Isaac Copeland scored a game-high 23 points to pace Nebraska in the Cornhuskers’ hard-fought 60-54 victory against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Wednesday night at Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
James Palmer Jr. had 18 points and Glynn Watson Jr. added 10, as Nebraska (15-8, 6-4 Big Ten) won for the eighth time in its last 11 games. The Cornhuskers won despite shooting just 39.6 percent (21-of-53) from the floor.
Corey Sanders paced the Scarlet Knights with 14 points and both Deshawn Freeman and Geo Baker had 10. Rutgers (12-10, 2-7) was held to 33.8 percent shooting (22-of-65) in losing for the seventh time in nine tries.
Candido Sa’s layup with 1:16 remaining brought the Scarlet Knights within 54-52. Palmer Jr missed a 3-pointer on the other end, but Copeland came down with the rebound and the Cornhuskers called a timeout.
Watson’s layup with 29 seconds to play made it 56-52. Sa missed a free throw with 19 ticks left to give Rutgers the ball back, but Sanders committed an offensive foul to turn it over and Nebraska sealed it at the foul line.
Both teams were coming off losses to AP Top 25 opponents. Nebraska was defeated on the road 64-59 by No. 13 Ohio State on Monday while Rutgers was blown out 62-47 at No. 23 Michigan on Sunday.
The Cornhuskers emerged with a 27-25 lead at halftime in a tight opening frame. Neither side led by more than three in the half, with Baker’s 3-pointer at 15:16 of the period giving Rutgers a 7-4 edge.
Nebraska and Rutgers complete their two-game season series Feb. 10 in Madison, Wis.
Nebraska breaks up a stretch of four of five games on the road Saturday against Iowa. Rutgers opens a two-game trip Saturday versus Penn State.
--Field Level Media