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Huskers Fall at Penn State, 76-65

Derrick Walker had 20 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, but Penn State shot 68 percent in the second half in posting a 76-65 win over Nebraska Saturday afternoon.

Walker paced the Huskers with 20 points, his fourth 20-point contest, and added six rebounds and six assists for Nebraska (10-10, 3-6 Big Ten). Keisei Tominaga had 13 points, while C.J. Wilcher and

Sam Griesel chipped in 11 markers apiece, as Nebraska shot 45 percent from the field, but went just 13-of-24 from the foul line.

Andrew Funk had 23 points, including five 3-pointers, while Seth Lundy added 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Jalen Pickett added 12 points and 13 rebounds for Penn State (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions shot 49 percent, including 11 3-pointers, and out-rebounded the Huskers, 33-31.

Nebraska, which overcame a 10-point first-half deficit, trailed 33-26 early in the second half before Nebraska used a 7-0 spurt on a pair of Walker baskets and a 3-pointer from Wilcher to knot the score at 33 apiece with 16:45 remaining.

The Huskers stayed in striking distance and trailed 45-41 before a Kayne Clary driving basket and a 3-pointer from Lundy stretched the lead to 50-41 with 12:22 remaining. Trailing 52-41, Tominaga got the Huskers back into the game, scoring 11 points in a 13-5 spurt that pulled the Huskers within 54-57 with 8:13 left. That would be as close as Nebraska would get as PSU used a 13-4 run of its own to take a 70-58 lead after Funk’s 3-pointer with 3:37 remaining.

Penn State got off to a blistering start in the first half, hitting its first three 3-pointers in jumping out to a 10-0 lead following a 3-pointer from Funk to force a Husker timeout.  Funk, who had seven of PSU’s first 10 points, tallied 16 first-half points.

Nebraska battled back behind its defense and Derrick Walker, as the Huskers held Penn State scoreless for nearly five minutes while Walker keyed an 8-0 surge, scoring six points for the Big Red to get within 10-8.

The Huskers eventually clawed back and tied it at 15 following a Wilcher 3-pointer with 8:09 left in the half and was within 21-19 following a Sam Griesel dunk with just over three minutes left in the half. PSU, which shot 33 percent in the opening 20 minutes, stretched the lead to 26-19 and took a 29-23 lead into the locker room.

The Huskers are scheduled to play on Tuesday, Jan. 24, against Northwestern. The Wildcats have had their last two games postponed because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.  Fans should check for updates.

Postgame Notes vs. Penn State
*-Penn State was Nebraska’s 13th game against a Quad 1 or Quad 2 team this season.
*-Derrick Walker finished with a team-high 20 points, his fourth 20-point game of the season. Walker also paced NU with six assists, one shy of his career best
*-Sam Griesel recorded a career-high five steals, the most by a Husker since Wilhelm Breidenbach had five against South Dakota last season.
*-C.J. Wilcher finished with 11 points, his first double-figure effort since Dec. 29
*-Keisei Tominaga had 13 points, his third straight game in double figures and 11th double-figure day of the year.
*-The loss snaps Nebraska’s two-game win streak in State College
*-Denim Dawson finished with a team-high nine rebounds and has had 17 in his two starts this week.
*-Emmanuel Bandoumel played just 6:35 before leaving with a knee injury

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