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Nebraska rolls over Zach Edey, No. 1 Purdue to grab dominant 88-72 upset win

January 10th, 2024

Zach Edey and the top-ranked Boilermakers have stumbled in the Big Ten once again.

Nebraska flew ahead in the second half and knocked off No. 1 Purdue 88-72 on Monday night. It marked Purdue’s second loss to an unranked team in the Big Ten already this season, and Nebraska’s first over a No. 1 team since 1982.

Naturally, that led to a wild celebration at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

After what was a tight first half most of the way, Nebraska went into the locker room powered by a huge run from Sam Hoiberg. The Huskers closed the period on a 13-0 run, seven of which belonged to Hoiberg, to grab an 11-point lead at halftime.

Hoiberg, the son of coach Fred Hoiberg, finished with nine points on the night.

While that run was big, it was what Nebraska did defensively that truly made the difference. They shut down Edey almost completely in the first half. The reigning National Player of the Year was held to just two points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes.

Though Purdue cut the game back to a single point quickly in the second half, that was as close as they got. Nebraska then ripped off a quick 8-0 run, capped by another Hoiberg steal and layup, to get back up by double digits.

They kept Purdue at arms length pretty much the rest of the way, thanks largely to a trio of clutch 3-pointers from C.J. Wilcher. While Fletcher Loyer cut it back to seven points with a 3-pointer late, Keisi Tominaga hit one of his own and sent Nebraska into the under-4 timeout with a 10 point lead again.

From there, Nebraska simply held on to take the 16-point win.

Edey finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in the loss for Purdue. Mason Gillis added 16 points off the bench, and Loyer finished with 13 points.

The Boilermakers have now lost twice to unranked teams in conference play so far this season. They lost to Northwestern in overtime in December right after they jumped to No. 1 in the national rankings. Purdue has had no issue getting past ranked opponents this year. The Boilermakers rolled through the Maui Invitational in November, where they beat Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette, and then they beat Arizona last month. They beat No. 9 Illinois last week, too.

Purdue’s loss marked the second major upset in college basketball on Tuesday night after Iowa State handed No. 2 Houston its first loss of the season in Ames. It’s the first time since last season that both a No. 1 and No. 2 team lost in the same day, though the top six teams lost on that day last year. With both losses on Tuesday, it should pave the way for No. 3 Kansas to jump to No. 1 in the rankings next week. Purdue will host Penn State next on Saturday. They won’t play a ranked opponent again until traveling to Madison to play No. 15 Wisconsin on Feb. 4.

Tominaga led Nebraska with 19 points in the win. He shot 5-of-9 from behind the arc, and was one of seven players to make a 3-pointer. Rienk Mast added 18 points, and Wilcher added 16 points off the bench.

Nebraska has now won six of its last seven games. The Huskers had won five in a row before falling to No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday. The win on Tuesday night was its first over a ranked opponent all season, and will go a long way come March when it comes to their NCAA tournament resume. Nebraska is set to take on Iowa next on Friday.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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