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January 18, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Colorado

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Colorado Buffaloes
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2010 - 6:02 p.m. CT
TV: ESPN2 / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Colorado Buffaloes (14-4, 3-0 Big 12)
Streak: Won 7
Last Game: Defeated Oklahoma State 75-71
G Nate Tomlinson (leads team with 2.5 assists per game) Jr. 6-3 190
G Marcus Relphorde (averaging 12.0 ppg and 4.3 rpg) Sr. 6-7 220
G Alec Burks (ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring, averaging 19.7 ppg) So. 6-6 195
G Cory Higgins (second leading scorer on team with 16.6 ppg) Jr. 6-5 180
F Austin Dufault (averaging 8.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg) Jr. 6-9 225

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 1-2 Big 12 Conference)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to Kansas 63-60
G Lance Jeter (Leads Big 12 in A/TO Ratio (2.61-to-1) and is fourth with 2.1 spg) Sr. 6-3 222
G Brandon Richardson (second on team in steals and assists) Jr. 6-0 190
G Caleb Walker (averaging 9.0 ppg and 7.0 rpg in Big 12 play) Jr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (scored season-high 17 points vs. No. 12 Missouri) Jr. 6-6 210
F Jorge Brian Diaz (had eight points and eight rebounds at No. 3 Kansas) So. 6-11 245

Defend home court

As disappointed as Nebraska is with losing two straight games at Missouri and Kansas, the truth of the matter is not many people projected them as having a much better than a 1-2 record through the first three Big 12 games. That said, falling to 1-3 to start league play would be a big hole to dig out of. That's why winning home games will be crucial for the Huskers down the stretch, and it begins tonight against Colorado.
Stop the playmakers

There may not be a better backcourt duo in college basketball right now than Colorado's Alec Burks and Cory Higgins. The two both rank in the Big 12's top-eight in scoring, and it's no secret that stopping Burks and Higgins is the No. 1 key to stopping the Buffaloes, who are off to their best conference start since the formation of the Big 12.
Get tough

One of the most glaring problems Nebraska has had the past two games has been its lack of physicality in the low post. Whether it's not finishing on an easy dunk opportunity or getting out-muscled on the defensive end, the Husker big men have to step up and assert themselves in the paint. Colorado doesn't feature all that much size, so this would be the perfect opportunity for NU's post players to show what they're really made of.

Head coach Doc Sadler on Colorado's 3-0 start to Big 12 play:

"They're playing as well as anybody in the league. They've shown tremendous toughness. They got off to a slow start against Kansas State, then came back. They were down double-digits to Oklahoma State and came back. They're playing with tremendous confidence, and on top of that, they're very talented. Tad has done an unbelievable job of coaching."
Junior guard Brandon Richardson on importance of Tuesday's game:

"Every game is important, but when you get to league play you have to be able to defend your home court. We had two tough losses on the road, but we have to bounce back and make sure we come to play against Colorado. This is the kind of game that can get us back on track."

Nebraska 65-64

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