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Official Husker Locker Blog

2009 Dec 19

MBB: Ugly Win, Angry Doc

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By HuskerLocker

Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler was so thrilled Saturday night about NU's 57-41 victory over winless Jackson State that, by the time you read this, it’s likely the Cornhuskers have already went through another practice.

"We’re going to work more at 5:30 a.m. (Sunday)," said Sadler, thoroughly unsatisfied with the Cornhuskers' offensive execution and shooting. "This team is going to get a lot tougher. We’re going to start doing this a lot more I’m afraid and we’ve got work, work, work to get done."

Fortunately for 8-2 Nebraska, 0-8 JSU missed sixteen straight shots - more than a few of them open bunnies - while scoring just nine points in the first half. NU didn't fare much better with a season-low 24 first-half points, many of them scored on second-chance opportunities after Husker guards missed wildly on rushed 3-pointers.

"You go in at halftime and you shoot 10 of your 30 shots as 3-point shots - you’ve got to be kidding me," Sadler said. "You’ve gone to the free throw line four times and they’ve gone (eight times). There wasn’t anything about he halftime that I was excited about."

Admittedly, it was an opportune time for junior college transfer Quincy Hankins-Cole to enjoy a surprising breakout game. Hankins-Cole, held out since the Creighton game with a knee tweak, scored 15 points off the bench, grabbed six rebounds, and played the kind of post defense for which Sadler had primarily recruited him.

Advice from Nebraska center Jorge Brian Diaz helped unlock Hankins-Cole's scoring performance.

“It just happened to be a mismatch on the court at that time, so Jorge told me to take advantage of it," Hankins-Cole said. "So I just did that.”

Ryan Anderson chipped ten points, mostly the lunch pail variety. Nebraska hit just 10 of 22 free throws on the night; normally dependable guard Sek Henry missed four. Sadler was strapped for players, as Brandon Richardson didn't play with a back injury and Bear Jones tried to play with a cortisone shot in his foot, but couldn’t. Freshman Ray Gallegos earned his first start at combo guard as a result.

Already, forward Toney McCray is lost for the season with an elbow injury.

"I’m trying to find five guys," Sadler said. "There are a lot of opportunities for guys to earn minutes. I’m still trying to find it, but every time you think you are getting close then something else seems to happen.”

Tags: doc sadler, quincy hankins cole, ray gallegos, mbb

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