CHICAGO — The Huskers are still alive.
Nebraska upset 5-seed Maryland 69-61 on Thursday afternoon.
James Palmer scored a team-high 24 points with five rebounds. Glynn Watson added 19 points. Nebraska suffocated Maryland, holding the Terrapins to 36 percent shooting from the floor.
NU, the 13-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, will play the 4-seed Wisconsin on Friday at about 2 p.m.
Maryland cut a 14-point second-half lead down to six in the second. But walk-on Johnny Trueblood secured an offensive rebound, which led to a 3-pointer from Palmer. That put the game out of reach.
Nebraska is now 18-15 on the year and have won three straight games.
Both teams made it hard to score in the opening minutes. Nebraska missed 8 of its first 11 shots, and was blocked three times by Bruno Fernando. But NU harassed Fernando and Jalen Smith down low, forcing three early turnovers to take an 11-10 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.
Trueblood buried a corner 3-pointer, said a little something to the Maryland bench, and pumped a little life into the Husker offense.
After Maryland tied it up at 14, a Roby dunk began a 13-2 run to go up 30-17. Palmer scored 14 in the first half, and was 4 for 4 from the floor.
As the lead built, Nebraska dropped into a zone, which threw Maryland out of sorts. The Terrapins shot 29 percent from the floor in the first half and scored a season-low 20 points. Fernando was swarmed on the block, and when he did get it out, the Terps made 2 of 9 3-pointers.
A Watson jumper, then steal at the buzzer put Nebraska up 32-20 at the half. Nebraska made seven of its final nine shots of the half.
Maryland quickly cut the lead to five by drawing a third foul on both Tanner Borchardt and Brady Heiman and making free throws. Nebraska started the second half 1 for 10 from the floor, and deferred to jumpers behind the arc rather than points in the paint. A Darryl Morsell dunk finished a 7-0 run that cut it to 35-30.
Nebraska came out of a timeout and Palmer took over for the second straight day. An up-and-under put NU up 11, which he followed with an and-one. A step-back 3-pointer from Watson bumped the lead back up to 14, closing a 9-0 run. Maryland in that span didn’t make a shot for more than three minutes.
A putback from Roby gave NU its biggest lead at 46-32
A 7-0 spurt got Maryland close again, under 10, but free throws after a technical foul on Maryland coach Mark Turgeon bumped it back to 11. An and-one from Roby on the next possession pushed it to 14 again with about eight minutes left.
Cowan’s first 3-pointer of the game, followed by a dunk from Morsell, got it to an eight-point game at the under-four minute media timeout.
A Trueblood layup with 55 seconds left put the lead back to 10.
Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
When: 12:30 p.m.
Where: United Center, Chicago
Radio: KNCY 1600 AM, 105.5 FM