The Huskers (17-15) look for a third straight win following a 68-61 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday in the first round. The Huskers got a career-high 34 points from James Palmer Jr., Nebraska overcame an early eight-point deficit and eventually took control with an 15-0 spurt late in the second half to put away the Scarlet Knights.
Palmer put together one of the finest performances of his career, scoring 27 of his 34 points in the second half en route to posting the second-highest total by a Husker in a conference tournament game.
Nebraska, which dressed just eight players because of injuries, got some unexpected performances in the win over Rutgers. Walk-on Johnny Trueblood sparked the bench effort, with three points, a team-high four steals and two assists in 20 minutes. Trueblood helped the Huskers force 22 Scarlet Knight turnovers. The trio of Palmer, Glynn Watson Jr. (11 points, five assists) and Isaiah Roby (10 points, six rebounds, four blocked shots) accounted for 55 of the Huskers’ 68 points.
Maryland (22-9) is the fifth seed and has been off since a 69-60 win over Minnesota on Friday evening. First-team All-Big Ten selections Bruno Fernando (14.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg) and Anthony Cowen (15.9 ppg, 4.3 apg) key a Maryland attack which averages 71.7 points per game and is among the nation’s best in rebounding margin.
The winner of Thursday’s game will play fourth-seeded Wisconsin Friday at 1:30 p.m. or 25 minutes following the conclusion of the Michigan State game against the winner of the Ohio State/Indiana game.