Nebraska basketball bullied Kansas State on the road on Sunday and here are three takeaways for the Huskers.
After scoring one of the biggest wins of the Fred Hoiberg era last Sunday, Nebraska basketball did the same thing a week later with a 62-46 domination of Kansas State.
This was a true road game for the Huskers and one that, for now, will go down as a quadrant-1 victory. Nebraska basketball went on a 17-1 run at one point in the second half and the outcome really wasn’t in doubt for the final quarter of the game.
Juwan Gary got the start and should continue to after a double-double with 13 points and 18 rebounds. Rienk Mast had 19 points and 12 boards. He also made his first three 3-point attempts.
In the big picture, it improves Nebraska to 9-2 with a couple of buy games before the restart of Big Ten play. Here are three takeaways from another big win for the fighting Fred Hoiberg’s.
A carbon copy of Creighton
This reminded me so much of the Creighton game a season ago. Nebraska basketball finished with 57 rebounds and notched 19 on the offensive end. Beyond that, Kansas State, a team with three players averaging 16 points or more, was held to 4-of-30 from beyond the arc and under 50 on its home floor.
Going into Big Ten play, it was really good to see the Huskers grind another opponent into dust. Fred talked about the physicality of this team before the season and it was on full display on Sunday.
Keisei Tominaga only scored nine points and the Huskers still won with ease. It was a total team effort, but the defense and rebounding set the tone, especially a second-half effort that held K-State to 12 second-half points.
Exactly what the resume needed
Without this win, Nebraska would have needed 12-13 wins in the Big Ten Conference. If you’re around .500 in the conference, without any impressive non-league wins, it can be hard to get an at-large berth.
Nebraska now has back-to-back wins over top-50 teams according to Kenpom. Michigan State will get better as the season goes on. Plus, the Huskers have two other Power-5 wins on a neutral floor. Both wins were by double digits too.
There is still plenty of work to do. But if Nebraska wins the next two buy games and posts a winning mark in the Big Ten, there’s no doubt in my mind they’ll be dancing.
Give credit where it’s due
All the players deserve credit. But Fred Hoiberg deserves kudos for the job he’s done in the past two games. People were ready to kick him to the curb after the Minnesota loss.
That could have been a turning point and in a sense it was, but not in the way we thought. Nebraska was able to rally and beat the two most difficult teams on the schedule up to this point outside of Creighton.
The ability of this team to stick together and come up with two huge wins should make Nebraska basketball fans very optimistic about what’s to come.
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