Maryland vs. Nebraska, 2.6

Nebraska forward Isaiah Roby (15), seen here launching a three-pointer, led the Huskers with 20 points Wednesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

There isn't much point in looking back, whether it's to Nebraska's first game against Minnesota this season, or to where the Huskers were before their seven-game losing streak.

Both teams would prefer to look forward to Wednesday, when the teams will meet at Pinnacle Bank Arena in search of streak-snapping victories.

As Nebraska moves away from a loss to Purdue in which it saw several positives despite the 19-point final margin, the first of three prime opportunities to get back in the win column comes against a Gopher squad seeking to end its own three-game losing streak.

"I think we played just generally harder and executed our stuff better against Purdue than we had in the previous three or four games," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said Tuesday. "That's what you hope is it starts building confidence.

"I think at the end of the day you still want to have a growth mindset, you want to be good, but ... you still need to knock down some W's. That will give you a great deal of confidence."

Nebraska (13-11, 3-10 Big Ten) was a more confident team Dec. 5 at Minnesota, when the Huskers led by double digits with 10 minutes left before being faltering late in an 85-78 loss.

It was an unexpected collapse, not unlike the one that has taken place on a larger scale in Lincoln over the last several weeks.

But there are signs NU may be ready to pull out of the spiral.

Thomas Allen dropped five three-pointers in six attempts against Purdue and will re-enter the starting lineup Wednesday after coming off the bench the previous two games. Glynn Watson saw a three-pointer go in for the first time after missing 18 in a row, and Miles said the senior guard has practiced much better the past couple of days.

"Young people, sometimes you can do it for so long — you go out and play and miss shots, and miss shots, and it does emotionally affect you," Miles said. "And it shouldn't. You'd like it not to. But I think it does sometimes."

Minnesota (16-8, 6-7) has missed its share of shots during its losing streak, scoring 63, 51 and 55 points in those games. The Gophers are just 1-6 in true road games this season, with the only win a 59-52 rock fight at Wisconsin.

While Nebraska is looking for momentum and to try and avoid the play-in round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament, Minnesota is playing for seeding in both the league tournament and the NCAA Tournament.

"Honestly we're two different teams. We were up at their place and kind of gave it away at the end," NU guard James Palmer said. "We're going to keep striving and keep working hard. The end of the season has been coming fast — we know we have to turn the losses to wins to make it to where we want to go."

Miles said after the Purdue loss that once NU's players saw film of the game, they would feel better about their performance. That may have been partially true, the coach admitted Tuesday, but only one thing can truly cure the ills of losing.

"I think you still got to get one in the win column," Miles said. "I don't think there's any other way to say it."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. 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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