Huskers Host Penn State Saturday Morning

Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletic Communications

At a Glance

Game 26: Penn State
Date: Saturday, Feb. 17
Tipoff: 11:01 a.m.  
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
Tickets: Sold Out

On the Air
Radio: Saturday'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: Saturday's game will be on BTN with Connor Onion and Nick Bahe on the call. It will also be available online on the Fox Sports app. 


Huskers Return to Action vs. Penn State Saturday Morning
The Nebraska men's basketball team returns to action after a week break, as the Huskers host the Penn State Nittany Lions. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. and the matchup will be televised on BTN and available on the Huskers Radio Network. Saturday's game is a sellout with a crowd of over 15,000 anticipated for the only meeting of the season between the Huskers and Nittany Lions. 

Saturday's game against Penn State will be the annual Red Cross Day.  Members of the Red Cross and volunteers will be located at the North and South entrances of the arena and throughout the concourse collecting donations on game day.

Nebraska (17-8, 7-7 Big Ten) has been off since a 79-59 win over Michigan on Feb. 10. The Huskers took control early, using a pair of 13-0 runs to build a 30-point lead less than 15 minutes into the contest and were in control throughout the contest. NU held Michigan to a season-low 32.3 percent shooting and forced 14 turnovers. For Nebraska, Keisei Tominaga led four Huskers in double figures with 19 points, including 15 in the first half, while Josiah Allick had season highs in both points (16) and rebounds (eight) and had four of the Huskers' 16 offensive rebounds.

The Huskers have been tough at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season, going 15-1 including wins over then-No. 1 Purdue and then-No. 6 Wisconsin. The 15 home wins is two shy of the single-season school record of 17 set on three previous occasions (1982-83, 2007-08, 2010-11). 

Penn State (12-13, 6-8 Big Ten) is coming off an 80-72 loss to Michigan State on Wednesday night. Ace Baldwin Jr. had 15 points and seven assists to lead three Nittany Lions in double figures, but Michigan State shot 51 percent from the floor and enjoyed a 33-23 rebounding edge. PSU had won three straight games, including road wins at Indiana and Rutgers, before dropping back-to-back games to Northwestern and Michigan State. 

Numbers to Know
20.3 - Keisei Tominaga has averaged 20.3 points per game over the last three games on 57 percent shooting, including 50 percent from 3-point range. 

9.5 - NU leads the Big Ten with 9.5 3-pointers per game as of Feb. 16, an average which is on pace to break the single-season school record for 3-pointers per game (9.5/gm, 2001-02). The Huskers are 9-4 this season when hitting at least 10 3-pointers.

16 - Nebraska has won its 16 games dating back to last season when holding an opponent to 70 points or less. This season, NU is 12-0 following the win over Michigan on Feb. 10.

11 - Fred Hoiberg has 11 career wins against top-10 teams and 28 wins over ranked opponents in his collegiate coaching career. This season, NU has wins over No. 1 Purdue and No. 6 Wisconsin.

2 - Rienk Mast became only the second Husker in the last 25 years to post a 30-point, 10-rebound game with his performance against Ohio State on Jan. 24. He joined Aleks Maric, who accomplished the feat four times in his career from 2005 to 2008.

Worth Noting 
• Nebraska has already exceeded its win total from last season (16) and the 17 wins this season are the most by the Huskers since the 2018-19 season. Under Fred Hoiberg, NU has increased its win total in each of the past three years, the first time that has happened in the program since the mid-1960s (1963-64 to 1965-66).

• Nebraska enters Saturday's game with a 17-8 record, which matches the Huskers' best 25-game mark since joining the Big Ten in the 2011-12 season (17-8 in 2017-18). The last time NU had a better record after 25 games was an 18-7 mark in 1991-92.

• Nebraska has already broken several long losing streaks to teams this season. Last Saturday's win over Michigan snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Wolverines. It marked the fifth streak of at least seven games snapped this season: Michigan State (11 games); Michigan (eight games); Kansas State (seven games); Indiana (seven games) and Northwestern (seven games).

• With the win over No. 6 Wisconsin on Feb. 1, Nebraska has two top-10 wins for the first time since 2013-14 and the sixth time in school history (2023-24, 2013-14, 1993-94, 1991-92, 1990-91 and 1957-58).  The 1957-58 team was coached by Jerry Bush, the grandfather of current Husker Head Coach Fred Hoiberg.

• Nebraska enters the Penn State game averaging 77.3 points per game to rank fourth in the Big Ten in scoring offense as of Feb. 15.  It is NU's highest points per game average since the 1995-96 season (80.2 ppg). NU has climbed from 149th to 38th nationally in offensive efficiency in KenPom as of Feb. 16. NU's highest average since joining the Big Ten was 73.3 points per game in 2021-22.

• A few Huskers are approaching milestones heading into Saturday's game with Penn State. Keisei Tominaga:  Is six 3-pointers away from eighth place on NU's career 16 points from moving past Jamar Johnson for 37th on NU's career scoring list. C.J. Wilcher: Is 14 points from 800 for his career...Is one 3-pointer from 150 in his career. Rienk Mast: Needs eight rebounds to reach 850 for his college career.  Juwan Gary: Needs 20 points to reach 700 for his career.

