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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 28, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Fifth Third Arena (13,176) -- Cincinnati, Ohio. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Nebraska 7-0, Cincinnati 9-0. Away Record: Nebraska 0-1, Cincinnati 0-1. Neutral Record: Nebraska 1-2, Cincinnati 1-1. Conference Record: Nebraska 0-0, Cincinnati 0-0. Series Record: Cincinnati leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: Both sides will be playing their final non-conference game before starting league play as the Nebraska Cornhuskers invade Fifth Third Arena to challenge the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The Cornhuskers reeled off their fifth win in six games last Saturday with a 77-62 rout of The Citadel at home. Nebraska has knocked off Georgia, Miami- Florida and Arkansas State during its recent surge to help arrive at its 8-3 record. Coach Tim Miles's team has been defeated by a trio of potential NCAA Tournament teams in Massachusetts, UAB and Creighton. Nebraska will begin its second season of Big Ten Conference play on New Year's Eve at Iowa. The Cornhuskers are ranked second to last in their conference in average scoring margin (plus 7.5) and are last in rebounding margin (minus 1.4).
Cincinnati will remain at home after hosting Nebraska to take on SMU in its first-ever American Athletic Conference battle. The Bearcats will hope to own an 11-2 record when they face the Mustangs. Coach Mick Cronin's squad is coming off of a 102-62 rout of Chicago State with featured three different Bearcats with double-doubles. Sean Kilpatrick paced the team with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Justin Jackson (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Jermaine Sanders (14 points, 13 rebounds) also did their part. UC also claimed a 69-21 advantage on the boards, its largest rebounding margin in a game in school history.
Cincinnati owns a 3-0 lead in the all-time series with Nebraska, including a 2-0 mark in Cincinnati. The Bearcats won the last meeting, an 84-73 win in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic on Dec. 31, 1996.
Nebraska went into intermission of its bout against The Citadel tied with the Bulldogs at 33. The Cornhuskers took control after the break by connecting on 62.5 percent of their field goal attempts, while sinking 14-of-20 tries at the free-throw line. Terran Petteway poured in 27 points and Shavon Shields chipped in 17 points to go along with six rebounds. Petteway is the sixth- leading scorer in the Big Ten on the season with 16.8 ppg and Ray Gallegos is among the league leaders in 3-point shooting with 2.1 makes from beyond the arc per tilt. Sophomore swingman Shavon Shields has been in the zone as of late with 54 points, 15 rebounds and six steals of the span of his past three games.
Kilpatrick is the second-leading scorer in the AAC with 18.7 points per game and is averaging 2.7 makes from behind the 3-point line per game for the Bearcats. Jackson is netting a double-double with 15.7 points, 11.3 boards and 3.3 blocks per game over his last three, while shooting a red-hot 73.3 percent from the field during that span. Defensively, Cincinnati is one of the best in the nation and has not allowed more than 67 points in a game this season. The Bearcats are very tough in their own building and have gone 48-4 in their past 52 regular season non-league games at Fifth Third Arena.
Nebraska is 0-1 in true road games this season thanks to its loss to Creighton in Omaha. The Cornhuskers will have an even tougher task at hand as they try to dispatch UC in the Queen City. The duo of Jackson and Kilpatrick should be enough to propel the Bearcats to another victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati 74, Nebraska 62
12/28 10:43:02 ET
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