Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska led overmatched University of Mary by 10 points less than five minutes into the game Tuesday on its way to a 70-38 win in a game that gave the Huskers bench the opportunity to play more than half the minutes.
That was key for a team that has only five experienced players on the roster, all of whom start.
"It was good for them to get a feel for what the game is like," said Michael Jacobsen, who led the Huskers with 10 points. "We've been practicing for about two months now. It's hard when you go against each other so much. ... In the game it's a totally different feel. I think it's good for them to get their minutes and just figure out their roles."
All five of Nebraska's non-starters played at least 20 minutes and combined for 30 points with each making at least a field goal. That was a marked improvement from Sunday's home opener against Sacramento State in which the Nebraska bench made just two field goals and contributed only nine points.
"It was really, really important," said Isaiah Roby, who came off the bench to score seven points in 24 minutes. "Obviously, we have to execute stuff against other people and also just getting tired. All of us were dripping sweat. ... He (Nebraska coach Tim Miles) kind of challenged us to step our game up tonight. We still have a lot to work on obviously ... but I think we stepped up a little bit more."
Nebraska (2-0) was never challenged by the NCAA Division II school from North Dakota that is Miles' alma mater. Nebraska went up by 12-2 on Jack McVeigh's 3-pointer at the 15:18 mark and stretched the lead to 30-8 on another of McVeigh's 3s with 5:52 left in the first half.
Mary (0-3) cut the Nebraska lead to 15 on Damonta Henry's 3-pointer that opened the second half. But the Huskers quickly pushed the lead over 20, going up 41-19 on McVeigh's 3-pointer with 17:37 left. Nebraska's largest lead was 32.
The Marauders struggled against the Nebraska defense, hitting just 7 of 28 shots in the first half and finished 29 percent from the field. The bigger, stronger Huskers also dominated on the boards, outrebounding Mary 45-21
Nebraska hit 50 percent of its shots, but committed 17 turnovers
Mary played in front of the largest crowd it will likely see this season (8,459). Attendance at Marauder games, home and on the road, averages about 1,000. That should work to Mary's advantage, said coach Joe Kittell.
"There's not going to be any atmosphere that's going to be more hostile than this," Kittell said. "Our guys understand that, played in it, and it shouldn't bother us anymore. Really excited about this group, I know we're zero and three right now but there are a lot of good kids out there. They want to win, they want to get better."
Nebraska: Miles said the relatively low score and margin of victory can be attributed to Mary's strategy of running down the shot clock on offense and impatience on the part of the Huskers once they finally got the ball.
University of Mary: The Marauders took full advantage of a game against a Division I foe, chartering a flight to bring fans from Bismarck to Lincoln. Those who paid $289 for the trip got lunch with Nebraska football coach Mike Riley, a tour of the athletic facilities and a dinner with Nebraska baseball coach and North Dakota native Darin Erstad.
Nebraska will host Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday, a starting time set to avoid conflict with the Nebraska-Maryland football game at 11 a.m.
Mary will return to Bismarck where it will host Yellowstone Christian Monday.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.