LINCOLN, Neb. – Terone Johnson scored 18 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures, and the Boilermakers turned back Nebraska’s comeback bid in the second half to defeat the struggling Cornhuskers 65-56 on Wednesday night.
A.J. Hammons added 14 points and eight rebounds, D.J. Byrd scored all 12 of his points in the second half on four three-pointers and Ronnie Johnson had 10 points and six assists as the Boilermakers posted their first Big Ten Conference road win.
Purdue (9-8, 3-2) has won two straight games and five of seven. The Huskers (9-9, 0-5) were playing without senior forward Brandon Ubel for a second straight game.
Shavon Shields had 18 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Tyrance added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Huskers, who cut a 20-point deficit to five in the second half.
The Boilermakers came out on a 15-4 run after halftime to stretch their 28-19 lead to 43-23. Hammons opened with a fadeaway shot in the lane and Byrd followed with a three-pointer, after which he pointed at some hecklers in the Nebraska pep band. Rapheal Davis’ three-point play and another basket by Hammons made it a 20-point game.
The Huskers turned up the defensive pressure and outscored the Boilers 23-8 over a 10-minute stretch to close within 51-46. Purdue coach Matt Painter called two timeouts during the run, but the Huskers kept coming.
Shields’ put-back and Ray Gallegos’ free throws cut the deficit to single digits, and Gallegos’ three-pointer and Andre Almeida’s left-handed hook cut it to 46-40 before Dylan Talley muscled in a shot to get within five.
It looked like Purdue would pull away after Byrd hit his third and fourth three-pointers of the half to make it a nine-point game, but Talley’s inside bucket made it 57-50.