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Palmer scores 29 to help Nebraska beat Oklahoma State 79-56

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Nebraska got 29 points from James Palmer Jr. and the Huskers pulled away in the second half to defeat Oklahoma State 79-56 on Sunday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Palmer came in averaging 18.7 points per game but blew by that number early in the second half. He scored a season-high 30 points in Nebraska's last outing, a 19-point win over Creighton on Dec. 8.

Playing in front of essentially a home crowd, Nebraska (9-2) also got 16 points from Isaac Copeland Jr. and 14 from Thomas Allen. Allen came off the bench after suffering an illness all week. He was diagnosed with a stomach virus and was in a Lincoln Hospital until early Saturday morning. He left Lincoln for Sioux Falls at 7 a.m., arrived at the venue around noon and played 27 minutes going 5 of 7 from the field.

''For him to come in and be able to understand the defensive game plan and what's going on, I think you can see what we saw in the recruiting process,'' Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. ''Sometimes he's kind of the fifth Beatle. He did a great job tonight and made huge baskets.''

Nebraska's biggest lead of the first half was 32-30 when Glynn Watson Jr. buried a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer after the Huskers trailed for most of the half. It was part of a 23-5 run that carried over into the second half and gave Nebraska a 46-35 lead when Allen hit a 3-pointer with 13:53 to play.

Oklahoma State trailed by double figures the rest of the way.

The Huskers extended the lead to 24 when Copeland hit a jumper to make it 70-46 with nearly three minutes to play. A late 3-pointer from freshman Justin Costello made it 79-54 with 29 seconds left - Nebraska's biggest lead of the game.

The Sanford Pentagon is four hours north of Lincoln, Nebraska, and the 3,000-seat venue was overwhelmingly filled with Huskers fans.

''I think it might have caught our guys off guard a little bit. I don't know if they knew exactly what to expect,'' Miles said. ''We just needed to process the whole deal, and I thought we got stronger as the game went on. You have to prove that you can win away from home, and although this had a great environment to it, it's still away from home.''

Freshman Yor Anei led Oklahoma State (4-6) with a season-high 17 points and Lindy Waters III and Michael Weathers scored 13 apiece.

TURNING POINT

Trailing 28-21, the Huskers clamped down on defense and got a pair of 3-pointers from Isaac Copeland to take momentum into halftime. The Nebraska defense also forced two shot-clock violations in the final two minutes of the half, adding to their momentum surge.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

The Cowboys entered the game shooting 42 percent from 3-point range. Their previous season low was seven made 3s, in their last outing, a 63-53 loss to then-unranked but now No. 24 Houston on Dec. 8.

BIG PICTURE

Oklahoma State has now lost four in a row. The Cowboys shot just 13.3 percent from 3-point range, hit 8 of 15 from the free-throw line and committed 19 turnovers.

The Huskers made 21 free throws and shot 91.3 percent from the stripe - both season highs - and had 10 steals. They have won four of their last five.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma State will be home for three straight, beginning Dec. 21 vs. Central Arkansas. The Cowboys open their Big 12 conference schedule on Jan. 2 vs. Iowa State.

Nebraska returns to home for two straight, beginning Dec. 22 against Cal State Fullerton.

