Huskers welcome 6th-ranked Illinois
The Nebraska men’s basketball program continues its brief two-game homestand on Friday night, as the Huskers host sixth-ranked Illinois at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff between the Huskers and Fighting Illini is slated for 8:07 p.m. (central) and will be carried on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.
Illinois is the highest ranked team to visit Pinnacle Bank Arena since No. 6 Michigan State ended the Huskers’ 20-game home win streak on Jan. 17, 2019. The only opponents which were ranked higher at game time was No. 4 Maryland (2/6/16) and No. 5 Wisconsin (2/10/15).
Friday’s game was originally scheduled for Jan. 13 when the Huskers were on pause because of positive COVID-19 cases. Illinois was slated to face Big Ten leader Michigan on Thursday, but the Wolverines’ pause created a scheduling window for this matchup.
Nebraska (4-11, 0-8 Big Ten) is coming off a 61-48 loss to No. 21 Wisconsin on Wednesday evening. The Huskers got off to a strong start, hitting eight of their first 12 shots from the field, but could not sustain it for all 40 minutes as they played their third game in a five-day span. NU finished the night shooting 37 percent, including just 31 percent after halftime, and committed 17 turnovers.
The offensive struggles overshadowed another strong defensive performance, as Nebraska held Wisconsin to 32 percent shooting and out-rebounded Wisconsin, 41-38. The Huskers defense has been a highlight since returning from a nearly month-long pause. NU has held all three of its opponents to under 40 percent shooting, marking the first time that has happened in conference play since the 2017-18 campaign.
Illinois (13-5, 9-3 Big Ten) comes to town rested and riding a four-game winning streak following a 75-60 win over Wisconsin last Saturday. Ayo Dosunmu led the Fighting Illini with a triple-double, finishing with 21 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds, while Kofi Cockburn had 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting and 14 rebounds. The Illini shot 53 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Wisconsin, 46-19
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations