No one really expected Nebraska to knock off Creighton Thursday night, even if the game was played in front of a sold-out crowd in Lincoln.
Yes, the Cornhuskers (6-2) have gotten off to a good start this season, but playing the Blue Jays requires taking your game to another level, and on this night, the Cornhuskers were unable to do it.
Consider the 64-42 loss to the No. 16 Blue Jays a lesson learned, especially for the younger players.
“Emotions run high and guys kind of lose their wits a bit and you could see that,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said in a post-game press conference. “Our new guys played like new guys. Anybody who was new to the program looked like, holy cow, look at all the people here, this must be a big game and we’re playing a ranked team — all those things. None of those guys, I thought, performed that well.”
Nebraska didn’t give itself a chance to compete, not by missing 13 of its first 18 shots against a very good defensive team.
The Cornhuskers shot only 32.1 percent from the field. Against one of the better teams in the country, that isn’t good enough.
It didn’t help that Dylan Talley and Brandon Ubel were limited to 14 and 10 points respectively or that Ray Gallegos and Andre Almeida combined for 11 points.
What the Cornhuskers can’t allow themselves to do is dwell on the loss. It hurts, obviously, but all a team can do is move on.
The season is far from over.
“It’s tough. It was on our home court,” Almeida said in a post-game press conference. “It wasn’t any game; it was a state rival. We can’t get hung up in a loss, we’ve got to move on. We can’t let this game define us and we won’t.”
A wise choice of words–words the Cornhuskers can live by as they move on.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.