gaining some much needed confidence by hitting some shots against the Gophers.
Find motivation

In all reality, the only thing today's game means to Nebraska is whether it will get the No. 11 or No. 12 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. The game means just about as much to Minnesota, as both teams have left themselves with only one real chance at advancing to the post-season, and that's to make a strong run through the league tourney. On top of all that, the 11:30 a.m. tip will be the earliest start for the Huskers this season. Nebraska will have to find a way to find a spark in order to close out the regular season with a win and get some sort of momentum heading into the conference tournament.

Head coach Doc Sadler on today's 11:30 a.m. tip against Minnesota:

"As crazy as it may sound, probably the biggest key to tomorrow morning's game is who's ready to play at 11:30 in the morning. I mean, I think that's going to be the biggest key. I think it's always important to get off to a fast start, but the fact of the matter is both teams are waiting until next week now. Tomorrow's game really doesn't have much of an impact on what's going to be happening in another week, so I think both teams are probably very happy the game's at 11:30 if you're a coach, because it's going to allow me to get out again after the game and go see some players and get some other things done."
Junior forward Brandon Ubel on what a win today would mean for the Huskers:

"It's definitely important for us. We'd like to go into the tournament on a winning note and get a little something going, some positive energy. To knock a couple shots down and get a win going into the tournament would definitely help us out."

Nebraska 63-62

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