While Penn State couldn’t find its rhythm offensively in the second half Tuesday night, Nebraska continued to execute and turn the game into a blowout.
The Cornhuskers shot 55.4 percent from the field in an 82-66 win over the Nittany Lions at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska got the ball to center Jordy Tshimanga in the post and attacked the rim on drives to take control in the first half before running away with the win in the final 20 minutes.
Tony Carr finished with 15 points to lead the Nittany Lions (14-13, 6-8 Big Ten), who shot 31 percent in the second half. Lamar Stevens added 13 points.
Glynn Watson Jr. and Jack McVeigh each had 15 points to pace Nebraska (11-14, 5-8), which finished with 46 points in the paint. Tshimanga and Tai Webster both had 12.
The Cornhuskers scored 20 of their first 31 points in the paint and shot 70.6 percent from the field in the first 11-plus minutes to take a nine-point lead.
Tshimanga fueled his team’s strong start with layups off post moves and pick-and-rolls. A little more than four minutes into the game, he spun past Penn State’s Julian Moore on the right block and finished on the left side of the rim before converting inside on his team’s next possession to give Nebraska a five-point lead.
Penn State stayed within striking distance in the first half, but the Huskers took a 45-37 lead into the break after McVeigh hit a shot from half court at the buzzer.
Nebraska used a 9-0 run in the second half to start to pull away. Back-to-back dunks by 6-foot-8 forward Isaiah Roby highlighted the decisive stretch, which pushed the Huskers ahead 65-47 with more than 10 minutes remaining.
The Huskers led by as many as 24 in the win.
Penn State hosts No. 16 Purdue at 6 p.m. Tuesday.