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January 5, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Savannah State

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Savannah State Tigers
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2010 - 7:06 p.m. CT
TV: None / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Savannah State (2-15, 0-0 Independents)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to Kansas State 92-61
G Preston Blackmon (scored 19 points against Kansas State) So. 6-0 170
G Keierre Richards (had seven points, six rebounds and four assists vs. KSU) Fr. 6-1 180
G-F Jovonni Schuler (leads team with 16.8 ppg this season) Sr. 6-4 180
F Joshua Montgomery (averaging 10.4 ppg) Fr. 6-4 195
F Jiles Smith (leads team with 6.8 rpg and 1.8 bpg) Fr. 6-8 200

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (11-2, 0-0 Big 12 Conference)
Streak: Won 9
Last Game: Defeated North Dakota 77-46
G Lance Jeter (averaging 11.3 ppg and leads team with 4.0 apg and 1.8 spg Sr. 6-3 222
G Brandon Richardson (second on team with a 1.26 a/to ratio) Jr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (averaging 6.2 ppg and leads team with 5.0 rpg) Jr. 6-4 205
F Brandon Ubel (scored team-high 11 points vs. UND) So. 6-10 240
F Jorge Brian Diaz (has scored in double figures the past five games) So. 6-11 245

Defend the perimeter

With no real inside presence on its roster, Savannah State is going to come and challenge Nebraska to defend it on the perimeter. In particular, the Huskers' big men are going to have to come out and play away from the basket on the defensive end. It will be a good test before NU opens its Big 12 Conference slate against Iowa State on Saturday, as the Cyclones will present many of the same perimeter challenges for the Huskers defensively.
Keep up the D

The No. 1 area during Nebraska's nine-game winning streak has been its play defensively, as the Huskers have held their past nine opponents to less than 60 points and four of its past five opponents to worse than 30 percent shooting from the field. That kind of defensive play could be a real weapon for NU in Big 12 play, so it will be important to keep the stifling D going.
Tough it out

After returning to practice following the holiday break on Dec. 26, Nebraska hasn't had a true off day the past 12 days. The Huskers are playing three games in six days this week without a break after the North Dakota game was postponed from Sunday to Monday. As a result, how well NU holds up during the tough stretch will play a major factor into whether they start the conference season with a win or a loss.

Head coach Doc Sadler on the benefit of playing weaker non-conference opponents:

"We needed some confidence going into the season. We talked about that. I think right now our guys are playing pretty confident, pretty loose. Defensively, the main thing is I think we ran those guys down probably five or six times under five seconds. That is pretty good. Not to look that far ahead, but Savannah State is also going to make our bigger guys defend on the perimeter and so is Iowa State. We're getting some good work out of Andre (Almeida) and Brian (Diaz) having to defend 20 feet from the basket."
Sophomore guard Eshaunte Jones on stepping his game up against UND on Monday:

"I'm always looking to shoot. I finally found a niche, because I've been shooting the ball really bad lately, and I think when I went home and just took a couple days off and spent time with my family I really think my confidence boosted a little bit, because you have everybody at home rooting for you. I think that kind of helped."

Nebraska 81-60

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