Missed shots hurt in loss.
College Station, Texas — Nebraska played No. 5 Texas A&M possession-for-possession for more than a half, but the Huskers went cold in the second half and the Aggies ran away with an 84-49 win in the regular-season finale at Reed Arena on Saturday night.
With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 13-17 overall and ended Big 12 Conference regular-season play with a 3-13 record. The Huskers will be the No. 12 seed at next week's Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo.
Nebraska will play fifth-seeded Iowa State, which lost a one-point decision at Missouri earlier on Saturday to slip behind fourth-seeded Kansas State, which defeated Kansas in Lawrence on Saturday night. The Huskers will unofficially play Iowa State on Tuesday, March 8, at Municipal Auditorium. Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Official tournament pairings and tip times will be announced by the Big 12 on Sunday.
The fifth-ranked Aggies improved to 25-4 overall and 13-3 in the Big 12, claiming the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Texas A&M earned one of four first-round byes, trailing only Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor, which defeated Colorado on Saturday to secure the No. 1 seed. Oklahoma claimed the other first-round bye with a third seed and a 10-6 conference mark.
Jordan Hooper led the Huskers in College Station with 16 points and six rebounds. The 6-2 freshman forward from Alliance, Neb., scored 14 first-half points and NU's first two points of the second half.
Hooper's shot from the right low block cut Texas A&M's lead to 35-33 with 19:41 left, and Nebraska appeared poised to take the game down to the wire.
The Aggies had other ideas. After the basket by Hooper, Adaora Elonu answered with a layup off an assist from senior point guard Sydney Colson to start a 14-0 run that took less than three minutes. During the run, it was one of four assists for Colson, who finished with a career-high 15 assists to go along with five points and six rebounds. They were the most assists ever by an opponent individual against the Huskers.
When the dust settled on the run, the Aggies led 49-33 with 16:01 left.
Sophomore point guard Lindsey Moore stopped the run for the Huskers with a jumper to cut the A&M edge to 49-35 with 15:48, but Colson and the Aggies kept running, outscoring NU 20-4 over the next six minutes to put the game out of reach.
Despite the loss, Moore provided a highlight for the Huskers with her second career points-assists double-double, finishing with 13 points and 10 assists. However, the suffocating pressure by the Aggies in the second half also forced 11 turnovers by Moore, who played the full 40 minutes for the 15th time this season while handling the ball nearly exclusively for NU.
The Big 12's leading scorer Danielle Adams led Texas A&M with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Sydney Carter and Elonu both pitched in 14 points for the Aggies. The A&M bench also outscored the NU bench, 41-7 in the game.
Nebraska shot just 36.4 percent for the game, including just 4-of-18 from three-point range, after shooting 42.9 percent and hitting 3-of-9 threes in the first half. NU went just 8-of-27 from the field, including just 1-of-9 from long range in the second half. Nebraska did hit 5-of-6 free throws, but only attempted one shot from the line in the second half.
The Aggies, who hit 44.8 percent (30-67) of their shots from the field on the night, connected on 9-of-22 three-pointers, including four from Carter and three from Adams. A&M was also a sizzling 93.8 percent (15-16) from the foul line.
Texas A&M outrebounded NU, 44-29, while winning the turnover battle, 18-8. The Aggies committed just two turnovers in the second half.
Despite the lopsided final margin, the Huskers matched the Aggies blow for blow in the first half. NU held its last lead at 24-23 with 8:18 left in the half after a Hooper layup. Texas A&M never led by more than five points in the first half, and the Huskers trailed just 35-31 at the break. Hooper had 14 points in the first half, while Moore managed nine points, six assists and four rebounds.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.