LINCOLN — Yes, Nebraska needed a second-half comeback Monday night to knock off No. 18 Ohio State 68-62. But what the Huskers did offensively in the first half put them in position to win.
Sum it up in one word: attack.
The Huskers scored 26 of 34 first-half points in the paint while converting 10 of 12 layups.
It was good strategy. Ohio State had allowed 82 points inside the lane in its previous two games, and coach Thad Matta said Nebraska's work inside seemed to throw his team off. He even changed lineups the second half, going with a smaller unit to try to counter.
“They did a good job of putting their heads down and driving,” Matta said. “And they finished well. They hit some step backs and floaters. It was kind of that type of night.
“We got clipped on a lot of ball screens in the first half, too. That can't happen.”
Nebraska coach Tim Miles said he's just playing to his strength in having his team go hard to the hole.
“As we've tried to define this team, getting to the rim is what is important to us,” he said. “We don't have a whole bunch of 3-point shooters that just go out and make eight or 10 3s a game. We make five or six.
“We have to go to the foul line and shoot high-percentage shots, which we do by going to the rim. The first half, we were 10 of 12 at the rim.”
Biggs comes up big with steal
Husker junior guard Deverell Biggs had a wild statistic line with 11 points, six turnovers, four rebounds and three assists.
But one of his two steals came at a critical juncture. After Ohio State had taken a 46-45 lead with 5:55 to go, Biggs picked the pocket of Buckeye all-conference pick Aaron Craft and drove for a layup with 4:42 left. Ohio State never led again.
“It was big,” Matta said. “We had a guy open on the pop.”
Nebraska needed some big plays down the stretch after starting the second half with seven turnovers on its first 10 possessions, and making just 1 of 3 shots.
Cancer awareness event
Nebraska is adding a twist during Sunday's home game against Minnesota for the annual American Cancer Society “Suits and Sneakers” event.
The Huskers are offering bone marrow donation information. Avery Harriman, the 6-year-old son of NU assistant Chris Harriman, now is leukemia free after undergoing a bone-marrow transplant a year ago. He was first diagnosed at age 2.
Bits and pieces
Nebraska became just the second opponent to shoot 50 percent (23 of 46) this season against Ohio State. The Huskers shot 37 percent in their 84-53 loss at Ohio State. ... Terran Petteway's double-figure scoring night was his 14th straight. The last Husker with such a streak was center Aleks Maric in 2007-08. ... Nebraska plays Thursday at Penn State. The Huskers' only two wins in 21 Big Ten road games since joining the league have come at PSU.