Nebraska will try to keep up its best start to a season in five years when it hosts Rider in a nonconference game on Monday in Lincoln, Neb.
The Cornhuskers (2-0) have won their first two games by a combined 59 points, most recently cruising to an 81-54 home victory over Florida A&M behind 20 points and 16 rebounds from junior forward Rienk Mast. The Bradley transfer was the first Nebraska player with a 20/15 game since 2008.
Nebraska had 55 rebounds in that win, its most against a Division I opponent since 2018, and also held its opponent to 30.3 percent shooting.
“We have a chance to be a very good offensive team, a very good team overall if we can take what we did on the defensive end tonight and then take care of the basketball and get a quality possession every time down,” coach Fred Hoiberg said.
Mast is averaging 16.5 points and 11 rebounds, while Charlotte transfer guard Brice Williams is averaging 14 per game.
Rider (1-1) lost by 30 at No. 5 Marquette on Friday night. The Broncos trailed only 18-15 a little more than six minutes in but couldn’t keep up, trailing by 17 at the half.
“In different spurts of the game, we struggled to score,” Rider coach Kevin Baggett said. “We missed some free throws, which opened the game at one point.”
Rider is led by senior forward Mervin James, who is averaging 16.5 points and shooting 65 percent from the field. Junior guard T.J. Weeks Jr., a Massachusetts transfer, is averaging 13.5 points and 9.5 rebounds.
The Broncos are seeking their first win over a power-conference team since upsetting Penn State 71-70 in December 2017. They’ll have another opportunity later this month, visiting Maryland, and also go to Penn State in late December.
Nebraska last started 3-0 in 2018-19 when it won its first four games en route to a 19-17 mark, the last time it finished above .500.
– Field Level Media