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December 21, 2013

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. The Citadel

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. The Citadel
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Digital Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

The Citadel Bulldogs (4-8, 0-0 Southern)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Brevard College 79-68
G Marshall Harris III (had game-high 22 points in win over Brevard) Jr. 6-1 180
G Ashton Moore (leads team with 3.9 apg) Jr. 6-0 172
F Brian White (averaging 15.0 ppg and 7.3 rpg) Fr. 6-6 180
F Matt Van Scyoc (leads team with 15.1 ppg} Sr. 6-6 218
C C.J. Bray (averaging 6.8 ppg and 4.3 rpg) Fr. 6-7 249

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (7-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Won 1
Last Game: Defeated Arkansas State 79-67
G Tai Webster (held scoreless against Arkansas State) Fr. 6-4 194
G Ray Gallegos (shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point range) So. 6-2 182
G/F Terran Petteway (leads team with 15.8 ppg) So. 6-6 209
F Shavon Shields (averaging 13.3 ppg and 5.2 rpg) So. 6-7 219
C Walter Pitchford (shooting 41.1% from 3-point range) So. 6-10 234

Defend the post

While Nebraska was in control for nearly all of its 79-67 win over Arkansas State last week, but the way it struggled defending Red Wolves forward Kirk Van Slyke all game long left plenty of reason for concern heading into tonight's final non-conference tilt versus The Citadel. Van Slyke put up a game-high 27 points and seven rounds in the loss, as the Huskers seemed to have no answer for how active he was in the paint and on the offensive glass. The Citadel has a very similar player in Matt Van Scyoc, who leads the team with 15.1 ppg, so stopping him will be priority No. 1 for NU's defense.
Watch the fouls

Nebraska has done a better job of of cutting down on the fouls the past few games, but keeping The Citadel off of the free throw line will be as important as anything for the Huskers tonight. The Bulldogs come into the game shooting 74.7 percent from the line as a team, led by Van Scyoc (90 percent) and freshman forward Brian White (83.3 percent). Nebraska can't afford to give anyone free chances at points, especially a team that capitalizes at the charity stripe the way The Citadel does. The Bulldogs are only shooting 36 percent from the field this season, so make them beat you with jumpers, not free throws.
Finish strong

Tonight's game is the final tuneup before a absolutely grueling stretch leading into Big Ten Conference play. After this game, Nebraska travels to Cincinnati to close out non-conference play and then goes to Iowa and Ohio State to kick off league play. Then the Huskers finally come home to host Michigan before hitting the road again at Purdue. That five-game stretch will likely set the tone for the rest of the season for NU, so it would be well served to be hitting on all cylinders on both ends of the court going in. A strong outing tonight would be a great start in that regard.

Head coach Tim Miles on the challenge that awaits Nebraska moving forward:

This week is going to be crucial to keep it up because like I told the guys, it's on like Donkey Kong, baby. It is at Iowa, at Ohio State, Michigan at home. There is a billion people who are going to pick us going 0-5. You can go all across the world and you can ask people, they will look at the schedule and the will say the Huskers are not winning any of those. So we just have to prove them wrong."
Sophomore forward Shavon Shields on how big of a concern NU's second-half letdowns are right now :

"Not a concern. We need to improve each and every day, each and every game. We learn from our mistakes. We just have to keep getting better. We can't look at the negative side of it. We just have to know what we need to do next time. We're going to watch film on Monday and learn from it."

Nebraska 82-69

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