Nebraska lost 78-63 Wednesday night to Northwestern. Here are three quick reasons why the Huskers fell to 10-11 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten.
Northwestern’s Ty Berry had a career night in the first half – and then some. The 6-foot-3 junior plays third fiddle to Wildcat stars Boo Buie and Chase Audige, but he burned the Big Red for 26 points and six 3-pointers. Berry benefited from a diminished Nebraska defense — clearly missing Emmanuel Bandoumel — but the Newton, Kan., native was feeling it, too. He has a quick release that Nebraska couldn’t stop. When the guy who averages 9.2 points per game goes for triple that, you might be in for it.
Nebraska didn’t bring it on the boards. The Huskers lost the rebounding battle 35-23, which fueled Northwestern’s huge 16-4 edge in second chance points. Yes, the Wildcats benefited from some awkward first-half caroms, but they generally out-scrapped Nebraska for some tip-outs and scramble rebounds. When the game was still in doubt, Northwestern used to extended possessions to extend its lead.
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Too many tricky passes leads to too many turnovers. Which in turn led to 22 Northwestern points off of those giveaways. Outside of Keisei Tominaga — who led Nebraska with 22 points — the Huskers lack “blow by” guards who can get to the rim for easy layups, so they use Derrick Walker and Sam Griesel as tall, gifted passers to locate cutters to the hoop. Northwestern took away some of those passing lanes, Walker and Griesel went for some tough angles, and it didn’t pay off. For much of the game, Griesel and Walker had more turnovers than points.