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November 12, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Western Illinois

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Western Illinois Leathernecks
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 - 7:05 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Digital Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Western Illinois Leathernecks (0-1, 0-0 Summit League)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Idaho 67-63
G Jordan Foster (led WIU with three assists vs. Idaho) So. 5-11 175
G Garret Covington (led WIU with 22 points in first college game) Fr. 6-5 180
G Remy Roberts-Burnett (had 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting vs. Idaho) Jr. 6-0 180
F Tate Stensgaard (had 11 points before fouling out in opener) So. 6-8 190
F Adam Link (named preseason second-team All-Summit League) Sr. 6-6 210

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Florida Gulf Coast 79-55
G Tai Webster (had 9 points, 2 rebounds and an assist vs. FGCU) Fr. 6-4 194
G/F Terran Petteway (scored a career-high 17 points in opener) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (had 28 points, named Big Ten Player of the Week) So. 6-7 219
F David Rivers (scored 5 points with a rebound in opener) Jr. 6-7 198
C Walter Pitchford (had 7 points with two 3-pointers vs. FGCU) So. 6-10 234

Keep up the emotion

It's been a long time since Nebraska played with the type of pure energy and emotion it had during Friday night's season-opening win over Florida Gulf Coast. The trick now is preventing any sort of hangover from the wild night when the Huskers return to action tonight in a much less hyped game against Western Illinois. Nebraska needs to come out hot and get the crowd into the game early, as the last thing it wants to do is let a pesky Leatherneck squad stick around any longer than it needs to.
Continue to attack

One of the biggest reasons for Nebraska's success against Florida Gulf Coast was the way it continuously attacked the lane and got the ball to the basket. With senior 3-point ace Ray Gallegos serving the second of his two-game suspension, the Huskers will once again be limited in their perimeter shooting, meaning the more dunks, lay-ups and free throws they can get, the better. Look for forward Shavon Shields, who was just named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week on Monday for his 28-point effort against the Eagles, to again be a focal point for NU's offense.
Get in transition

Western Illinois finished 22-9 and tied for the Summit League regular-season title last year primarily because of its stingy defensive play under head coach Jim Molinari. It's been said that the Leathernecks have been known to "take the air out of the ball" in games with a suffocating half-court defense and time-draining possessions on offense, as they ranked second in the country in scoring defense last season at 52.6 points allowed per game. The key for Nebraska is utilizing its athleticism advantage and getting the ball out in transition as much as possible.

Head coach Tim Miles on what he's done to keep his team from coming down too much after its win over FGCU:

"Well, I'd be fired if I told you the truth."
Sophomore guard Terran Petteway on him scoring the first ever points at the new Pinnacle Bank Arena:

"Coach (Craig) Smith was talking to me about that last night. He said that 40 years from now I'll be a trivia question for the first player to score in PBA. I didn't even think about that."

Nebraska 74-63

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