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December 18, 2012

Hoops Gameday: Nebraska vs. Jacksonville State

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Jacksonville State
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 - 8:00 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Jacksonville State (8-2, 0-0 Ohio Valley)
Streak: Won 5
Last Game: Defeated Presbyterian 66-59 OT
G Brian Williams (averaging 10.5 ppg with team-high 3.6 apg) Jr. 6-1 185
G Darion Rackley (leads team with 13.3 points per game) So. 6-2 160
G Ronnie Boggs (averaging 11.0 ppg and team-high 6.6 rpg) Sr. 6-4 172
F Rinaldo Mafra (scoring 4.7 ppg, with 3.3 rpg) Sr. 6-7 220
C Tarvin Gaines (scoring 12.2 ppg and 4.8 rpg) Jr. 6-6 225

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to Oregon 60-38
G Benny Parker (playing through sprained MCL) Fr. 5-9 164
G Ray Gallegos (was just 1-of-8 from 3-point range vs. Oregon) Jr. 6-2 181
G Dylan Talley (only player in double-figures vs. UO with 11 points) Sr. 6-5 216
F Brandon Ubel (had 5 points and 5 rebounds against the Ducks) Sr. 6-10 234
C Andre Almeida (didn't score a point on 0-3 shooting against Oregon) Sr. 6-11 314

Make a shot!

In Nebraska's past two losses, it's scored just 42 and 38 points, respectively. While some of that has been due to the caliber of opponents they've played, the majority of the Huskers' offensive issues have come simply as a result of not hitting open shots when they get them. Especially in Saturday's loss to Oregon, Nebraska had a number of easy looks that it just didn't capitalize on, which kept them from getting any sort of rhythm going all day long. That will have to change if the Huskers are to have any chance at turning things around.
Use your size

After finally facing some teams that could at least stack up with its size in the post, Nebraska once again has a clear advantage inside tonight against an athletic but small Jacksonville State team. Getting guys like Brandon Ubel and Andre Almeida going early and often would go a long way in helping the Huskers reverse their offensive struggles and open up even more looks for their guards. If Nebraska can dominate the glass as well, they control the tempo of the game and give itself valuable second-chance opportunities on offense.
Play with confidence

Having now suffered two straight embarrassing 20-point losses, Nebraska's confidence is understandably pretty shaken at this point. After starting off the year with an impressive 6-1 record, the Huskers haven't won a game in 15 days. Needless to say, they're starving to taste any sort of success, and a win over a Jacksonville State team that's 8-2 and better than most give them credit for would be a huge lift in regaining a little bit of that momentum. With Big Ten play just four games away, NU needs as much confidence as it can get going into its conference schedule.

Head coach Tim Miles on Jacksonville State:

"I like what they do. They're athletic. They work. They're going to come out and guard you with some force. They've had success. They've won eight games. They've won road games, against like opponents. So I expect a tough game, a close game."
Senior forward Brandon Ubel on NU's recent shooting woes:

"It's definitely frustrating, but it's those kinds of plays that we can let affect the next play. I think that's a little bit of what happened. We missed a couple easy shots and let that affect us the next time on offense. The next rebound on defense, we're still thinking about that easy shot we just missed. That's something we've got to learn, to let go. We're going to make mistakes. We're going to miss shots. But we've just got to let that go and keep grinding and keep playing."

Nebraska 65-52

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