(Neb)-Huskers Lose 7th Straight 81-62 At Purdue
By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Nebraska suffered its 7th straight loss as #15 Purdue pulled away late for an 81-62 win at home Saturday night
The Boilermakers (17-6, 10-2 Big Ten) have won 8 straight overall and 14 in a row at home. Carsen Edwards, the Big Ten scoring leader, had 27 points while Grady Eifert added a season-high 16
Thomas Allen made five 3-pointers and matched his season-best with 18 points to lead the Cornhuskers (13-11, 3-10). James Palmer Jr. finished with 17 points for Nebraska, which has lost all 4 of its games since losing Isaac Copeland, 2nd on the team in scoring and rebounding, to a torn ACL in his left knee.
After a sluggish 1st half, all Purdue needed to take control was one quick flurry early in the 2nd half. The 11-3 run gave the Boilermakers a 50-38 lead with 13:41 left and Nebraska got no closer than 8 the rest of the way.
But the game sure didn't follow the expected script. After going nearly a full week between games, the Boilermakers looked sluggish early and the Cornhuskers took advantage.
When Palmer knocked down a 3-pointer with 7 minutes left in the 1st half, Nebraska led 25-21. That's when Purdue cranked up the defensive intensity and allowed just one basket the rest of the half closing on an 8-3 run to take a 33-31 halftime lead.
Nebraska: Clearly, the Cornhuskers aren't the same without Copeland - and their tailspin in his absence shows no sign of abating. Yes, they played hard and managed to hang around against a Big Ten contender Saturday. But when the Boilermakers started making baskets, the Cornhuskers simply couldn't keep up.
Purdue: The Boilermakers have been unbeatable at home this season. But on Saturday, they showed the crowd something else - they can win with grit. Purdue escaped the early struggles by doing the things it has traditionally done best under coach Matt Painter - defend, hustle and find open shooters. It should be enough to keep them climbing in the poll.
Nebraska: Glynn Watson Jr. scored four points after being shut out for the first time since his freshman season Wednesday at Maryland. ... The Cornhuskers had eight turnovers but were outrebounded 39-24. ... Nebraska is 0-7 all-time at Mackey Arena and has lost five of the last six in the series. ... Nebraska shot 38.2 percent from the field.
Purdue: Eifert also had seven rebounds and a career-high four steals while Eastern matched his season-high with 12 points. ... Eastern also grabbed 10 rebounds. ... Purdue's 10-2 mark in conference play is tied for the fifth-best in school history. ... Painter won his 312th game and needs four more to move into the top 10 in Big Ten history.
Nebraska: Will try to end its skid when it heads home Wednesday to face Minnesota.
Purdue: Can make a major statement Tuesday at No. 24 Maryland.
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