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Nebraska men's basketball beats SW Minnesota State in non-conference finale

Posted: 9:44 PM, Dec 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-30 03:44:06Z
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LINCOLN, Neb. — (Courtesy: NU Media Relations)

The Nebraska men's basketball team wrapped up non-conference play with a dominating 79-38 win over Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday in Lincoln.

Nebraska Postgame Notes
*-With a victory over Southwest Minnesota State, Nebraska improved to 11-2 on the season, including 10-1 in non-conference play. With the victory today, Nebraska finishes non-conference play with one loss for the first time since 2003-04 and just the fourth time since World War II.

*-Nebraska’s 11-2 start is its best since the 1994-95 team opened the year with an 11-1 mark. NU also went 11-2 in 2010-11 and 2007-08.

*-The victory marked Nebraska’s 19th straight home win dating back to last season. It’s the longest home-win streak since a school-record 20 games spanning the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons and ties for second-longest streak in school history. Of the 19 wins in the current streak, 14 have come by double-digits, including all eight in 2018-19.

*- The 41-point margin marked the eighth time this season that Nebraska has won by at least 20 points and the third time NU won by at least 40 points.
*-The Huskers started the game on a 12-0 run and never trailed.

*-Nebraska’s defense held Southwest Minnesota State to 30.2% from the floor. Nebraska has held 12 of its 13 opponents under 50 percent shooting this season.
*-Tanner Borchardt made his first career start today and finished with season highs in both rebounds (nine) and points (four). Borchardt’s previous season high in rebounds was seven against Seton Hall on Nov. 14.

*-James Palmer Jr. has now been in double figures in 43 of 46 career games at Nebraska after scoring 16 points today. Palmer also tied his season high with five assists.
*-Glynn Watson Jr. made jumps on Nebraska’s career lists in both steals and points today. With 16 points, Watson now has 1,218 points, passing Jack Moore (1,204) for 18th place on NU’s scoring chart. With a season-high four steals, Watson moved by Tyronn Lue (154) for eighth place on NU’s all-time steals list.
*-Isaac Copeland Jr. scored 12 points for the Huskers, reaching double figures for the 12th time in the 13 games this season.

*-Glynn Watson Jr. (16 points) hit four three-pointers today, marking the tenth game this season he's hit multiple threes in a game.
*-Thorir Thorbjarnarson played 17 minutes this afternoon, grabbing five rebounds (career high) to go along with two points and two assists.
*-Nebraska hit 10+ 3-pointers for the fifth time this season. As a team, the Huskers and hit over 40% from three for the sixth time this season (11/24-45.8%)
*-Nebraska’s six turnovers were a season low (previous low, 7 vs. Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 22).

*-Nebraska had three double-figure runs today, upping its season total to 17 on the season.

Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles

Opening Statement

“I just would like to thank Southwest Minnesota State and Coach Brad Bigler. Obviously, he means a lot to me and for him to come up the day before a league game and play us on the road, where we knew scheduling a Division II opponent wouldn’t hurt us in the RPI and Net and all those things matter. So, I just appreciate those guys. That’s a bit of a sacrifice too, they want to do well in their league and they have aspirations. I just really appreciate them making this happen.”

On if he got what he wanted out today’s game

“Yeah I thought, one, I was proud of our guys. I thought they played with alertness on defense, we were very good on the ball. Ryan Bruggeman is a really good player and I’m very impressed with him and the plays he can make. He makes really good decisions and is an athlete who can put a lot of pressure on you. I thought our guys were very sharp, our attention to detail was good and we were fairly crisp on offense even though we didn’t make a lot of shots the first half. We gradually got better as the game wore on and shook the rust off, so to speak.”

On how he thinks his guys are mentally with Big Ten play starting

“I think they’re ready. They’re tired of me, tired of practice so to speak and want to compete. But they also know we need to get healthy. We need to get [freshman guard] Amir (Harris) back, we certainly need to get [junior forward] (Isaiah) Roby back. I just can’t say enough about them. They look at it, they know where we want to be as a program and they’re ready to compete. We know we’re up against it a little bit with these three out of four road games against high quality opponents, so we got to strap it on and go play. Make plays.”

Nebraska Players Tanner Borchardt, James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr.

On if they accomplished what they set out to do before the game

James Palmer Jr.: “I would say yeah. Shout out to them (Southwest Minnesota State). They were a good team and they could really shoot the ball. We just took care of business and it was a great win coming off the break."

On when he found out he was getting the start

Tanner Borchardt: “After shootaround today, probably like 9 o'clock or so. [Junior forward Isaiah] Roby was kind of limited during practice, so I already kind of knew. But I've been in the lineup and I've been preparing for this moment all season, so I was ready to go.”

