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Huskers battle No. 25 Buckeyes Wednesday night | KRVN Radio

Huskers battle No. 25 Buckeyes Wednesday night

Huskers battle No. 25 Buckeyes Wednesday night
(Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications)

The Nebraska men’s basketball program hits the road for the final time in 2020, as the Huskers travel to Columbus, Ohio for a matchup with No. 25/20 Ohio State.

Tipoff from Value City Arena between the Huskers and Buckeyes is slated for 5:30 p.m. (cental) and will be carried on BTN with Brandon Gaudin and Stephen Bardo on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Nebraska’s matchup with the Buckeyes marks the Huskers’ third straight game against a ranked opponent to open Big Ten play. It is only the second time in program history that the Huskers started conference play with three straight ranked opponents (also 2011-12).

The Huskers (4-5, 0-2 Big Ten) cut a 13-point second-half deficit to 64-60 with 6:20 remaining, but could not complete the comeback in an 80-69 loss to No. 19 Michigan on Christmas Day. Michigan, which hit its first six shots of the second half, used a 10-0 run to break open a two-point game and withstood several comeback attempts by the Huskers down the stretch. Teddy Allen’s 25 points led three Huskers in double figures, but Nebraska was held to 39 percent shooting while Michigan shot 51 percent, including 58 percent in the second half.

Allen has been an impact newcomer for the Husker offense, as the 6-foot-6 wing leads the Huskers and is sixth in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game. He has four 20-point games and is averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in Nebraska’s three games against ranked opponents in 2020-21.

Ohio State (7-2, 1-2 Big Ten) is looking to bounce back following a 71-70 loss at Big Ten leader Northwestern on Saturday. The Buckeyes led 64-57 with seven minutes remaining, only to see the Wildcats close the game on a 14-6 run capped by Boo Buie 3-pointer with 1:04 left to give the Wildcats the lead for good. E.J. Liddell led Ohio State with 15 points and eight boards, while Kyle Young chipped in 14 points and eight caroms. OSU out-rebounded Northwestern 40-26, but shot just 44 percent, including 4-of-20 from 3-point range.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
1 – Dalano Banton is the only Big Ten player in the top 10 in the conference in both rebounding and assists as of Dec. 27.

4 – Over the last seasons, only four Big Ten players have averaged at last 13 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game.

Player School Year PPG RPG APG
Evan Turner Ohio St. 09-10 20.4 9.2 6.0
Denzel Valentine Mich. St. 15-16 19.2 7.5 7.8
Dalano Banton Neb. 20-21 14.2 7.4 5.2
Ayo Dosunmu Ill. 20-21 24.1 7.2 5.2
5 – Nebraska has five 20-point performances through the first eight games, including four by Teddy Allen and one by Kobe Webster.

9.0 – Nebraska’s 3-pointers per game, which is on pace to be the second-highest average per game in school history.

10 – Number of seasons where Nebraska has had multiple 100-point games. The 2020-21 campaign is the first time since 1995-96.

32- Nebraska is 32nd nationally in tempo according to KenPom as of Dec. 27. The Huskers are one of three Big Ten teams currently in the top 50 as of Dec. 27.

SCOUTING OHIO STATE
Under the direction of fourth-year coach Chris Holtmann, Ohio State is 7-2 on the season and 1-2 in Big Ten action. The Buckeyes, who went 21-10 and 11-9 in conference play in 2019-20, opened the season with five straight wins before dropping a 67-60 loss at Purdue on Dec. 16. OSU rebounded with wins over UCLA and No. 11 Rutgers before the one-point loss at Northwestern.

Holtmann has guided OSU to three straight 20-win seasons since taking over the program in 2017-18. Holtmann spent the previous three seasons at Butler, guiding the Bulldogs to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2017.

