LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Fletcher Loyer scored a season-high 22 points and Braden Smith made four free throws in the last 28 seconds of overtime to give No. 4 Purdue a hard-earned 65-62 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Boilermakers (10-0, 2-0 Big Ten) have won two straight to open conference play for the first time since 2017-18.
Zach Edey had 11 points and 17 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season, but his quiet afternoon offensively allowed the Cornhuskers (6-5, 0-2) to keep things close throughout.
Nebraska’s Keisei Tominaga, who had 12 of his 19 points after halftime, tied it 56-all with 9.1 seconds left, and the game went to overtime when Loyer was off the mark with a 3 just before the buzzer.
Tominaga’s lay-up with 14 seconds left in overtime pulled the Huskers to 63-62, but C.J. Wilcher was called for a foul at midcourt and Smith made two free throws to make it a three-point game.
Smith appeared to have lost the ball before Wilcher made contact, drawing boos from the crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska’s Derrick Walker rebounded Sam Griesel’s missed 3 but lost the ball to Smith, securing Purdue’s win.
Walker and Emmanuel Bandoumel added 14 points apiece for the Huskers, and Walker had 10 rebounds.
Purdue: The Boilermakers had to gut this one out as Edey was held to his lowest point total of the season. Edey also was held to his fewest shots, going 5 for 7, in 42 minutes. He blocked seven shots.
Nebraska: The Huskers finished a stretch of three games against ranked opponents, nearly beating their highest-ranked opponent since 2011.
New Nebraska football coach Matt Rhule made a halftime appearance to speak to an enthusiastic crowd chanting “Go Big Red!” as he made his way to halfcourt.
He thanked fans for their support and told them his job is not just another job but a “mission” for him and his staff to return the football program to elite status. He led another round of “Go Big Red!” cheers as he walked off and hugged athletic director Trev Alberts at the tunnel entrance.
Purdue plays Davidson in the Indy Classic in Indianpolis on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Nebraska plays Kansas State in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, Dec. 17.