INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jamari Wheeler scored a career-high 19 points, and No. 11 seed Penn State pulled away inside the last four minutes to beat No. 14 seed Nebraska 72-66 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament.
Penn State (11-13) has won four of its last five games and plays sixth-seeded Wisconsin in the second round Thursday.
Tied at 59-all with 3:48 remaining, John Harrar made a free throw and Myles Dread hit a 3-pointer to spark a 13-7 closing run by the Nittany Lions, who trailed 37-23 at the break.
Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington added 14 points apiece for Penn State. Sam Sessoms had 11 points. Wheeler and Jones combined for six of the Nittany Lions' seven 3-pointers. Harrar matched career highs with 14 rebounds and four assists.
Trey McGowens scored 13 points for Nebraska (7-20). Indianapolis native and Western Illinois transfer Kobe Webster and Thorir Thorbjarnarson added 12 points each.
Penn State opened the second half on a 15-2 run and took their first lead since the opening bucket, 51-50 with 9:27 to play.
The teams split the regular-season series by a combined four points. The Nittany Lions are 3-0 against Nebraska in the conference tournament.
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