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Minnesota vs. Nebraska, 12/5/17

Nebraska center Duby Okeke (0) leads the Huskers in a dance along with Glynn Watson (top right), James Palmer (24) and Jordy Tshimanga (32) after the Huskers upset Minnesota on Dec. 5.

Tuesday's victory over 14th-ranked Minnesota improved Nebraska to 5-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season, well on the way to matching last season's home win total of eight.

It's been a struggle for the Huskers at home since going 15-1 in PBA's inaugural season in 2013-14. In the three seasons following, Nebraska is 28-22 at home and last season went 8-8 in Lincoln, the Huskers' first time not finishing above .500 since moving into their new digs.

If Nebraska wants to make a serious run at postseason play, protecting home court will be a critical piece of the puzzle. Now, with No. 2 Kansas next up at home Dec. 16, Husker coach Tim Miles said his team needs to keep the pressure on no matter who sits on the opposite bench.

"I don't know what our record is, but I know we haven't lost. And I know the next one we have here, we expect to win," Miles said. "And that's saying a lot, especially against that opponent. But that's the mentality. There are no second thoughts."

Special win for Molinari: Tuesday's game likely had a little extra meaning for Nebraska assistant Jim Molinari, who was an assistant at Minnesota under Dan Monson from 2004-2007 and served as interim head coach for part of the 2006-07 season after Monson resigned.

The veteran coach stayed active on Nebraska's bench by sitting among the Huskers players.

"Coach Mo loves Minnesota so much, and the people there, and he's got so many fans. In the pregame show I think I talked about him as much as I talked about the game," Miles said. "It means everything to him."

Getting technical: The late-game scrap that resulted in Minnesota shooting four three throws and then getting the ball came after a lengthy replay monitor review by officials Bo Boroski, Terry Oglesby and Chris Beaver.

According to Miles, there were offsetting technical fouls against Minnesota's Amir Coffey and Nebraska's James Palmer, the two players in the middle of the action.

Nebraska's Jordy Tshimanga picked up a dead-ball technical after officials determined he entered the fray either after the whistle or on the whistle.

Palmer was also given a common foul on the play, and because a dead-ball technical results in two shots and the ball for the opposing team, Minnesota was given possession after four free throws.

All of the lights: For the first time during basketball season, the Huskers used the Husker Lights app during pregame introductions. The app, first used during volleyball season, syncs up fans' smart phones with pregame music. It made for a cool effect, especially with the Stripe the Vault night dividing the Pinnacle Bank Arena stands into sections of red and white.

By the numbers: No. 14 Minnesota is the highest-ranked team to lose to Nebraska since the Husker beat No. 11 Michigan State in East Lansing during the 2015-16 season. … Glynn Watson's nine rebounds were a career high, bettering his previous best of six. His 29 points were three short of his career-high set last season against Iowa. … Minnesota's 68 points were a season low, as were its 32.4 percent shooting and its 31 first-half points. … Nebraska finished with nine blocks in a game for the third time this season, matching its total against Eastern Illinois and North Texas. The nine blocks is the highest total for the Huskers in the Tim Miles era.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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