Not good. Had every opportunity to blow this game WIDE OPEN, from the final ten minutes of the first half into the first ten minutes of the second. Could do nothing.
For the night, shot 35% and only got to the foul line ten times (missing four).
The sagging defense that PSU played apparently meant we had no possible way of getting to the rim? Shavon Shields looked like the pre-OSU and post FCGU Shields again, putting in just six points on 2-3 shooting (2-2 from downtown). Have no idea why he wasn't involved in the offense.
We will talk about the outstanding game management of NU point guards in "Ball Handling."
I give Nebraska only a "B+" because they couldn't turn Penn State over (only five) or get key stops when it mattered.
Overall though, how can you be disappointed with 58 points allowed on 35% shooting? You can't.
40 to 35 (NU) was great. But NU allowed Penn State to out tough them on the boards, including multiple times in the second half when Husker rebounders had BOTH HANDS ON THE BALL and simply were outwrestled. As Coach Miles pointed out on the postgame, this was a team that wasn't any bigger than us, but simply outmanned us.
For as absent as Shields was on the offensive end, he DID grab ten boards, and I have to point out that Walter Pitchford grabbed seven. He continues to improve with physicality and its good to see.
BALL HANDLING: F
That was the "points off of turnovers" in this one.
NU point guards were miserable tonight, from Tai Webster's three turnovers and zero points in fifteen minutes to Deverell Biggs' epically impressive meltdown in the final two minutes.
The whole night, NU did a nice job against PSU's "Mickey Mouse Press" when they'd occasionally throw it in.
That is, until the biggest part of the game, when Biggs decided he could simply dribble through two guys in the MIDDLE of the floor, with NU up one.
Of course, since this is Nebraska basketball, this led to a dunk and one, and NU would never get the lead back.
But Biggs wasn't about to be outdone.
He decided to seal NU's fate one more time, when after a completely AWFUL in bounds possession by PSU, the Nittany Lions gave it back to the Huskers with 10.3 seconds left, only down two.
Inbounds pass to Biggs, who dribbles, dribbles, then tries to dribble through TWO MORE GUYS! Great idea, Dev! Turnover. Ball game.
For the night, the turnover machine (in recent games) finished with four turnovers, two assists and nine points on 3-9 shooting.
At least we now know that Biggs has a tendency for showing up late - from film sessions to end of ballgames.
Not impressed with Walter Pitchford getting a play drawn up for him out of a timeout, down two, with under 2:00 left. Really? That's the best we can do and the area we want to go?
Shields and Petteway were GREATLY underutilized in this one.
I'm aware that PSU packed it in and played soft, but we made virtually no effort to go to the rim in the first half and in the early stages of the second. We weren't even in the bonus until after the under 4:00 timeout in the second half.
I don't understand the lineup of David Rivers and Benny Parker on the floor at the same time. No offense.
Nebraska had no fire and intensity, either. It looks stupid, and Jamel White used to do it (that's a name I want out of my head) but why not some intensity by NU on defense by slapping the floor? Show you want to do it. That will lead to points on the other end if you can force turnovers and stops. Just ask PSU.
This team played with zero passion and fire, especially in the second. There were about 610 people in the gym, counting announcers, referees and cheerleaders. And we couldn't find a way to generate our own momentum. That's on coach.
OVERALL GRADE: D
Pissed away an unpissable game. NIT dreams, gone. Casual fans, off the wagon.
Am I too hard? Maybe.
Do we know this team is up and down, as it probably should be in year two of a new era? Yes.
But let's have some freaking expectations here, even in year two. Losing this game is pathetic. There is no excuse. And I don't want to hear that things are looking up - I know that. But in order for them to look up higher, we have to start winning some games. Casual fans and recruits aint impressed by beating OSU if you split with Northwestern and PSU and play 5-13 while staying at home for the umpteenth year in a row.
And really, why should they be? Because we have toilets in the john? Because we have a new arena?
Gonna need to start winning these games, and quickly, or that momentum we have is going to evaporate, and the arms race is going to catch up to us.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: TERRAN PETTEWAY
2013-2014 PLAYER OF THE GAME RESULTS:
TERRAN PETTEWAY - 9
TAI WEBSTER - 2
WALTER PITCHFORD - 2
LESLEE SMITH - 2
SHAVON SHIELDS - 2
DEVERELL BIGGS - 1