FACTS & STATS: Site: Bob Devaney Sports Center (13,595) -- Lincoln, Nebraska. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: JSU 4-0, NU 5-2. Away Record: JSU 2-2, NU 1-1. Neutral Record: JSU 2-0, NU 0-0. Conference Record: JSU 0-0, NU 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Jacksonville State Gamecocks put their five-game winning streak on the line as they invade the Bob Devaney Sports Center for a non- conference duel with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
JSU survived an overtime thriller with Presbyterian on Saturday to keep its winning streak alive and arrive at an 8-2 record. Since losing back-to-back games at UNLV (77-58) and Oregon (67-45), the Gamecocks have defeated four Division I opponents by a mere average of 4.25 ppg. Coach James Green's team is scoring just 64.1 ppg, but it has held its opponents to 59.5 ppg on 41.7 percent shooting from the field.
Tim Miles and his Cornhuskers struggled their last time out and fell 60-38 at Oregon to the Ducks. Nebraska's 6-3 record includes wins over Valparaiso (50-48), Wake Forest (79-63), and USC (63-51) and setbacks to Kent State (74-60) and Creighton (64-42). Like the visitors, the Cornhuskers did not possess too much firepower on the offensive end with a mere average of 59.3 ppg on 42.6 percent field goal shooting.
This will be the first meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood.
JSU got a lift from the trio of Brian Williams, Tarvin Gaines, and Darion Rackley against Presbyterian as they combined for 56 of the unit's 66 points. Williams's career-high 24-point outing stood out and so did the Gamecocks' ability to make only 7-of-22 field goals in the opening half. JSU knocked down all three of its attempts from beyond the arc in overtime to create distance on the scoreboard. Rackley (13.3), Gaines (12.2), Ronnie Boggs (11), and Williams (10.5) are all carrying double-digit scoring averages into this one, but none of the other Gamecocks are adding more than five ppg.
The Cornhuskers trailed 41-25 in the rebounding battle and were outscored by 28 points in the paint in their loss to Oregon on Saturday. Nebraska made only 25.9 percent of its field goal tries in the second half of the defeat. Dylan Talley was the only player on the team to reach double figures with 11 points. Talley is pacing the team with 14.9 ppg, but he has a .366 field-goal percentage. Brandon Ubel (12.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and junior guard Ray Gallegos (12.4 ppg, 25-of-68 3PT) are also scoring in double figures for the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska can easily fall to JSU if it takes it lightly. The Gamecocks showed they are streaky earlier this season by losing the second half to UNLV by just one-point after going into the intermission down 18. They will need a consistent effort throughout to upset a school from a power conference.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville State 60, Nebraska 57
12/18 10:32:18 ET
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