Nebraska returned home Thursday night for the first time since Saturday, Dec. 29. After dropping two conference games on the road, the Huskers were ready to get back in front of a home crowd and hopefully secure a much-needed win.
The good news is that Nebraska did just that. The Huskers defeated Penn State, 70-64. It wasn’t a perfect win by any means and there will be plenty of questions to answer (like why coach Tim Miles chose not to sub a single player in the second half, or why the Huskers were outrebounded 21-6 on the offensive boards). But for now, Nebraska won and that’s that.
What did we learn from the matchup? Let’s take a look at three immediate and notable aspects of Thursday’s win over Penn State (plus, a bonus!).
Isaiah Roby Aggressiveness
Nebraska may have lost its last game to Iowa, but it was junior forward Isaiah Roby’s best offensive performance of the season (at the time, mind you). Against Penn State, Roby came out aggressive once again on the offensive side of things. He started with 10 points in 12 minutes, which included a pair of triples. Those 10 points led the Huskers in the first half as well.
By the second half, Roby kicked it into another gear and, well…
Yeah. It was everything Nebraska fans (and our own Jacob Padilla) have been waiting for.
Roby ended the night with with a career-high 22 points. He also had his first double-double of the season (and his first overall since Feb. 18, 2018 at Illinois).
Iowa may have been one of his better offensive outings but Penn State was an entirely different level for Roby.
Amir Harris Returns
Amir Harris had been out almost a full month when he checked in for the first time Thursday night against Penn State. The freshman guard was initially treated for strep throat in early December before coach Tim Miles said it was actually a case of mononucleosis.
In one minute of action in Harris’ return, he had one point, one rebound and drew a foul. Not bad for someone who’s been out of the game for as long as he had been.
Harris ended the night with only one point, but it was good to have the freshman back. As Nebraska gets further into conference play, his presence will be more and more important.
Big Win in Front of Big Crowd
The Huskers’ win over Penn State was a big one for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, 15,753 fans showed up. For a Thursday night at 8 p.m. CT, it was a great crowd that really got things going for the Huskers in the second half. Plus, it was a much-needed win for a Nebraska team looking to get back on track after dropping two on the road to Maryland and Iowa.
However, Thursday night’s win was an important one for Nebraska for another reason. It was the Huskers’ 20th home win in a row, tying a Nebraska school record.
20 STRAIGHT AT HOME. 🔒⬇️🏦
Twenty consecutive W's at @PinnacleArena ties a school record from 1965-67.#ProtectTheVault #GBR pic.twitter.com/WN7qhPPaHl
— Nebraska Basketball (@HuskerHoops) January 11, 2019
It may not have been a pretty win, nor a perfect win, but it was what Nebraska needed. Even better? The Huskers tied the school record and did so in front of a pretty solid crowd on a Thursday night.
Just for fun, here’s Glynn Watson Jr. hurdling the Penn State bench. You’re welcome.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.