Lincoln, NE- Despite a rally in the second half, the Nebraska Cornhuskers dropped their fifth straight conference game to the Purdue Boilermakers on Wednesday night, 65-56.
In his post game press conference, freshman forward Shavon Shields pretty much summed up the game with one phrase, “sadly, we didn’t come ready to play”.
Early on the Huskers managed to keep it close with Purdue, but after missing a few shots after the first TV time out, Nebraska head coach Tim Miles' crew went cold.
Senior Dylan Talley and junior Ray Gallegos were virtually non-existent against Purdue, but it was two young players that really made a difference to the Huskers. Despite the break out performance by Jordan Tyrance and Shields, Miles knows he needs his seniors to play a bigger role.
“When a walk on player and a true freshmen get half of your points, it’s going to be a long night,” said Miles.
Tyrance was second in the team in scoring Tuesday night, getting his first major minutes of the season.
“Jordan really sparked us, he did a good job, he played with no fear, he played to help the team,” said Miles.
After 25 minutes of no defense and even worse offense, the Huskers sparked with about 16 minutes to play. Tough defense around the half court line and good opportunities around the basket really led the Huskers, as they cut the lead from 19 to five.
“We went small, and got aggressive with our double downs,” said Miles.
David Rivers guarded 7-foot center, A.J. Hammons, creating mismatches, and forcing Hammons to change up his style of play. But it would be D.J. Byrd late in the second half hitting three after three, never allowing the Huskers to completely get back in the game.
Miles called a time out with 26 seconds, with no intention of game management, but to talk to his team.
“I said look around, empty seats, people heading to the exits,” said Miles.
The Huskers return to the Devaney center Tuesday night to take on the No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini. This will already be the fifth game of the season for the Huskers matched up against a ranked opponent.
- Josh Harvey -