HUSKER MEN’S BASKETBALL: Nebraska Derails Top-Ranked Purdue

LINCOLN—(NU Athletics Jan. 9)—Behind a blistering shooting night from 3-point range, Nebraska stunned No. 1 Purdue, 88-72, Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena,

The Huskers (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) shot 60.9 percent from 3-point range, including five from Keisei Tominanga, who led four Huskers in double figures with 19 points.

The win was just the fourth time Nebraska has knocked off a No. 1 team and first since Feb. 6, 1982. NU had lost its last 11 games against a No. 1 team, although Purdue was the first No. 1 team to play in Lincoln since 2002.

Rienk Mast added 18 points while C.J. Wilcher and Juwan Gary added 16, and 12 points, respectively. Mast help limit reigning national player of the year Zach Edey to 15 points and seven rebounds.  Brice Williams nearly posted a triple double with nine points, 11 rebounds and a career-high nine assists, as Nebraska had 22 assists and just nine turnovers.

Nebraska trailed 28-25 with 4:15 left in the half before taking control of the contest. NU outscored Purdue, 16-2 to close the half, including the final 11 points highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Tominaga and seven straight points from Sam Hoiberg off the bench to give the Huskers a 41-30 halftime lead.

The Huskers would never trail again but had to withstand several Purdue spurts in the second half. The Boilermakers hit eight of their first nine shots after halftime and pulled within 54-52 after an Edey basket with 13:24 remaining.

Nebraska responded a run of its own, as Wilcher scored eight of his 16 points in an 11-0 spurt over the next 1:31 as his second 3-pointer of the run gave NU a 65-52 lead with 11:53 left. Purdue eventually got within 68-62 after a Lance Jones basket, but a Wilcher 3 and a Gary layup stretched the lead to 11 and NU kept the Boilermakers at bay the rest of the night.

Mason Gillis led Purdue (14-2, 3-2) with 16 points off the bench, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range to lead five Boilermakers in double figures.

Nebraska hits the road to continue Big Ten play, taking on Iowa on Friday, Jan. 12 at 8:30 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The game is set to be televised on the Big Ten Network.