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December 22, 2012

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Central Michigan

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Central Michigan Chippewas
Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012 - 6:00 p.m. CT
TV: None / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Central Michigan (6-4, 0-0 MAC)
Streak: Won 2
Last Game: Defeated Texas State 92-80
G Kyle Randall (leads team with 14.9 points per game) Sr. 5-10 169
G Chris Fowler (leads team with 4.3 assists per game) Fr. 6-0 185
G Austin Keel (averaging 5.4 points and 2.6 assists per game) So. 6-4 188
F Olivier Mbaigoto (averaging 6.0 ppg and 2.6 rpg) Sr. 6-6 202
C John Simon (scoring 9.0 ppg and team-high 4.7 rpg) Fr. 6-8 209

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (7-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Jacksonville 59-55
G Benny Parker (averaging 4.7 points and 2.9 assists per game) Fr. 5-9 164
G Ray Gallegos (scoring at 11.8 ppg, 6th in Big Ten with 2.5 3s per game) Jr. 6-2 181
G Dylan Talley (averaging a team-high 14.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg) Sr. 6-5 216
F Brandon Ubel (averaging 12.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg) Sr. 6-10 234
C Andre Almeida (leads the Big Ten with 1.8 blocks per game) Sr. 6-11 314

Hit your jumpers

It's become very clear that for Nebraska to have any sort of offensive success this season, it's going to have to knock down its shots from the perimeter. Because the Huskers have yet to show the ability to consistently put the ball on the floor and attack the basket, they've had to rely on jumpers and 3-pointers for the bulk of their scoring. When those shots are falling, NU has looked pretty good offensively. When they aren't, though, you gets results like the Creighton, Oregon and even Jacksonville State game.
Control the paint

Nebraska will once again have a clear size advantage in the post when Andre Almeida and Brandon Ubel are on the floor together, so getting the ball inside as much as possible would be a smart strategy. While Ubel has been as consistent as any Husker this season, Almeida has been a bit of a wildcard. He could go for 20 and 10 one night and then not score a point the next. Getting him going early would help open everyone else up for better shots.
Hold up on the road

Nebraska has only played two road games through its first 10 games of the season, and the results couldn't have been much further apart. After rolling up Wake Forest in their first road game back in November, the Huskers had arguably their worst overall performance of the year in their next road trip at Oregon. While the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas, is technically a neutral site tournament, it will interesting to see how NU responds to two straight games away from the Devaney Center tonight and tomorrow night.

Head coach Tim Miles on NU's four-point win over Jacksonville State:

"I thought we did a lot of good things, but you have to finish the ball game. It's a 40-minute game, and you've got to have some courage. That helps."
Senior forward Brandon Ubel on gaining momentum before Big Ten play:

"If we want to get to any type of post-season at all, we've got to get these next few out and get on into conference play and try to sneak a couple on the road and take care of home court. These next three (non-conference games) are big for us, so we've got to stay focused and try to put a full 40 minutes together."

Nebraska 61-54

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