Knee injury ends season for Nebraska’s Emmanuel Bandoumel

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
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LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska’s Emmanuel Bandoumel will require surgery and miss the rest of the season after injuring his knee in a game over the weekend, coach Fred Hoiberg announced Monday.

Bandoumel’s knee buckled as he drove to the basket in the first half of the Cornhuskers’ 76-65 loss Saturday to Penn State. He is the second Nebraska starter in two weeks to sustain a season-ending injury. Juwan Gary is out with a shoulder injury.

Bandoumel, a fifth-year guard who transferred from SMU, started all 20 games for the Huskers (10-10, 3-6 Big Ten) and was averaging 8.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

“I am heartbroken for Emmanuel to have his college career end this way,” Hoiberg said. “I’ve said all season that Emmanuel is one of the best defenders in the country, and he impacts the game in so many ways beyond the measurables.”

Bandoumel had started 84 consecutive games since his first season at SMU. He played 100 Division I games and totaled 880 points, 351 rebounds and 160 assists during three seasons at SMU and one season at Nebraska. He began his career at Hill College in 2018-19.

No. 4 Boilermakers hold off Nebraska 65-62 in overtime

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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LINCOLN, Neb. – Purdue star Zach Edey was getting double- and triple-teamed whenever he touched the ball in the post, his teammates weren’t shooting particularly well, and Nebraska reserve Keisei Tominaga was hot.

The fourth-ranked Boilermakers still passed this test, beating the Cornhuskers 65-62 in overtime Saturday in their Big Ten road opener.

“Can you can you find a way to win a game when you don’t shoot the ball well? We were able to do that,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “But Nebraska deserved to win the game just as much as we did. I thought they were really good.”

Fletcher Loyer scored a season-high 22 points and fellow freshman Braden Smith made four free throws in the last 28 seconds of overtime to give Purdue (10-0, 2-0 Big Ten) two straight wins to open conference play for the first time since 2017-18.

Edey had 11 points and 17 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season, but his quiet afternoon offensively allowed the Cornhuskers (6-5, 0-2) to keep things close throughout.

“There are no moral victories, and there was a lot of dejection in that locker room,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “The way they went out and battled, if we do that every night, we’re going to have a chance.”

Purdue shot 30% after halftime and 39.7% for the game. The Huskers shot just 31.9%.

Tominaga was the exception. He had 12 of his 19 points after halftime and finished with four 3s, two coming as he led the Huskers back from a 14-point deficit in the second half and his biggest tying it 56-all with 9.1 seconds left.

The game went to overtime when Loyer was off the mark with a 3 just before the buzzer. Loyer was just 9 of 21 from the field, including 2 of 10 on 3s.

“It was there all night and a few didn’t fall,” he said, “but they kept giving it to me, my teammates kept encouraging me to keep shooting. When they’re handing it to you like that, you’ve got to keep attacking it.”

Tominaga’s lay-up with 14 seconds left in overtime pulled the Huskers to 63-62, but C.J. Wilcher was called for a foul at midcourt and Smith made two free throws to make it a three-point game.

“We knew coming off the bench he was electric,” Loyer said of Tominaga, “and we kind of let him get going. He made a few very tough shots. When they’re on runs like that, you’ve got to contain a shooter like that.”

Nebraska’s Derrick Walker rebounded Sam Griesel’s missed 3 but lost the ball to Smith, securing Purdue’s win.

Walker and Emmanuel Bandoumel added 14 points apiece for the Huskers, and Walker had 10 rebounds.

Walker was the primary defender on the 7-foot-4 Edey, and two or three teammates would converge whenever the big man received an entry pass.

“Our effort allowed us to stay in that game and our guys kept swinging and fighting and battling,” Hoiberg said. “They’re doing it together. That’s what I’m most proud of. Unfortunately, we didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight.”

BIG PICTURE

Purdue: The Boilermakers had to gut this one out as Edey was held to his lowest point total of the season. Edey also was held to his fewest shots, going 5 for 7, in 43 minutes. He blocked a career-high seven shots.

Nebraska: The Huskers finished a stretch of three games against ranked opponents, nearly beating their highest-ranked opponent since 2011.

RHULE RALLY

New Nebraska football coach Matt Rhule made a halftime appearance to speak to an enthusiastic crowd chanting “Go Big Red!” as he made his way to half-court.

He thanked fans for their support and told them his job is not just another job but a “mission” for him and his staff to return the football program to elite status. He led another round of “Go Big Red!” cheers as he walked off and hugged athletic director Trev Alberts at the tunnel entrance.

UP NEXT

Purdue plays Davidson in the Indy Classic in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Nebraska plays Kansas State in Kansas City, Missouri, on Saturday, Dec. 17.

