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No. 3 Purdue has little trouble bouncing Nebraska

Jan 13, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA;  Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Emmanuel Bandoumel (25) reaches for a ball in the hands of Purdue Boilermakers guard Ethan Morton (25) during the first half at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman guard Fletcher Loyer scored a season-high 27 points to help No. 3 Purdue to a 73-55 win over visiting Nebraska in a Big Ten Conference game Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind.

Loyer was 8 of 15 from the field and hit six 3-pointers and as the Boilermakers (16-1, 5-1 Big Ten) won the 1,900th game in program history, the 11th Division I school to reach that milestone. It was also the 400th win at Purdue for coach Matt Painter, who is in his 18th season.

Purdue won easily despite a quieter-than-normal night from 7-foot-4 junior Zach Edey, who began the night as the Big Ten scoring leader at 21.9 points per game. Edey had 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting but still recorded his ninth straight double-double and 14th of the season with 13 rebounds along with four blocks.

Nebraska (9-9, 2-5) was without two starters, as guard Sam Griesel was out due to a hip injury and wing Juwan Gary missed the contest due to a shoulder injury suffered in the first half of Tuesday’s home loss to Illinois.

Sophomore Wilhelm Breidenbach and freshman Denim Dawson both made their first career starts, with neither scoring while missing a combined nine shots.
The Cornhuskers did get 19 points from Derrick Walker and 16 from Keisei Tominaga, who had 19 in an overtime loss to Purdue in December.

Purdue led 35-24 at the break, finishing the first half on a 6-0 run, then scored the first 11 points of the second half.

The Boilermakers went the first 10-plus minutes of the game without making a 2-point basket but still had a comfortable 15-4 lead thanks to five 3-pointers, four by Loyer. Nearly all of Nebraska’s offense early was from Walker, who started 6 of 7 while the rest of the Cornhuskers were 1 for 10.

Walker’s trey with 5:27 left in the first half pulled Nebraska to within 21-15. It came during a run of the Cornhuskers making six straight shots, but they couldn’t get closer than 29-24 with 2:23 to go before the break.

Nebraska heads home to host Ohio State on Wednesday, while Purdue visits Michigan State on Monday.

–Field Level Media