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Purdue Wins Big on Super Tuesday, Beats Nebraska 81-62

After holding off a furious Nebraska run late in the first half, the Boilers held their ground and came out of Lincoln with a nice win.

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Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Behind some great shots in the paint, three pointers, and good defense, Purdue jumped out to a 30-9 win. But as soon as that happened, Hammons and Haas had 2 fouls each and were forced to sit on the bench. And just as we all expect as Purdue fans, Nebraska started to storm back, taking advantage of Purdue's weakened post presence and using senior day emotion to fuel their comeback attempt. However, once Haas was back in, though playing with 2 fouls and getting murdered under the basket, it slowly cooled down Nebraska's momentum going into the second half.

The second half started with both teams seemingly trading baskets and keeping the deficit around 10 points. But then a pair of 3s from Cline and Mathias opened the gates for Purdue, pushing the lead to 60-46 with 11 minutes to go. The Boilers never looked back. This was a good win for Purdue, as, despite losing their big lead, were able to hold off the hot Huskers and overcome their foul troubles (#B1GRefsHateBigPeople), and they earn their first road win since January at Minnesota. Here are some other quick takes:

  • Vince Edwards led the way for Purdue with 20 points in this game, shooting 8-12 from the field, 2-4 from 3, and 2-2 from the free throw line. Vince's 3s came during Purdue's 30-9 opening, leading to 12 1st half points. Though playing a bit quieter in the 2nd half, Vince was one of Purdue's big leaders in tonight's game.
  • Dakota Mathias continues his hot streak, showing why his states are always shown above the state of Nebraska on maps. The sophomore tallied 11 points, 2 3's and 6 assists. His ball handling tonight helped Purdue's offense flow when Nebraska was hot, and has risen as one of Purdue's key guards. Dakota's right hand man, Ryan Cline, had 2 3's and 7 points that boosted the Boilers as well. Both of these players have elevated their level of play lately, and I like it.
  • Hammons started off the game slowly with only 4 points but 2 fouls in the 1st half (#B1GRefsHateBigPeople). And even at the start of the 2nd half, Hammons was a little slow, playing lazy D that caused him to get replaced by Haas. But once he came off the bench, the senior leader got the message and terrorized the Huskers once again, scoring 12 points in the 2nd half, and finished with 16 points overall.
  • Johnny Hill had a quiet, but good game. The only non-quiet part came from his blocked shot off a Purdue turnover (again) that killed off fast break points for Nebraska. Hill finished with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists tonight.
  • Rapheal Davis, unfortunately, didn't have a good night. After making an early 3, the senior became invisible, but he was also tasked with guarding  Shavon Shields, who finished with 32 points in his last home game at Nebraska. No one was stopping Shields tonight except maybe statistics saying that he would eventually miss a shot or 2. Hope Davis can use this as motivation to come out strong in his final game at Mackey this Sunday.
  • For the first time since the 2011-12 academic year, Purdue has swept a team in both football AND basketball. In 2011-12, Purdue swept Minnesota and Illinois in both sports, while tonight's win earned Purdue the 2 sport sweep over the Huskers.
  • Still no Kendall, even when the benches were cleared at the end of the game. While I think I saw him sitting on the bench, and no report of injuries beforehand, it makes us very suspicious as to why he's still on the bench. As we discussed in our latest podcast (*hint hint* *wink wink* *click here*), this will just add more fuel to the rumor fire that Stephens will probably transfer at the end of the season. It's one thing for him not to be playing because Mathias and Cline have earned their minutes (and they have), but for the walk-ons to come off the bench before him? Ouch...
While this win for Purdue won't boost their NCAA profile, it does help their chances to earn a double bye, as the win pushes them to the 5/6 spot with Wisconsin. The winner of Sunday night's game gets a shot for the coveted double-bye in Indy next week.