Sophomore E.J. Liddlell leads a balanced attack at 15.3 points per game while also hauling in 6.7 caroms per game. Duane Washington Jr. is at 14.4 points eprt game and has 22 of the Buckeyes’ 59 3-pointers through nine games, while
Cal transfer Justice Seuing (10.9) and CJ Walker (10.0) also average double figures. Kyle Young leads OSU in rebounding at 7.0 per game, as the Buckeyes out-rebound teams by 5.4 rebounds per game. OSU also commits just 9.4 turnovers per game and shoots 77.1 percent from the line.

SERIES HISTORY
Ohio State leads the all-time series, 18-4, in a series that dates back to 1936. The Buckeyes are 14-2 against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten with Nebraska’s wins coming in 2014 (Lincoln) and 2017 (Columbus). Nebraska looks to snap a four-game losing streak to the Buckeyes, while Wednesday’s game is the 12th time in the 17 meetings that OSU has been ranked since Nebraska joined the Big Ten.

Last meeting: Dachon Burke Jr. and Cam Mack combined for 25 points, but No. 23 Ohio State rode a hot start to a 75-54 win over Nebraska on Feb. 27, 2020. Burke led NU with 13 points, while Mack added 12 points, but Ohio State limited the Huskers to 36 percent shooting, including 3-of-16 from 3-point range.

Caleb Wesson had 16 points and 18 rebounds for Ohio State to pace three Buckeyes in double figures. CJ Walker added 15 points, five boards and three assists, while Duane Washington Jr. chipped in 14 markers.

Ohio State used a blistering start from Washington, who scored all 14 of his points in the first half, to take a 43-27 lead at the break. Washington hit his first three shorts beyond the arc, as the Buckeyes hit nine of their first 11 shots from the floor en route to building a 28-12 lead and controlled the contest.

LAST TIME OUT
Teddy Allen had a game-high 25 points, but No. 19 Michigan shot 58 percent in the second half to post an 80-69 in over Nebraska in a Christmas Day matchup at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Allen had 21 of his 25 points in the first half, as Nebraska trailed 36-34 at the break, but the Wolverines hit their first six shots from the field after halftime and used a 10-0 spurt keyed by Franz Wagner to stretch the lead to 53-41 with 14:39 remaining.

Wagner led five Wolverines in double figures with 20 points, as Michigan shot 51 percent from the field and hit nine 3-pointers in the win. Isaiah Livers added 17 while Hunter Dickinson added 13 points, 15 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots for Michigan.

Nebraska trailed 62-49 with 11:11 left before charging back into the game. The Huskers used an 11-2 run to get within 64-60 after a pair of Trey McGowens free throws. McGowens scored 15 of his 17 points after halftime and had three of the Huskers’ six steals.

The Huskers were with 71-65 after Allen split a pair of free throws after the under-4 minute timeout, but would get no closer as a Wagner basket and a Dickinson 3-point play on a putback stretched the lead back to 11 with 1:09 left.
Dalano Banton also scored in double-figures for Nebraska for the ninth time this season with 17 points in a team-high 35 minutes.

STORYLINES
• NU will look to snap a 11-game losing streak against ranked opponents which began with a 66-62 loss to Wisconsin in the 2019 Big Ten Tournament. NU’s last win over a ranked team was a 69-61 win over No. 21 Maryland in the second round of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament. The Huskers’ last road win over a ranked team was against No. 25 Indiana on Jan. 14, 2018. NU is 3-4 all-time against teams ranked No. 25 all-time.

• Wednesday’s game comes in a middle of a six-game stretch where NU will square off with five ranked teams. The stretch began with games at No. 8 Creighton (Jan. 11), No. 9 Wisconsin (Dec. 22) and No. 19 Michigan (Dec. 25). Following Wednesday’s game, NU’s next game is against No. 17 Michigan State on Saturday.

• The Big Ten has a record nine teams ranked in this week’s poll, breaking the old mark of eight set on March 2, 2020. It is the most by any conference since the old Big East had nine teams on March 7, 2011.

