LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska's Terran Petteway missed everything with an ill-advised shot from the wing but, thanks to an errant outlet pass, the ball ended up right back in his hands.
With no hesitation he launched a 3-pointer that swished through the hoop and left coach Tim Miles shaking his head. Assistant coach Chris Harriman remarked to Miles, ''Well, he doesn't lack confidence.''
No, he sure doesn't.
Petteway scored 25 points, making six 3s, to lead the 21st-ranked Cornhuskers to an 80-61 victory over Northern Kentucky on Sunday.
Petteway took nearly twice as many shots as any of his teammates, making 7 of 15. That bad shot-good shot sequence in the second half summed up his afternoon.
''You take a bad shot like that and get the ball right back? That's a good day,'' he said.
Shavon Shields had 11 of his 18 points in the second half and made all 10 of his free throws. David Rivers added 12 points.
Freshman Tayler Persons led the Norse with 13 points. Anthony Monaco, averaging 2.5 points in 51 career games, matched his career high with 12, all on 3-pointers.
The Atlantic Sun's Northern Kentucky (0-2) lost its opener 62-31 at third-ranked Wisconsin on Friday and was outscored by a combined 50 points by the Big Ten opponents.
''Those two teams are both real good, but they're really different,'' Norse coach Dave Bezold said. ''Wisconsin, they want to slow you down with defense. You're playing and you think you're close and you look up and you're down by 20 points.
''Nebraska, they get after you. They're quick off the ball, they come at you hard on both ends. They've got guys that are skilled and they don't quit. They hit us in bunches, and when they got going, they're hard to deal with.''
Nebraska, ranked for the first time since January 1995, trailed by six points in the first four minutes. The Huskers used a 25-7 run to take a double-digit lead that grew to 22 in the second half.
Nebraska: The Huskers have won 14 straight openers and 21 of their past 23. Petteway's first dunk came on a fast-break alley-oop pass from Benny Parker late in the first half. Nebraska held a 22-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
Northern Kentucky: The Norse scored 30 points in the first half, one fewer than their program record-low game total against Wisconsin. They outrebounded Nebraska 36-33, including 15-6 on the offensive end. The Norse were 11 of 21 on free throws after going 1 of 5 from the line against Wisconsin.
Nebraska freshman point guard Tarin Smith was impressive in his debut. He played 16 minutes off the bench, scoring six points and making a nice pass to Petteway on the wing for a 3-pointer. ''He's fitting in pretty good,'' Petteway said. ''He got a lot of minutes today, which is going to help him build his confidence for these games we've got coming up. I'm excited to see him in the rotation a little bit more.''
Nebraska hosts Central Arkansas on Tuesday.
Northern Kentucky hosts North Carolina A&T on Wednesday.