Purdue 79, Nebraska 61

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 08, 2012
Anthony Johnson scored a career-high 17 points to help Purdue defeat Nebraska 79-61 on Thursday night in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Terone Johnson had 16 points, six rebounds and six assists, Ryne Smith scored 15 points and Robbie Hummel added 10 points for the sixth-seeded Boilermakers (21-11). Hummel scored 29 points in an 85-63 win over Nebraska on Feb. 22, but he was content to set others up on his 23rd birthday. Purdue, which has won six of its past eight games, advanced to play No. 3 seed Ohio State on Friday. The Boilermakers shot 56 percent from the field and made 13 3-pointers, matching a tournament record most recently reached in 2002. Bo Spencer scored 22 points for the 11th-seeded Cornhuskers (12-18), who were playing in their first Big Ten tournament game. Nebraska finished the season on a five-game losing skid. Nebraska led 12-8 before Purdue rallied with a 17-0 run over a span of 7:48. Anthony Johnson scored seven points during that stretch while Nebraska missed five consecutive shots and committed five turnovers. The Boilermakers led 39-31 at halftime. Purdue shot 52 percent from the floor and made 7 of 13 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes. Johnson scored 10 points in the first half, and Smith added nine. Hummel, the team's top scorer this season, committed two early fouls and played just 10 minutes in the first half, but Purdue rolled anyway. Spencer led Nebraska with 14 points in the first half. Nebraska scored the first four points of the second half, but 3-pointers by Smith and Hummel pushed Purdue's advantage back to 10 points. Lewis Jackson's nifty pass in the lane to Terone Johnson led to a layup that put Purdue up 49-40 and forced Nebraska to call timeout. Nebraska closed its deficit to six before a 3-pointer by D.J. Byrd and a 3-point play by Jackson gave Purdue a 57-45 lead with 13 minutes remaining. The Boilermakers led by as many as 20 points and weren't threatened the rest of the way. -- Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap
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