If you believe the old sports adage that you play like you practice, it's no wonder Nebraska coach Tim Miles didn't feel good about facing Creighton.
Inefficient workouts Friday and Saturday were followed by an ineffective showing Sunday during NU's 82-67 loss in which the deficit was more often between 20 and 30 points.
“I look in the mirror on that,” Miles said of the preparation. “Did we complicate the game plan to where we couldn't free them up to just play?
“That's the first thing you think when guys aren't aggressive in practice. It's also a big academic week. But you have to come ready to practice. If you don't have good practices, you don't always feel a huge amount of confidence going into a game.”
The practice woes were so noticeable that the Huskers met twice Saturday to analyze why.
“But,” Miles said, “you can meet as much as you want and practice as much as you want, if it's not high-quality stuff, you'll play accordingly.”
Sunday was Nebraska's first true road game, and will be one of the biggest crowds (17,530) it will see this season.
But NU co-captain Shavon Shields wasn't interested in talking about handling the hype or practicing poorly or studying for finals.
“That's just an excuse,” said the sophomore forward, who scored a team-high 22 points. “They came out and executed way better than us.”
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The Huskers, down 51-25 at half and 59-30 early in the second half, did outscore Creighton 42-31 in the final 20 minutes. Shields quickly noted that the Bluejays, with such a large early lead, weren't “as amped up” the second half.
“They outplayed us in the first and second half,” Shields said. “We had to play catch-up. It's kind of embarrassing.”
Some of Nebraska's frustration boiled over with 1:14 left when sophomore wing Terran Petteway, the Huskers' other double-figure scorer with 21 points, scuffled with Creighton's Grant Gibbs while on the floor after a loose ball.
Both players were called for a flagrant foul and ejected. Petteway wasn't made available for interviews.
“The kid is tore up in the locker room,” Miles said. “The first thing he does is apologize to his teammates for his conduct. It's really important to him to be a Husker and represent the right way, and that was unfortunate.”
Nebraska (6-3) will take final exams this week, then play Saturday at home against Arkansas State.
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>> Video: See highlights from Creighton's 82-67 win over Nebraska:
>> Video: See Fox Sports' highlights from the game:
>> Video: See Creighton coach Greg McDermott's comments after the game:
>> Video: See Nebraska coach Tim Miles' comments after the game: