Rosalie’s Reaction: Huskers fall on the road to Rutgers 46 – 44


In their 4th road loss of the season, No. 19 Nebraska fell to No. 21 Rutgers by a score of 46 -44 at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, NJ on Thursday night. Tied for 3rd place in the conference at 7-3, both teams looked forward to their first ever meeting.

Unfortunately, the Huskers had to play without All-American point guard Rachel Theriot who suffered an ankle injury earlier this week in practice. [Not her first injury season with the Huskers] In her pregame interview, Coach Yori commented that “injuries are a part of the game so we’ll go with what we got.” She also outlined what she felt the team must do to be successful against Rutgers. “We got to take care of the ball. We can’t be sloppy.”

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From the outset, Nebraska did NOT take care of the ball and were very sloppy indeed. They struggled both offensively and defensively. They hit just 17.6 % (6-34) of their first-half shots, went 1-of-10 from the 3-point arc, and turned the ball over 7 times. Fortunately for the Huskers the Scarlet Knights struggled as well. They hit only 34.3 % (11-35) of their first-half shots, went 0-for-2 from long range, and turned the ball over 8 times. However, on home court, Rutgers clearly had momentum on their side.

It quickly became obvious that a scrappy, physical game was in progress. It could have been compared to a boxing match as these two teams battered and bloodied each other with the Huskers hitting the deck early and often. NU played tough and battled their way back to their lowest first-half point total of the season to trail only 26-17 at halftime. They went into the locker room knowing they needed to find some answers.

Mar 24, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers cheerleader during the game against the BYU Cougars during the second half of a women

Nebraska has become accustomed to 2nd half comebacks to earn victories this season. Huskers came out of the locker room loose and ready to rumble.  Nebraska defense stiffened their resolve and shutdown the Rutgers offense for the first 4 minutes. This allowed the struggling NU offense to pick up a little steam and start scoring baskets.

Back-to-back 3 point FG’s by Tear’a Laudermill cut Rutgers lead to 42-37 with 3:56 left. The late run by Nebraska came up short. There would be no magic Thursday night even as Tear’a Laudermill drained a last second 3-point bucket from the corner. Huskers left the RAC losing to Rutgers 66 – 64 falling to 17 -5 (7-4 Big Ten).

"In discussing the loss post game, Coach Yori was very honest. “We expected it to be a struggle offensively and that’s what it was.” In response to the question of playing without Rachel Theriot,  Yori commented, “we’re different without her…We’re more limited on offense and we are limited in what we can run, in terms of our sets. But we have to execute a little bit better in our half court offense. We can’t expect Rachel to make every play for us.”"

Very simply, this was an UGLY game. Without their leading scorer (Theriot), the Nebraska offense was disorganized. That put extra pressure on the NU defense to stop a hard-charging Rutgers squad. The offensive struggles which have plagued the Huskers since early in the season continue. It will be compounded by the loss of Rachel Theriot whose status remains day-to-day.

Nebraska travels to Maryland today and practice this afternoon. They will also take a time out to refresh mind and spirit. “We’re going to try and take in some sights in D.C. on Saturday morning and hopefully take advantage of that cultural opportunity,” Yori said. “Out of our 13 players only three of them have been here, so that’s kind of fun that they get an opportunity to do some things there. They can see the nation’s capital and the monuments. And when you can do that, you got to do that.”

Huskers take on #5 Maryland at 3 pm Sunday afternoon with ESPN2 coverage. In their first meeting with Maryland this season on Jan. 3, the Terrapins blew out the Huskers 75-47.  Can the Huskers knock off the conference leaders on their home court?? It will be a HUGE challenge but the Huskers can ill afford a two-game losing streak at this point in the season.  Stay tuned for further updates and as always GO BIG RED!!!