Lincoln, NE (SportsNetwork.com) - Terran Petteway had 25 points, six rebounds and two blocks, helping 21st-ranked Nebraska open its season with an 80-61 win over Northern Kentucky.
Shavon Shields made all four of his field goals and shot a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line, finishing with 18 points for a Cornhuskers program that is ranked in the preseason poll for the first time in 22 years.
"We got some of the nerves out of the guys. We did alright," said Nebraska head coach Tim Miles.
Nebraska (1-0) is coming off its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.
Tayler Persons had 13 points and Anthony Monaco scored 12 for the Norse (0-2), who faced their second straight Big Ten opponent. They lost 62-31 to No. 3 Wisconsin on Friday.
"I thought our energy was tremendous, especially at the start of the game," said Northern Kentucky head coach Dave Bezold. "At Wisconsin, I think the pace of the game had a lot to do with us looking sloppy. Today, I felt like we were really, really competitive and again, I thought we had some very positive things happen out on the floor."
Northern Kentucky scored eight of the game's first 10 points, but Nebraska surged ahead with 25-7 run. Walter Pitchford nailed a 3-pointer to put the Cornhuskers up 27-15 with 9:13 remaining.
The Cornhuskers carried a 45-30 into the break, and they led 65-44 after two Shields free throws midway through the second half.
Nebraska won its 14th consecutive season opener ... David Rivers had 12 points and six rebounds for the Cornhuskers ... The Norse are in their third season in Division I.