Home win streak ends with loss to Oklahoma.
Lincoln — Freshman Jordan Hooper scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in her Big 12 Conference debut, but it wasn't enough to stop No. 19 Oklahoma from running past Nebraska, 70-50, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
Nebraska, which slipped to 10-5 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12, saw its 28-game home court winning streak come to an end against the Sooners, who improved to 11-3 overall and 1-0 in the league. NU's home streak was the second-longest in school history, just one game shy of the school record. It was also the fourth-longest active streak in Division I women's basketball.
Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., led the Huskers in scoring and rebounding while adding a pair of blocked shots, but struggled with her shooting stroke, connecting on just 6-of-22 shots from the field, including 3-of-9 three-pointers. She was not alone, as OU's defense forced the Huskers into a season-low 29.6 percent (16-54) shooting. NU hit just 5-of-19 threes, as Hooper's fellow freshman Kellie McCann-Smith connected on 2-of-4 three-point attempts.
Senior center Catheryn Redmon added 10 points, six rebounds and a block, as the only other Husker to manage double figures. Dominique Kelley, who played just eight minutes off the bench in her return from injury, joined Lindsey Moore, Kaitlyn Burke and Katya Leick in scoring four points apiece.
While Nebraska struggled, Oklahoma sizzled. The Sooners hit 43.3 percent (26-60) of their field goal attempts, including 11-of-24 three-point tries. Sophomore Whitney Hand and freshman Morgan Hook each buried four three-pointers, while freshman Aaryn Ellenberg hit a pair of threes on her way to a game-high 19 points. Hand finished with 18 points, while Hook added 16.
All-America point guard Danielle Robinson pitched in 12 points, four assists and three steals, to give the Sooners four players in double figures. The rest of the Sooners combined for just five points, but it was enough for OU to control the game from nearly start to finish.
Nebraska jumped to a quick 4-0 lead after back-to-back layups from Redmon and Hooper, before the Sooners answered with six straight points to take their first lead on a three-point play from Robinson just 2:19 into the game.
NU answered with a layup from Burke to tie the score at six, but a Robinson jumper gave OU the lead for good beginning at 8-6 with 15:31 left in the half.
The Huskers stayed within striking distance at 24-18 after a Redmon layup with 6:58 left in the half, but a Hook three-pointer and a pair of Ellenberg free throws pushed the Sooner lead to double digits for the first time at 29-18 with 4:03 left in the stanza.
Nebraska was never able to pull within single digits the rest of the way.
Oklahoma's defense put the clamps down on the Huskers in the first half, holding NU to a season-low 21 first-half points. The Sooners did not surrender a first-half three-pointer by Nebraska, while forcing 12 Husker turnovers. NU hit just 7-of-22 shots from the field, going just 4-of-16 in the final 15 minutes of the half. The Huskers did hit 7-of-10 free throws, but were outrebounded 19-16 by OU in the half.
Oklahoma hit 45.2 percent (14-31) of its first-half shots, including 4-of-10 three-pointers, while connecting on 5-of-6 free throws. The Huskers did force eight OU turnovers in the first half. Ellenberg led OU with 12 first-half points, while Hand added 10 points, including the final eight points of the half for the Sooners.
Nebraska travels to Ames, Iowa, for its first Big 12 Conference road game of the season, when the Huskers clash with the Iowa State Cyclones on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. with live radio coverage provided by the Husker Sports Network, including free live audio on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.