Anxious Nebraska fans worried about the Cornhuskers coming out flat against Penn State after their upset at Michigan State could relax by halftime.
The Huskers turned a 12-point lead in the first half into a 27-point bulge and went on to an 80-67 victory Thursday night.
Terran Petteway scored 26 points to lead five Nebraska players in double figures, and the upstart Cornhuskers posted their fourth straight win and seventh in nine games.
Nebraska (15-10, 7-6 Big Ten) has won four straight conference games for the first time since 1998-99 and has matched its victory total of last season. The Huskers are over .500 in the Big Ten for the first time since joining the league in 2011. Nebraska lost at Penn State 58-54 last month.
D.J. Newbill and Tim Frazier scored 17 points each for Penn State (13-14, 4-10), which has lost four of its last five after winning three straight.
The teams combined for 51 fouls, so the game had little flow. In the middle of the second half, after yet another stoppage, a voice in the sellout crowd of 15,797 cried out “No more fouls!”
Five technical fouls were called, four on Penn State. Nebraska made 37 of 48 free throws and the Nittany Lions hit 17 of 23. Penn State’s Brandon Taylor was ejected with 15:18 left after committing his second technical. A couple minutes earlier, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers had received a technical for arguing.
THE TOP 25
NORTH CAROLINA 74, NO. 5 DUKE 66: Marcus Paige scored all 13 of his points in the second half, including two big baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes, to help North Carolina beat Duke.
Senior Leslie McDonald added a season-high 21 points for the Tar Heels (19-7, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who rallied from 11 down in the second half to snap a two-game home losing streak to the Blue Devils (21-6, 10-4).
It was North Carolina’s eighth straight win and by far its most impressive during the run that has helped the Tar Heels dig out from an 0-3 ACC start.
Jabari Parker and Quinn Cook each scored 17 points for Duke, which led 51-40 before missing 13 straight shots.
NO. 13 MICHIGAN ST. 94, PURDUE 79: Gary Harris scored 25 points, Adreian Payne added 23, and Michigan State hit a school-record 17 3-pointers.
Harris and Payne combined to make 10 3-pointers for the Spartans (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten), who made 13 3s in the first half.
Kendall Stephens had 19 points and Ronnie Johnson added 17 for the Boilermakers (15-11, 5-8).
NO. 21 UCONN 68, TEMPLE 55: Shabazz Napier had 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Connecticut.
Ryan Boatright added 14 points and DeAndre Daniels had 13 for the Huskies (21-5, 9-4 American Athletic Conference), who won their fourth straight despite shooting 2-for-13 from 3-point range.
Quenton DeCosey scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half for Temple (7-18, 2-11), at one point scoring all of his team’s points for more than a 13-minute stretch. He grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
NO. 22 MEMPHIS 64, RUTGERS 59: Michael Dixon Jr. scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Memphis, which led from start to finish.
The Tigers (20-6, 9-4 American Athletic), coming off an overtime loss at No. 21 Connecticut on Saturday, got 11 points from Joe Jackson and 10 each from Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols.
Kadeem Jack had 18 of his 22 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (10-17, 4-10). Myles Mack and Malick Kone had 10 points apiece.
Memphis beat the Scarlet Knights 101-69 in their first meeting on Feb. 4.
BYU 73, NO. 25 GONZAGA 65: Anson Winder scored 17 points and Matt Carlino added 15 to lead BYU.
Eric Mika added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Cougars (19-10, 11-5 West Coast Conference), who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs (23-5, 13-2).
Sam Dower had 14 points and Kevin Pangos added 13 for the Bulldogs, who shot 40.7 percent (22 of 54) from the field and could not overcome 16 turnovers. BYU scored 18 points off turnovers.
The Cougars scored six straight points to open the second half, taking a 45-39 lead on a jumper from Kyle Collinsworth. It was part of a 9-0 spurt for BYU that started with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Haws to close the first half.
The Bulldogs closed within four points three times, the last at 69-65 on a 3-pointer by Pangos with 1:01 left.