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12/28 Recap: Nebraska pulls the upset

Big Ten favorites Indiana and Purdue have very different conference openers

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska got a banner win on Wednesday night, while giving Indiana some things to think about as they get into the depths of the Big Ten Conference season. Elsewhere, Purdue continued to look like one of the most dangerous teams in the nation.

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Nebraska 87, Indiana 83

The Big Ten Conference got its first surprise of the season when Nebraska (7-6, 1-0 Big Ten) went to Assembly Hall and upset No. 16 Indiana (10-3, 0-1) on Wednesday, ending the Hoosiers’ 26-game home winning streak.

Glynn Watson Jr. was the catalyst for Nebraska. The senior guard got it done on both ends of the floor, collecting 26 points, five steals and four assists on the night.

Tai Webster also had a nice night, totaling 21 points, four rebounds and four steals as Nebraska’s veteran backcourt outplayed the Indiana backcourt.

Watson and Webster combined to take 31 of Nebraska’s 64 field goal attempts, as the duo shot 15-of-31 from the field.

While Watson and Webster were getting it done on the perimeter, Ed Morrow was giving Indiana trouble inside. The 6-foot-7 sophomore notched a double-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Morrow had key back-to-back offensive rebounds and putbacks that gave the Cornhuskers a 79-76 lead with 1:33 remaining.

The Hoosiers have played solid defense for much of the season, but it abandoned them on Wednesday night. Nebraska scored 54 second-half points after Indiana went into the locker room with a 36-33 lead.

Indiana, the defending Big Ten champions, is giving up 80.3 points per game in its three losses, while allowing just 63.8 points per game in wins.

The Hoosiers were fine offensively, shooting 43.1 percent (28-for-65) from the field, 44.0 percent (11-for-25) from the 3-point line and 66.7 percent (16-for-24) from the free-throw line.

Thomas Bryant and Robert Johnson led Indiana’s attack. Johnson had a team-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Bryant added 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four blocks.

Nebraska has given Indiana fits as of late, as the Cornhuskers are 4-4 against the Hoosiers since joining the Big Ten Conference.

The Rest:

-Purdue 89, Iowa 67

No. 15 Purdue (12-2, 1-0) took a 49-25 lead into halftime and cruised to an 89-67 home win over Iowa (8-6, 0-1) in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Despite a relatively off night, Caleb Swanigan went out and had another double-double for the Boilermakers. The sophomore forward shot just 4-of-12 from the field, but finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks on the night. It was the fifth straight double-double for Swanigan, who leads the nation with 11 double-doubles on the season.

Purdue’s Carsen Edwards scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, to go along with adding five assists and four rebounds. The freshman guard has provided Purdue with the perimeter scoring that they have been lacking the last couple of seasons.

Dakota Mathias also gives the Boilermakers a consistent outside threat. The junior shot 4-of-7 from behind the arc on Wednesday to finish with 17 points.

Junior forward Vince Edwards continued to give Purdue a spark off the bench, collecting 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

Finally, Isaac Haas was the fifth Boilermaker to score in double figures, notching 16 points and seven rebounds on the night.

While the Boilermakers have cruised to seven straight wins, they’ll look to establish more options as the season progresses, as just seven players scored against Iowa.

Purdue had 27 assists on 34 field goals, shooting 50.7 percent (34-for-67) from the field, 41.4 percent (12-for-29) from the 3-point line and 90.0 percent (9-for-10) from the free-throw line.

On the other hand, Iowa struggled offensively, scoring its fewest points since suffering a 74-41 loss to then-No. 7 Virginia on Nov. 25.

The Hawkeyes shot just 37.3 percent (25-for-67) from the floor on Wednesday, including 23.5 percent (4-for-17) on 3-pointers.

Purdue held Peter Jok, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, well below his season average of 22.6 points per game. The senior guard finished with just 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting in just 22 minutes.

The Iowa bench scored 38 points, including 12 from freshman forward Tyler Cook and 11 for sophomore guard Brady Ellingson.

Cody Pemsl added 10 points and four rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who swept Purdue last season.