ROSEMONT – Northwestern and Nebraska each needed a win Tuesday night to avoid digging itself an early hole in the Big Ten men’s basketball race.
It’s the Wildcats who find themselves in need of a shovel.
The Cornhuskers put together a big second half to grab a 70-55 victory at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, the Wildcats’ home for the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena on Northwestern’s campus is being renovated.
“We hadn’t won a true road game yet,” said Isaiah Roby, a sophomore forward from Dixon. “Coming off
Christmas break, we had some games where we didn’t play our best. We didn’t play our best tonight either, but it’s good to come out with a win against a team like Northwestern.”
Roby played 19 minutes for the Cornhuskers (11-5, 2-1) and finished with five points, two assists, two blocks, one rebound and one steal. His 3-pointer with 25 seconds to go was the icing on the cake for Nebraska, which outscored Northwestern 45-25 in the second half.
Glynn Watson Jr. led Nebraska with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.
James Palmer Jr. finished with 18 points, and Isaac Copeland added 13 for the Huskers, who won their fourth straight game.
“It’s very important as we move forward to try and become one of those NCAA Tournament-type teams,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said, “and certainly a player in the Big Ten, too. This is the only time we see Northwestern all year, and to win it convincingly I think was really important.”
Dererk Pardon topped Northwestern (10-6, 1-2) with 17 points, Scottie Lindsey had 12, and Aaron Falzon added 11.
The Wildcats were playing their first game without senior point guard Bryant McIntosh, who suffered an injury to his left knee in a win against Brown on Saturday. Tests revealed no structural damage to McIntosh’s knee, but the Wildcats will proceed with caution treating his injury.
Nebraska 70, Northwestern 55
Star of the game: Glynn Watson Jr. (NEB), 19 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds
Roby’s line: 5 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 rebound, 1 steal
Up next: Northwestern at Penn State, 7 p.m. Friday; Nebraska at Purdue, 1:15 p.m. Saturday