•  Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks 21st nationally with 9.5 3-pointers per game as of Feb. 15. NU has 237 3-pointers this season, a total which is fifth on NU's single-season chart. The Huskers are just seven 3-pointers away from the No. 4 spot on NU's single-season list. 

•  The Huskers have been one of the most consistent teams in the Big Ten for the last year. NU is 23-11 over the last 34 games dating back to Feb. 1, 2023, which ranks second only to Purdue in the Big Ten in winning percentage in that span. 

• While Nebraska's offense garners much of the headlines, the Huskers rank third in the Big Ten in field goal defense, holding opponents to .402 shooting. NU held Michigan to a season-low 32.3 percent shooting in Saturday's win, the fifth straight opponent held to under 43 percent. 

• Nebraska enters Saturday's game ranked fourth in the Big Ten in free throw shooting at 75.7 percent.  It is on pace to be one of NU's highest season percentages in school history. NU has not shot over 74 percent from the foul line since the 2011-12 season when NU shot a school-record 76.6 percent.  In Big Ten play, Nebraska is shooting 78.1 percent from the line as a team. 

• The Huskers are now 24-6 under Fred Hoiberg when scoring at least 80 points, including 19-3 over the last three seasons. All three losses have come in overtime (104-100 in 4OT at NC State on Dec. 1, 2021; 87-82 in OT at Rutgers on Jan. 17, 2024; 87-84 at Illinois on Feb. 4). NU had won its last 17 games when reaching the 80-point plateau before the OT loss at Rutgers.

• One strength of the Huskers has been getting to the free throw line. NU has shot more free throws in 17 of 25 games in 2023-24 and its +88 differential is fourth in the Big Ten as of Feb. 16. NU is second in the conference, allowing 16.4 free throw attempts per game. 

• Nebraska's bench has provided a spark, averaging a conference-best 23.3 points per game. The Huskers' leading scorer has come from the bench eight times (Hoiberg-Lindenwood; Wilcher-five times; Gary-Stony Brook; Allick-Iowa) and NU has had 23 double-figure efforts from its bench in 2023-24.

• The Huskers finished non-conference action with a 10-1 mark, matching their best non-conference record since joining the Big Ten (also 2018-19).  

• On Saturday, the Huskers will wear their special-edition adidas cream jersey which feature multi-color pastels along the sides representing the tearing down of obstacles to create something beautiful, while the goldenrods on the lettering show gratitude and appreciation for the contributions of Black individuals within the program over the years.  The goldenrod is the state flower of Nebraska

The men’s jersey honors the first African American basketball player in school history, Wilbur Wood. Wood was one of the first black players nationally to gain prominence in collegiate hoops playing for the Huskers from 1908 to 1910. He helped the Huskers to three straight second-place finishes in the Missouri Valley Conference and later coached the Husker freshman team following his college career. The N logo on the front of the jersey is modeled after the jerseys the Huskers wore during Wood’s tenure.


About Penn State
Penn State comes to Lincoln with a 12-13 record, including a 6-8 Big Ten mark, following Wednesday's loss to Michigan State. The Nittany Lions replaced all five starters from a team that won 23 games and reached the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament under Micah Shrewsberry.

Mike Rhoades is in his first season in charge of the Penn State program after spending the last six seasons at VCU. He guided the Rams to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his tenure, including sweeping the Atlantic 10 regular-season and tournament titles in 2022-23. Prior to that he was the head coach at Rice from 2014 to 2017 and had been an assistant at VCU from 2009 to 2014.

The Nittany Lions are led by senior guard Ace Baldwin Jr., who averages 14.2 points, 5.4 assists and 2.7 steals per game. He is one of two VCU transfers in the starting lineup for Penn State and was the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2022-23, averaging 12.7 points, 5.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Sophomore Kanye Clary leads PSU in scoring at 16.7 points per game but has come off the bench in recent games after recovering from an injury. Qudus Wahab averages 9.2 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. Nick Kern, who also began his career at VCU, averages 8.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. The Nittany Lions force over 15 turnovers per game to lead the Big Ten in that category. 

Series History: Saturday's game is the 27th meeting with Penn State holding a 14-12 advantage. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Huskers are 11-12 against the Nittany Lions (11-9 in regular season; 0-3 in Big Ten Tournament). The teams played three times before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, a home-and-home series in 1980 and 1981 and in the second round of the 1995 NIT. The Huskers and Nittany Lions split both meetings last year with the home team prevailing. In the game in Lincoln, Keisei Tominaga had a then-career high 30 points in NU's 72-63 win.

Last Time Out
Nebraska erupted on a pair of 13-0 first-half runs to build a 30-point lead and never looked back in a 79-59 victory over Michigan in front of a sellout crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 10. 

Josiah Allick produced his Nebraska season bests of 16 points and eight rebounds to set the tone early for the Huskers.  Nebraska put four players in double figures and shot 46 percent from the floor in snapping an eight-game losing streak to the Wolverines dating back to 2018.

Keisei Tominaga had 19 points while Brice Williams and Rienk Mast added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Mast added eight assists and six rebounds, as Nebraska enjoyed a 43-39 advantage on the glass and had just nine turnovers to snap a two-game losing streak. 

NU held the Wolverines to a season-low 32.3 percent shooting.