No. 20 Creighton women rout No. 22 Nebraska 77-51

William Howard-USA TODAY Sports
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OMAHA, Neb. – Molly Mogensen scored 22 points, Morgan Maly added 16 with eight rebounds and No. 20 Creighton routed No. 22 Nebraska 77-51 on Tuesday night in the first matchup between the in-state rivals when both were ranked.

It was Creighton’s largest series win over Nebraska and came before a record 2,306 fans at Omaha. The previous biggest spread was 18, 76-58, in 1986. Nebraska won last year to end a five-game losing streak in the series.

Moregensen had 19 points at the half with Creighton taking a 45-28 lead.

Jayme Horan drilled a 3-pointer in the middle of the third quarter to put the Bluejays on top by 24, 59-35. Nebraska scored the last six points of the quarter to make it 60-44 but Horan and Maly made 3-pointers as Creighton opened the fourth with an 8-0 run.

Carly Bachelor finished with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Lauren Jensen had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Bluejays (3-0), who picked up their second win over a ranked opponent.

Jaz Shelley led Nebraska (2-1) with 14 points and Alexis Markowski had 12 with 11 rebounds. Allison Weidner, who scored 39 combined points in the first two games, was held to five.

Creighton went 11 of 24 behind the arc and shot 45% overall while Nebraska made five 3s and shot 31% from the field. The Cornhuskers had twice as many turnovers and the Bluejays turned 18 turnovers into 15 points.

Davis hurt, No. 10 Wisconsin misses B10 clinch, Huskers win

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports
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MADISON, Wis. — Tenth-ranked Wisconsin lost leading scorer Johnny Davis when he was injured on a flagrant foul early in the second half, and the Badgers missed a chance to clinch the Big Ten title outright by falling to Nebraska 74-73 Sunday.

Alonzo Verge Jr. scored Nebraska’s last nine points, part of a 12-0 rally in the final minutes.

Wisconsin (24-6, 15-5) could still finish alone atop the Big Ten if second-place Illinois loses to Iowa later Sunday. The conference tournament starts Wednesday.

Davis was hurt when he was fouled on a layup try by Trey McGowens with 17:32 left. Davis went to the locker room and didn’t return to the bench, and the Badgers said he was out with a lower body injury.

Davis averages 20.3 points and 8.3 rebounds. He scored 10 before being injured by McGowens, who was ejected.

The Cornhuskers (10-21, 4-16) trailed 71-62 with under six minutes left before their comeback. Verge put them ahead 74-71 with two free throws with 37 seconds left, and finished with 26 points.

Chucky Hepburn hit two of three free throws for Wisconsin with 19.8 remaining, cutting the deficit to 74-73 as Verge fouled out.

CJ. Wilcher missed the front end of the bonus for Nebraska, but Hepburn – who beat No. 8 Purdue on Tuesday with a last-second 3-pointer – missed a 3-point try from the top right and the Huskers secured the rebound.

Nebraska played with leading scorer Bryce McGowens – Trey’s brother – who averages 17 points per game and injured his hand in a victory over Ohio State on Tuesday.

Derrick Waker added 15 points and Wilcher 10 as the Huskers closed with three consecutive victories.

Brad Davison scored 20 points for Wisconsin, which had won five in a row. Tyler Wahl and Chris Vogt added 13 apiece.

Wisconsin trailed by 12 midway through the first half. The Badgers rallied with a 12-2 run, going in front 49-47 on two free throws by Davison and were in the bonus for the final 16:18.

Verge tied it with a layin, but was called for a technical. Davison hit both free throws to start a string of eight consecutive points from the line to give Wisconsin a 57-49 lead with 13:40 left.

Wisconsin had been averaging only 8.6 turnovers per game, fewest in Division I. But the Badgers committed seven in the first 10 minutes as Nebraska surged to a 30-18 lead, hitting 12 of 21 shots.

BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: Nebraska could move into the No. 13 seed in the conference tournament with a win by Northwestern over Minnesota on Sunday evening.

Wisconsin: If Illinois wins Sunday, the Badgers would drop to the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Either way, much depends on Davis’ status.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Although the Badgers topped No. 8 Purdue 70-67 on Tuesday, the loss to Nebraska could drop them in the poll.

UP NEXT

Nebraska plays in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament on Wednesday.

Wisconsin plays Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament.

Perkins’ 20 points leads No. 25 Iowa past Huskers 88-78

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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LINCOLN, Neb. – Tony Perkins’ right shoulder has been bothering him all season, not enough to keep him out of games, but enough to be annoying when driving into contact or bumping into a screen.

The Iowa sophomore was pleasantly surprised when, for the first time in a long time, he felt no pain during pregame warmups Friday. After he made his first two shots, he knew it would be his night.

Perkins scored a career-high 20 points to lead the No. 25 Hawkeyes past Nebraska 88-78, giving his team a boost while Big Ten scoring leader Keegan Murray struggled to get going.

