Early in the first half Sunday night, Tim Miles watched Creighton jump on his Huskers in the first few minutes. It was layup after layup and Miles thought his team was down at least 13-3.
He gazed up at the scoreboard: 22-3.
“I’m just like, ‘Holy cow,’” Miles said. “It just didn’t feel like that as a coach. I thought we were closer but we weren’t.”
Nebraska was crushed by its in-state rival Creighton 82-67 on Sunday, derailing the Huskers from their three-game win streak and dropping them to 6-3 in their first nine games of the season and leaving the Huskers with more questions than answers.
“I apologize to our fans,” Miles said in his post-game radio show. “You have to credit Creighton. They kicked our tails.”
That would be putting it lightly. Creighton jumped out to a 22-3 lead and didn’t stop from there. The Bluejays led 51-25 at the half, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and 7-16 from 3-point range.
“It escalated in a hurry,” Miles said in his post-game press conference.
Creighton’s All-American Doug McDermott did as he pleased and had 11 points in the game’s first five minutes. He nearly tied all the Huskers in the first, finishing with 17 points in the half. He had 33 for the game.
Creighton also held Nebraska to just 9-of-30 shooting in the first half and 1-12 from 3-point range, as Nebraska shot an abysmal 30 percent from the floor.
“We couldn’t play much better than we played to start the game,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “In my wildest dreams, I didn’t envision a start like that.”
Nebraska did its best in the second half but hardly made it a game. Miles told his team at halftime to try and get the lead down to 15 by the 10-minute mark, which it failed to do. The Huskers did win the second half 42-31, but still fell hard 82-67.
“I’m glad our kids fought back, but I don’t believe that winning the second half is that big of a deal,” Miles said.
Just as Miles thought he had found a starting lineup that worked, a lineup that led Miami by 9 at the half and finished the game up 11, the Huskers lost badly. Miles has switched the starting line up four times this season.
The only positives that came out of the trip to Omaha were Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway, who accounted for 43 of Nebraska’s 67 points. Shields led Nebraska in scoring with 22 points and 7-13 shooting with 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and Petteway scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half.
“I thought Terran and Shavon were really on the attack,” Miles said.
Without Shields and Petteway, the rest of the team accounted for 24 points on 8-of-27 shooting from the floor. Of the seven players who played besides Shields and Petteway, only one made a 3-point shot.
“I like what Creighton did a lot better than what we did,” Miles said. “They played great. They moved the ball. That’s a good team. Greg has a team of a lifetime.”
Nebraska will have some time to try and pick up the pieces, its next game a home matchup with Arkansas State (5-2) on Dec. 14. Arkansas State is coming off of a 86-61 win over Niagara on Dec. 2.