Lincoln - The Nebraska men's team recorded its fourth straight conference victory in dominant fashion Thursday night, as the Huskers beat Penn State 80-67 in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,797 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Huskers improved to a Big Ten-best 12-1 in its first season at their new home and have won six of their previous seven league contests for the first time since 1998-99.
Now above the .500 mark for the first time as a member of the Big Ten, the Huskers (15-10, 7-6 Big Ten) amassed season highs in both free throws made and attempts going 37-for-48 from the charity stripe for the wire-to-wire victory. PSU (13-14, 4-10) went to the line just 23 times and connect on 17 attempts.
Reigning Co-Big Ten Player of the Week Terran Petteway paced the Huskers with a game-high 26 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the foul stripe. Petteway has now recorded nine games with 20-plus points and moves into fifth place on Nebraska's sophomore scoring chart.
Coach Miles and his team have now held five of their last six opponents to under 60 points. The stingy NU defense managed to hold Penn State to just 34 percent shooting from the field. The Huskers have now held their last four opponents under 40 percent shooting.
Nebraska, who led by as many as 27 points, used a balanced-scoring attack as the Huskers put five players in double-figures. Shavon Shields racked up 13 points, while Ray Gallegos and Walter Pitchford added 11 each. Tai Webster also tallied 10 points, five rebounds and three assists for NU.
In the first half, the Scarlet and Cream held a large advantage at the free throw line going 21-for-23 and forced PSU into just 25 percent shooting for the 39-27 halftime edge.
A Petteway 3-pointer at the 17:49 mark early in the second half gave NU a decisive 46-29 lead as the devout Husker fans created a frenzied atmosphere in 'The Vault.' The second half featured more of the same as the Huskers continued to get to the free throw line and frustrate the Nittany Lions.
NU will be back in action Sunday as they play host to the Purdue Boilermakers at 3:15 p.m. inside Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game will be televised by BTN and carried on the Husker Sports Radio Network. A limited number of single tickets are available for Sunday’s game by calling 800-8-BIGRED or visiting Huskers.com.
*-Nebraska won its fourth straight conference game, the first time that has happened since the 1998-99 season. The Huskers improved to 15-10 overall and 7-6 in Big Ten action, the first time Nebraska has been over .500 in conference play since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12.
*-Nebraska scored 80 points for the fourth time this season and second in Big Ten action (82 vs. Minnesota on Jan. 26)
*-Nebraska held Penn State to 34.9 percent shooting, the fourth straight opponent held under 40 percent shooting.
*-Nebraska’s 37 made free throws and 48 attempts were both season bests and also highs in conference play this year. MSU made 32 foul shots in an overtime over Minnesota on Jan. 11
*-Terran Petteway has now been in double figures 23 times in 25 games this season and now has a team-high nine 20-point games. He is tied for the Big Ten lead in 20-point games this season.
*-Nebraska had five players in double figures for the third time this season and for the first time since Nov. 22 against UMass.
*-Tai Webster reached double figures for the fourth time this season and first in Big Ten play as he finished with 10 points, a season high five rebounds and three assists. His previous conference high was nine against Ohio State on Jan. 28.