The Big Ten had just one game on Christmas day with a matchup between Nebraska and Ohio. The Cornhuskers were competing in the Diamond Head Classic and were looking to improve on their 1-1 record in the event after falling to Hawaii and beating Loyola Marymount. Nebraska has been up and down over the last few games, but could certainly use one last win before entering conference play.
Game of the Day: Nebraska vs. Ohio
The Cornhuskers jumped out to an early 10-2 lead and though the Bobcats did push here and there and did close it up before halftime, they never could get a big enough run to take over control of the game. In the 2nd Half, Ohio kept things relatively close, but Nebraska was able to pull away and secure a 71-58 win. For the most part, this was a competitive game where Nebraska maintained control, but Ohio was close enough to keep fans on the edge of their seats all afternoon.
This is a decent win for Nebraska, but certainly was not the marquee win that Cornhusker fans were hoping for the team to get out of their trip to Honolulu. Nebraska dropped their first game against Hawaii then followed it up with wins against Loyola Marymount and Ohio. The only one of these teams that is rated as a Top 150 team on KenPom is Hawaii and they are sitting at #149. Obviously, facing Hawaii in what was essentially a road game is not an easy win, but if Nebraska would have won, they would have got a chance at beating a Wichita State team that is looking very good instead of two games against underwhelming competition. Essentially, by failing to beat Hawaii, Nebraska virtually guaranteed that this would be an "unsuccessful" trip.
In the game, to no surprise, the key players for Nebraska were Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. The two combined for 44 of the team's 71 points, 22 of the team's 36 shots, and 6 of the team's 15 shots from 3PT range. Add in that Petteway had 10 rebounds and these two had huge roles in this game. There is one other thing worth noting about Nebraska's performance in this game. Over the course of the season, the Cornhuskers have a total of 3 players with offensive ratings of at least 100, but they had 5 players with offensive ratings over 100 in this game. It was the first game Nebraska topped at least 1.0 points per possession since their home upset against Incarnate Word. In other words, the offense looked much better in this one. Nebraska fans will have to hope that's something that sticks when the team plays Indiana on New Year's Eve.