MADISON, Wis. — James Palmer is quickly earning a reputation.

One that could have him in big-time company by the time this season is over.

The junior guard has become Nebraska's closer, and he may have been at his best Monday night against Wisconsin.

He scored 16 points in the last 9 minutes, 45 seconds against the Badgers as the Huskers ended the game on a 30-8 run. He added four rebounds and a steal in the same span, and went 8-for-9 at the free throw line, making eight in a row to end the game.

When Tim Miles called for his offense to spread the floor and attack the rim, Palmer scored six of Nebraska's first eight points in a 10-0 run that quickly erased Wisconsin's 11-point lead.

Palmer has scored 24, 19, 34, 18, 28 and 28 points in Nebraska's past six games — an average of 25.2 points per game. He has scored 28 or more points in three of Nebraska's past four games, all coming in the past eight days.

In other words, the type of numbers that land you first-team all-conference honors.

On the ninth day, they rest: Finally, Nebraska can take a breath. 

After playing four games in eight days, winning three, and losing one in the closing minutes, the Huskers won't play again until Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Minnesota.

It's a schedule quirk every Big Ten team must work through in a compressed conference season. With Nebraska playing three of its four games on the road, the challenge was that much steeper.

And down 11 heading into the final 10 minutes of that run? 

"Those last 10 minutes, when you're playing four games in eight days, three on the road, that's pretty good fight out of your team," Miles said.

Experience pays: There have been plenty of tough losses for the Huskers this season. Kansas, Creighton. Penn State in overtime after rallying from a 16-point deficit. Ohio State.

But perhaps the tide is beginning to turn.

Nebraska closed out Rutgers Jan. 24. The Huskers beat Iowa by 14 points after the Hawkeyes closed within two early in the second half.

And then Monday's masterpiece in the final 599 seconds against Wisconsin.

"We've definitely come a long way. If we would have had the same situation earlier in the year, I don't think we would have come back," junior forward Isaac Copeland said. "But I think the Penn State game showed — we were down more over there — we got so close and hated losing that game.

"So today we wanted to come back and finish the job."

By the numbers: In overcoming an 11-point deficit, Nebraska posted its largest comeback of the season and the seventh time under Tim Miles the Huskers have rallied from a double-digit deficit to win. The last such victory came last season against Ohio State. ... Nebraska's 8-4 conference record is its best 12-game start in league play since 1998-99, when the Huskers started 9-3 in the Big 12. ... The Huskers had just six turnovers Monday, their fewest in a game since giving it away five times at Michigan State. ... Nebraska was 24-for-28 (85.7 percent) at the foul line, including 20-of-23 (87 percent) in the second half. The 85.7 percent is the Huskers' second-best effort by percentage this season. Nebraska was 15-for-17 (88 percent) against Northwestern.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.


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