LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The young guys started Purdue on its way to victory over Nebraska. The old guys finished the job.

Senior D.J. Byrd and junior Terone Johnson combined for 17 straight Purdue points during a crucial stretch of the second half that allowed the Boilermakers to withstand the Cornhuskers' comeback bid and post a 65-56 win Wednesday night.

The Huskers cut the Boilers' 20-point lead to five over a 10-minute stretch. But each time Nebraska looked ready to break through for its first Big Ten Conference win, Byrd or Johnson made big shots to stem the momentum.

"I feel we stepped up at the right time," Johnson said. "If they left us open, we made veteran plays."

Johnson finished with 18 points to lead four Purdue players in double figures. A.J. Hammons added 14 points and eight rebounds, Byrd scored all 12 of his points in the second half on four 3-pointers and Ronnie Johnson had 10 points and six assists as the Boilermakers posted their first Big Ten road win.

Purdue (9-8, 3-2) has won two straight games and five of seven with a lineup that starts three freshmen in 7-footer Hammons, point guard Ronnie Johnson and guard Rapheal Davis.

"We just throw them in the fire and let them play through their mistakes, learn from their mistakes and get better," Boilers coach Matt Painter said.

Hammons and Ronnie Johnson looked good in the first half, combining to make 7 of 10 shots as the Boilers broke out to a 28-19 halftime lead.

The Boilermakers came out on a 15-4 run after the break to stretch it to 43-23, but they couldn't put away the Huskers.

"When they come back and it's a close game, you just can't panic," Ronnie Johnson said. "You have to stick with what you were doing the first half to get the lead. You have to get the ball to your scorers. I thought I did a good job of finding them. We got Byrd some big shots and he knocked them down."

Byrd, who missed all five of his first-half shots, hit from beyond the arc after the Huskers cut the lead to six points and again after they got it to five with 6 minutes left. He was playing in his 113th career game, 29 more than his next most experienced teammate.

"When you find your opportunity, you tend to take it because you've been there before and been in bigger games, and I guess that's how it happened today," Byrd said. "I got a couple good looks and they were able to fall."

The Huskers (9-9, 0-5), playing without senior forward Brandon Ubel for a second straight game, have lost their first five conference games for the second time in four seasons.

Shavon Shields had 18 points and eight rebounds and Jordan Tyrance added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Huskers.

"When a non-scholarship guy, Jordan Tyrance, and Shavon Shields, a true freshman, get half your points and almost half your rebounds, it's going to be a long night," first-year Nebraska coach Tim Miles said.

After holding Penn State to 25.9 percent shooting on Sunday, the Boilermakers limited to Nebraska to 25.8 percent the first 20 minutes.

Talley, the Huskers' season scoring leader, missed all five of his shots the first half and Almeida was off on seven of his first nine, many from point-blank range.

Hammons and Terone Johnson scored four points apiece during a 12-3 spurt that put the Boilermakers up 20-11. Nebraska got no closer than five points the rest of the half after making just one field goal the last 7 minutes.

"A will to actually play and compete was evident the second half at times," Miles said. "I didn't see any of it the first half."

The performance was especially disappointing for Miles because his team had shown flashes of promise during back-to-back road losses against Michigan and Michigan State.

"The last timeout, I said, 'Look around. What do you see? Empty seats and people heading to the exits,'" Miles said. "We're supposed to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I'm not interested in continuing this."