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Saturday's Big Ten: Nebraska wins in shootout over Iowa

Associated Press
Nebraska's Isaiah Roby (15) dunks as James Palmer Jr. watches during the second half Saturday. Nebraska won 98-84.

Lincoln, Neb. — Chanting Nebraska fans wanted 100 points, but there was no need to go for it when the Cornhuskers got the ball back for their final possession and the clock winding down.

Their 98-84 win over Iowa was good enough Saturday night.

"I won't apologize to the fans for not getting 100 tonight," James Palmer Jr. said. "It probably would have been great for them, but we got tpull off a buzzer-beating win at Ohio State just two days before.he win, so be happy."

Palmer scored 28 points, Isaac Copeland added 23 points and 11 rebounds and Nebraska pulled away in the second half.

Nebraska (16-8, 7-4 Big Ten) scored its most points in a conference game since putting up 99 against Kansas State in 2002 when the Huskers were in the Big 12.

"One thing about Iowa is they can lead you down the path to a shootout," Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. "They play quick, they see an open shot and it's going up, and you can have a lot of quick possessions. I didn't know if we could keep up."

Iowa (11-12, 2-8), which beat Wisconsin on Tuesday, failed to win consecutive conference games for the first time and left coach Fran McCaffery with 399 career wins.

Jordan Bohannon and Tyler Cook each had 24 points to lead the Hawkeyes.

Copeland made his first five shots and scored 13 points in the opening 7 ½ minutes. Seven different Huskers scored as they closed the half on a 23-10 run to grow a 25-24 lead to 48-34 at half.

"Copeland has looked good shooting it all week," Miles said.

Iowa got within 56-54 early in the second half, with Bohannon scoring seven quick points, 6-foot-11 freshman Luka Garza making a 3-pointer for his first basket of the game, and Ahmad Wagner scoring on a layup to make it a two-point game.

But Palmer started a decisive 15-4 run that broke open the game again. He made back-to-back 3s and scored nine points during the spurt.

Garza, after making his first 3, tried another one a minute later and only hit the backboard. After a couple Iowa turnovers and a foul on Nicholas Baer, Nebraska was in control.

"They're a talented group that shares the ball," McCaffery said of Nebraska. "They have a lot of good individual players. I don't see any selfishness there. Copeland and Palmer, they're the guys, but they give it up."

Isaiah Roby added 17 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals for the Huskers, who are alone in fourth place.

Nebraska already has one more conference win than it did last season.

"I like the demeanor of my team, I like the buy-in," Miles said.

(At) Penn State 60, Rutgers 43: Mike Watkins scored 15 points, grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds and Penn State followed up its buzzer-beating win at Ohio State with another victory.

"Playing Rutgers is extremely difficult," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "They make you grind and they make it ugly, and for the first half they did."

Tony Carr led Penn State with 16 points and Josh Reaves added 15 for the Nittany Lions (15-8, 5-5 Big Ten), who took control just before halftime for their second straight win.

Issa Thiam scored 12 points for Rutgers (12-11, 2-8), which made just 31 percent of its field goals on 16-of-51 shooting, and has lost five of its last six games.

"We needed to just keep grinding in this game," Rutgers coach Steve Pikiell said. "We couldn't make a shot. It kind of got away from us."

After nine lead changes in the opening 17 minutes, Penn State took the lead for good after Watkins hit a short jumper to spark a 7-0 run. Carr, whose last shot against the No. 13 Buckeyes lifted the Nittany Lions to an 82-79 win, capped it with back-to-back baskets to give Penn State a 28-23 lead at the half.

Penn State pulled away in the second half with an opening 9-0 run and extended its lead to as many as 18 with 2:34 to play.