Purdue's D.J. Byrd (21) drives to the basket against Nebraska's Shavon Shields (31) and David Rivers, right, in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
LINCOLN, Neb. — Terone Johnson scored 18 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures, and the Boilermakers turned back Nebraska’s comeback bid in the second half to defeat the struggling Cornhuskers 65-56 on Wednesday night.
A.J. Hammons added 14 points and eight rebounds, D.J. Byrd scored all 12 of his points in the second half on four 3-pointers and Ronnie Johnson had 10 points and six assists as the Boilermakers posted their first Big Ten Conference road win.
Purdue (9-8, 3-2) has won two straight games and five of seven. The Huskers (9-9, 0-5), playing without senior forward Brandon Ubel for a second straight game, have lost their first five conference games for the second time in four seasons.
Shavon Shields had 18 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Tyrance added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Huskers, who cut a 20-point deficit to five in the second half.
The Boilermakers came out on a 15-4 run after halftime to stretch their 28-19 lead to 43-23. Hammons opened with a fadeaway shot in the lane and Byrd followed with a 3-pointer, after which he pointed at some hecklers in the Nebraska pep band. Rapheal Davis’ three-point play and another basket by Hammons made it a 20-point game.
The Huskers turned up the defensive pressure and outscored the Boilers 23-8 over a 10-minute stretch to close within 51-46. Purdue coach Matt Painter called two timeouts during the run, but the Huskers kept coming.
Shields’ put-back and Ray Gallegos’ free throws cut the deficit to single digits, and Gallegos’ 3-pointer and Andre Almeida’s left-handed hook cut it to 46-40 before Dylan Talley muscled in a shot to get within five.
It looked like Purdue would pull away after Byrd hit his third and fourth 3-pointers of the half to make it a nine-point game, but Talley’s inside bucket made it 57-50.
Byrd scored nine of Purdue’s 11 points at one point as the Boilers kept Nebraska at bay. Terone Johnson’s three-point play with 3:21 left made it a 10-point game.
After holding Penn State to 25.9 percent shooting on Sunday, the Boilermakers limited to Nebraska to 25.8 percent the first 20 minutes.
Talley, the Huskers’ season scoring leader, missed all five of his shots the first half and Almeida was off on seven of his first nine, many from point-blank range.
Hammons and Terone Johnson scored four points apiece during a 12-3 spurt that put the Boilermakers up 20-11. Nebraska got no closer than five points the rest of the half after making just one field goal the last 7 minutes.
The performance was especially disappointing for Nebraska, which showed flashes of promise during back-to-back road losses against Michigan and Michigan State.
The Huskers were within five points of then-unbeaten Michigan in the last 8 minutes before losing 62-47, and they were within a point of Michigan State in the last 3 minutes before losing 66-56.
But Nebraska struggled to get anything going offensively in its first home game since a 47-41 loss to Wisconsin on Jan. 6, and never led after the opening minutes against a Purdue team making its first appearance in Lincoln since 1978.