No. 21 Nebraska wins comfortably, but offensive improvements can make this team even tougher to defend

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Terran Petteway’s first season on the court for Nebraska was a successful one, as he averaged 18.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season and earned first team All-Big Ten honors. However there’s always room for improvement, and for a player who shot 42.6% from the field and 32.7% from three the percentages are what the All-America candidate is looking to boost in 2014-15.

Petteway was productive in No. 21 Nebraska’s 80-61 win over Northern Kentucky Sunday afternoon, scoring 25 points and grabbing six rebounds. Petteway shot 7-for-15 from the field, making six of his nine attempts from beyond the arc, in leading the way for an offensive attack that finished the game with three starters in double figures.

Shavon Shields added 18 points and David Rivers 12, with the latter making all five of his field goal attempts while also grabbing six rebounds. As a team Nebraska shot 47.9% from the field, but the 8-for-22 afternoon from deep is something they’ll need to improve upon especially when considering what those numbers look like without Petteway’s performance. The other Huskers combined to shoot 2-for-13 from beyond the arc, and that is one of two areas where Nebraska will look to improve moving forward.

Nebraska finished the game with just ten assists, breaking even in assist-to-turnover ratio, with Shields and reserve guard Benny Parker being the only players to dish out multiple assists (two apiece). Last season just 42.3% of Nebraska’s made field goals were assisted, one reason why they were ranked in the bottom half of the Big Ten from an efficiency standpoint.

Distribution will be key for players such as Parker, sophomore Tai Webster and freshman Tarin Smith as Nebraska takes on tougher competition heading into Big Ten play. Improvement in that area will make things easier for Nebraska’s primary scoring options, with players such as Petteway becoming even tougher to defend as a result.