Nebraska made it two wins in a row on Saturday night as a late 11-0 run led the Huskers to a 59-50 win over Northwestern at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Isaiah Roby did the heavy lfiting with 19 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks and the Huskers found just enough offense from everyone else to pull away down the stretch.
After, Coach Tim Miles, Roby and Tanner Borchardt met with the media to talk about the win, and Northwestern coach Chris Collins offered his thoughts as well. You can watch the full press conference here.
The following is the full transcript from the question-and-answer session.
Coach Tim Miles
“It is always a great weekend when you’re able to bring your alumni back, your former players and your legends. It was a bigger year this year than it had been in the previous few years, and I really enjoy having these guys back. It is great for them to connect with our team and our fans, and I am just really happy. I hope all the former players feel welcome to come back and be a part of our program so we can embrace them and recognize them. It is always cool having the legends back.”
On the big game by Roby:
“He had those two blocks early and It kind of sent a message. Then he went away for a while from that rim protection type of thing, but boy he ended the game with a flourish. Just look at his line, 19 points. Seems like it wouldn’t have been hard to have more than that with some open misses. He has 16 rebounds, including five offensive. Then you go through and he has five blocks, two assists, two steals, and no fouls. We have an IER chart, individual efficiency, and his numbers will be just through the roof.”
On winning with the defense:
“If we don’t, we won’t win. I thought we were really good defensively tonight. I thought we had a very solid defensive effort. And when I say ‘solid’ that is not a dismissive ‘oh we were solid.’ It was like ‘we were rock solid.’”
Junior Forward Isaiah Roby
On what was working so well for himself on offense and defense:
"I would say I got challenged by my teammates a lot just to be more aggressive on both ends; that was the biggest thing for me"
On if he was surprised on having so many open looks from the perimeter:
"That was the game plan for most of our team to be honest. They were packing the paint a lot so driving lanes weren't there so it was just an adjustment we had to make."
Senior Center Tanner Borchardt
On trying to limit Dererk Pardon:
"The coaches put together a great game plan when we are doubling and when we are not playing one-on-one. We tried to take away his left hand, as he is pretty dominant when he gets to his right shoulder. He has averaged a huge number against us I think it is like 19 [points] and 14 [rebounds] and we were able to hold him to like 12 and 13 I think so we did a good job on him"
On if he thinks the team is feeling better now after a couple of wins:
"Yeah you can definitely see the morale starting to rise a little bit. It is a fun environment to be in obviously when you are winning and no one wants to be in that losing streak, but it felt great to get that monkey off the back. I think our guys are playing more freely now even in practice you can see we are enjoying ourselves more.”
Northwestern Coach Chris Collins
“Congratulations to Nebraska. I thought both teams played incredibly hard tonight. I thought it was just one of those Big Ten, grind-it-our type of games with both teams really digging in on the defensive side of the floor. It was hard for both teams to kind of get a rhythm. We just had that little stretch, and they went to their zone, which they do and you prepare for it. You get in the game and you have to make plays, and I thought we had some real critical live-ball turnovers during that stretch that gave them separation. I’m looking at the stat sheet here and for us to hold them to 59 points, but you see 16 off of live-ball turnovers. In a 50-point game, those are crushers. I love my guys’ effort, and we’re having a hard time scoring. It’s kind of been this script with us for most of the year and teams are good defensively. We have to just stick with it. But, I was not pleased, I mean, I wanted to win the game, but I thought Nebraska played very well and very hard and certainly they deserve to win.”
On Isaiah Roby and Northwestern's defensive effort:
“I mean [Roby] took 19 shots to get 19 points. He made shots and he played well. He’s 7-for-19. If you play against a good player and your point-to-shot ratio is one-to-one, I feel like you’ve done a pretty good job to hold him for 7-for-19. [James] Palmer Jr., 3-for-17 and Glynn [Watson Jr.], all three of those guys are under 50 percent from the floor. Overall, somebody has got to score. Isaiah is a terrific player, but if you would have told me he was going to get 19 on 19 shots, and we we’re going to hold [Nebraska] to under 60… It wasn’t our defense. Our defense wasn’t the reason we lost. The reason we lost was we really struggled to score the ball and that little stretch of turnovers against the zone was really a killer for us.”
Jacob Padilla has been writing for Hail Varsity since 2015. He covers football, volleyball men’s basketball and prep sports. He also co-hosts the Nebraska Preps Postgame and Nebraska Shootaround podcasts for the Hurrdat Media and Hail Varsity podcast networks. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.