Nebraska’s first-half run spells doom for SE Louisiana
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska overwhelmed Southeastern Louisiana Sunday, taking control of the game with a 22-0 first-half run and never letting the Lions make any kind of a comeback.
That pleased coach Tim Miles, as did a similar effort Tuesday when the Huskers downed Mississippi Valley State by 69.
“What I like about the team is they were able to play with the mentality and show the versatility to defend the right way,” Miles said. “I think we’ve been okay defensively. We were really good until we got to 78 points on offense. Then we just stopped. But I think we’ve shown that mindset and that consistency. Certainly you want to see that.”
Nebraska (2-0) held Southeastern Louisiana (1-2) scoreless for 8:41 in the first half run. The Lions missed 10-straight shots and turned the ball over nine times during that stretch, which began when Nebraska switched its defenses — playing zone as well as man-to-man and putting on a full-court press.
“I think it really helped us,′ Miles said of the defensive switching. ” We had 16-straight stops in the first half. The press and the zone were part of that. ... I thought it really helped tonight, to keep Southeast Louisiana off balance. After the first 3½, 4 minutes, we stopped them in man or zone or press. It was all good for us.”
The Huskers went up 10 on Glynn Watson, Jr.‘s layup with 12:20 left in the half and led 26-7 before the Lions scored to end the drought. The Nebraska lead went to 20 on Amir Harris’ layup that made the score 34-14. The Huskers took a 31-point lead on Brady Heiman’s dunk at the 2:02 mark and led by 36 at the half.
Nebraska led by as many as 53 in the second half.
The Huskers forced 25 turnovers, turning them into 33 points. Nebraska hit 17 of 22 free throws. The Lions were just 2 of 4 from the line. Nebraska dominated the paint as well outscoring the Southeastern Louisiana 42-22.
“Nebraska is a really tough team,” said Southeastern Louisiana coach Jay Ladner. “We could play them 100 times and we’re not going to beat them. Going back to last year, I thought it was a crime they didn’t get into the NCAA Tournament. They brought most of that team back this year, so we knew we had a tall order.”
James Palmer, Jr. led Nebraska with 17 points. Also scoring in double figures for Nebraska were Watson with 16 points, Isaac Copeland, Jr., 11 and Heiman, Isaiah Roby and Thomas Allen each scored 10.
Marlain Veal led Southeastern Louisiana with 10 points.
Southeastern Louisiana struggled to score for the second time against a Power-5 conference opponent. The Lions shot just 29 percent in the first half against LSU Tuesday before finishing at 41 percent. They shot 25 percent in the first half against Nebraska and finished at 28 percent.
Nebraska has reached the 50-point mark in three halves it’s played this season. The Huskers scored 55 and 51 points against Mississippi Valley State Tuesday and 52 in the first half Sunday.
Southeastern Louisiana travels to Lubbock, Texas Tuesday to face Texas Tech.
Nebraska hosts Seton Hall Wednesday in the Gavitt Tipoff Games between the ACC and Big Ten conferences.