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No. 24 Nebraska beats Creighton 94-75, ends skid in series

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Nebraska, in basketball, is now a red state.

The No. 24 Cornhuskers left no doubt, turning in their best performance of the season against Creighton, their in-state rival from Omaha.

James Palmer made three of his career-best six 3-pointers in the first three minutes and finished with 30 points, and the Huskers won 94-75 on Saturday night to end a seven-game losing streak in the series.

''James is a playmaker, and the bigger the stage, the bigger the performance,'' said Nebraska coach Tim Miles, who won for the first time in the series and also broke through to win for the first time in 15 games against teams coached by Greg McDermott.

Creighton's Mitch Ballock made his first six shots, all 3-pointers, and finished 7 for 10 from long range with 23 points. His efforts weren't nearly enough.

The Huskers (8-2) shot 53 percent from the floor, including 52 percent (14 of 27) on 3-pointers.

Isaiah Roby had 15 points and eight rebounds, Glynn Watson Jr. had 13 points and Isaac Copeland added 11 points.

The 19-point winning margin was Nebraska's biggest in the series since 1997.

''Every guy made these huge plays,'' Miles said. ''You start with James Palmer shooting the ball really well, Isaiah and Isaac Copeland doing what they always do, and then you look at Glynn. I was so happy for Glynn. And then Tom Allen, it was like he was shot out of a cannon tonight.''

The win was especially sweet for Watson, who was 0-3 in his career against the Bluejays.

''I can't really put it into too many words,'' he said. ''It's a great feeling. I'm very happy for me, my coach and my team.''

The sellout crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena began chanting ''Go Big Red!'' as the Huskers put the finishing touches on their performance.

The Huskers led by as much as 21 points in the first half but couldn't put the Bluejays away until late.

''Today we were so hyped before the game,'' Palmer said. ''We were ready to play. It really showed in the first half.''

The Bluejays got a dunk from Martin Krampelj and a layup and 3-pointer from Davion Mintz to make it 77-67 with 6:11 left.

Allen missed a 3 as the shot clock was running out. If the Bluejays had gotten the rebound, they would have had a chance to cut the lead to single digits. But Roby came up with the ball and passed to Copeland, who swished a 3 to put the Huskers up 84-70 with 3:46 left.

Mintz had 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Ty-Shon Alexander scored 10 for Creighton (6-3).

''Nebraska played great,'' McDermott said. ''We were concerned with their dribble penetration and their ability to get to the free-throw line. We tried to plug up the lane early. To their credit, they made us pay with the 3-point shot. That kind of got the crowd into the game and got us off to a rough start, and then we're fighting an uphill battle the rest of the game.''

BIG PICTURE

Creighton: The Bluejays got all they could want from Ballock, but the rest of the team shot 19 of 50 from the field, and their 12 turnovers were converted into 17 Nebraska points.

Nebraska: The Huskers were up 13 points in the second half at Minnesota on Wednesday and squandered the lead in an 85-78 loss. When Creighton trimmed its 21-point deficit to nine, the Huskers responded well and never let the Bluejays get closer.

HOME COOKING

Nebraska extended its home winning streak to 17 straight games, with 12 of those victories by double digits. That marks the Huskers' longest home winning streak since a school-record 20-game streak spanning the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. Nebraska is 6-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season, winning every game by at least 15 points.

MILES VS. MAC

Miles said the end of his personal 0-for-14 streak against McDermott-coached teams at the Division I and II levels will make for good conversation when the two play golf together next summer.

''It's meaningful,'' Miles said. ''But I won't be happy until we get 13 more.''

UP NEXT

Creighton hosts Green Bay on Friday.

