CHICAGO — James Palmer scored 24 points and Nebraska shut down No. 21 Maryland for the first big surprise of the Big Ten Tournament, holding off the Terrapins for a 69-61 victory on Thursday.
Using a seven-man rotation because of injuries and backup guard Nana Akenten’s suspension, the Cornhuskers harassed the Terrapins into 36 percent (18 for 50) shooting and 11 turnovers. Glynn Watson Jr. added 19 points and Isaiah Roby finished with 15.
Nebraska (17-15) earned a second win in the Big Ten tourney for the first time since 2016 and will face fourth-seeded Wisconsin on Friday afternoon. The Cornhuskers advanced with a 68-61 victory against Rutgers on Wednesday night.
Maryland (22-10) swept Nebraska during the regular season, including a 60-45 win in Lincoln on Feb. 6. But the Terrapins struggled offensively in their third loss in their last four games.
Bruno Fernando, who entered with averages of 14 points and 10.5 rebounds, was held to three points and eight boards. Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half, and Darryl Morsell finished with 14.
The Terrapins trailed by as many as 13 in the first half, but they closed to 35-30 on Morsell’s jam with 14:49 left. The Cornhuskers responded with a 9-0 run, capped by Watson’s 3-pointer with 11:59 to go.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was whistled for a technical foul with 8:25 left after no foul was called as Morsell drove up the court on a fast break. Watson then made two foul shots and Roby converted a three-point play, extending Nebraska’s lead to 51-37 with 8:12 left.
Nebraska: A third game in three days is one tough order for the Cornhuskers, but they have won three in a row since a four-game losing streak.
Maryland: The Terrapins showed some fight in the second half, but they had to chase the Cornhuskers after a shaky start. They had just 20 points in the first half on 29 percent shooting.
Nebraska lost 62-51 to Wisconsin on Jan. 29 in their only meeting this season.
Maryland waits to see where it’s going in the NCAA Tournament.