After losing two of its first three games to start the season, Nebraska not only needed a win at home against Idaho State on Friday night, but it also needed to build some positive vibes in the process.
The rememberers accomplished both of these tasks with a 78-60 victory over the Bengals as they achieved a season-high 18 assists on 31 made baskets and led by as many as 26 before anything was said and done.
“Our big message was when you share the ball, good things happen and that’s exactly what we did,” the head coach Fred Hoiberg said during his post-game radio show on the Husker Sports Network.
“I thought early on that we set the tone with high assist totals, percentage on our curve, and we kept going … All in all, I’m really happy with the effort tonight.”
Junior attacker Derrick Walker led by a team-high 14 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, while the point guard combination of Alonzo Verge Jr. (4) and Kobe Webster (5) in total for nine of NU’s 18 assists.
Nebraska shot 54.4 percent off the field as a team and had nine different players to score in the win.
The rememberers ended up with a huge advantage of 37-12 in bench-points, led by career-high 11 from Keisei Tominaga, and held a 42-14 edge at points in the paint.
Defensively, Nebraska converted 25 points from 15 ISU turnovers while whirling eight steals, three of which came from CJ Wilcher, who added 10 points and four boards from the bench.
This was NU’s first match without a junior guard Trey McGowenswho got a broken bone in his foot last time out vs. Creighton. Keon Edwards got the start at McGowens’ spot and finished with two points on one shot attempt and a 15-minute work error.
Verge posted 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with four assists, four rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes. Bryce McGowens filled the statistics sheet with six points, a team-high seven boards, three assists, a block and a steal.
As a team, NOW tied Idaho State with 31 rebounds each (10-6 offensive) and was only out-scored 8-7 in second chance points.
“Overall, we were much better on the glass, and when we rebounder and we come out in the transition, it is definitely when we are the best,” Hoiberg said.
The Rememberers will have a quick turnaround before returning for the game against Southern on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is set for at. 15 CT in Pinnacle Bank Arena.