LINCOLN, Neb - 41 years. That’s how long it had been since Nebraska knocked off a top-ranked opponent, when they downed Mizzou in 1982. That is, until Tuesday night. Nebraska knocked off No. 1 Purdue 88-72, leading to massive court storming at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

For many fans, it may feel like a quenching of thirst - thirst for a top-tier victory. Something Head Coach Fred Hoiberg and his teams have also been searching for since his arrival in 2019.

“You know, I’m happy for our guys… I talked to them about being part of a team that knocked off the number one team in the country,” Fred Hoiberg said. “I had a couple as a player and a coach at my previous stop. There’s nothing like it.”

The biggest win of Fred Hoiberg’s tenure comes just after one of Nebraska’s worst games of the season, when they were blown out by Top-25 Wisconsin on Saturday. Senior Rienk Mast says that loss got the Huskers even more focused for an even bigger contest.

“I think everybody came in and said ‘okay we dropped one’, but we got another opportunity on Tuesday,” Mast said. “No one was hanging their heads everybody came in and dialed into the scoutng report.  I think this game showed that and this was probably the best team effort I have ever seen in my career.”

Nebraska’s defense helped them erase the 41-year drought. Nebraska recorded nine steals in the win, and forced the Boilermakers into 14 turnovers. Mewanhile, reigning National Player of the Year Zach Eddy was held to 15 points, well below his season average of 22. Rienk Mast was given the difficult challenge of guarding the 7’4” center.

“My plan was to be annoying,” Mast said. “I gave a fist bump because he was already complaining to the refs before the first media timeout, I was being annoying, on his body, getting physical with him. Just making life hard on him.”

“He’s impossible to stop 1-on-1, especially when you’re in foul trouble,” Hoiberg said. “I thought we executed the game plan very well… Not that we didn’t execute the game plan against Wisconsin, but I thought out urgency was better.”

Offensively, 7 of the eight Huskers to see the floor contributed. Nebraska was led in scoring by Keisei Tominaga with 19, while CJ Wilcher (16 points), Sam Hoiberg (nine points), and Josiah Allick (five points) combined for 30 off the bench. The Huskers shot 51% from the field and went 14-23 from downtown. Brice Williams says the Huskers depth, is what makes them successful.

“We’re so deep, we’re so talented, shooting off the charts,” Williams said. “You can’t stop it… It can be anybody’s night and that’s what you saw out there tonight.”

While it’s by far the biggest win Nebraska’s picked up in recent memory, 15 games remain on the regular season schedule - including one this Friday at Iowa. The Huskers plan to enjoy this one, but come Wednesday morning, all attention will be forward.

“It’s a great win for our program, but we have a lot of work left to do,” Hoiberg said. “This can’t be the highlight of our year, we have have to build off this one… We bounced back from a tough loss, now we’re going to see how we handle a big emotional win.”

“We’ll enjoy this one, everybody will have their fun tonight,” Wilcher said. “But, tomorrow, we go to practice, everyone locks in on their principles.”

The Huskers improve to 13-3 with the win, tip off with Iowa is set for 8:30 central time on Friday night.