CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Charleston Classic hasn’t been good to Nebraska forward Shavon Shields.
He entered the tournament averaging 17 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 59 percent from the field and 90 percent from the foul line.
“But I need to play better,” the 6-foot-7 sophomore said after Friday’s 87-74 loss to Alabama-Birmingham. “I’ve had off games the last couple of games. I need to get it going again.”
In Thursday’s 96-90 loss to Massachusetts, Shields took seven shots, making two. He finished with 10 points, six rebounds, zero assists and three turnovers.
Against UAB, he went scoreless in the first half. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds, but hit only 4 of 12 shots from the field and 3 of 6 free throws.
One reason for Shields’ dropoff has been Nebraska’s disjointed offense, coach Tim Miles said. The Huskers had six assists against UMass and seven against UAB, a sign of firing shots more often than working for good shots.
“We’ve got some growing pains,” Shields said. “And we’ve got to figure it out soon.”
SEC foe for Huskers
Georgia will be Nebraska’s opponent in Sunday’s seventh-place game at the Charleston Classic at 1:30 p.m. The Bulldogs (1-3) lost 83-81 Friday night to Temple, which hit a 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds left to win.
Georgia, which hadn’t led since it was 14-13, went up 81-80 with less than a minute to go before Temple hit the game-winner.
The Bulldogs’ lone win was over Wofford 72-52. Their other losses were 80-71 to Georgia Tech and 94-82 to Davidson.
Nebraska senior guard Ray Gallegos, who missed most of the second half of Thursday’s game with a knee sprain, was questionable for Friday. But he played 24 minutes against UAB and hit 3 of 5 3-pointers.
“I didn’t expect that at all,” Miles said. “I was stunned when I came out of the locker room and the trainer said, ‘Ray did everything well and I think he can go.’
“It was a pleasant surprise. And it helped.”
Buzz from the bench
Miles praised backups David Rivers and Benny Parker for their hustle in the first half, which sparked a Nebraska rally that led to a 34-31 advantage at halftime.
Rivers, who had four steals Thursday, added three Friday. Parker had three swipes along with two assists and no turnovers. He also helped hold UAB guard Chad Frazier, who scored 32 points, to two in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
“Those guys played with great urgency,” Miles said. “And we got transition offense from their defense. I thought if we could keep the transition going, we’d be OK. We didn’t. And that hurt us.”