Nebraska went on a 15-0 run in the second half to knock Rutgers out of the Big Ten tournament as James Palmer Jr scored 34 points to lead the good guys on to the win.
Our beloved Huskers began the Big Ten tournament with six scholarship players and two walk-ons. Injuries to Isaac Copeland, Thomas Allen, Amir Harris, and a suspension for Nana Akenten assured Nebraska was short-handed.
Nebraska started slow with Thorir Thorbjarnarson making the Huskers’ first field goal at 16:14 , but went on a 9-0 to take the lead 26-25 at halftime. James Palmer Jr finally made a layup just before the break. Palmer was the leading scorer with seven points. in the first despite only one field goal. Isaiah Roby and Palmer were a combined 3 for 17 on field goals in the first half.
The Huskers were shooting as low as 20% at one point, but brought that up to 34% with 10 for 29 field goals at half. Rutgers was 10 for 19 for 53%. Eugene Omoruyi lead Rutgers with 12 points at half.
Nebraska stayed in the game because of 11 Rutgers turnovers. Nebraska’s slow start, Rutgers turnovers, and the Big Ten television feed periodically cutting out made it a wonderful game to watch before the break.
Our beloved Huskers started poorly in the second half as Rutgers scored five second-chance points in the first 1:13 of the half. Nebraska called a timeout. Watson picked up his third foul with 19:39 left in the second.Rutgers opened the half on a 7-1 run. Disaster looked to have struck further when Roby went down with a twisted ankle, but he checked back in a few minutes later.
Rutgers lead by five with seven minutes left. Then Nebraska went on a 15-0 run until the Scarlet Knights finally made a field goal with 1:09 left. Rutgers did two horrible things. They didn’t score, and they committed turnovers, finishing the game with 22. 22 TURNOVERS! They turned the ball over on 33% of their possessions!
The crushing blow to Rutgers came when Palmer scored on a dunk after the stealing the ball and Omoruyi was called for a flagrant foul for pushing Palmer in the back while he was in the air on the dunk. Omoruyi scored only four points in the second half, leading Rutgers with 16.
Palmer decided he wasn’t done with the season as he took over the court, scoring 27 of his 34 points in the second half. Those 34 points were the second most points in a game in the history of the Big Ten tournament.
Glynn Watson played entire second half with three fouls until picking up his fourth with 1:20 left. Watson had 11 points and five assists. Isaiah Roby finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Walk on Johnny Trueblood had three points, four rebounds, four steals, two assists in 26 minutes.
Nebraska lives to fight another day. Our beloved Huskers will take on Maryland tomorrow afternoon!