The last time Nebraska finished its nonconference schedule with only one loss? That would be the 2003-04 season when the Huskers started the season 10-1 (and ultimately finished 18-13, for whatever that’s worth). Fifteen seasons later, the Huskers got through the 2018-19 nonconference schedule with a 10-1 record.
Nebraska is 11-2 overall (because of two conference games sandwiched in the middle of the nonconference schedule). The Huskers split those two conference games, a 75-60 win over Illinois and an 85-78 loss to Minnesota.
But this isn’t about all that. This is about Nebraska’s 79-38 win over Southwest Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon, which concluded the Huskers’ nonconference schedule for the 2018-19 season.
Did we learn anything from Nebraska’s last nonconference game? Maybe? Kind of? Sure.
Pinnacle Bank Arena had a pretty good crowd on hand (an announced crowd of 15,057, to be exact) for a Dec. 29 game against a Division II team. Of note, there were frustrated fans in the will call line pre-game. It appeared there weren’t many seats together or lower than the 300-level an hour and a half before tip-off. Even with a lot of Nebraska fans in the arena, it was a mostly sleepy crowd thanks in part to the actual game.
With 7:22 to go in the first half, Nebraska was on a 3:27 scoring drought. Southwest Minnesota State was on a 3:10 scoring drought. It did not make for a lively environment.
The Huskers went into halftime ahead 37-18, but it was a mostly forgettable first half. James Palmer, for example, was 4-of-11 in field goals. Glynn Watson Jr. was 4-of-10 and Isaac Copeland was 3-of-6.
Nebraska picked it up in the second half though, going on a quick 11-point scoring run. With 5:46 to go in the game, Nebraska was up 70-36, had its starters out and a good number of fans headed for the exits.
Tanner Borchardt’s Energy
Tanner Borchardt made his first career start on Saturday in place of an injured Isaiah Roby, who was out with a minor groin injury. Borchardt brought some much-needed energy to Nebraska on Saturday, which was highlighted in his four rebounds before the first media timeout. He ended the day with nine total rebounds, which is one off his career-high.
That wasn’t all for Borchardt. He converted both of his shots for four points and played a career-high 17 minutes.
Not a bad day for Borchardt when the Huskers needed it most.
We’ll end things as Derek Peterson ended things on Dec. 22: ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Overall, the game was that shrug emoji. There were some good moments though, so let’s just end on some highlights. See you in 2019, Nebrasketball fans.
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.