Mathis' career highs lead Rutgers past Nebraska 76-69

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Montez Mathis registered career highs with 20 points and nine rebounds while Myles Johnson added a double-double with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and Rutgers rallied to beat Nebraska 76-69 on Monday night.

The freshman Mathis appears to have found his way as he now has scored in double figures in five of the last six games. Johnson's 13 points tied his career high.

Rutgers (9-9, 2-6 Big Ten) went on a 15-0 run and took a 33-31 lead after a Mathis layup on a fast break started by Ron Harper Jr. Nebraska (14-6, 3-5) called timeout with 1:54 left in the first half before going on a run of its own capped off by James Palmer Jr.'s a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give Nebraska a 38-33 lead at the half.

Palmer lead Nebraska with 22 points, while Isaac Copeland Jr. added 16 points and with eight rebounds.

Geo Baker had 16 points for Rutgers, while Johnson was 6-of-8 shooting and had a key block in the waning moments of the game.

BIG PICTURE
Nebraska: After splitting games versus Top 25 opponents in a win at Indiana and loss to Michigan State, Nebraska received 66 votes in the latest AP Poll ranking them 29th. The Cornhuskers will need to protect home court versus Ohio State this weekend to recover from the loss.

Rutgers: A much-needed win for the Scarlet Knights got them back to .500 and ended a three-game skid.

RUGGED RETURN
Just 12 days removed from dislocating his left knee cap Ohio State, Eugene Omoruyi checked in with 14:59 left in the first half. Omoruyi leads the team in points (14.6) and rebounds (7.5). Wearing a big bulky brace, Omoruyi finished with eight points and six rebounds.

YOUTH VS. EXPERIENCE
Rutgers has one of the youngest teams in the nation with just a little more than a year of experience, ranking 318th in the country. The Scarlet Knights have just one senior. With three senior starters, Nebraska averages a little more than two years of player experience -- 34th in the nation.

UP NEXT
Nebraska: Hosts Ohio State Saturday.
Rutgers: Travels to Penn State Saturday.

Postgame Notes:
*-James Palmer Jr. finished with 22 points, his 10th 20-point effort of the season and 18th of his career.
*-Nebraska reached double figures in steals for the fifth time this year and finished with 11 steals. The Huskers came into the game leading the Big Ten with 8.3 steals per game.
*-Nebraska went 10-18 from the foul line, its lowest performance from the foul line this year. NU entered the game shooting 73 percent from the line overall and 75 percent in Big Ten play.
*-James Palmer Jr. finished in double figures for the 18th time in 19 games this season finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds.
*-Rutgers’ 15-0 in the first half run marked only the third double-figure run against Nebraska this season.