Huskers get what they needed in 110-64 rout of Doane
Nebraska needed a get-right game in its final non-conference contest before the start of Big Ten play next week.
Doane provided precisely that on Thursday night, as Dalano Banton recorded just the second triple-double in program history en route to a 110-64 blowout victory over the NAIA-level Tigers.
Banton posted a final line of 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists (along with three blocks) in just 21 minutes of work. Teddy Allen scored a game-high 16 points, while Kobe Webster had 12 off the bench.
The 110 points were the 12th-most NU had ever scored in a game.
While the win over Doane didn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, it at least gave Nebraska a much-needed confidence boost after back-to-back losses.
For the first 10 minutes of the game, Nebraska looked like a team that knew it was playing a 5-9 NAIA opponent.
The Huskers couldn’t get much of any consistency going offensively, and after Doane missed its first 11 3-pointers to start the night, it made four in a row to pull within 23-19 with 9:26 left in the half.
But NU would settle down and take control very quickly from there. Sparked by three 3-pointers by senior transfer Trevor Lakes, who went 4-of-5 from behind the arc for 12 points in his Husker debut, Nebraska fired back with a 34-7 run to close the first half and went into halftime up 57-26.
Ten Huskers scored in the first 20 minutes, led by 11 points from Allen and eight points, seven rebounds, and seven assists from Banton.
Banton secured his place alongside Cam Mack – who posted Nebraska’s first-ever triple-double last season – with his 10th assist on a dish to Yvan Ouedraogo for a dunk at the 13:22 mark in the second half.
Doane kept battling, going on a 16-5 run at one point, but the rest of the game was mostly about padding stats for the Huskers.
All 11 players who saw the floor in the win for NU scored at least four points, including five in double figures. Ouedraogo tallied his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Nebraska also had 25 assists on 41 made baskets and committed season-low eight turnovers. The Huskers had turned it over a combined 56 times over their previous three games.
The Tigers ended up setting the Nebraska opponent record with 46 3-point attempts on the night, making 13. The previous record was 37, set by Baylor back on Feb. 14, 1998.
The Huskers ended non-con play at 4-3, and they’ll begin a run of 20 straight Big Ten games starting on Tuesday night at Wisconsin. Tip for that game is set for 6 p.m. CT and it will be televised on FS1.
1. The win was nice, but NU still has a long way to go
Thursday night’s game accomplished what Nebraska wanted.
It gave the Huskers a needed confidence boost and allowed Lakes and freshman Eduardo Andre to see their first NU game action. It also counted towards Derrick Walker’s now 11-game suspension, leaving him with just four more before joining the lineup.
But while the final stats were impressive, many of the same problems NU has dealt with this season showed up once again, even with a significant step down in competition.
Nebraska committed a season-low eight turnovers in the win, but most of them resulted from sloppy play and poor decisions with the basketball, an issue that killed it in loss to Georgia Tech and Creighton.
The Huskers also shot 33 3-pointers against a Doane team that didn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-7 on its roster. Even worse, their starters were a combined 3-of-19 from behind the arc, with Trey McGowens, Lat Mayen, and Thorir Thorbjarnarson going 0-for-10.
Nebraska didn’t score its first point until nearly three minutes into the game and missed six of its first seven shots, including its first four 3-pointers. It also went 16-of-25 from the free-throw line (64%).
Talent eventually won out, and NU ran away with a lopsided win. But if those same issues continue to happen in Big Ten play, things will get ugly very quickly for the Huskers.
2. Trevor Lakes could be an important addition
With 13:56 left in the first half, Trevor Lakes took the court for his Nebraska debut. Just 14 seconds later, the senior graduate transfer buried a 3-pointer.
Regarded as one of the best perimeter shooters in Division-II last season at the University of Indianapolis, Lakes went on to knock down his first three from behind the arc and finished 4-of-5 on threes for the night.
The Huskers came in shooting just 31.8 percent from downtown as a team, but Lakes instantly provided the catch-and-shoot perimeter weapon they needed and made four of their 12 threes in the win.
Banton said the performance against Doane was what Lakes had been doing in practices and workouts since he arrived in Lincoln back in June. When he was suddenly ruled eligible to play this season on Thursday morning, the 6-foot-7 forward added a new element to NU’s lineup.
We still need to see how he handles his first-ever taste of Big Ten competition next week, but elite shooting translates to almost any level in most cases. If Lakes can provide that type of perimeter threat in league play, his unexpected addition could prove very valuable this year.
3. Eduardo Andre definitely has potential
The other player making his Nebraska debut on Thursday was freshman Eduardo Andre, who missed the first six games and 21 days of the season due to COVID-19 protocols.
The 6-foot-10 center, who boasts a 7-4 wingspan, was clearly not in Big Ten game shape physically coming off his absence, but he showed a few flashes of his potential.
Andre played 14 minutes in the win and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with nine points, four rebounds, two blocks, and an assist. Nebraska was plus-33 in scoring when he was on the floor.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg noted that he could see Andre’s impact for the Huskers on both ends of the floor, even if he was “sucking the air out of the gym for a while.” Hoiberg said the goal was to play Andre around 8-10 minutes vs. Doane, and he was happy with how the freshman handled his 14 minutes of work.
For a player who has only been seriously playing organized basketball for about four years now, Andre looked far more athletic, coordinated, and confident than expected. Once he gets into game shape, he, too, could be an important addition for NU going forward.