Hoops Game Day: Nebraska vs. Penn State

Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-19, 3-16) vs Penn State Nittany Lions (10-13, 7-12)

Wednesday, Mar. 10, 2021 – 8 p.m. CT (25 minutes after Game 1)

Lucas Oil Stadium

TV: BTN

Radio: Husker Sports Network

Internet: FOX Sports App

1. Stay hot on the perimeter

For a team that seemingly couldn’t buy a bucket from 3-point range most of the season, Nebraska sure has been lighting it up from the perimeter over the last couple of weeks.

The Huskers have been averaging 74.2 points over their last six games while shooting 47 percent from the field and 39 percent on 3-pointers.

That includes hitting a season-high 14 threes at Northwestern on Sunday, where NU was went 9-of-19 in the second half alone.

The emergence of Kobe Webster has been a big part of it. Since joining the starting lineup four games ago, the senior guard is averaging 13.3 points while shooting 44 percent from behind the arc.

What’s also helped is how well Nebraska has moved the ball on offense to set up high-percentage looks. The Huskers have averaged 16 assists over the last six games, topped by a Big Ten-high 21 dimes vs. the Wildcats.

2. Keep Harrar off the glass

There aren’t many better rebounders in the Big Ten, or the country for that matter, than Penn State senior forward John Harrar.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pounder ranks sixth in the conference in rebounding at 8.4 per game, but he does the bulk of his work on the offensive glass.

Harrar leads the league with 3.8 offensive boards per game, and his total of 87 in 23 games is matched only by Purdue’s Trevion Williams, who has played 26.

He is especially a priority for Nebraska because he totaled a whopping 14 offensive rebounds in the Huskers’ two meetings with PSU.

Nebraska walks such a fine line between winning and losing already, and it can’t afford to let Harrar give the Nittany Lions one extra possession after another.

3. Use the grind to your advantage

Making a run in a conference tournament is always a challenge, especially when you’re a bottom-four seed faced with winning five games in five days.

But if any team in the history of college basketball is prepared for the task, it’s Nebraska.

After returning from a month-long COVID-19 pause on Feb. 6, the Huskers went on to play 14 games in 30 days, including a stretch of 11 in 22 days in February and back-to-back road games at Maryland.

To put that schedule in perspective, only eight NBA teams played more games than NU did from Feb. 6 to Mar. 7.

It’s going to take an impressive feat for Nebraska to even make it past the second day against Penn State and Wisconsin, let alone do it again against a top-five Iowa team in the quarterfinals.

But crazy things happen in March, and NU is as battle-tested as anyone in the Big Ten.

Penn State 68, Nebraska 62

Robin’s season record: 20-6

vs. the spread: 14-12

Published: 2021-03-10 11:00:00

Tags: #Hoops #Game #Day #Nebraska #Penn #State

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