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Keisei Tominaga Plays a Starring Role in Nebraska's Upset of Top-Ranked Purdue

The Cornhuskers closed out the first half with a 13-0 run, which started with Keisei Tominaga making back-to-back 3-pointers.



Keisei Tominaga
University of Nebraska guard Keisei Tominaga shoots a jumper as Purdue University's Lance Jones defends on January 9, 2024, in Lincoln, Nebraska. (NEBRASKA ATHLETICS)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Keisei Tominaga Plays a Starring Role in Nebraska's Upset of Top-Ranked Purdue

Senior guard Keisei Tominaga scored a game-high 19 points to help ignite the University of Nebraska men's basketball team in an 88-72 home victory over top-ranked Purdue University on Tuesday, January 9.

Emotional Nebraska fans stormed the court after the game to celebrate the win.

"It was dope. I've never experienced that," Cornhuskers guard CJ Wilcher told reporters, describing the scene. "It kind of got too hot, though. I had to get out of there."

Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg, who's in his fifth season in charge, called Tuesday's upset a "a great win."

And it was a game that showcased how valuable Tominaga, who averaged 11.4 points in five games for the Japan national team at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Okinawa, is to the team's offense. He leads the Cornhuskers in scoring (14.6 points per game). Tominaga made 5 of 9 3-pointers in the Big Ten Conference showdown against Purdue.

In a postgame news conference, Hoiberg said his team must shift its focus in a hurry. The Cornhuskers travel to play at the University of Iowa on Saturday, January 13.

"It's a huge win for our program, but we've got a lot of work left to do," the Nebraska coach said. "I think that's the way we all need to look at this thing. This can't be the highlight of our year. We have to build off this one."

The Cornhuskers were coming off an 88-72 road loss against 21st-ranked University of Wisconsin on Saturday, January 6, a game in which Tominaga had 17 points.

"We bounced back from a tough loss," added Hoiberg, a former NBA player who coached the Chicago Bulls for three-plus seasons (2015-18). "Now, we're gonna see how we handle a big, emotional win like this, and we'll know tomorrow. We'll know tomorrow in the gym."

Keisei Tominaga
Cornhuskers guard Keisei Tominaga (30) shoots a layup in the first half as Purdue's Braden Smith guards him at Pinnacle Bank Arena. (Dylan Widger/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Tominaga Ignites Cornhuskers in Pivotal Scoring Run

The Cornhuskers ended the first half on a 13-0 scoring run and took a 41-30 lead into halftime.

With 3:31 remaining in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Boilermakers led 30-28 after Fletcher Loyer sank two free throws.


Tominaga put his team in front with a 3-pointer at the 3:17 mark.

The Nagoya native sank another 3 with 2:30 left in the half to give the hosts a 34-30 advantage. Nebraska then scored the next seven points to close out the half.

The Cornhuskers improved to 13-3 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten, while the Boilermakers slipped to 14-2, 3-2.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven


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