Hooper's 21 help pull away from Gorillas.
Lincoln. — Two-time Gatorade Nebraska High School Player of the Year Jordan Hooper produced 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists to lead the Husker women's basketball team to a 78-60 exhibition victory over Pittsburg State at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Sunday.
Playing in front of a Nebraska home exhibition record crowd of 2,660, Hooper was far from the only Husker who put up big numbers, as senior center Catheryn Redmon and sophomore forward Katya Leick both recorded double-doubles with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Huskers, who led 35-33 at the half, rolled to an 18-point victory thanks to 16 offensive rebounds in the second half. For the game, NU pulled down 25 offensive boards and won the rebound battle, 57-36, against the NCAA Division II Gorillas.
Leick and Redmon each grabbed six offensive rebounds, while Hooper and junior forward Harleen Sidhu both secured five caroms from the offensive glass. Sidhu finished with nine points, seven rebounds and two steals.
The lone returning starter available from last year's Big 12 championship and NCAA Sweet 16 team, Lindsey Moore added 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals for NU.
Senior Dominique Kelley sat out Sunday's game after undergoing knee surgery in late-September. The 5-7 guard from Lincoln could be back on the court in next Sunday's exhibition finale. The Huskers also played without their other fourth-year guard, Kaitlyn Burke, who also underwent knee surgery in early-October. Burke hopes to be back for the start of the regular season.
Nebraska's success on the offensive glass allowed the Huskers to overcome a 26-for-78 (33.3 percent) shooting performance from the field, including 5-of-18 shooting from three-point range. NU was excellent at the free throw line though, hitting 21-of-26 attempts.
Pittsburg State hit 20-of-56 shots from the field, including 9-of-22 three-pointers, but hit just 11-of-18 free throws. Along with being outrebounded by 21, PSU was minus-seven in the turnover department, as Nebraska committed just six second-half turnovers.
"For our first exhibition game it was OK," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "It was kind of what I expected. I thought we did a really good job of being aggressive on the glass, and that showed that our young players were willing to get after it. That effort is one of the things that you can control, so that was good. We obviously have a long way to go."
Nebraska, which played several stretches of the first half with five on the floor all younger than 20, took a 35-33 halftime lead thanks to 12 first-half points from Hooper. The 6-2 forward added three rebounds, an assist and a steal in her first appearance as a collegian. Moore added six points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Leick pitched in five points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Redmon produced five points, five boards and a block.
The Huskers were able to take a lead into the locker room at the half despite 7-of-15 three-point shooting by the Gorillas in the first half. PSU hit four consecutive three-pointers to ignite a 13-0 run that erased a 10-point Nebraska advantage. Pittsburg State led 25-22 with 6:26 left, before Nebraska regained the lead at the break.
Leick and Sidhu set the tone for the Huskers on the offensive glass in the second half, helping Nebraska pull down six offensive rebounds by the first media timeout. NU's boardwork allowed the Huskers to gradually pull away, pushing the lead to seven points at 47-40 on a Sidhu jumper with 13:48 left.
NU's lead grew to eight at 55-47 on a Sidhu layup with 9:59 remaining, before a pair of Hooper free throws extended the edge to double figures at 62-51 with 6:46 left. The Huskers built their biggest lead of the game at 78-58 after a pair of Redmon free throws with 1:30 left.
Drew Roberts led Pittsburg State with 21 points, including four three-pointers. She was the only Gorilla in double figures, as Larissa Richards added eight points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
Nebraska concludes exhibition play next Sunday when the Huskers welcome Nebraska-Kearney to the Devaney Center. Tip-off time is set for 2:05 p.m. at the Devaney Center.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.