• A pair of Huskers are closing in on milestone numbers this week. Kobe Webster needs five points to reach 1,500 career points, while Trevor Lakes is six points away from 1,000 career points.

• The break after the Creighton game allowed the Huskers an opportunity to work on cutting down turnovers. After a solid start the first three games, the Huskers averaged nearly 19 turnovers per game, including 25 at Creighton. Over the last three games, NU has cut down its turnovers, averaging 8.3 per game in that span. On the season, NU is currently averaging 12.2 turnovers per game after averaging 11.9 in 2019-20.

• Junior college transfer Teddy Allen is one of five newcomers among power conference players averaging at least 17.0 points per game this season. Only Cameron Thomas (LSU) and Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State) are the only newcomers on power conference teams average more than Allen as of Dec. 27.

• Nebraska enters the week ranked fifth in the Big Ten and 60th nationally with 9.0 3-pointers per game. It is not surprising that Nebraska relied on its 3-point shooting in Hoiberg’s tenure, as his Iowa State teams led the Big 12 in 3-pointers in four of his five seasons at the school. The Huskers averaged 7.9 3-pointers per game last season, marking NU’s highest per game total since the 2001-02 season.

Most 3-Pointers/Game in School History
No. School Games 3-Pointers/Game
1. 2001-02 28 9.54
– 2019-20 9 9.00
2. 2019-20 32 7.90
3. 2006-07 31 7.87
4. 2018-19 36 7.50
• The Huskers added some much-needed depth, as Trevor Lakes and Eduardo Andre made their Husker debuts against Doane on Dec. 17. Andre, a 6-foot-10, 228-pound forward, is averaging 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds per game while serving as a backup in the frontcourt. Lakes, a 6-foot-7 forward who was cleared by the NCAA on Dec. 17, us averaging 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from 3-point range.

• Nebraska has two 100-point games this season following the Dec. 17 win over Doane. It marks the 10th time in school history that Nebraska had multiple 100-point games in a season and the first since 1995-96. Nebraska is now 39-4 all-time when scoring 100+ points.

• Nebraska has shown the ability to get off to fast starts in 2020-21. NU has outscored its nine opponents by a combined score of 73-40 prior to the first media timeout and has taken a lead into the first media break in seven of the nine games. The only two times NU has trailed at the first media timeout were one-point deficits to South Dakota and at Creighton.

NEWCOMERS MAKING AN IMPACT
Nebraska added an influx of veterans in 2020-21, gaining the services of seven scholarship players with previous Division I experience as well as Division II transfer Trevor Lakes, who became eligible on Dec. 17.

The group combined for nearly 4,000 points along with over 1,300 rebounds and 600 assists in their collegiate careers before joining the Husker program and includes multi-year starters Kobe Webster (Western Illinois), Trey McGowens (Pittsburgh) and Trevor Lakes (Indianapolis). The Huskers also gain the services of three players (Dalano Banton, Shamiel Stevenson and Derrick Walker) who had to sit out the 2019-20 campaign after transferring to Nebraska.

• Nebraska’s top six scorers are all newcomers, including three double-figure scorers. In all, 89 percent of the Huskers’ offense and 77 percent of its rebounds has come from players who did not play at Nebraska in 2019-20.

• Husker players lead all Big Ten newcomers in scoring (Allen), assists (Banton) and steals (Allen) entering Wednesday’s game at Ohio State. Banton is also second among Big Ten newcomers in steals and third in rebounds.

• In all, 34 of Nebraska’s 35 double-figure efforts this season have been by players in their first season of competition at NU. Yvan Ouedraogo’s double-double against Doane is the Huskers’ only double-figure scoring effort by a returnee in 2020-21.

• Nebraska will add additional size and experience next week when junior forward Derrick Walker becomes eligible. Walker is serving an 11-game suspension from a violation of NCAA rules that occurred while Walker was a member of the Tennessee basketball program in 2018-19.

