Bears hope to claw way past 21st-ranked Cornhuskers

Nov 18, 2014 - 3:47 PM Lincoln, NE ( - The 21st-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers will close out a two-game season-opening homestand at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday night, as they play host to the Central Arkansas Bears.

This marks the last of a three-game road swing for UCA in the Cornhusker State. The Bears were blown out in their opener at Creighton on Friday, 104-77, then endured a similar fate at Nebraska Omaha on Sunday with a 100-75 setback.

Nebraska came into the season with high expectations coming off a 19-win season and its first NCAA Tournament berth in 16 years. The Cornhuskers tipped off the campaign in fine fashion on Sunday with an 80-61 home triumph over Northern Kentucky.

This marks the first-ever meeting between the programs.

UCA has developed a habit in the early going this season by playing well on the offensive end of the court (.451 FG percentage, 76.0 ppg) while finding it difficult to stop its opponent from scoring (.466, 102.0). The fact that it loses several possessions per game with a woeful -21.5 rebounding margin certainly does help. In their latest contests, the Bears shot 19 fewer field goals than Omaha in the 25-point defeat. Mathieu Kamba made the most of his time off the bench with 18 points. Jordan Howard tallied 14 points and seven assists but also turned the ball over six times. Albert Christensson (12 points, seven rebounds), Thatch Unruh (11 points) and Jake Zuilhof (10 points, three blocks) were also solid. Seven players average at least 7.0 ppg through two contests, paced by Howard's 16.5 ppg, although he does so on just 34.5 percent field goal shooting.

After finding itself down by six early in the first half of its opener, Nebraska quickly righted the ship, as it went into halftime with a 45-30 lead before cruising to the 19-point victory. In the well-rounded effort, the Cornhuskers shot 47.9 percent from the field, made eight 3-pointers, had an outstanding night at the free-throw line (26-of-30) and held NKU to only 36.2 percent field goal shooting. Terran Petteway paced the squad with 25 points on 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, a performance that hardly came as a surprise after averaging 18.1 ppg during the 2013-14 season. Shavon Shields was perfect en route to 18 points, shooting 4-of-4 from the floor and 10-of-10 at the foul line. David Rivers rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.

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