Indianapolis — Carsen Edwards scored 27 points and Grady Eifert added a season-high 16 as No. 15 Purdue rebounded from a lackluster first half Saturday night to pull away for an 81-62 victory over Nebraska.
The Boilermakers (17-6, 10-2 Big Ten) have won eight straight overall and 14 in a row at home.
Thomas Allen made five 3-pointers and matched his season-best with 18 points to lead the Cornhuskers (13-11, 3-10). James Palmer Jr. finished with 17 points for Nebraska, which has lost seven straight including all four since losing Isaac Copeland on Jan. 26 with a torn ACL in his left knee.
All Purdue needed to take control was one quick flurry early in the second half.
Ryan Cline started it with a 3-pointer. Eifert’s steal which led to Nojel Eastern’s layup and Eifert and Cline capped the 11-3 run with 3-pointers that gave Purdue a 50-38 lead with 13:41 left.
Nebraska only got as close as eight the rest of the way.
But the game sure didn’t follow the expected script.
After going nearly a full week between games, the Boilermakers looked sluggish early and the Cornhuskers took advantage. When Palmer knocked down a 3-pointer with 7 minutes left in the first half, Nebraska led 25-21 with 7 minutes to go.
That’s when Purdue cranked up the defensive intensity.
It allowed just one basket the rest of the half, got a few baskets in transition and closed the half on an 8-3 run to take a 33-31 halftime lead.
(At) Illinois 99, Rutgers 94, OT: Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored a career-high 35 points to lead Illinois. It was the third consecutive win for Illinois (9-15, 5-8), and the fourth in its last five games. The Illini beat No. 9 Michigan State on Tuesday.
Bezhanishvili’s free throw put Illinois up 93-92 in overtime, his jumper on the next possession made it 95-92 with two minutes left, and the Illini outscored the Scarlet Knights 4-2 from there.
Trent Frazier added 17 points and Ayo Dosunmu 12 for Illinois.
Caleb McConnell led the Scarlet Knights with 25 points. Montez Mathis scored 17 and Ron Harper Jr. and Geo Baker added 15 each. Eugene Omoruyi grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for Rutgers (11-12, 4-9).
Illinois was 36 of 73 from the field for 49-percent shooting, while Rutgers went 37-79 (51 percent).
Both teams kept pace in the first half, trading leads until Rutgers jumped ahead on a layup by Myles Johnson with 2:59 left before the break.
The Scarlet Knights led 45-42 at halftime.