NCAA Basketball

Nebraska beats No. 1 Purdue for first win over top-ranked team in 41 years

Nebraska last defeated a No. 1 team 41 years ago, when it beat Missouri 67-51


LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – JANUARY 9: Rienk Mast #51 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers scores over Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena on January 9, 2024 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Keisei Tominaga scored 19 points to lead Nebraska, which opened up an 11-point halftime lead then held off two second half surges to upset No. 1 Purdue 88-72 on Tuesday night.

Nebraska (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) last defeated a No. 1 team 41 years ago, when it beat Missouri 67-51. The Huskers last win over a No. 1 in Lincoln was a 74-73 victory over Michigan in 1962.

Purdue (14-2, 3-2 Big Ten) hit its first four 3-pointers of the second half as it sliced Nebraska's 41-30 halftime lead to 51-50 on Braden Smith’s free throws with 13:51 left. But the Huskers countered with a 14-2 run to go up by 13 on CJ Wilcher’s 3-pointer with 11:52 remaining.

The Boilermakers surged again, cutting the Nebraska lead to 68-62 on Lance Jones’ driving layup with 9:09 left. The Huskers responded with a 3-pointer by Wilcher that started a 20-10 game-ending run.

Nebraska built its halftime lead by holding Purdue scoreless for the final 3 1/2 minutes of the first half, scoring 13 unanswered in a run that began with two 3-pointers by Tominaga and ended with seven straight from Sam Hoiberg.

Reink Mast had 18 points for Nebraska, Wilcher scored 16 and Juwan Gray finished with 12.

Mason Gillis led Purdue with 16 points, Zach Edey had 15 points, Fletcher Loyer had 13 and Smith and Jones finished with 10 each.


Purdue: The Boilermakers continued a long-running pattern Tuesday by losing when they have more than 12 turnovers. Purdue turned it over 14 times against the Huskers.

Nebraska: The Huskers are now 24-4 when scoring more than 80 points under coach Fred Hoiberg. Nebraska is 19-6 over its last 25 games dating to Feb. 1, 2023.


Purdue: Hosts Penn State on Saturday.

Nebraska: Travels to Iowa on Saturday night.

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