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March 1, 2011

Gameday: Nebraska vs. Missouri

Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Missouri Tigers
Tuesday, March 1, 2010 - 7:04 p.m. CT
TV: Big 12 Network / RADIO: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network

Missouri(22-7, 8-6 Big 12)
Streak: Lost 1
Last Game: Lost to Kansas State 80-70
G Phil Pressey (leads team with 4.0 assists per game) Fr. 5-10 168
G Marcus Denmon (averaging 16.7 ppg and shooting 51% from the field) Jr. 6-3 185
G Kim English (averaging 10.5 points per game) Sr. 6-3 195
F Laurence Bowers (second leading scorer with 11.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg) Jr. 6-8 210
F Ricardo Ratliffe (averaging 10.5 ppg and team-high 6.0 rpg) Jr. 6-8 240

Nebraska CornhuskersNebraska Cornhuskers (18-10, 6-8 Big 12 Conference)
Streak: Lost 2
Last Game: Lost to Iowa State 83-82 OT
G Lance Jeter (had 27 points, 10 rebounds and five assists vs. Iowa State) Sr. 6-3 222
G Brandon Richardson (scored 15 points in upset over Texas) Sr. 6-4 200
G Caleb Walker (has three games with at least 10 rebounds this season) Jr. 6-4 205
G Toney McCray (has scored in double figures in five of last seven games) Jr. 6-6 210
F Jorge Brian Diaz (had 18 points and 11 rebounds vs. Iowa State) So. 6-11 245

Start fast

If there's one thing Missouri does well, it's jumping all over teams from the opening tip with a offensive flurry and a stifling full-court press defense. In particular, Nebraska must key on guard Marcus Denmon, who scored eight of MU's first 10 points en route to a 27-point day in the first meeting with the Huskers earlier this season. Nebraska ended up trailing by 13 points at half and spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. This time around, the Huskers have to keep pace from the very beginning.
Control the pace

As is always the case when playing Missouri, Nebraska needs to do its best to control the tempo of the game and not get caught up in a shootout with the Tigers. Mizzou loves to run up and down the court in transition, and the Tigers definitely took advantage of the Huskers' 15 in the first meeting back in January. In Saturday's loss to Iowa State, Nebraska got caught up in playing the Cyclones' shootout style and eventually cooled off. Senior point guard Lance Jeter will once again have to play a huge role in making sure the Huskers can break the press and play their style of game.
Do it for the seniors

Tonight's game is Senior Night for Nebraska's three seniors: Jeter, Drake Beranek and Matt Karn. It would mean nothing more for the trio than to have their final game in the Devaney Center end with a victory that would keep NU's small NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Missouri is just 1-6 on the road in Big 12 play this year, with its one win coming at Iowa State. Nebraska 5-2 at home in league play, so the numbers would suggest the Huskers should have a decent home-court advantage. Not to mention that tonight is NU's final home game as members of the Big 12.

Head coach Doc Sadler on containing Missouri's Marcus Denmon:

"Marcus Denmon creates so many problems for you because he can really shoot the basketball, but he's not just a one-dimensional player. He can put it on the floor, so when he does and creates help he gets his other teammates good shots. He is a very exciting player, one that has had a great season and definitely is a guy, but not the only guy, that you've got to concentrate on when you play Missouri."
Senior guard Drake Beranek on the importance of getting off to a good start against the Tigers:

"They're a good team, and if you let them get ahead of you they're probably going to put their foot down, petal to the metal, and just crush you. We've got to come out ready to play and try not to let them get out on us early, because they're a tough team to come back on for sure."

Nebraska 73-71

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