HUSKER MEN’S BASKETBALL: Nebraska Comes Up Short In OT, Falls To No. 4 Purdue

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Dec. 10)–Nebraska overcame a 14-point second-half deficit against No. 4 Purdue, but the Boilermakers held off the Huskers in overtime for a 65-62 victory on Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Purdue led 45-31 with 15 minutes left, before Nebraska sprinted out to a 10-0 run, including seven points from Keisei Tominaga to trim the lead to four at 45-41. NU kept chipping away, tying the score at 56 on a 3-pointer from Tominaga with nine seconds left. NU, which held Purdue to one field goal over the last eight-plus minutes of regulation, got one final stop to send it the extra period.

Nebraska, which never led in regulation, took a pair of leads in overtime, the last at 60-59 on a Derrick Walker basket with 1:49 remaining. Purdue would respond as Fletcher Loyer hit a jump to put Purdue ahead 61-60 with 1:30 left.

Loyer led all scorers with 22 points, while NU limited Zach Edey to 11 points, snapping a streak of eight straight 20-point efforts for the 7-foot-4 center. Edey made his presence felt with 17 rebounds and seven blocks.

Nebraska (6-5, 0-2 Big Ten) was within 63-62 after Tominaga’s layup with 14 seconds left, and looked like they had forced a turnover when Braden Smith lost the ball near midcourt, but the official on the baseline called a foul on C.J. Wilcher with 12 seconds left, and Smith made both free throws to stretch the lead to three. The Huskers had one final chance, but Sam Griesel’s 3-pointer was off the mark, and Purdue escaped with a three-point win.

Three Huskers scored in double-figures as Tominaga led the way for Nebraska with 19 points, including four long balls and the game-tying three. Emmanuel Bandoumel and Walker both added 14 points, the sixth double-digit effort this season for each of them. Walker added 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Nebraska held Purdue (10-0, 2-0 Big Ten), which came into the contest leading the nation in offensive efficiency to just 65 points on 39.7 percent shooting and 1.03 points per possession.  The Huskers shot just 31.9 percent from the floor, including 3-of-10 in the extra period.

Nebraska weathered the storm early as Bandoumel erupted for five points after the Boilermakers jumped out to a 5-0 lead. An intense defensive battle saw the two sides squared at nine with 11:58 remaining in the half, with both teams shooting under 40 percent0.

After a 10-4 Purdue run, Juwan Gary and Bandoumel sunk a pair of three-pointers to tie the game at 19 with 7:46 left. The Boilermakers responded by pushing their advantage back to seven after a pair of buckets from Loyer and a put back by Edey. Purdue then embarked on a 10-0 run to grab their first double-digit lead of the half, up 29-19 with just over three minutes remaining. Tominga had the Huskers last five points in the first half, hitting one of Nebraska’s four long balls to trim the lead to 34-24 at the break.

The Huskers hit the road next to take on Kansas State at T-Mobile Arena in Kansas City, Mo. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.