Nebraska BasketballNebraska lost to the Retrievers of UMBC (University of Maryland at Baltimore County) by a score of 66 to 64 on Tuesday night. The Huskers never led in the game and trailed big in the first half 37 to 21, but were able to trim the lead to lose by 2 in the end.

This game was very poorly officiated and the Huskers obviously played a very poor game.  Cookie Miller was out due to family/personal reasons and his presence was definitely missed.  UMBC played a zone defense for most of the game and for the third loss in a row the Huskers had a difficult time figuring out how to score against it.

The Huskers did not play well on either offense or defense and gave up multiple layups in the first half. UMBC shot very well through-out the first half and for most of the game. They were led by their diminutive point guard Jay Greene who went 3 for 3 from behind the arc. The biggest thing that he was able to do was to defeat NU’s attempts at getting full or ¾ court pressure on. He probably would have been shut down by Cookie, but as previously mentioned Cookie was out.

Offensively NU could not find a way to penetrate the zone in throughout the first half. They were not shooting well from either behind the arc or inside of it. Later in the game Sek Henry started driving the basketball to the hoop and was able to get the ball to the rim for a make or a foul every time he attempted it. Sek’s driving to the hoop came to an end when he fouled out of the game on a horrible call by the officials with around 4 minutes left.

Paul Velander was a big part of keeping NU in the game in the second half as he was 4 of 8 from 3 point range keeping his season 3 point percentage above 50%. Steve Harley had a nice game playing all 40 minutes of action and guarding their point guard in the second half. Ade Dagunduro led the Huskers in scoring with 19 points.

It is Christmas so I am going to try to stay positive, but this game really hurts. The Huskers need to win tough games like these at home against lesser competition. This is going to be one of those losses that are similar to the Barry Collier era, just mind boggling losses to teams that we should be able to beat. Doc needs to figure out a way to get some scoring punch. I don’t know if it is finding a way to get Bear Jones back in the lineup, or something else. Every bad team in the Big 12 will run a zone at us and probably be able to beat us with it. This loss makes you think about what Sallie, Diaz or Niemann could have brought to the table this year.

It is too early to start thinking about next year, but this team is probably going to have losses to teams like Colorado and Iowa State in conference. Right now we are looking like probably one of the worst teams in the conference. Let’s hope the old adage about it never being as bad or good as it seems is true and this is the low point in the season instead of a sign of things to come.

Go Big Red! - Corey

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