Nebraska-Missouri Preview

BY foxsports • January 11, 2011

After struggling again in a conference opener on the road, Missouri will try for a better result in its return home.

The 15th-ranked Tigers, though, might have another difficult matchup Wednesday night against Nebraska, winner of 11 straight.

Missouri had a nine-game win streak snapped Saturday, failing to recover after falling behind by 12 points at halftime in an 89-76 loss at Colorado.

It was the second-most points allowed this season by the Tigers (14-2, 0-1), who dropped to 0-5 all-time in Big 12 road openers.

"They did a good job of attacking us, more than anything else," coach Mike Anderson said.

Since the beginning of the 2008-09 season, Missouri is 8-0 after losing a conference game and playing at Mizzou Arena could help that trend continue.

The Tigers are 10-0 there this season and 44-2 over the last two-plus campaigns. They've beaten Nebraska twice by a combined 40 points over that span.

The Cornhuskers, though, enter this game on one of the longest win streaks in school history following a 63-62 home victory over Iowa State in their Big 12 opener Saturday night.

Lance Jeter came up with a key steal before hitting one of two free throws with 0.4 seconds left.

"It gives us confidence because we know we have a tough one on Wednesday (at Missouri)," Jeter said.

Nebraska (13-2, 1-0) surely will need that confidence going into its first road game of the season and first against a ranked opponent. The Cornhuskers went 1-10 on the road last season en route to a last-place finish in the Big 12, and they've dropped nine straight versus Top 25 teams.

Their only trip away from Lincoln this season resulted in their only losses. They went 1-2 at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in November, including a 59-49 defeat to a Vanderbilt team which Missouri beat in overtime at home Dec. 8.

Nebraska has relied on one of the nation's best defenses, limiting opponents to 53.5 points per game and a Division I-best 33.9 percent shooting.

The Cornhuskers, though, could get their toughest test from the frenetic Tigers, among the NCAA leaders with 85.8 points per game. Jorge Brian Diaz (10.5 ppg) and Jeter (10.1) are the only Cornhuskers averaging in double figures, while Missouri has five, led by Marcus Denmon (17.0 ppg).

Missouri shot 39.3 percent last season at home against Nebraska but outscored the Cornhuskers 42-27 in the second half of a 70-53 victory. Denmon scored a then-career high 24 points to lead the Tigers to a 74-59 win in Lincoln on Feb. 20 but had five points in a 75-60 loss to the Cornhuskers in the Big 12 tournament's opening round.

Brandon Richardson scored a career-high 19 points to help the Cornhuskers end a three-game slide in the series.

Nebraska now seeks its longest win streak since a school-record 14-game run in 1990-91 and its best start since winning 16 of 17 to open that same season.

The Cornhuskers, though, have faced only two opponents during their win streak in the top 100 of the RPI, released by the NCAA last week – USC at No. 56 and Iowa State at No. 96.

Missouri is ranked 33rd and Nebraska is 112th in those standings. The Cornhuskers will travel to Kansas – second in the RPI and third in the AP poll - on Saturday.

The Tigers, who lead the series 125-92, have won 13 of 15 at home over Nebraska and hold a 69-25 all-time edge there.


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