The Purdue Boilermakers hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Jan. 12 at Mackey Arena, in a battle to get on track in Big Ten men's basketball.
Both teams entered the contest winless in the Big Ten, with Purdue's two conference losses, by a combined 12 points, to No. 3-ranked Ohio State (78-69) and Minnesota (82-79). The young Boilermakers looked poised and consistent, holding off Nebraska for a 70-64 win.
Despite eight lead changes and five ties, Purdue seemed to respond to each Nebraska advance throughout the game. The Boilermakers built on a 35-32 halftime spread, to get hot in the second half with 61 percent shooting from the field.
Purdue's A.J. Hammons lead the way with 18 points and 4 key shot blocks. Ronnie Johnson added 14 points, despite 4-10 from the freethrow line. Johnson's 2 assists gives him 200 for his career.
Nebraska's team scoring leader, Terran Petteway, held his own with a team-high 19 points. The team led in points in-the-paint (36-32), off turnovers (13-10), second chance (11-4) and off fast breaks (4-2), but couldn't keep pace with the Boilermakers.
Purdue head coach, Matt Painter, recapped, "I thought we played our best basketball at the end of the game." He also noted the team's struggle from the line. "We missed some free throws... left some points out there." Poor free throw shooting (12-23 second half) was just enough to secure the win.
Purdue (11-5, 1-2 BT) travels to Illinois (13-4, 2-2 BT) on January 15. Nebraska (8-8, 0-4 BT) faces Ohio State (15-2, 2-2 BT) on January 20.