Nebraska took out its frustrations after a disappointing first-round loss and looks to grab fifth place in the AdvoCare Invitational when it takes on Long Beach State on Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Cornhuskers lost by nine to Central Florida on Thursday before shooting 56.7 percent from the field while routing Marist 84-59 one day later in the consolation round.
“I thought our defensive energy was much better than it had been against Central Florida, which led to good offense,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles told reporters after the victory. “Anytime you can get guys feeding off that, it is really good.” The Cornhuskers had 23 assists in the win - the most they have recorded in a game since 2011 - and drained 11-of-24 from behind the 3-point arc to score more than 83 for the third time this season. Junior guard James Palmer Jr. leads the way with 37 points in the tournament after scoring 15 against Marist and Nebraska will need a similar all-around effort against Long Beach State, which knocked off Oregon State 74-69 on Friday after being routed by Missouri in the opening round. “I’m really proud that they came back and didn’t pout about (the Missouri game),” 49ers coach Dan Monson told reporters. “They put it away and did something about it.”
TV: 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT LONG BEACH STATE (3-3): Junior guard Deishuan Booker stepped up with 14 points and 12 assists for his first double-double of the season in the victory over Oregon State. Senior forward Gabe Levin leads a balanced scoring attack (14.0) and tops the team in rebounds (8.3) while Gonzaga transfer Bryan Alberts (13.5 points) has drained 18-of-43 from behind the arc. Junior forward Temidayo Yussuf, who was named to the All-Big West preseason team along with Levin, had nine points and seven rebounds Friday in his second game after missing four with a knee injury.
ABOUT NEBRASKA (4-2): Senior guard Anton Gill, who had knee surgery last December and missed the first two games of this season with a groin injury, was 6-of-8 from the field (5-of-7 from 3-point range) for 17 points off the bench Friday. Junior forward Isaac Copeland, a transfer from Georgetown who also suffered injury problems last season, matched Gill with 17 and is averaging 12.7 - second on the team behind Palmer (14.7). Junior guard Glynn Watson Jr. is averaging 12.3 points overall and has been efficient running the show in the tournament with 12 assists and one turnover.
1. Nebraska 6-11 sophomore C Jordy Tshimanga has 16 rebounds in the tournament and is averaging a team-high 6.5 overall.
2. Long Beach State senior F Barry Ogalue averaged 17.3 points in the first three games and has been held to 5.3 in the last three.
3. Watson needs one steal to reach 100 and is 16 assists shy of 200 in his career.
PREDICTION: Nebraska 72, Long Beach State 64