Huskers lose to Northwestern 51-63
Lincoln. — Jordan Hooper had 19 points and nine rebounds, but the No. 16 Nebraska women's basketball scored just four points in the final eight minutes to drop a 63-51 decision to Northwestern on Thursday night.
With the loss, Nebraska slipped to 19-6 overall and 8-5 in the Big Ten, while Northwestern improved to 14-12 overall and 4-9 in the conference.
The Huskers trailed 49-47 after Emily Cady's layup with 8:04 left. Nebraska then had a chance to tie the score on Hooper's one-and-one free throw opportunity with 7:43 left. But Hooper missed the front end and Northwestern's Dannielle Diamant scored at the other end to put the Wildcats up 51-47. Diamant led Northwestern with 19 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
Kendall Hackney then converted a three-point play with 4:29 left to put the Wildcats up three possessions for the first time at 54-47. Hackney scored again with 3:36 left to put the Wildcats up 56-48. Hackney finished with 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 shooting from long range.
Lindsey Moore, who finished with 10 points ended Nebraska's field goal drought with her layup at 1:34, but the Wildcats put the game out of reach with free throws down the stretch. Cady provided a third player in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Although Cady, Moore and Hooper combined for 49 points, the Huskers' big three went a combined 13-of-43 from the field, including 4-of-20 from three-point range. The rest of the Huskers didn't fair much better, hitting just 5-of-20 shots from the field, including just 1-of-8 threes. Nebraska's bench managed just one point on the night against the Wildcats.
As a team, Nebraska hits just 28.6 percent (18-63) from the field, including 17.9 percent (5-28) from three-point range. The Huskers also hit 10-of-17 free throws (58.8 percent). The Huskers committed just 12 turnovers and pulled down 21 offensive boards on the game.
"We've just got to find a way to hit some shots," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Some of it starts with us as coaches putting our players in better positions to score. But we also have to finish our possessions. I am really proud of our effort. Getting 21 offensive rebounds is really good and we really played hard on defense."
Northwestern hit 45.7 percent (21-46) of its shots from the field, including 7-of-17 three-pointers. The Wildcats also hit 14-of-22 free throws. Nebraska outrebounded the Wildcats 41-38, and won the turnover battle 15-12.
The Huskers and Wildcats went to the halftime locker room tied at 29. Nebraska trailed Northwestern 18-12 early, before going on a 9-0 run over the next five-plus minutes to take a 21-18 lead.
Northwestern answered the Husker run to regain a 29-25 edge with 2:36 left, before Nebraska scored the final four points of the half.
Hooper led Nebraska with 13 points and five rebounds in the first half, while Moore added eight points. The Huskers hit 10-of-30 shots from the field, including 3-of-12 three-pointers. Nebraska also hit 6-of-9 free throws. The Huskers committed just four turnovers, while forcing nine by Northwestern. But the Wildcats outrebounded the Huskers, 21-16, in the first half.
Diamant led Northwestern with 11 points and six boards, while Hackney added six points on a pair of threes in the first half. The Wildcats hit 12-of-26 first-half shots, including 4-of-10 threes. Northwestern hit its only free throw attempt.
Nebraska continues its two-game Big Ten home stand on Sunday when the Huskers play host to Wisconsin. Tip-off between the Huskers and Badgers is set for 1 p.m., with live national television coverage on the Big Ten Network. Sunday's game will be Nebraska's Play4Kay game, supporting the WBCA initiative to promote cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.
Tickets are available now at Huskers.com or by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office during regular business hours at 1-800-8-BIG-RED.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.