Nebraska routs Penn State in foul-plagued game
LINCOLN, Neb. — Terran Petteway scored 26 points to lead five Nebraska players in double figures, and the upstart Cornhuskers defeated Penn State, 80-67, on Thursday night for 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.
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.
Nebraska's Shavon Shields had 13 points before fouling out with 3 minutes to play, Walter Pitchford and Ray Gallegos added 11 apiece and Tai Webster had 10.
For the Huskers, the question Thursday was how they would respond to their nine-point win at then-No. 9 Michigan State on Sunday. That victory was Nebraska's first on the road against a ranked opponent since 2008, and it sparked talk about the Huskers perhaps making a run at their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1998.
The Huskers led from start to finish against a Penn State team that had beaten them 58-54 in State College, Pa., on Jan. 23.
About the only negative to come out of the game for Nebraska was an injury to Pitchford. The 6-foot-10 forward, who averages nine points and is the team's top 3-point shooter, went out with 8:02 to play after Penn State's Donovon Jack crashed into his left leg.
The game had little flow and devolved into a free-throw shooting contest. 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!”
The teams combined for 51 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 foul. Taylor and Nebraska's David Rivers each got technicals for scuffling.
A couple minutes earlier, Penn State coach Patrick Chambers received a technical for arguing.
The Huskers used runs of 12-4 and 9-0 to build a double-digit lead in the middle of the first half, and they led 39-27 at the break despite making only one field goal the last 8:35. Penn State shot 25.8 percent the first 20 minutes and 34.9 percent for the game. The Nittany Lions' only worse first-half effort was 24.1 percent the first time the teams met.
Nebraska has held its last four opponents to 35.6-percent shooting and an average of 56.3 points.