Nebraska shoots for its first 2-0 start in four years when it hosts in-state foe Omaha in a nonconference game Thursday night in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers won their season opener Monday for only the second time in the last four years, beating Maine 79-66 behind 22 points from newcomer Sam Griesel. The North Dakota State transfer was 8 of 12 from the field, adding nine rebounds and three assists, while scoring 18 in the second half.

“My whole career I always try to let the game come to me, and I felt that my role is to do whatever I can to help the team win,” said Griesel, who is two points shy of 1,000 for his career.

Nebraska had 16 offensive rebounds against Maine, its most since the 2020-21 opener. Last season, Nebraska averaged 7.3 offensive rebounds while going 10-22.

Omaha opened play with an 89-64 loss at No. 5 Kansas, leading early on the road and trailing by only seven in the second half before youth caught up to the Mavericks.

“We’re a young basketball team, in a place like this and it kind of caught up to us, the pace kind of caught up to us and no doubt about it the physicality caught up to us,” Omaha coach Chris Crutchfield said.

The Mavericks shot 38.6 percent but had four players in double figures, including 13 points from junior college transfer guard Jaeden Marshall.

Omaha, picked to finish ninth in the 10-team Summit League, will be playing the second of five power-conference opponents this season. Since moving up from Division II in 2011-12, it has three wins over power foes, most recently in 2019 at Washington State.

Nebraska beat the Mavericks at home in 2012 and 2014, but began last season with a home loss to fellow Summit team Western Illinois and also fell to North Dakota in 2019.

–Field Level Media