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December 21, 2010

Huskers make it eight in a row with win over GSU

The wins keep on piling up for Nebraska, as it cruised to a 79-39 win over Grambling State on Tuesday for its eighth straight victory of the season.

The winning streak marks the Huskers' longest since the 1994-95 season, as they also improved to 10-2 on the year for the first time since 2003-04 and are now off to their best start in 16 seasons.

Sophomore guard Ray Gallegos came off the bench to score a game- and career-high 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while sophomore forward Jorge Brian Diaz followed up with 14 points on another 7-of-10 night shooting.

All together, 12 different Huskers scored in the game, as NU has now held its past eight opponents to less than 60 points during the winning streak. Grambling State (2-9 overall), which has now dropped five of its past six games, shot just 25 percent from the field and made only 2-of-24 3-point attempts en route to its lowest scoring output of the season.

"I think more than anything you could tell that Grambling State has been off for 10 days," head coach Doc Sadler said. "The team that we saw on tape against Vanderbilt and North Texas was not the same team that came in here. I think we had a little to do with that. Defensively, I thought we were good except for the first four minutes of the second half when we gave up three or four offensive rebounds."

Things couldn't have started off much better for the Huskers, as they jumped out to an 18-3 lead to open the game while holding the Tigers to just one field goal through the first 8 minutes of the first half.

While Grambling struggled to do anything right offensively to start the game, Nebraska took advantage of several Tiger mistakes and went on to outscore GSU 42-12 in the paint and got 47 points from its bench, including nine points from junior center Andre Almeida.

Things kept on rolling in the second half, as Nebraska outscored Grambling 42-21 the rest of the way and held the Tigers without a field goal for the final 5:42 of the game.

"Once you hit a couple shots, for anybody who can shoot, they'll be able to knock consecutive shots down," said Gallegos, who put up his first double-digit scoring performance of the year. "For me, I just haven't been able to get going. Hopefully, it's coming back. Today I shot the ball pretty well."

Sophomore guard Eshaunte Jones had seven points and a game-high seven rebounds for NU, which appears to be well on pace to end up 12-2 heading into the start of its Big 12 Conference schedule opener against Iowa State on Jan. 9.

In his second game as a Husker, redshirt sophomore center Christopher Niemann had two points and four rebounds, while guards Toney McCray and Drake Beranek both added six points off the bench.

Guard Peter Robinson led Grambling with 12 points, though he was the only Tiger to score in double figures.

Nebraska won't return to action again until after the New Year when it plays host to North Dakota on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 1 p.m.

"Going into Christmas, you've got to be very proud of this team," Sadler said. "To be 10-2 right now, I would've taken that before the season started. This basketball team, from December 27 to January 7, has to become a really good team, and I think we can."



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