MBB: Nebrasketball snatches upset of No. 20 Purdue behind clutch play

Photo by Pat Radigan

Husker Jeriah Horne dunks home two of his 16 points off the bench in Nebraska’s 83-80 win over Purdue.

83

80


Husker Leaders
Tai Webster

15 pts, 8 rebs, 6 asts

Jack McVeigh

21 pts, 3 asts, 3-6 3FG


Story by Pat Radigan

Huskers take the lead on late putback, hold on with defense and free throws to knock off Boilermakers.

Coming into Sunday’s game against No. 20 Purdue, the Huskers frontcourt without Ed Morrow appeared to be exactly where the Boilermakers would apply their pressure.

But despite being short-handed and undersized, it was the combined offense of Jack McVeigh and Jeriah Horne, mixed with key plays by Michael Jacobson on both ends, that helped the Huskers pull off the upset and break a five-game losing streak. Although Nebraska couldn’t keep Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan from posting 14 points and 14 rebounds, NU and Jacobson forced Swanigan into a pair of turnovers with the game on the line to hold off the hot-shooting Boilermaker squad.

McVeigh knocked down 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and made his only two-point attempt, to lead all scorers with 21, while Horne hit a pair of shots from deep to put up 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting in 24 minutes. The boost off the bench added to 15 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for Tai Webster, while Glynn Watson Jr’s 12 points made him the fourth and final Husker in double figures. Both starting guards were also 4-for-4 from the free throw line, with Watson’s four makes coming in the final 1:10 to help NU complete the comeback and then see out the win.

Purdue made the Huskers work for the win with a balance of inside-out production that included five 3-pointers for Dakota Mathias, four makes by Carsen Edwards and three for P.J. Thompson. That barrage from deep combined with 15 points for Swanigan, who missed his next four 3-point attempts after an opening make, and 11 points for 7-foot-2 Isaac Haas to keep Nebraska behind until the final minute.

How it Happened:

Purdue came out of the gates on fire, hitting three 3-pointers to force an NU timeout down 9-2 early. But the home crowd and the Husker bench gave Nebraska the surge it needed to rebound from the deficit and swing back.

After taking the momentum heading into the half, Purdue again started the period with a flurry. Although some at PBA were likely planning on Nebraska keeping things rolling in the second half, the Boilermakers had other plans and kept the pressure on the Huskers as the half wore on.

The good news is that it wasn’t just enough to keep the Huskers in the game: The bench boost gave Nebraska enough to hold on and keep the game close as Purdue found it’s stride and attempted to pull away late. Even Jordy Tshimanga, who was limited in his first career start due to foul trouble, came up with clutch plays before fouling out and leaving Jacobson to deal with Swanigan.

And not only did Jacobson come up with key plays on the defensive end, but the sophomore scored what proved to be NU’s final basket to put the Huskers in the lead for good. Despite a missed free throw by McVeigh, which gave Purdue one last chance to draw even, Nebraska survived when the Boilermaker’s final 3-point try clanged off the rim.

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