LINCOLN–(KFOR Nov. 15)–In a game that was not indicative of the final score, Nebraska (4-0) was able to hold off Stony Brook (1-3) 84-63 to become 4-0 for the first time in five seasons.
Senior Juwan Gary made his season debut after serving a suspension for violation of team rules on Wednesday, and he impressed. Gary led Nebraska in scoring with 19 points and tacked on seven boards.
“Juwan is just all-around aggressive…he’s going to be relentless around the glass,” Brice Williams said, who scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. “His energy is actually really contagious and I didn’t really know that…Juwan’s energy out there really lifted us up.”
Points came at a premium for both sides early in the first half, the only real spark coming from Keisei Tominaga in his second game back. The preseason all Big Ten guard erupted for an 8-0 run all by himself, finishing with 16 for the game.
Outside of the run, Nebraska continued to look puzzled on offense with a lot of possessions ending in one-on-one battles and resulting in sub-par looks at the basket. Luckily for Head Coach Fred Hoiberg, Reink Mast came to play, scoring 11 first half points and adding seven rebounds.
“Reink was really a guy on the offensive end that was really efficient,” Hoiberg said. “He brings a lot of stability…he’s an older guy who’s played on the national stage, the world stage.”
The Bradley transfer injected some energy into Pinnacle Bank Arena as he drained the first Husker three coming from someone other than Tominaga right before the half. However, both teams went to the locker room struggling tremendously from beyond the arc, both teams only making three out of 17 attempts respectively.
The lids seemingly were taken off the baskets to begin half number two as Nebraska doubled it’s three point total in the first three minutes. The Seawolves also found their rhythm offensively responding with an 8-0 run of their own.
It is apparent that this group is still learning to play alongside each other with new pieces coming back essentially every game. It’s a process, but a good one to have now, as Williams has an optimistic view.
“Every game we are learning something new.” Williams said. “It’s early, this is where you have those little miscues, when we get into conference that’s when it’ll start really clicking.”
The Huskers now look forward to their first road trip of the season as they travel to the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this Saturday. There, they will also play their first power conference opponent in Oregon State at 3 p.m.