Nebraska Basketball: Big man Blaise Kaeta is huge against UAPB

Nebraska basketball forward Blaise Keita (15) grabs a rebound ( Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska basketball forward Blaise Keita (15) grabs a rebound ( Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Nebraska basketball team looked like it was suffering a bit of a hangover after its blowout loss to St. John’s on Sunday in the first half. After going up 12 early, the Cornhuskers struggled in the final 10 minutes of the first period to the point where they were actually trailing by 3 to Arkansas Pine Bluff at halftime.

Then, in the second half, things looked pretty rough as the Nebraska basketball team went down by eight points at one point. Discussion around Husker sports bars likely started talking about whether or not head coach Fred Hoiberg will last the year. The Blaise Keita, among others put the game in his hands.

The Huskers big man is one of those new additions that will only be leaned on as the season progresses. Coming into Sunday, he’d played well enough but hadn’t really stood out from the crowd.

Yes, the latest performance is against UAPB but he still looked like the kind of big man that people could get excited about. At one point, he took over the game against the Lions and really gave the team a boost it needed and a shot in the arm that carried them to victory after it felt like things could fall apart.

Keita ended the game with 14 points and 10 boards. That’s the second double-double of the season for Nebraska basketball. The other guy to do that, Juwan Gary almost managed to do it on Sunday as well as he scored 17 points and hauled down eight rebounds. But it was Keita and his power down low that seemed to inject some energy.

Keita made his last six shots of the contest; most of those were the kind of shots that the Cornhuskers just don’t get enough of. He was hitting point-blank shots down low that allowed the Huskers to really have a presence in the post.

If the Nebraska basketball team is going to rack up some wins, they’re going to need some more big games from Keita.