By Connor Clark
LINCOLN–(KFOR Nov. 9)–Reink Mast’s 20 points and 16 rebounds proved to be too much as Nebraska defeated Florida A&M 81-54 on Thursday night.
It’s the first Husker to have a 20-point 15-rebound performance since Aleks Maric did it in 2008 against Missouri. Maric put up 32 points and 16 rebounds.
“Last game we were not too happy with how we boxed out,” Mast said. “I think we did a lot better overall with everybody being physical and crashing harder…we’ve got to sustain through these next couple of games.”
Offensively, Nebraska had far from what they envision being a successful offensive night despite the 81 points on the scoreboard. They shot just over 41% from the field and turned the ball over 18 times, doubling their total from Monday.
“Offensively, obviously we were not very good tonight…in the first half I thought we took way too many contested shots in the paint,” Hoiberg said. “It was a big point of emphasis at half time to play under control…we’ve just, we’ve got to be better.”
A bright spot on the offensive end however was true freshman guard Eli Rice who had 16 points making four shots on nine attempts, 11 coming in the first half. Through just two games it is very apparent Rice plays with an uncommon confidence for an 18-year-old.
“Kid is just talented, obviously just a natural scorer,” senior guard Brice Williams said. “He’s super aggressive and also super confident and I hope that just sustains throughout his career.”
Williams’ second game in Lincoln featured 15 points with him knocking down two threes and going a perfect seven for seven from the charity stripe. The Charlotte transfer impressed his head coach in the win.
“I thought Brice was really good, he got us off to a nice start,” Hoiberg said. “He did a great job of getting to the free throw line…overall I thought Brice was really, really good for us all game.”
Freshman forward Mata Diop saw time again on Monday, playing five minutes but picking up four personal fouls. Cale Jacobsen and Henry Burt also saw time last in the game and both got in the scoring column.
The Huskers have their mandatory off-day Friday and will be back to practice on Saturday and Sunday and Hoiberg hopes to have Keisei Tominaga back by Monday as Nebraska hosts Rider at 7 p.m.