Lincoln, Neb. — All-American Jordan Hooper erupted for game highs of 33 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 15 Nebraska to a 95-75 win over Utah State on Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
With the victory, Nebraska improved 7-2 overall, while Utah State slipped to 5-3.
Hooper notched her fifth double-double of the season and the 31st of her career, while producing her first 30-point scoring effort of the season and the seventh of her career. It was Hooper's sixth 20-point performance in nine games this season and 39th of her career.
The 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., produced her huge day without attempting a three-point shot for the first time in her 107-game career. She went 11-for-16 from the field and 11-for-15 at the free throw line.
As a team, Nebraska shot a season-best 59.6 percent (28-47) from the field, while hitting 31-of-37 free throws (83.8 percent). While Hooper went without a three-point attempt, the rest of the Huskers were sharp from long range, connecting on 8-of-15 threes (53.3 percent).
"I thought we did a lot of good things," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Other than the turnovers and being too sloppy with the ball at times, we moved it well and got the ball where we wanted to on the floor. Jordan was really good today, and I thought Emily (Cady) played a great floor game."
Junior Emily Cady added her fourth double-double of the season and 12th of her career with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., also tied her career high with seven assists. Cady went 3-of-5 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
Sophomore Rachel Theriot gave Nebraska three players in double figures with 11 points and eight assists. The 6-0 point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, knocked down a pair of threes and grabbed four rebounds to help Nebraska close the game with a 38-27 advantage on the boards.
The Huskers also got big efforts off the bench from sophomore Sadie Murren, who scored eight points and hit a pair of threes, and junior guard Brandi Jeffery, who finished with six points on a pair of threes and had four assists. Freshman center Allie Havers added six points, while Hannah Tvrdy contributed a point to give NU 21 points off the bench.
Tear'a Laudermill contributed eight points and Hailie Sample added six points and three assists to round out the scoring for the Big Red.
Makenlee Williams led Utah State with 21 points, while senior point guard Jennifer Schlott contributed 13 points in 23 minutes before fouling out. Elise Nelson gave USU four players in double figures with 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Franny Vaaulu added eight points, seven rebounds and four steals in a strong effort inside.
Nebraska continues its five-game home stand on Saturday when the Huskers take on Creighton. Tip-off between the Huskers and Bluejays is set for 11 a.m.
The match will air live on BTN.com and Huskers.com
Nebraska won the game by 20 points despite Utah State attempting 25 more field goals than the Huskers (72-47). The Aggies also won the turnover battle, 25-17.
Fouls and free throws, especially in the first half, played a major role in the outcome. Utah State, which sent South Dakota to the line 44 times in its previous game, found itself in deep foul trouble at the half.
Utah State jumped to a 15-8 lead out of the gate before Nebraska regained the lead 18-17 on seven straight points from Hooper, capped by a three-point play with 13:54 left in the half.
But the Aggies committed 19 first-half fouls, including four each for starting guards Schlott and Williams, who entered the game combining for nearly 45 points per game. They did not come off the floor after committing their second or third fouls midway through the half.
Hooper scored four straight points to cap a 9-2 NU surge and give the Huskers their first 10-point lead at 42-32, before Nebraska scored its last 10 points of the half at the free throw line. NU's lead grew as large as 18 points at 52-34 with 55 seconds left, before Utah State scored the last five of the half to head to the locker room trailing 52-39.
Utah State finished the game hitting 41.7 percent (30-72) of its shots, including 8-of-27 three-pointers. The Aggies were also 7-of-9 at the line.
Following the game, Yori announced that junior Katie Simon had elected to end her playing career at NU. The fourth-year forward did not attend Sunday's game.
---------------------------------------- 1st 2nd Total Utah State 39 36 75 Nebraska 52 43 95 ----------------------------------------