Lincoln, Neb. — No. 19 Nebraska held Creighton to just 11 second-half points to pull away for a 63-38 women's basketball victory over the Bluejays at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday.
The Huskers improved to 8-2 on the season, while holding Creighton to its lowest point total in the series since the 1975-76 Huskers surrendered just 31 on Dec. 5, 1975. No other Creighton team had scored fewer than 48 points against Nebraska since 1975, in a series that NU leads 28-11.
Creighton, which advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, jumped to a 10-7 lead in the game's first four minutes following the second three-pointer of the game by Marissa Janning. CU held a 12-11 lead with 14 minutes left before back-to-back layups by Emily Cady and Brandi Jeffery put the Huskers in front.
A three-pointer by CU's Sarah Nelson tied the score at 19 with 8:39 left, before back-to-back layups by Cady and Hailie Sample gave the Huskers the lead for good at 23-19 with 7:51 left in the opening half.
Cady, Sample and Jeffery did the most damage throughout the day for the Huskers. Cady, a 6-2 junior forward from Seward, Neb., finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a strong all-around game.
Sample, a 6-1 junior forward from Flower Mound, Texas, added 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block despite battling illness during the week leading up to the game.
Nebraska will take the week off from competition for Finals Week, while preparing for a Saturday afternoon clash with South Dakota. Tip-off between the Huskers and Coyotes (6-5) at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 2:30 p.m. South Dakota is coached by former Husker Amy (Gusso) Williams.
The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Jeffery, a 5-7 junior guard from Vacherie, La., added 11 big points off the bench to go along with a career-high-matching four assists - all in the first half. She added three rebounds and a pair of steals to lead strong contributions off the bench for the Big Red.
"I thought Brandi did a great job for us today," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "I thought she and Hailie Sample and Emily kind of took the game over for us late in the first half. Brandi has been playing really well off the bench for us, and we hope that will continue because we need her."
Jeffery, Cady and Sample combined for Nebraska's final 10 points of the first half, including three-point plays from Cady and Sample off assists from Jeffery to help the Huskers push their lead to 35-27 at halftime.
The Huskers pulled away early in the second half, as Cady, Sample and Tear'a Laudermill fueled a 10-0 run to open the half and push NU's lead to 45-27 with 14:21 left. The Jays got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way, as the Huskers held CU to just 11 second-half points on 4-for-35 shooting.
After the two early threes from Janning - Creighton's leading scorer - the Huskers allowed only two more for Janning the rest of the way. She finished with eight points after entering the contest averaging 17 per game.
Jordan Hooper also held CU's second-leading scorer, Sarah Nelson, to just just six points on a pair of threes, while limiting Nelson to just four rebounds. Nelson held Hooper to just five points, but Hooper yanked down 15 defensive rebounds on the day.
Husker sophomore point guard Rachel Theriot added a solid effort with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal while helping Nebraska dictate the tempo and the attack throughout the contest.
Laudermill scored all seven of her points early in the second half during Nebraska's decisive run. She added a rebound and two steals for the Huskers.
Freshman center Allie Havers added five points, a rebound and a block off the bench.
As a team, Nebraska hit 44 percent (22-50) of its shots for the game, including 2-of-8 three-pointers. The Huskers were a sparkling 17-of-19 at the free throw line, and outscored CU 17-1 at the stripe. Nebraska committed a season-low seven fouls and a season-low 10 turnovers. The Big Red also blocked a season-high six shots.
Creighton finished the game at 23.1 percent (15-65) from the field, including 4-for-35 in the second half (11.4 percent). Nebraska pushed CU away from the basket throughout the game, as the Jays went 7-for-31 from three-point range (22.6 percent). CU won the rebounding battled 41-39, including a 13-1 edge on the offensive glass. But NU won the turnover battle, 13-10.
---------------------------------------- 1st 2nd Total Creighton 27 11 38 Nebraska 35 28 63 ----------------------------------------