Lincoln, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - Both the ninth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers and
the Nebraska Cornhuskers will try to extend their respective winning streaks
on Sunday night, as the Big Ten Conference regular season comes to a close at
Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Wisconsin hit a mid-season slide with losses in five of six from mid-January
to early February, but since then it has gotten back on track as one of the
nation's top teams with eight straight victories to improve to 25-5. The
Badgers most recently ended their home slate of games on Wednesday with a
76-70 win over Purdue to move to 12-5 in the league.
Nebraska has also been in peak form of late with wins in two straight and
seven of its last eight, including an impressive road victory at Indiana on
Wednesday, 70-60. The Cornhuskers are now 18-11 overall and 10-7 in league
play and with a win will earn the fourth seed and the final opening-round bye
in the Big Ten Tournament,
After 20 all-time meetings, the series is knotted up at 10 games a side. The
Badgers have had the upper hand in recent years however with five straight
The Badgers built a lead as large as 18 midway through the second half of
their latest contest, and while their final margin of victory was only six,
Purdue never threatened the lead down the stretch. They were outshot from the
floor on the evening, 45.3 percent to 44.2 percent, but they held a 23-9
scoring advantage at the free-throw line and won the turnover battle, 11-7.
Frank Kaminsky shot 8-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the
arc on his way to a game-high 22 points, while Traevon Jackson and Josh Gasser
poured in 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Wisconsin has no discernable weaknesses, as it boasts stellar percentages from
the field (.456), 3-point range (.369) and the foul line (.753) while owning
positive margins in terms of scoring (+9.6), rebounding (+1.0) and turnovers
(+2.1). Kaminsky (13.3 ppg) and Sam Dekker (13.1 ppg) are the top scoring
options and each pulls down 6.3 rpg. Ben Brust (12.5 ppg) is shooting 72-
of-193 from beyond the arc (.373), Jackson (10.9 ppg) hands out 3.9 apg and
Gasser (9.4 ppg) rounds out a lineup that has started all 30 games together.
The Cornhuskers owned Indiana from the opening tip their last time out, as
they shot 45.5 percent from the field while holding the Hoosiers to just 36.7
percent shooting in a game they never trailed. Walter Pitchford shot 3-of-4
from 3-point range on his way to 17 points, Shavon Shields also netted 17 and
the duo combined to rip down 17 rebounds. Terran Petteway (13 points) made up
for a poor 3-of-10 showing from the floor by knocking down 7-of-8 at the line.
Nebraska usually isn't a very potent offensive team, as it shoots only 42.6
percent from the field this season for 66.7 ppg, but its success has been
predicated on its excellent defense, which yields just 64.6 ppg on 41.9
percent efficiency from the floor. Petteway is the catalyst with 17.8 ppg and
has connected on 82 percent of his shots from the foul line. Shields brings
12.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg to the table, while Pitchford (9.2 ppg) has made 42 3-
pointers at 40.8 percent efficiency.
The Sports Network