Isaac Copeland scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Nebraska notched a school-record 13th conference win with a 76-64 victory over Penn State on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb.
Isaiah Roby added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Cornhuskers (22-9, 13-5 Big Ten), while James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. each had 11 points. Nebraska moved up to the No. 4 seed in this week’s conference tournament and will receive a double-bye.
The Big Ten tournament tips off Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Sophomore guard Tony Carr scored 27 points and accomplished a milestone by reaching 1,000 career points for the Nittany Lions, who have lost three in a row. Lamar Stevens added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Shep Garner posted 11 points.
Penn State (19-12, 9-9) beat the Cornhuskers 76-75 in overtime on Jan. 12. The rematch wasn’t nearly as close.
Nebraska dominated the first half, racing out to a 21-10 lead on a Watson layup at the nine-minute mark. Jordy Tshimanga hit a jumper, and Evan Taylor got free for a layup, sending the Cornhuskers into halftime with a 34-17 lead over the short-handed Nittany Lions.
The 17 points were the fewest Penn State scored in the first half this season.
The Nittany Lions were without big man Mike Watkins, who sustained a left knee injury in a loss to Michigan on Wednesday. Watkins is averaging 12.1 points and 8.9 rebounds, and Penn State missed his presence on the inside.
The Nittany Lions scored the first five points of the second half to chip into the Nebraska lead. However, the Cornhuskers regained the momentum on a reverse, one-handed dunk by Palmer that pushed the lead to 41-22 with 16 minutes to play.
The Nittany Lions are trying to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011. The Huskers appear headed back to the NCAAs for the first time since 2014.
—Field Level Media