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11:00 AM PT12:00 PM MT1:00 PM CT2:00 PM ET7:00 PM GMT3:00 PM 北京时间12:00 PM MST2:00 PM EST, Dec 22, 2018
Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska  Attendance: 15,088

No. 25 Nebraska hosts struggling Cal State Fullerton

If Nebraska can duplicate last season's 22 wins, including 13 in the Big Ten, it likely won't get left out of the NCAA Tournament this time.

But getting 13 wins against an improved conference will be the tricky part for Nebraska, which split its first two Big Ten games.

First, however, the No. 25 Cornhuskers have two more games to finish out the nonconference schedule. They host Cal State Fullerton on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

At the Big Ten's media day in October, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo blamed the league for Nebraska's exclusion last March.

"Shame on us," Izzo said. "That means we all did a bad job, if you ask me."

The Cornhuskers, who lacked impressive nonconference wins last season, won't have that problem when the tournament committee convenes this March.

In addition to Sunday's 79-56 rout of Oklahoma State, Nebraska (9-2) has wins over Seton Hall, Clemson and Creighton.

The Huskers' win over the Cowboys took place at what was technically a neutral site but felt like a home game.

Nebraska faithful packed the 3,250-seat Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"I was really happy to bring the team up to such a strong fan base, and the fans were just awesome," Nebraska coach Tim Miles told the Lincoln Journal Star. "And I'm sure there's a lot that weren't Pinnacle Bank Arena people -- they're locals or Nebraskans or Iowans or whatever that love Nebraska, and it was really a lot of fun."

James Palmer Jr., the Cornhuskers' leading scorer, had 29 points and is now 9 for 11 on 3-point attempts in the past two games.

"It was an exciting crowd. It basically sounded like a home game for us," Palmer said. "Nebraska fans really came out to support us."

Thomas Allen, one of several Cornhuskers who battled illness last week, stayed behind when the team bus left for Sioux Falls on Saturday. But the sophomore met the team around midday on Sunday and scored 14 points, with two assists and two steals.

"It showed he got heart and that he's about the team," Palmer said, according to the Omaha World-Herald. "He definitely helped us out tonight."

Cal State Fullerton (3-8) comes in with a three-game losing streak. The Titans have just one win over a Division I opponent (Monmouth) this season.

While the recent losses have come against three of the better teams in the West Coast Conference this season -- Loyola Marymount, Saint Mary's and San Francisco -- Titans coach Dedrique Taylor said his team expects to win when it hits the floor.

"We've got to continue to fight," Taylor said on the team's Twitter page. "There's no such thing as moral victories. We've got to fight."

Nebraska hosts Division II Southwest Minnesota State on Dec. 29 before resuming Big Ten play Jan. 2 at Maryland. The Huskers are 1-1 in Big Ten play.

Updated December 21, 2018

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