The only meeting of the season between Nebraska and Northwestern will happen a day later than originally scheduled when the Big Ten programs clash on Wednesday night in Lincoln, Neb.
A change was needed to accommodate one of two games Northwestern had to reschedule after COVID-19 issues within the program forced the Wildcats to postpone two Big Ten games last week. The first of those contests was made up Monday, with Northwestern (13-5, 4-3 Big Ten) notching a 66-63 home win over Wisconsin.
“It wasn’t the prettiest at times,” said Northwestern coach Chris Collins of his team’s first game in eight days and its first win since Jan. 8, snapping a two-game skid. “Obviously we’ve got a quick turnaround. It’s gonna be another tough test here in 48 hours.”
Northwestern senior guard Boo Buie had 20 points in the victory, his fifth 20-point game of the season and third in the past four contests. He added five assists and matched his career high with seven rebounds.
Nebraska (10-10, 3-6) has dropped three of its past four games, including a 76-65 setback Saturday at Penn State in which it never led. The Cornhuskers were once again without wing Juwan Gary, who will miss the rest of the season due to a left shoulder injury that needs surgical repair.
Now another starter is out for the year, too. Senior guard Emmanuel Bandoumel, an SMU transfer who was averaging 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, sustained a knee injury early against the Nittany Lions.
“I am heartbroken for Emmanuel to have his college career end this way,” Hoiberg said. “I’ve said all season that Emmanuel is one of the best defenders in the country, and he impacts the game in so many ways beyond the measurables.”
Nebraska allowed 11 3-pointers to Penn State, the eighth Cornhuskers opponent to make 10 or more treys this season.
Northwestern has won six in a row over Nebraska, including three victories last season. The Cornhuskers’ last win in the series came in February 2019.
The Wildcats have already matched last year’s road win total, sitting at 3-1 this season after posting a 3-8 away mark in 2021-22.