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Huskers Look to Knock Off No. 10 Michigan

 
Huskers Look to Knock Off No. 10 Michigan

After winning three of its last four games, the Nebraska basketball team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for a matchup with the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines on Wednesday night.  Coverage on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison begins at 4:30PM from the Crisler Center.

The Huskers (11-9, 3-5 B1G) have been off since a 60-55 win over Indiana on Thursday night. In that game, the Huskers overcame a 16-point first-half deficit, outscoring Indiana, 41-23 in the second half to improve to 10-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Sophomore Terran Petteway led the Huskers with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and added three assists to pace four Huskers in double figures. Nebraska’s 16-point deficit was the largest the Huskers had overcome this season and second-largest during Tim Miles’ tenure in Lincoln.

Petteway has played some of his best basketball during the Huskers’ surge over the last two weeks, averaging 21.5 points per game over the last four games, while shooting 61 percent from the field in that span. On the season, Petteway is now second in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.2 points per game.

Nebraska now closes the first half of Big Ten play looking for their first road win of the season. The Huskers had chances to pick up victories in each of their two road games, as they led in the final six minutes at both Purdue and Penn State, but were unable to hang on down the stretch.

Michigan (16-5, 8-1 B1G) looks to rebound after its first loss in Big Ten play, a 63-52 setback at Indiana on Sunday. The Hoosiers held Nik Stauskas to just six points on a 1-of-6 shooting, as he entered the game second in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.4 points per game. Michigan’s loss snapped a 10-game win streak dating back to a loss to then-No. 1 Arizona on Dec. 15.

In the first meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska suffered a 71-70 loss to the Wolverines on Jan. 9. The Huskers had two chances to win in the final seconds but a missed shot by Terran Petteway and a missed tip-in by Leslee Smith allowed Michigan to escape with the one-point win.

 By the Numbers
 > .833 - Nebraska’s winning percentage in games decided by five points or less under Tim Miles. The Huskers are 10-2 in such games over the last two seasons.

 > 2 - Nebraska’s two-game conference win streak is its first since joining the Big Ten.  The last time NU won three straight conference games was during the 2010-11 season.

 > 6 - Nebraska’s last six games have all been decided by six points or less.

 > 11 - In the NCAA’s official RPI released Monday, 11 of the 12 teams are in the top-100 of the RPI, including five schools in the top 22.

 > 35 - Points by Terran Petteway against Minnesota on Jan. 26, the second-highest scoring effort in the Big Ten this season. Petteway is also the only Big Ten player with multiple 30-point games this season.

Scouting Michigan
Michigan comes into Wednesday’s game with a 16-5 record and a No. 10 ranking following a 63-52 setback at Indiana on Sunday. The Wolverines had won 10 straight before the loss to the Hoosiers and are tied with Michigan State at the top of the Big Ten race with an 8-1 conference mark.

The Wolverines returned three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won 31 games and were the 2013 NCAA runner up. Under the direction of John Beilein, the Wolverines have reached the NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons, including the program’s first Final Four appearance since 1993 last season. Michigan has been tough at home, going 9-1 this season with the only loss a 72-70 decision to then No. 1 Arizona on Dec. 14.

Michigan has been without the services of preseason All-American Mitch McGary, who played in just eight games before electing to undergo back surgery. McGary averaged 9.5 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds per game. Despite McGary’s loss, the Wolverines have been led by a trio of sophomores in Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Caris LeVert, all of who average in double figures. Stauskas leads Michigan and ranks among the Big Ten scoring leaders at 17.8 points per game while shooting 45 percent from 3-point range. He also paces UM with 73 assists. Robinson, who could have been a first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, averages 13.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while LeVert is at 12 points per contest. In conference play, Michigan is shooting 51 percent as a team and has been balanced offensively with four players averaging double figures. In addition the tandem of Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford are combining for 13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in Big Ten play while shooting a combined 76 percent from the field.

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