Nebraska is now 2-0 in their Italy trip, as the Huskers defeated Silute BC 83-58 on Wednesday in Florence. Junior guard Dachon Burke and senior grad transfer Haanif Cheatham both scored 20 points.
Assistant coach Armon Gates said after the game that it wasn’t a complete effort, but Nebraska was eventually able to pull themselves together.
“We started off sluggish, watching all the shots,” Gates said. “Since we’re so small, everyone has to engage and rebound, put a body on someone. Our switching and talking was bad early but that second group that came in at the start of the game kind of ignited us a little bit.”
It’s not unusual that the team showed some signs of rust, considering that only two players on the roster were on the team last year. Despite having to deal with that adversity, Nebraska now has two big wins, the first two of the Fred Hoiberg era.
“I’m figuring these guys out just how Coach Hoiberg is figuring out what they can do on the court,” Gates said. “…It’s a learning process for everyone. I think we’re all doing a great job.”
The Huskers will take on Silute BC again on Thursday at 11 a.m. central time.
Read the full recap, courtesy of NU Athletic Communications, below:
Florence, Italy – Haanif Cheatham and Dachon Burke had 20 points apiece, as Nebraska improved to 2-0 on the trip with an 83-58 win over Silute BC on Wednesday evening.
While Cheatham and Burke were the only Huskers to finish in double figures, 10 of the 12 players who played got into the scoring column. Despite traveling most of the day and not arriving until Florence until 3 p.m., the Huskers shot well, hitting 10 3-pointers in the win. Matej Kavas added a trio of 3-pointers for nine points, while Samari Curtis added a pair as part of an eight-point effort for the victors.
Nebraska trailed 18-14 midway through the first quarter before Burke and fellow reserves Thorir Thorbjarnarson and Jervay Green, keyed a 14-2 spurt to put the Huskers ahead for good. Thorbjarnarson’s 3-pointer and Burke’s conventional 3-point play gave the Huskers a 20-18 lead before Green’s first bucket capped an 8-0 run to end the first quarter and stake the Huskers a 22-18 lead
The run continued in the opening minutes of the second stanza, as Nebraska scored six of the first eight points to build a 28-20 lead after a pair of Burke baskets. Nebraska eventually stretched the margin to 35-23 after baskets by Cheatham and Shamiel Stevenson forced a Silute timeout with 5:56 left in the half.
Silute, which trailed 39-30 at the break, opened the half with five quick points to trim the Husker lead to 39-25 before Nebraska responded with six straight points of its own, including four by Stevenson, to push the lead back to double digits, at 45-35.
Silute was within 52-42 after a 3-point play before Nebraska rattled off seven straight points, including consecutive dunks by Dalano Burton before Burke’s alley-oop pushed the lead to 17 with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Leading 59-48 after three periods, Cheatham and Burke combined for 11 points in a 15-4 Husker run to push the lead to 22, at 74-52 with just under six minutes remaining after a Green layup. Burke connected on a pair of 3-pointers as part of a run of 10 straight points for the Big Red. The Huskers hit five 3-pointers in the final quarter, as trifectas from Curtis and freshman Charlie Easley pushed the final margin to 25.
The Huskers will be back in action again Thursday with a rematch against BC Silute. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. central.