Zach Edey and the top-ranked Boilermakers stumble back into the Big Ten.
Nebraska rallied in the second half and beat No. 1 Purdue 88-72 on Monday night. It marked Purdue's second loss to an unranked team in the Big Ten already this season and was Nebraska's first over a No. 1 team since 1982.
Naturally, this led to a wild celebration at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
After a very tight first half, Nebraska went into the locker room with a huge run by Sam Hoiberg. The Huskers ended the period on a 13-0 run, seven of which belonged to Hoiberg, to take an 11-point lead into halftime.
Hoiberg, son of coach Fred Hoiberg, finished with nine points on the night.
While that run was big, it was what Nebraska did defensively that made the difference. They completely shut down Edey in the first half. The reigning National Player of the Year had just two points and four rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Although Purdue quickly cut the game to one point in the second half, it was the closest they got. Nebraska then went on a quick 8-0 run, capped by another Hoiberg steal and layup in double figures.
Thanks to a trio of clutch 3-pointers from CJ Wilcher, they kept Purdue pretty much the rest of the way. When Fletcher Lower cut it to seven points with a late 3-pointer, Casey Dominaga hit one of her own to send Nebraska into a 4-under timeout with a 10-point lead.
From there, Nebraska held on for a 16-point victory.
Eddy finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in the loss to Purdue. Mason Gillis added 16 points off the bench, and Lower finished with 13 points.
The Boilermakers have lost twice to unranked teams in conference play so far this season. They lost to Northwestern in overtime in December after climbing to a No. 1 national ranking. Purdue has had no problem taking on ranked opponents this year. The Boilermakers rolled through the Maui Invitational in November, where they beat Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette, and then they beat Arizona last month. They also beat No. 9 Illinois last week.
Purdue's loss marked its first loss of the season in Ames after Iowa State handed No. 2 Houston the second-biggest upset in college basketball on Tuesday night. Although the first six teams lost on the same day last year, it was the first time since last season that the No. 1 and No. 2 teams lost on the same day. With two losses on Tuesday, No. 3 Kansas should pave the way for the top spot next week. Purdue will host Penn State next Saturday. They won't play a ranked opponent again until they travel to Madison on Feb. 4 to play at No. 15 Wisconsin.
Dominaga led Nebraska with 19 points in the win. He shot 5-of-9 from behind the arc and was one of seven players to make a 3-pointer. Rienkmast added 18 points and Wilcher added 16 points.
Nebraska has won six of its last seven games. The Huskers had won five in a row before falling at No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday. Tuesday night's win was the first against a ranked opponent all season and will go a long way in their NCAA Tournament run in March. Nebraska will face Iowa next Friday.