March 28, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

Huskers return home for Boston College

The Nebraska men’s basketball team return home Wednesday night, as the Huskers will take on Boston College in the ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire. Tipoff is set for 8:15 p.m. and tickets are available by visiting, calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED during business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.) and at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Ticket Office beginning Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.

Wednesday’s game is also the annual Toys for Tots Drive, as the Huskers have partnered with the U.S. Marines on the event. Husker fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys to the game, and cash donations for the cause will be taken. The Marines will be stationed at both Pinnacle Bank Arena entrances (South Lobby and North Entrance) to accept donations that will brighten the holiday season for children in the Omaha and Lincoln area.

Game 8: Boston College

ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge presented by Continental Tire

Date: Wed., Nov. 30
Tipoff:  8:15 p.m. (CT)
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000)

On the Air
Radio: Wednesday’s game will be carried on the Huskers Radio Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call, including KLIN (1400 AM) in Lincoln, KXSP (590 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington and will also be available on and the Huskers app. The pregame show begins an hour before tipoff.

TV/Online: Wednesday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU with David Saltzman and Mark Adams on the call. The game will also be available on the ESPN App.

The Huskers (4-3) return home following a 1-2 weekend at the ESPN Events Invitational following a 75-58 victory against Florida State on Sunday night. The Huskers put together their most complete game of the season in the win over the Seminoles, shooting 50 percent from the field and putting five players in double figures. Derrick Walker led NU with a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Sam GrieselKeisei Tominaga and C.J. Wilcher added 13 apiece. NU which had 11 first-half turnovers, committed just three miscues in the final 30 minutes while holding Florida State to 36.4 percent shooting in the second half.

Walker has been a force since returning to the lineup as he posted double-doubles in both contests after missing Nebraska’s first five games. The 6-foot-9 senior is averaging 17.5 points on 74 percent shooting along with 12.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Walker’s inside presence has opened up the Huskers’ offense, as Nebraska has put at least four players in double figures over the last two contests.

Boston College (5-2) comes off a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sunday. The Eagles held the Rams to 23 percent shooting in the second half to break open a 28-all halftime tie. BC trailed 44-40 with less than eight minutes remaining before closing the game on a 13-5 run. Jaeden Zackery led BC with 16 points, as the Eagles went 18-of-23 from the line, including 10-of-12 in the second half.

Numbers to Know
.667 –Derrick Walker’s career field goal percentage at Nebraska. He is on track to set NU’s career record in that category. Larry Cox (.625, 1974-76) and Dave Hoppen (.600, 1983-86) are the only two Huskers with career field goal percentages above .600.

9.2 – Nebraska is allowing its opponents only 9.2 free throw attempts per game. The Huskers have held four of its seven opponents to 10 free throws or less this season. NU held both Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Oklahoma to three free throw attempts. On the other hand, NU is getting to the line an average of 17.2 times per game. 

2019 – The season opener over Maine marked the first time since the first round of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament (68-61 vs. Rutgers) where the Huskers won a game while being out-shot by its opponent.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge Primer
The 2022-23 season marks the 24th and final edition of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge presented by Continental Tire.  The Big Ten is 8-12-3 all-time in the challenge, but 8-2-3 over the past 13 years. In case of a tie, the Cup remains with the conference that won the event most recently, which is the Big Ten which went 8-6 last year.

• Nebraska is 5-6 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and looks to snap a three-game losing streak in the event. Nebraska’s last win was in 2018 at Clemson.

• This will be the first time NU has played at home with fans in the challenge since the 2017-18 season, which also came against Boston College.

Looking at Boston College
Under the direction of Anthony Grant, Boston College comes to Lincoln with a 5-2 record following a 53-49 win over Rhode Island on Sun-day. In that game, the Eagles held URI to 30.5 percent shooting, including just 3-of-16 from 3-point range. Jaeden Zackery had 16 points while Devin McGlockton added 11 points off the bench. BC shot just 30.4 percent but went 18-23 from the line and forced 16 turnovers in the win.

Grant is in his second season at Boston College after coaching at the College of Charleston for seven seasons, helping the school to a trio of 20-win seasons and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017-18. He also served as an assistant coach at The Citadel, Winthrop, Wichita State and Clemson after his collegiate playing career at Georgia College. One familiar face on the Boston College staff is assistant coach Jim Molinari, who served as an assistant coach at Nebraska from 2014 to 2019. 

The Eagles returned four starters from a team that went 13-20 and tied for 11th in the ACC last season. BC has battled injuries during the first part of the season, have been stout defensively, holding opponents to 62.3 points per game as only one opponent since the opener has scored 70 points. Boston College has held its last two opponents (Wyoming and Rhode Island) under 50 points.  Makai Ashton-Langford, leads BC in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (2.6 apg) while also chipping in 1.7 steals per game. Sophomore Jaeden Zackery is the only other Eagle in double figures, as he averages 11.6 points per game. In all, eight players average at least 5.9 points per game.

Wednesday’s meeting will be the second between the two schools with both coming in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. NU posted a 71-62 win over BC in 2017, as NU put four players in double figures and used a 12-0 second-half run to break open a 59-57 game.

Boston College Probable Starters

No. Name Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. G/GS PPG RPG Other
3 Jaeden Zackery G So. 6-2 215 7/7 11.6 3.1 1.3 spg
45 Mason Madsen G Jr. 6-4 195 7/5 6.9 3.6 10 3-Pointers
11 Makai Ashton-Langford G Sr. 6-3 180 7/7 12.6 3.6 2.6 apg
24 CJ Penha Jr. F Sr. 6-7 230 7/5 9.0 4.4 0.9 spg
1 T.J. Bickerstaff F Sr. 6-9 220 7/7 7.4 7.6 2.0 spg

Last Time Out
Derrick Walker had career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Nebraska to a 75-58 win over Florida State in the ESPN Events Invita-tional Sunday night.

Walker led five Huskers in double figures with 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting and matched his career high in rebounds, as Nebraska put five in double figures and snapped a two-game losing streak.

Keisei TominagaC.J. Wilcher and Sam Griesel added 13 points apiece, as Nebraska shot 50 percent from the floor and dished out a sea-son-high 22 assists. Griesel had a season-best nine assists and scored nine of his 11 second-half points in a decisive 13-2 run that pushed a 37-32 lead into a 16-point advantage.

Leading 37-32, Walker’s dunk ignited the run before Griesel had a four-point play and a 3-pointer in back-to-back possessions, as NU stretched the lead to 50-34. The Huskers built a 19-point lead before the Seminoles made one last run, stringing together nine straight points to pull with 59-49 after a 3-pointer from Cam’Ron Fletcher with just under eight minutes remaining.

That would be as close as Florida State would get, as Juwan Gary’s baseline dunk started a 12-2 surge that stretched the lead to 71-51 after a Walker basket with 3:39 left and cruised to an 18-point margin.

Source: Regional Sports