BANTON POSTS TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Prior to Fred Hoiberg taking over the Nebraska basketball program, Nebraska never had a triple-double in a regular-season game and now have had one in each of the past two seasons following Dalano Banton’s triple-double against Doane on Dec. 17. In fact, the only two triple doubles in the Big Ten have been by Huskers. Hoiberg has had three players on the college level post a triple double, as Royce White of Iowa State had one in 2012 (10 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists).

Nebraska Triple-Doubles Under Hoiberg
Player Opponent Date Points Rebounds Assists
Cam Mack Purdue Dec. 15, 2019 11 10 12
Dalano Banton Doane Dec. 17, 2020 13 11 10
A UNIQUE POINT GUARD
It is not often that you a see a point guard handling jump ball duties, but Dalano Banton is not your typical point guard, and NU coach Fred Hoiberg is finding ways to incorporate Banton’s unique skills.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore provides a unique focal point to the Huskers’ attack and is averaging 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. He comes into the Ohio State game ranking among the Big Ten leaders in assists (fourth), steals (seventh), rebounding (eighth) and assist-to-turnover ratio (11th).

A former top-100 recruit, Banton has reached double figures in all nine games, including a 15-point, eight-rebound four-assist performance against No. 9 Wisconsin on Dec. 22 and a 17-point effort against No. 19 Michigan on Dec. 25.

• Banton is one of three power conference players who rank in the top 10 of their respective conferences in both rebounding and assists as of Dec. 27.

• He is one of three players nationally and the only power conference player with a triple double this season. Banton posted his first career triple double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Doane on Dec. 17. In addition, he nearly posted another triple double against North Dakota State on Nov. 18 with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

• Banton is one of only two players nationally averaging at least 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game as of Dec. 27.

STEALS = BASKETS
Nebraska’s length on the defensive end has been disruptive during the early portion of the campaign. The Huskers enter the Ohio State matchup ranked 57th nationally with 8.4 steals per game, a total which leads the Big Ten. NU has taken advantage of those turnovers, averaging 16.6 ppg off of opponent turnovers in the first nine games.

• The Huskers are second in the Big Ten, forcing 15.4 turnovers per game.

• Teddy Allen (2.2 spg, second), Dalano Banton (1.6 spg, seventh) and Trey McGowens (1.3 spg, ninth) rank among the Big Ten leaders in steals.

• Nebraska had 10+ steals in each of its first three games, marking the first time since the 2016-17 season and just the second time since 2010.

• Allen is the only power conference player and one of 16 players nationally with multiple five-steal games as of Dec. 27. The only other Husker to have multiple five-steal games in a season in the last decade is Glynn Watson Jr., who had three during the 2016-17 campaign.

• Nebraska will look to finish among the top three teams in the Big Ten in steals for the third straight year (2019-20 -7.0, second; 2018-19 (7.2, third).

TEDDY BUCKETS
Junior college transfer Teddy Allen has lived up to his billing as an elite scorer in his first season at Nebraska. The 6-foot-6 junior guard leads Nebraska and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game while also chipping in 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

• Allen, who leads all Big Ten newcomers in scoring and steals, is the only newcomer listed in the top 10 of the Big Ten in scoring as of Dec. 27.

• He is one of three players nationally – and the only power conference player- averaging at least 18.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game and played at least four games in 2020-21.

• Allen has a team-high four 20 efforts and is one of six Big Ten players with at least four 20-point games this season.

Allen, who averaged 31.4 points per game at Western Nebraska Community College last season, has reached double figures in all nine games, including a 25-point effort against No. 19 Michigan on Christmas. He enjoyed his best performance of the year at No. 8 Creighton on Dec. 11, when he totaled D-1 career highs with 26 points and nine rebounds. He also posted 20-point games against North Dakota State (22) and South Dakota (23). Allen has seven career 20-point games, including three during his freshman season at West Virginia in 2017-18.

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