Despite Thomas Allen tying a career-high with 18 points, the Huskers fell 81-62 to No. 15 Purdue on Saturday night at Mackey Arena.
Allen also set a new single-game high with five 3-pointers for the Huskers (13-11, 3-10 Big Ten) as he joined James Palmer Jr. (17 points) and Isaiah Roby (10 points) in double figures. Allen’s hot shooting night was not enough, however, as Purdue shot 50.9% (27-53) from the field and 40% (8-20) from three on the way to their eighth straight victory (17-6, 10-2 Big Ten).
NU started out the game on an 8-4 run anchored by early buckets from Jeff Borchardt and Thorir Thorbjarnarson. Purdue responded with an 8-2 run in the next 2:09 to go up 13-10. The rest of the first half featured five three ties and five lead changes. No team led by more than four points throughout the first 20 minutes as the Huskers trailed 33-31 heading into the break.
James Palmer Jr. led all scorers at the break with 11 points on 4-8 shooting from the field as seven Huskers made it into the scoring column in the first 20 minutes.
Isaiah Roby tied the game with a dunk just 19 seconds into the second half, but NU would score just one more basket in the next 5:36 as Purdue went on a 14-2 run to open up a 47-35 with 14:05 to play.
Needing a spark, Coach Miles brought Thomas Allen in off the bench and he immediately knocked down 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions. This cut Purdue’s lead down to eight points heading into the under 12-minute media timeout.
NU would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way as the Boilermakers rode a steady performance from Carsen Edwards, who scored 18 of his 27 points in the second half. Purdue had four players hit double figures in scoring and senior forward Grady Eifert scored a career-high 16 points.
The Huskers shot 38% from the field tonight but hit 41.7% (10-24) of their 3-pointers, marking the first time they’ve hit 10 threes in a game since Dec. 29 against Southwest Minnesota State. NU lost the rebounding battle 39-24 but outscored the Boilers in bench points, 23-12.
Nebraska returns to action on Wednesday evening, when the Huskers host the Minnesota Golden Gophers at PBA. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will be carried on BTN and the Husker Sports Network.