Published Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm / Updated at 12:41 am
BASKETBALL
Gallegos, Biggs strong in Husker win

LINCOLN — Ray Gallegos and Deverell Biggs didn't waste any time Sunday making up for lost time with the Nebraska basketball team.

The two guards, who sat out the first two games for disciplinary reasons, were the Huskers' leading scorers in an 83-57 victory against South Carolina State in front of 10,974 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Gallegos had 18 points, hitting 6 of 10 3-pointers. The type of shot for the 6-foot-2 senior was no surprise. Last year, he drilled 83 3s, six short of the single-season school record.

It was where the 3s came from that pleased NU coach Tim Miles.

“We got him shots I know he can make,” Miles said. “Last year, we had to run him off so many actions. He's a spot-up jump shooter with good elevation, and those were most of the shots he took today.”

Biggs, a former three-time All-Nebraska player at Omaha Central, scored 17 points in his first game since March 2012 at a Kansas junior college, the second of two juco stops on his way to Division I.

Sitting at the interview table with “Nebraska” written across the front of his jersey brought a big smile from the 6-foot junior.

“I'm blessed to come out here and showcase what God gave me,” Biggs said. “It's been a long road, a lot of ups and downs, a lot of places I've played at. I'm just happy to be here and play in front of my home state.”

Miles is happy to have an electric playmaker to plug into the lineup.

“Dev is a home run hitter,” the coach said. “Home run hitters strike out some, too. But you'd rather have a guy like that who can go out and make plays.

“If he plays with defensive discipline, you can live with some of those (offensive) mistakes. He played a lot of minutes, and we still only turned the ball over five times, which is a real concern about inserting him into the lineup.”

Biggs, in 23 minutes, played turnover free, had two assists, grabbed three rebounds, hit 5 of 10 shots and drew enough fouls to shoot 10 free throws.

“I can pretty much shoot 10 or 12 free throws a game,” he said. “I feel I'm that physical going to the rim.”

He took one 3-pointer, making it.

“I didn't showcase my shot today,” Biggs said. “I just wanted to get to the rim. It's kind of hard to scout me because I can do a lot of things. I can do a lot more than I did tonight.”

Despite the 26-point margin of victory for Nebraska (3-0), the game wasn't a total romp.

South Carolina State (1-3), with its lone win in double overtime against an NAIA school, was down 39-31 at halftime, then cut its deficit to 40-35 with 18:21 to play. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school stayed in the eight- to 10-point range for the next four minutes before the Huskers broke away.

Gallegos and Biggs, who both came off the bench, scored their 35 points on a combined 21 shots. The starting five took 23 shots. Starters Tai Webster (13 points) and Shavon Shields (10) reached double figures in scoring, as did backup forward Leslee Smith (12).

Some early frontcourt foul trouble and Webster's focus more on distributing than shooting led to Biggs and Gallegos getting extra shots, Mile said.

“I think we're going to figure it out,” he said. “We've got a lot of room to grow, especially physicality inside defensively.”

South Carolina State outrebounded Nebraska 42-36, but committed 16 turnovers to NU's five.

Gallegos said getting back in the flow wasn't much of an adjustment.

“In the first half, it seemed like a lot of players were just trying to get shots for themselves,” he said. “The second half, we all figured it out and started clicking and sharing the ball.”

* * *

Video: Nebraska basketball highlights

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht

lee.barfknecht@owh.com    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

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