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Key Players
G. Watson Jr.
5 G
L. Waters III
21 G
34.1 Min. Per Game 34.1
10.9 Pts. Per Game 10.9
3.5 Ast. Per Game 3.5
4.4 Reb. Per Game 4.4
47.8 Field Goal % 39.5
44.8 Three Point % 36.4
89.5 Free Throw % 100.0
+ 2 Luke Major made jump shot 6.0
+ 3 Justin Costello made 3-pt. jump shot 28.0
+ 2 Yor Anei made jump shot 40.0
+ 2 Brady Heiman made layup, assist by Thorir Thorbjarnarson 53.0
+ 2 Michael Weathers made layup 1:06
+ 1 James Palmer Jr. made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:22
+ 1 James Palmer Jr. made 1st of 2 free throws 1:22
  Personal foul on Isaac Likekele 1:22
  Bad pass turnover on Yor Anei, stolen by Isaiah Roby 1:25
+ 2 Isaiah Roby made layup, assist by Thomas Allen 1:39
+ 2 Yor Anei made layup, assist by Curtis Jones 1:55
Team Stats
Points 79 56
Field Goals 25-53 (47.2%) 23-56 (41.1%)
3-Pointers 8-18 (44.4%) 2-15 (13.3%)
Free Throws 21-23 (91.3%) 8-15 (53.3%)
Total Rebounds 28 34
Offensive 5 12
Defensive 19 19
Team 4 3
Assists 13 9
Steals 10 6
Blocks 5 4
Turnovers 11 18
Fouls 13 19
Technicals 0 1
29 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST
17 PTS, 8 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Nebraska 9-2 324779
home team logo Oklahoma State 4-6 302656
Team Stats
away team logo Nebraska 9-2 77.2 PPG 39.5 RPG 14.3 APG
home team logo Oklahoma State 4-6 69.8 PPG 39.7 RPG 13.6 APG
Key Players
0
J. Palmer Jr. G 19.4 PPG 4.5 RPG 3.3 APG 39.1 FG%
14
Y. Anei F 6.6 PPG 4.2 RPG 0.4 APG 67.6 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Palmer Jr. G 29 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
Y. Anei F 17 PTS 8 REB 1 AST
47.2 FG% 41.1
44.4 3PT FG% 13.3
91.3 FT% 53.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Palmer Jr. 29 2 5 6/17 3/4 14/15 0 38 1 2 1 1 1
I. Copeland Jr. 16 5 2 7/11 1/3 1/1 1 34 1 1 1 2 3
G. Watson Jr. 7 4 1 2/8 1/5 2/2 1 34 1 0 3 0 4
I. Roby 5 7 1 2/4 0/0 1/1 4 27 4 1 2 1 6
N. Akenten 0 5 0 0/3 0/2 0/0 2 16 0 1 1 1 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Palmer Jr. 29 2 5 6/17 3/4 14/15 0 38 1 2 1 1 1
I. Copeland Jr. 16 5 2 7/11 1/3 1/1 1 34 1 1 1 2 3
G. Watson Jr. 7 4 1 2/8 1/5 2/2 1 34 1 0 3 0 4
I. Roby 5 7 1 2/4 0/0 1/1 4 27 4 1 2 1 6
N. Akenten 0 5 0 0/3 0/2 0/0 2 16 0 1 1 1 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Allen 14 1 2 5/7 2/3 2/2 2 27 2 0 1 0 1
T. Borchardt 3 0 0 1/1 0/0 1/2 2 13 1 0 1 0 0
J. Costello 3 0 0 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
B. Heiman 2 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
J. Trueblood 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
T. Thorbjarnarson 0 0 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 4 0 0 1 0 0
D. Burke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Harris - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 79 24 13 25/53 8/18 21/23 13 200 10 5 11 5 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Y. Anei 17 8 1 7/10 0/0 3/4 2 25 0 1 2 4 4
L. Waters III 13 2 2 5/8 2/4 1/1 2 33 1 0 0 1 1
I. Likekele 6 4 2 2/5 0/0 2/4 5 34 1 0 1 1 3
C. McGriff 2 10 1 1/8 0/2 0/2 4 30 2 2 2 5 5
T. Dziagwa 0 2 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 3 14 0 0 5 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Y. Anei 17 8 1 7/10 0/0 3/4 2 25 0 1 2 4 4
L. Waters III 13 2 2 5/8 2/4 1/1 2 33 1 0 0 1 1
I. Likekele 6 4 2 2/5 0/0 2/4 5 34 1 0 1 1 3
C. McGriff 2 10 1 1/8 0/2 0/2 4 30 2 2 2 5 5
T. Dziagwa 0 2 0 0/4 0/4 0/0 3 14 0 0 5 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Weathers 13 1 2 6/11 0/1 1/2 2 25 1 1 5 1 0
C. Jones 2 2 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 0 17 0 0 1 0 2
L. Major 2 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
D. Demuth 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 8 1 0 0 0 1
M. Cunningham 0 1 0 0/4 0/2 0/0 0 13 0 0 2 0 1
T. Reeves - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Calloo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 56 31 9 23/56 2/15 8/15 19 200 6 4 18 12 19