Season comes to an end against Iowa State.
Kansas City, Mo. — Lindsey Moore had 13 points and nine assists, but it was not enough to stop 12th-seeded Nebraska from falling to fifth-seeded Iowa State, 69-61, in the opening round of the 2011 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Municipal Auditorium on Tuesday afternoon.
Freshman Jordan Hooper added team highs with 16 points and seven rebounds for the Huskers, who finished their season with a 13-18 overall record, that included a 3-13 regular-season conference mark.
Lauren Mansfield led the Cyclones with 23 points and five assists, while hitting five three-pointers, as Iowa State hit 13-of-29 from long range on the day. Iowa State's strong outside shooting, which included 15 points on five three-pointers from senior Kelsey Bolte, allowed ISU to improve to 22-9 overall and advance to face fourth-seeded Kansas State on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Like many of NU's losses in Big 12 play, the Huskers were neck and neck with the Cyclones in the final five minutes. The game was tied at 57 after senior forward Jessica Periago's jumper with 5:22 left.
Iowa State regained a three-point lead at 60-57 after a three-point play by sophomore forward Chelsea Poppens with 4:10 left. NU missed several opportunities to cut lead over the next three minutes, before Poppens converted another three-point play with 1:44 left to give ISU its biggest lead of the second half at 63-57. Poppens finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Nebraska quickly answered with a three-pointer from Hooper - her third of the game - to trim the margin to 63-60 with 1:34 left. However, that was the only made three for NU in its final 10 attempts of the game, as the Huskers finished 9-for-29 from beyond the arc.
Poppens scored again to push the lead to 65-60, before Hooper hit the first of two free throws to cut the margin to 65-61 with 1:04 remaining.
ISU answered with one free throw from Mansfield with 50 seconds left, before a Hooper three missed the mark from the left wing with 35 seconds to all but end NU's upset hopes.
Although Hooper and Moore were the only Huskers to finish in double figures, NU got strong play across its lineup. Senior Catheryn Redmon, who ended her career as Nebraska's No. 2 all-time leader in blocked shots, set a season best with six rejections, while adding eight points and six rebounds. Redmon finished her career with 216 blocks, including 77 as a senior, just one shy of NU's single-season record of 78 set by Danielle Page in 2007-08.
Periago, NU's other active senior, added eight points of her own including a pair of three-pointers and the short-corner jumper from the left side that tied the game at 57 with 5:22 left.
Sophomore forward Katya Leick also pitched in eight points - all in the first half - giving the Huskers a huge lift off the bench after it looked like Iowa State might pull away early.
The two teams were tied at 8 before ISU erupted on a 12-0 run to take a 20-8 edge with 13 minutes left. Leick came off the bench and jump-started NU with back-to-back threes to quickly cut the ISU lead in half to 20-14.
The Cyclones were able to push the lead back to 11 at 25-14, but junior guard Kaitlyn Burke buried a pair of three-pointers and NU continued to cut the ISU lead until Hooper drained a long three at the buzzer to send the game to halftime tied at 38.
Periago hit an early three in the second half for the Huskers to give NU a 41-39 lead with 18:07 left, and the Huskers also led 43-42 (16:31), 49-48 (10:42) and 51-48 (10:13), before ISU took the lead for good in the final 4:10.
The Huskers hit 41.1 percent (23-56) of their shots from the field for the game, including 31 percent of their three-pointers. NU was also 6-of-9 at the free throw line and won the turnover battle, 13-12.
Iowa State hit just 35.5 percent (22-62) of its shots, including just 9-of-33 shots inside the arc, but the Cyclones connected on 44.8 percent (13-29) of their shots from three-point range. ISU was also 12-of-17 from the free throw line and outrebounded NU, 46-32.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.