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LINCOLN, Neb. — Facing a hostile Big Ten road environment, freshman guard Fletcher Loyer looked like anything but a first-year college player. He scored a career-high 22 points, leading No. 4 Purdue to a narrow 65-62 overtime win over Nebraska on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Loyer was 9-of-21 from the field and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers without turning the ball over. He was pivotal for the Boilermakers as they improved to 10-0 and 2-0 in conference play. He had a chance to win the game in regulation, but his jump shot in the corner was no good.

The Cornhuskers had a trio of players score in double figures, and they came away with 19 offensive rebounds but shot just 31.9% from the field.

In a slow first half on the offensive end of the court, junior center Zach Edey was largely held in check. Matched up against senior forward Derrick Walker of Nebraska, the Purdue big man attempted just four shots but had eight points to go along with eight rebounds before halftime.

Both teams struggled from the floor, combining to make just seven of the first 20 shots in the matchup. Senior guard David Jenkins Jr. gave the Boilermakers a much-needed boost, hitting his first two shots off the bench, including a 3-pointer. The team was just 4-of-12 from deep in the opening period.

With Edey struggling out of the gates, Loyer led all scorers in the first half with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. He scored five straight for the Boilermakers after the Cornhuskers tied the game, 19-19, with 5:58 left to play before the break.

Loyer’s scoring burst ignited a 10-0 Purdue run, and the team made six of its last eight shots to take a 34-24 lead into the locker room. Nebraska kept things close early on as senior guard Emmanuel Bandoumel scored eight points and hit two 3-pointers.

The Boilermakers opened the second half by sinking three of their first four 3-pointers and led by as many as 14 points. But they missed their next 13 shots from deep, and the Cornhuskers clawed their way back from the double-digit deficit.

A 4-point play from junior guard Keisei Tominaga sparked a 10-0 run for Nebraska, and Purdue’s lead was cut to just four points with 12:03 left to play. He had 19 points off the bench and buried four 3-pointers. Walker and Bandoumel each finished with 14 points. 

The Boilermakers shot 29.2% from the floor in the second half, and Edey was only able to register two points in the period while turning the ball over three times. His 11 points on the night were a season-low, but he remained stout on the glass by pulling down 17 rebounds, including seven offensive boards to spring 12 second-chance points. He also added a season-high seven blocks.

Purdue made just one field goal in the final eight minutes of play, and Nebraska would eventually tie the game on a 3-pointer by Tominaga with eight seconds left. Loyer had an open shot to end the contest in regulation, but his corner attempt was pushed too far.

In the overtime period, Walker and Loyer went back and forth on the scoring front before freshman guard Braden Smith knocked down four free throws for the Boilermakers. He struggled all afternoon but finished with eight points, six rebounds and a team-high four assists while going 5-of-6 from the foul line.

Purdue is now 2-0 on the road for the first time since the 2017-18 season when it took down Marquette and Maryland. The team will be back in action next Saturday, Dec. 17, for a matchup with Davidson in the inaugural Indy Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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