Nebraska improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2008-09 with an 84-63 win over Oregon State Saturday.
The Huskers are now 2-0 all time at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, both wins by 20-plus points. Nebraska’s first trip to the Pentagon was Dec. 16, 2018, a 79-56 win over Oklahoma State.
“I thought they came out with great urgency and great intensity,” Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We talked before the game how important it was in the early game to get off to a good start and how the team that gets out of the gates fastest generally wins these early contests.”
Brice Williams had a team-high 25 points while Rienk Mast chipped in 15 and Juwan Gary 12.
The Huskers have held all five of their opponents to 63 points or less.
Defense Still Constant
Hoiberg once again said the constant word when referring to his team’s defensive effort.
“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” Hoiberg said. “I love the energy our guys came out of the gate with. They continue to battle on that side of the ball. I continue to say it has to be our constant every night. If we can guard and rebound we are going to have a chance to win some games.”
Nebraska had big runs in both halves. The Huskers held Oregon State scoreless for 8:03 and without a field goal for a 9:39 stretch in the first half and started the second half on an 8-0 run.
Brice is Nice
Charlotte transfer Brice Williams continued his hot scoring streak. In the last three halves of Nebraska basketball, Williams has scored 41 points. Saturday, Williams had a team-high 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting (3-of-7 from 3).
“I felt like we were tougher than them,” Williams said after the win.
Saturday was Williams’ first 20-point game at Nebraska and 13th of his career. His 25 points were a season-high for any Husker in 2023-24. It was the most points by a Husker since Keisei Tominaga had 30 points against Penn State on Feb. 5, 2023.
“Brice the last two games has been in a good rhythm offensively,” Hoiberg said.
Nebraska out-rebounded Oregon State, 44-31. It’s the fourth straight game Nebraska has out-rebounded an opponent by at least 10 rebounds and the first time since 2004-05 the Huskers have out-rebounded four straight points by 10-plus rebounds.
The Huskers were dominant in the paint. The three main frontcourt players — Rienk Mast, Josiah Allick and Juwan Gary — scored 35 points and grabbed a combined 27 rebounds.
“I love the 27,” Hoiberg said.”That is the thing that makes me most happy.”
Nebraska had 22 second-chance points on 17 offensive rebounds and Mast finished with his third double-double of the year and 23rd of his career.