Glynn Watson, Jr. scored 19 points to lead Nebraska, which led by as many as 72, over cold-shooting Mississippi Valley State 106-37 Tuesday.
The 69-point victory margin was Nebraska’s largest at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The 106 points were the most the Huskers have scored at the five-year-old arena and the 37 points the fewest scored by a Nebraska opponent there.
Nebraska held the outmanned Delta Devils to just one field goal in the game’s first 10 minutes, using a 21-3 run to take a 24-5 lead on Thorir Thorbjarnarson’s fast break layup with 11:01 left in the first half. The Huskers shot 63 percent in the game’s first 9 minutes.
Mississippi Valley State made only three field goals in the first half, shooting just nine percent over the long, athletic Huskers. The Delta Devils reached double digits in scoring at the 5:07 mark on a layup by Dante Scott, their last basket of the period. MVSU’s 13 points tied a Pinnacle Bank Arena record for the fewest points scored in a half.
The MVSU cold shooting continued in the second half, missing their first four shots as Nebraska went 8-0 and took a 63-13 on Palmer’s dunk with 17:39 left. The Delta Devils hit just 13 of 68 shots in the game, 19 percent, a Pinnacle Bank Arena opponent record low.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles said he thought his team played well, despite the lop-sided nature of the game.
“I thought the guys respected the game, played hard throughout the game,” Miles said. “I thought Glynn was really good, James Palmer put up a great line…I thought we did a lot of things right tonight. Sometimes after a game like this you don’t feel good, whatever. But I thought our guys just hung in there and kept doing the right things for a long time.”
On the other side, Mississippi Valley State coach Andre Payne said he could find little good with the Delta Devils’ performance.
“There wasn’t a whole lot that I liked from today,” Payne said. “Tonight was a reality check. These guys are really that good, they’re really that tall, they’re really that long, they’re really that athletic and they really shoot it that well… We have to learn that we have to be 10 times smarter. Play 10 times harder. Make 10 times less mistakes in order for us to compete.”
Also scoring in double figures for Nebraska were Nana Akenten with 18 points, James Palmer, Jr with 17 points and Isaac Copeland with 10 points. Jordan Evans led Mississippi Valley State with 12 points. Scott had 10 for the Delta Devils.
Nebraska won its 18th straight season opener and 28th straight home season opener. The Huskers last season-opening loss came at Oral Roberts in 1990.
The margin of victory was the second largest in Nebraska history. The largest was 74 in a game against Crete in 1907.
Mississippi Valley State returns three starters from last year’s 4-28 team, aiming to build around the 3-point shooting of seniors Scott and Evans.
Nebraska hosts Southeastern Louisiana Sunday in the second game of the Lincoln regional round of the Hall of Fame Classic.
Mississippi Valley State will face Texas Tech in Lubbock Friday in the second of five consecutive road games to open the season.
–Top-ranked Kansas has opened its men’s basketball schedule by taking Game 1 of the Champions Classic at Indianapolis. Quentin Grimes scored 21 points in his college debut and the Jayhawks took a 44-27 halftime lead before holding off No. 10 Michigan State, 92-87. Dedric Lawson added 20 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas, which took control with a 13-3 run that put the Jayhawks ahead, 30-17. The Spartans trailed by double-digits much of the game before a late charge got them within 90-87 with 34 seconds left. Michigan State promptly missed a free throw and a layup in the closing moments. Joshua Langford’s 18 points paced the Spartans.
— Game 2 of the Champions Classic was a blowout as fourth-ranked Duke clobbered No. 2 Kentucky, 118-84. Freshmen RJ Barrett, Zion Williams and Cam Reddish had a combined 89 points for the Blue Devils, who handed coach John Calipari his most lopsided defeat at Kentucky. Barrett finished with 33 points and Williamson added 28 as both surpassed the Marvin Bagley III’s program record for points by a freshman in his debut. Keldon Johnson scored a team-high 23 points and transfer Reid Travis had 22 for the Wildcats.
— Rui Hachimura scored 33 points and Zach Norvell had 23 as third-ranked Gonzaga ripped Idaho State, 120-79. The Zags led 37-29 before going on a 10-2 run over the course of 1:28.
— Fifth-ranked Virginia rolled to a 73-42 rout of Towson behind Ty Jerome’s 20 points. Jerome made six 3-pointers for the Cavaliers, while De’Andre Hunter added 13 points and 10 boards.
— No. 6 Tennessee had no trouble with Lenoir-Rhyne as Jordan Bone dropped in 18 points and Kyle Alexander had 16 in the Vols’ 86-41 thumping of the Bears. Tennessee scored the first 19 points of the second half.
— Caleb Martin scored all 21 of his points in the second half of seventh-ranked Nevada’s 86-70 win against BYU. Jordan Caroline tied a career high with 16 rebounds and led all players with 25 points.
— Cameron Johnson hit five 3-pointers while contributing 17 points and eight rebounds in No. 8 North Carolina’s 78-67 victory against Wofford. Luke Maye had 24 points and Garrison Brooks added 20 as the Tar Heels avenged last season’s loss to the Terriers.
— The defending national champions won their opener as Eric Paschall (PAS’-kul) poured in 26 points and Phil Booth contributed 17 in ninth-ranked Villanova’s 100-77 pounding of Morgan State. Paschall made his first six baskets and scored 19 points in the first half.
— No. 11 Auburn hammered South Alabama, 101-58 as Jared Harper had 20 points, 13 assists and six 3-pointers.
— Payton Pritchard’s 22 points carried No. 14 Oregon to an 84-57 thrashing of Portland St.
— Oshae Brissett had 20 points and No. 16 Syracuse held Eastern Washington to 22 percent shooting in a 66-34 stifling of the Eagles.
— P.J. Savoy nailed five 3-pointers on his way to 20 points in 17th-ranked Florida State’s 81-60 win over Florida.
— No. 19 Michigan whipped Norfolk State, 63-44 as Jon Teske furnished 13 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in John Beilein’s 800th career coaching victory.
— No. 21 UCLA opened its 100th season by riding Kris Wilkes’ career-high 27 points to a 96-71 rout of Fort Wayne.
— Marcquise Reed had 20 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as No. 22 Clemson cruised past The Citadel, 100-80.
— Naz Reid provided 17 points to lead six players in double figures in No. 23 LSU’s 94-63 whipping of Southeastern Louisiana.
— Carsen Edwards drained seven 3-pointers and contributed 30 points to lead 24th-rated Purdue to a 90-57 romp over Fairfield.
— Noah Dickerson scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to help No. 25 Washington rally from a nine-point, halftime deficit to beat Western Kentucky, 73-55.