Nebraska started off red-hot, Penn State didn't. Penn State then starting hitting shots while Nebraska didn't. Nebraska then started hitting their shots again, while Penn State, umm...didn't. The end result was an embarrassing blowout loss that quickly erased most of the warm, fuzzy, feelings from last Saturday night's upset win over Indiana. With Shavon Shields still unavailable, Nebraska's Andrew White III stepped up and strung together a career-high performance, scoring 35 points on 6-for-10 shooting from three-point range (see video, above). For all you math majors out there, Mr. White literally responsible for half of his team's scoring tonight. Meanwhile, Brandon Taylor was PSU's lone player to hit double figures in scoring with 14 points.
Four Factors Analysis
The PPP and eFG% numbers are about what you would expect, given the shooting performances. Both teams had a knack for turning the ball over tonight, as PSU gave up possession 17 times to Nebraska's 14.
Player of the Game - Brandon Taylor (14 points, 2-for-4 3-point shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)
- Welcome Back, Josh Reaves - Believe it or not, there is actually something positive to write about tonight's game. In his second game back after a bout with mono, we saw the Josh Reaves of old make a triumphant return with his defensive tenacity forcing a few Nebraska turnovers, along with a lovely assist to Jordan Dickerson and a nice steal-and-slam of his own. With a winnable set of games down the stretch, having Josh back could prove to be critical to pulling off a few more victories.
- Putting out an APB For SH3P - Shep Garner once again struggled to get it going scoring-wise once again, scoring merely six points. More disturbingly, his three-point shot is nowhere to be seen, having now gone a combined 0-for-15 from downtown in his last three games (including tonight). Clearly, being forced to play nearly 40 minutes a night is starting to take a toll on Shep's legs which in turn is affecting his shooting abilities.
- There's Still a Few More Potential Wins Out There - Yes, this game was painful to watch and was a gut-punch to one's morale, but as a certain famed Penn State sports coach once said: "You're never as good as you think you are when you win and you're never as bad as you think you are when you lose." Rutgers (albeit, on the road), a home rematch with Nebraska, and home dates against Northwestern and Illinois still loom on the schedule. Beat Rutgers and win two of those other three, and this team still finishes with six conference wins, which could be good enough to avoid the opening day of the Big Ten Tournament.
Penn State heads back to the friendly confines of the BJC this Wednesday to host #4 Iowa and oh crap, we're all gonna die.