WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Fletcher Loyer scored a season-high 27 points and Zach Edey added 12, leading No. 3 Purdue to a historic 73-55 rout over Nebraska on Friday night.
By improving to 16-1 for the first time since 1993-94, the Boilermakers (5-1 Big Ten) became the 11th Division I program with 1,900 all-time wins. Matt Painter also became the fifth coach in conference history to record 400 wins at one school.
Loyer, a freshman, also had a season-best six 3-pointers, while Edey added 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double this season.
Derrick Walker had 19 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Cornhuskers (9-9, 2-5), who fell to 0-9 at Mackey Arena. Keisei Tominaga had 16 points for Nebraska, which played without two injured starters — guard Sam Griesel (hip) and forward Juwan Gary (left shoulder).
Loyer’s early shooting flurry, four 3s in less than eight minutes, helped the Boilermakers jump to a 15-4 lead. Nebraska never fully recovered.
And when the Cornhuskers finally closed the deficit to 29-24 late in the first half, Purdue responded by scoring the final six points of the first half and the first 11 of the second half to make it 46-24. Nebraska never got close again.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers are making progress under coach Fred Hoiberg. But after pushing Purdue into overtime on its home court in December, losing two starters Friday made it virtually impossible to replicate on the road against a motivated foe.
Purdue: Coach Matt Painter’s team has relied largely on its power game, but the early 3-point barrage gave the Boilermakers a different look — and the versatility they’ll need to make a deep postseason run. This one couldn’t have come at a better time, either, after a brutal sequence that included a home loss to Rutgers, a narrow win at No. 24 Ohio State and a slide from No. 1 to No. 3.
Figuring out this season’s best team has been a challenge all season. But the one-loss Boilermakers will remain in that discussion as long as they continue winning this way. In fact, with a little help this weekend, the Boilermakers could reclaim the top spot Monday.
Nebraska: Hosts Ohio State on Wednesday.
Purdue: Visits Michigan State on Monday.
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