Not every layup is created equal.
Some are wide open. Some are challenged. Some are tougher than others.
But when a team misses 15 of them, it doesn't really matter the degree of difficulty.
A stone-cold offense, fueled largely by Nebraska's inability to finish at the rim, paved the way for Wisconsin's 62-51 win in front of 11,482 Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Huskers' first game without the injured Isaac Copeland.
The loss was Nebraska's fourth in a row, dropping the reeling Huskers to 13-8 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten as the conference schedule reached its halfway point.
"The greatest part about college basketball is that you're never fully out of time. You can always make a run. And there's a lot of equity in this league," NU coach Tim Miles said. "So we're not out of time. There's 10 more league games. You guys get to ask me a lot more questions on more difficult nights than tonight, even. Let's hope there are a few better times, too."
Nebraska finished an astounding 9-for-24 on layups, according to the in-arena statistics. Miles' numbers were even worse: He had the Huskers 9-for-27. NU missed seven free throws.
It added up to a statistical oddity of a loss — Nebraska outrebounded Wisconsin 45-37, including 18-8 on the offensive glass. The Huskers made more free throws (13) than the Badgers attempted (11). They held Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Ethan Happ to 10 points, nine below his season average.
But NU's worst shooting night in more than one year was the difference. Tuesday marked the first time since Dec. 3, 2017, that the Huskers shot worse than 30 percent from the floor, and their 17 made shots tied a 2018-19 season low.
NU was just 7-for-30 from the floor (23 percent) in the first half.
"It's kind of like we're starting over, in a sense, because we lose a key player like Copeland," Isaiah Roby said. "It's kind of like starting the season — you don't know where you're going to be at, you don't know where you're going to find shots."
James Palmer finished 5-for-19 from the floor in scoring 14 points. Glynn Watson finished with a season-low five points on 2-for-10 shooting, including 0-for-5 from three-point range.
The Huskers fell behind 23-9 13 minutes into the game, and Wisconsin ended the contest with a 25-11 run over the final 12:03. Nebraska shot 28 percent (17-for-60) from the field and went 4-for-20 from three-point range in addition to its struggles in the paint.
Still, NU fought. After falling behind 23-9, the Huskers outscored Wisconsin 23-9 to knot the game at 32 early in the second half. They took a 40-37 lead on Thomas Allen's three-pointer with 12:03 left.
Then Wisconsin's Charles Thomas, 2-for-7 from three-point range on the season and averaging less than six minutes of playing time per game, buried a three about 30 seconds later to tie the game again.
Wisconsin didn't trail the rest of the way.
Roby led Nebraska with 18 points and nine rebounds. Thomas Allen had 10 points and four rebounds. Thorir Thorbjarnarson came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 rebounds.
Brad Davison led No. 24 Wisconsin (15-6, 7-3) with 13 points. Nate Reuvers scored 10.
"You gotta take it day-by-day. We knew this conference season was going to be tough, even with a full team, and we knew early on when we dropped those games we gave away that we were going to have to make up for it," Roby said. "And our schedule's not getting any easier, so we've just got to take it day-by-day and keep competing."