“Before the game started, I told our trainer I’m feeling it, my shoulder’s not hurting today,” Perkins said. “I came out shooting, and it felt good. It’s been on and off. Today my adrenaline was going, so I wouldn’t have been feeling it even if it were to hurt.”

Perkins, who had 15 points in the second half, had his first double-digit scoring game since Dec. 6 against Illinois (16 points).

“He always had that in him,” teammate Kris Murray said. “He’s a competitor, and he’s always looking to score the ball. We know he can score the ball and he did that at great times tonight. When he’s aggressive, I feel our team is so much better, too.”

Keegan Murray had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. However, he couldn’t find his shot early and finished 6 of 13 from the field while seeing his streak of games with at least 20 points end at seven.

His brother Kris, who had 12 points, did most of his scoring in the second half as the Hawkeyes began taking control.

“Road games are tough in the Big Ten, especially playing a team like Nebraska, which has a lot of guys that can take you off the dribble and they feed off their crowd at home,” Kris Murray said. “They gave us a really good fight. We went on a little bit of a run and I think that’s what separated us.”

The Hawkeyes (20-8, 10-7 Big Ten) won for the sixth time in seven games and posted their first victory in Lincoln since 2015. The Cornhuskers (7-21, 1-16) lost their fourth straight, all by double digits.

Alonzo Verge Jr. led the Huskers with 18 points, C.J. Wilcher had 14 and Bryce McGowens had 13.

Iowa had difficulty pulling away, never leading by more than five points until Jordan Bohannon bounced a pass into the lane that Keegan Murray dunked for a 58-51 lead with 11:33 left.

A 3 by Wilcher got the Huskers within 58-56, but Iowa capitalized on a three straight bad passes by the Huskers to start an 11-0 run and build some cushion.

Perkins made two free throws after Verge threw the ball away, Kris Murray scored on a snaking move through the lane after Verge’s pass bounced off Walker’s chest and went out of bounds, and after McGowens’ pass bounced out of Walker’s reach, Murray hit a 3 and a layup to make it 69-56.

“I thought our fight was phenomenal really all game long,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We have those three- to four-minute stretches where teams go on those runs against us. Tonight had nothing to do with effort. We’d done a pretty solid job of taking care of the basketball and then we go three possessions in a row. That’s when they stretch it and open up the lead, but the fight was there.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: The Hawkeyes secured their fourth straight 20-win season and eighth in 10 years. They also posted their third two-game sweep of the season, having also won twice against both Maryland and Minnesota.

Nebraska: The Huskers lost their 24th straight against a top-25 opponent a day after Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts announced Hoiberg would return for a fourth season despite three straight years with at least 20 losses. Hoiberg is 6-49 in Big Ten play and 21-66 overall.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts Northwestern on Monday.

Nebraska: Visits Penn State on Sunday.

Nebraska AD: Hoiberg to return next season, will get pay cut

Chris Kohley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg will return for a fourth season but has agreed to a pay cut and a reduced buyout if he’s fired after next season, athletic director Trev Alberts said Thursday night.

Hoiberg is 21-65 overall and 6-49 in the Big Ten, with the next game at home against No. 25 Iowa on Friday. The Huskers (7-20, 1-15) have had three straight 20-loss seasons.

“Over the past few weeks, I have had several productive meetings with Coach Hoiberg, and we agree the results of our team are not acceptable,” Alberts said. “No one is more disappointed or frustrated than Fred Hoiberg. I have known Fred for a long time and watched him build and lead successful teams.”

Hoiberg, who is under contract through the 2026-27 season, will have his salary reduced from $3.5 million to $3.25 million and he will forfeit a $500,000 retention bonus that would be due if he were still coaching coach on March 31, 2024. His contract buyout was reduced from $18.5 million to $11 million.

“I appreciate the confidence that Trev Alberts and University leadership has shown in me,” Hoiberg said in a statement. “Our results on the court have not been what anyone would have hoped, but I am more committed than ever to building a successful basketball program at Nebraska.”

Hoiberg was one of the splash hires of the 2019 cycle. He was so popular as a player and coach at Iowa State that he’s still known as “The Mayor” in Ames, Iowa. His bad run as Chicago Bulls coach didn’t take away from the excitement over his hiring at Nebraska.

The program, however, is now mired in its worst three-year stretch.

“As I said when I was hired three years ago, it is an honor to be the men’s basketball coach at the University of Nebraska, and I am excited to continue to lead the Husker program,” Hoiberg said. “This has always been a special place to me and my family, and we have grown to love the Lincoln community in our time here.”

The conditions for Hoiberg’s retention are similar to those for Nebraska football coach Scott Frost, who is 15-27 in four years. Frost had his contract restructured late last season. His 2022 salary was cut from $5 million to $4 million, and his buyout of $15 million was reduced to $7.5 million.