No. 21 Purdue beats Nebraska 89-74 behind Hammons’ 32

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) A.J. Hammons scored a career-best 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading No. 21 Purdue to an 89-74 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.

Rapheal Davis had 17 points and six rebounds, and Isaac Haas scored 13 points for Purdue (19-4, 7-3 Big Ten). Caleb Swanigan contributed six points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Boilermakers, who improved to 5-0 against Nebraska (12-10, 4-5) in Mackey Arena.

Shavon Shields and Andrew White III each scored 16 to lead the Cornhuskers, who had no answer for 7-footers Hammons and Haas.

Hammons, who had 16 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s win at Minnesota, surpassed his previous best of 30, notched in a loss to Indiana on Jan. 30, 2013. He scored the Boilermakers’ first eight points in the second half.

Purdue got a 3-pointer from Davis and a baseline jumper from Swanigan to increase its lead to 76-65 with 6:16 to play. Hammons broke his career high with a dunk with 4:28 remaining for a 78-65 advantage.

Davis’ 3-pointer gave Purdue a 61-51 lead with 12:34 remaining, but back-to-back baskets from Shields and Glynn Watson Jr. trimmed Nebraska’s deficit to 61-55 with 11:49 to play.

A 3-pointed by Watson with 12:52 to go capped an 8-0 Nebraska run and sliced Purdue’s lead to 58-51, prompting a Boilermaker timeout.

Purdue scored the final five points in the first half – a Ryan Cline 3-pointer and a dunk at the buzzer by Hammons following an offensive rebound – for a 44-35 lead.

The Boilermakers shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) during the first half. Nebraska shot 43.3 percent (13 of 30).

TIP-INS

Nebraska: The Cornhuskers entered Saturday’s game having won three consecutive Big Ten road games. A Nebraska basketball team has not won four consecutive league road games since the 1975-76 season. … The Cornhuskers were playing their first game since an 81-68 loss to Michigan on Jan. 23 in Lincoln, Nebraska. … Nebraska ranks second in the Big Ten in steals, averaging 7.2 per game. … The Cornhuskers have two of the Big Ten’s top eight scorers in No. 6 Andrew White II (16.9) and No. 8 Shavon Shields (15.8).

Purdue: The Boilermakers honored their “Three-Peat” Big Ten championship teams from 1994, `95 and `96, all coached by Gene Keady. … Before playing Nebraska, Purdue had won 19 of 20 home games, losing only to No. 3 Iowa on Jan. 2. … The Boilermakers lead the country in rebounding margin at plus-12.1 and outrebounded each of their first 22 opponents. … Purdue’s non-starters outscored the opposing team’s bench in 21 of the first 22 games.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: Hosts No. 7 Maryland on Wednesday night.

Purdue: Plays at No. 7 Maryland on Saturday.