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Nov. 30, 2010
Hooper hot again against Rebels.
Lincoln. — Freshmen Jordan Hooper and Kellie McCann-Smith combined for 29 points and eight three-pointers to lead the No. 24 Nebraska women's basketball team to a 65-41 win over UNLV on Tuesday.

The big games by the freshmen and Nebraska's best defensive performance of the season, allowed the Huskers to improve to 6-0 on the season while stretching their home winning streak to 25 games. NU also stretched its regular-season winning streak to 37 games. UNLV slipped to 4-2 on the year.

Hooper, a two-time Big 12 Freshman of the Week, scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the first half. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., hit 4-of-5 first-half three-pointers to lead NU to a 31-19 halftime advantage. On her lone basket of the second half, Hooper became the fastest Husker in history to reach 100 points, hitting a long two-pointer from the corner with just under six minutes to play.

McCann-Smith produced a career-high point total for the third straight game, erupting for 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The 5-9 freshman guard from Asotin, Wash., hit two three-pointers on back-to-back possessions in a one-minute span when she entered the game in the first half. Her second three helped NU jump out to a 13-4 lead with 15 minutes left in the half against the Rebels.

She added two more threes in the second half, to eclipse her previous career best of six points, which came in Saturday's win over UNO at the Devaney Center.

Senior guard Dominique Kelley added nine points and five rebounds, while senior center Catheryn Redmon pitched in nine points and six boards for the Huskers against UNLV's stingy defense.

The Huskers managed just 65 points - their second-lowest output of the season - but the Rebels had allowed an average of just 49 points per game through their first five contests.

Playing against a tall, tough and disciplined UNLV defense, the Huskers answered with their best defensive effort of the year, holding UNLV 21 points under its scoring average coming into the game.

NU held the Rebels to just 24 percent (12-50) shooting from the field, including a 2-for-14 showing from beyond the arc. Nebraska's halfcourt pressure defense forced 26 UNLV turnovers, as NU posted a plus-10 turnover margin on the night.

NU's defense was at its best early in both halves, surrendering just four points in the opening five minutes to shoot to a 13-4 lead in the first half, before holding UNLV without a field goal for the first 10:53 of the second half to open up a 27-point lead at 48-21.

In the first 10:53 of the second half, Nebraska forced nine UNLV turnovers while holding the Rebels to 0-of-6 shooting. The only points UNLV managed came on 2-of-4 free throw shooting.

"We've made some strides," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "It was nice to see us get after it on defense tonight. We are going to have to win games in different ways throughout the season, and tonight, for the first time, our defense one the game for us. We are going to need to shore up our rebounding, but we'll keep working on that and hopefully we'll get there."

UNLV did outrebound the Huskers 44-31, including 18 offensive rebounds on the Rebels 38 missed shots. The Rebels outscored NU 12-3 on second-chance points, but the Huskers more than answered that disparity by outscoring UNLV 29-13 in points off turnovers. The Husker bench, led by McCann-Smith's 13, also outscored the UNLV bench, 24-7.

Nebraska returns to road action on Sunday, when the Huskers travel to Indiana to face the Hoosiers in the Big 12-Big Ten Challenge. The game will be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network with an 11 a.m. (central) tip time from Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.