The defense steps up in win over Lopers
Lincoln. — Jordan Hooper scored 28 points in another strong exhibition effort to led the Nebraska women's basketball team to a 85-55 victory over Nebraska-Kearney at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Sunday afternoon.
Nebraska completed exhibition play 2-0, including an 86-55 win over Pittsburg State last Sunday in Lincoln. The Huskers posted their 10th consecutive exhibition victory over UNK, while facing the Lopers for the 10th straight season.
Hooper, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the opener before adding 28 against the Lopers. Hooper has scored 20 or more points in all four exhibition games of her young career.
Hooper powered an otherwise balanced Nebraska offense that included 14 points and seven assists from junior point guard Lindsey Moore. Although Hooper and Moore were the only Huskers in double figures, Nebraska received significant contributions from their 11 active players.
Freshman forward Emily Cady pitched in eight points, four rebounds and three assists to average 11 points in a pair of exhibition games. Senior guard Kaitlyn Burke added eight of her own to go along with five steals, while Hailie Sample, Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill and Rebecca Woodberry each contributed five points. Junior Meghin Williams pitched in four points, while Katie Simon added three.
Senior guard Debi Johnson led the Lopers with 20 points, including 15 in the second half. Junior transfer Ivy Jones added a strong second half of her own to finish with 12 points.
Nebraska set the tone from the opening tip, jumping to an 18-6 lead in the first 7:37 thanks to 12 early points from Hooper. Her first three-pointer broke a 4-4 tie, to open a burst of seven straight points by Hooper in approximately one minute. She added a second three-pointer with 11:23 left in the first half to give the Huskers their first double-digit lead.
Hooper pushed the lead to 20 points for the first time at 35-14 after a pair of free throws to give her 14 first-half points with 2:23 in the half. Nebraska carried a 37-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half provided more of the same with Hooper pouring in seven straight points in the first 1:25 capped by a three-point play to give the Huskers a 44-18 lead. NU's lead grew to 30 for the first time on Brandi Jeffery's three-pointer with 9:30 left to make it 65-33 Huskers. Nebraska built the lead to 37 with just over four minutes left before settling for the 30-point win.
For the game, Nebraska hit 30-of-68 shots from the field (44.1 percent), including 10-of-27 three-pointers (37.0 percent). NU also connected on 15-of-24 free throws (62.5 percent). The Huskers outrebounded the Lopers, 45-36, led by six rebounds apiece from Hooper and Sample, and five boards each from Woodberry and Adrianna Maurer.
Nebraska committed 21 turnovers, but forced 30 turnovers by UNK. The Lopers hit just 39.3 percent (22-56) of their shots from the field, including just 3-of-11 three-pointers. UNK also struggled at the line, hitting just 8-of-16 shots.
The Huskers will tip-off the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 3:05 p.m., when they play host to Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Devaney Center. Tickets are available at Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.