Turnovers doom short handed Huskers against red hot Wildcats
LINCOLN - Nebraska knew they'd be in for a challenge with an impressive Northwestern team visiting Lincoln on Wednesday night. It was even more of a challenge without premiere defenders Juwan Gary and Emmanuel Bandoumel.
The challenge was shown early on as Nebraska led for just the early parts of the contest, falling to the Wildcats 78-63.
Keisei Tominaga scored the first 12 points of the game for Nebraska, part of his team high 22 points on the night. However, Ty Berry would also have himself a night for Northwestern, scoring 26 for Chicago's Big Ten Team, including 21 in the first half.
Nebraska had trouble keeping up with Northwestern's shooting as the Wildcats went 8-15 from deep in the first half, Berry going 5-5. In addition, being short handed, they dipped deep into the bench even bringing in Sam Hoiberg for his first meaningful minutes of the season scoring six points.
Nebraska would cut what was, at one time, a 23 point Northwestern lead to 14 in the second half, but Northwestern would hang on to win the game by 15.
Nebraska hit nine three pointers and shot 47% from the field, both above their season averages. However, they also committed 16 turnovers which led to 22 Northwestern points.
Sam Griesel recorded eight points in the loss and talked about the need for Nebraska to start faster during the game, but also not dwell on the loss after.
"Obviously they [Northwestern] shot it well, credit it to them, but from the jump we need to be better, we need more energy," Griesel said. "We can't have a hangover into the next few games, we need to stick to our culture, stick to what we know, and we need a better start next game."
Fred Hoiberg falls to 0-7 in his career against Northwestern with the loss. He talked about the contributions from his son Sam, who recorded six points, as well as other players off the bench.
"Listen, everybody's gotta be ready to play. We talked about that last game, after Emmanuel went down... everybody has to be ready to play, everybody has to be ready to go and have a positive impact on the game," Hoiberg said. "I thought Sam [Hoiberg], for going out there, getting a few meaningful minutes, just to get Sam Griesel a breather, did well... I'm really confident in our guys, it's one of the more fun groups I've had to coach, we'll get back at it tomorrow, have a great practice and get ready for Maryland."
Nebraska was led in scoring by Keisei Tominaga with 22.
With the loss, Nebraska's record dips below .500 to 10-11. The Huskers hit the road for visits to Maryland and Illinois, starting with the Terrapins on Saturday afternoon.