On how he played today

Tanner Borchardt: “I felt like I played great. I did my role, got rebounds and rolled to the rim.”

On picking up the energy in the first half

Glynn Watson Jr.: “We just shared the ball. We stopped playing one-on-one, things like that. We just needed to share it, take care of the ball and take open shots. We missed a couple open ones, but it's nothing we can't fix.”

On their excitement for the challenge of Big Ten play

Glynn Watson Jr.: “Yeah, I'm ready to get rolling. We get to play at Maryland, they're a good team, then we got Iowa away after that. So we got two away games we have to get ready for and come out with the wins."

On what they learned from non-conference play

Glynn Watson Jr.: “I think we can play with anybody. When we share the ball, there's not too many teams that can play with us. We just have to keep playing together."

Southwest Minnesota State Head Coach Brad Bigler

“Coming off of Christmas break at the Division II level we have to have seven days off. We had two days to kind of prepare for this one. What this does is help us shake off some rust going into conference play. We have a tough game tomorrow. For a tough game like this and coming into a big environment, guys have to be able to lock it in a little bit and listen and execute at a whole different level playing against a caliber team like Nebraska. This experience is one that the guys will remember. Obviously, coming in against a talented team, anytime we make mistakes they have such a great ability to turn those mistakes into points, and they did early in the game which kind of hit us in the chin right away and we didn’t respond great.”
“Coming off of Christmas break at the Division II level we have to have seven days off. We had two days to kind of prepare for this one. What this does is help us shake off some rust going into conference play. We have a tough game tomorrow. For a tough game like this and coming into a big environment, guys have to be able to lock it in a little bit and listen and execute at a whole different level playing against a caliber team like Nebraska. This experience is one that the guys will remember. Obviously, coming in against a talented team, anytime we make mistakes they have such a great ability to turn those mistakes into points, and they did early in the game which kind of hit us in the chin right away and we didn’t respond great.”

On the relationship with Coach Miles
“With Coach Miles, he is like a mentor. When I came into college, I was fortunate enough to play for him for four years. He was a young coach at the time, and I just appreciated his energy at that point in his life. He made me a better player and a better person.”
As we go throughout our times, I remember working the North Dakota State basketball camp and at that time in my life I didn’t know if I really wanted to be a college coach. My dad was a high school coach, and I was prepared to be a high school coach and a teacher for most of my life. As we came out of the camp, we were walking down the hall and he really encouraged me. He said, ‘You really need to chase this. You need get after this and you need to chase this dream.’ At the time, I didn’t think too much of it, but I got away a little bit and I said you know what, he’s right. Then gave me the opportunity to be a grad assistant and it’s funny how things just kind of play out. My story is a little bit unique, being at the same place for 20 years… from a student-athlete to a volunteer to a graduate assistant, then an assistant and now the head coach. It is a unique situation where I don’t take it for granted and I am very thankful for this opportunity. I know it is unique.”
As we go throughout our times, I remember working the North Dakota State basketball camp and at that time in my life I didn’t know if I really wanted to be a college coach. My dad was a high school coach, and I was prepared to be a high school coach and a teacher for most of my life. As we came out of the camp, we were walking down the hall and he really encouraged me. He said, ‘You really need to chase this. You need get after this and you need to chase this dream.’ At the time, I didn’t think too much of it, but I got away a little bit and I said you know what, he’s right. Then gave me the opportunity to be a grad assistant and it’s funny how things just kind of play out. My story is a little bit unique, being at the same place for 20 years… from a student-athlete to a volunteer to a graduate assistant, then an assistant and now the head coach. It is a unique situation where I don’t take it for granted and I am very thankful for this opportunity. I know it is unique.”

“Obviously, we will play every time they give that opportunity. I understand that he has to take care of other people as well. We have been fortunate enough to play him up at North Dakota State, Colorado State and here a couple times. Unfortunately, this is the one that really got away early. Every other time we have played them it’s been a respectable game. At North Dakota State, we played them down to the wire. At Colorado State, it was a decent game, and the first time we played Nebraska at halftime we were up a couple points We are very thankful for the opportunity and it always makes us better.”
“Obviously, we will play every time they give that opportunity. I understand that he has to take care of other people as well. We have been fortunate enough to play him up at North Dakota State, Colorado State and here a couple times. Unfortunately, this is the one that really got away early. Every other time we have played them it’s been a respectable game. At North Dakota State, we played them down to the wire. At Colorado State, it was a decent game, and the first time we played Nebraska at halftime we were up a couple points We are very thankful for the opportunity and it always makes us better.”