Nebraska plays Oklahoma State on Dec. 16 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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Key Players
T. Alexander
5 G
G. Watson Jr.
5 G
30.6 Min. Per Game 30.6
14.6 Pts. Per Game 14.6
3.7 Ast. Per Game 3.7
4.3 Reb. Per Game 4.3
48.7 Field Goal % 49.5
44.3 Three Point % 47.2
73.3 Free Throw % 88.2
  Lost ball turnover on Kaleb Joseph, stolen by Nana Akenten 16.0
  Lost ball turnover on Thorir Thorbjarnarson, stolen by Kaleb Joseph 27.0
  Defensive rebound by Johnny Trueblood 53.0
  Jordan Scurry missed 3-pt. jump shot 55.0
  Bad pass turnover on Nana Akenten, stolen by Christian Bishop 1:03
+ 2 Christian Bishop made layup 1:10
  Offensive rebound by Christian Bishop 1:20
  Marcus Zegarowski missed 2nd of 2 free throws 1:20
+ 1 Marcus Zegarowski made 1st of 2 free throws 1:10
  Personal foul on Nana Akenten 1:10
+ 3 James Palmer Jr. made 3-pt. jump shot 1:20
Team Stats
Points 75 94
Field Goals 26-60 (43.3%) 32-60 (53.3%)
3-Pointers 11-27 (40.7%) 14-27 (51.9%)
Free Throws 12-21 (57.1%) 16-20 (80.0%)
Total Rebounds 31 35
Offensive 12 11
Defensive 17 24
Team 2 0
Assists 10 15
Steals 7 9
Blocks 1 5
Turnovers 12 9
Fouls 16 16
Technicals 1 1
23 PTS, 3 REB, 2 AST
30 PTS, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Creighton 6-3 344175
home team logo 24 Nebraska 8-2 474794
Team Stats
away team logo Creighton 6-3 83.8 PPG 35.7 RPG 15.7 APG
home team logo 24 Nebraska 8-2 79.8 PPG 39.9 RPG 14.9 APG
Key Players
24
M. Ballock G 12.8 PPG 3.4 RPG 3.2 APG 48.8 FG%
0
J. Palmer Jr. G 18.7 PPG 3.8 RPG 2.7 APG 41.7 FG%
Top Scorers
M. Ballock G 23 PTS 3 REB 2 AST
J. Palmer Jr. G 30 PTS 0 REB 2 AST
43.3 FG% 53.3
40.7 3PT FG% 51.9
57.1 FT% 80.0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Ballock 31 23 3 2 0 0 1 3 7/10 7/10 2/3 2 1
D. Mintz 24 15 2 1 0 0 2 2 6/10 2/5 1/2 1 1
T. Alexander 34 10 5 3 1 0 0 2 2/10 1/4 5/6 1 4
D. Jefferson 32 9 5 0 2 1 1 3 4/9 1/3 0/2 3 2
M. Krampelj 23 6 5 1 1 0 2 2 3/6 0/1 0/2 2 3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Ballock 31 23 3 2 0 0 1 3 7/10 7/10 2/3 2 1
D. Mintz 24 15 2 1 0 0 2 2 6/10 2/5 1/2 1 1
T. Alexander 34 10 5 3 1 0 0 2 2/10 1/4 5/6 1 4
D. Jefferson 32 9 5 0 2 1 1 3 4/9 1/3 0/2 3 2
M. Krampelj 23 6 5 1 1 0 2 2 3/6 0/1 0/2 2 3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Froling 8 4 1 0 0 0 1 0 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 1
K. Joseph 12 3 1 2 1 0 2 2 1/1 0/0 1/2 0 1
M. Zegarowski 16 3 3 1 0 0 1 0 0/4 0/3 3/4 1 2
C. Bishop 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 2 0
C. Cashaw 10 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0/3 0/0 0/0 0 2
J. Scurry 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0
J. Epperson 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 0
D. Mahoney - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Canfield - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 75 29 10 7 1 12 16 26/60 11/27 12/21 12 17
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Palmer Jr. 27 30 0 2 1 0 1 2 9/12 6/7 6/6 0 0
T. Allen 35 18 5 4 1 1 0 0 7/11 2/5 2/2 0 5
I. Roby 32 15 8 4 0 2 3 3 5/9 0/2 5/8 5 3
G. Watson Jr. 34 13 3 5 3 0 1 2 4/11 3/6 2/2 0 3
I. Copeland Jr. 33 11 7 0 0 0 1 2 4/8 2/4 1/2 1 6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
J. Palmer Jr. 27 30 0 2 1 0 1 2 9/12 6/7 6/6 0 0
T. Allen 35 18 5 4 1 1 0 0 7/11 2/5 2/2 0 5
I. Roby 32 15 8 4 0 2 3 3 5/9 0/2 5/8 5 3
G. Watson Jr. 34 13 3 5 3 0 1 2 4/11 3/6 2/2 0 3
I. Copeland Jr. 33 11 7 0 0 0 1 2 4/8 2/4 1/2 1 6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
N. Akenten 15 3 4 0 3 1 1 3 1/5 1/3 0/0 2 2
T. Borchardt 12 2 5 0 1 0 0 2 1/3 0/0 0/0 3 2
B. Heiman 9 2 2 0 0 1 1 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 2
J. Trueblood 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1
J. Costello 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
T. Thorbjarnarson 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
D. Burke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Harris - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 94 35 15 9 5 9 16 32/60 14/27 16/20 11 24