The Huskers roll past Indiana in their first Big Ten home game
Lincoln. — The No. 19 Nebraska women's basketball team exploded on a 30-4 surge midway through first half on its way to a 62-48 victory over Indiana at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Thursday night.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 13-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference with a win its first-ever Big Ten home game. Indiana slipped to 5-11 overall and 0-3 in the Big Ten.
Sophomore Jordan Hooper notched her fourth straight double-double and her sixth consecutive 20-point effort with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Hooper also tied a career high with two assists. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., who has earned three of the last four Big Ten Player-of-the-Week awards, owns seven double-doubles and nine 20-point performances on the year.
Fellow forward Emily Cady added the best game of her young career with a career-high-matching 18 points to go along with nine rebounds and a career-high five steals. The 6-2 freshman from Seward, Neb., pulled down seven boards and had three steals in the second half to help the Huskers dominate the possession battle.
"I loved what Emily did for us tonight," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "For a while in the second half, it looked like there were three or four No. 23s out there, she was playing that well."
For the game, Nebraska won the turnover battle, 26-11, while outrebounding the Hoosiers, 40-38. The Huskers' control of the possessions allowed them to overcome a 16-6 deficit in the game's first seven minutes.
"I thought our team fought really hard tonight," Yori said. "For a young team, they are showing night in and night out that they won't back down and they will just keep playing harder. We obviously didn't play a pretty or clean game tonight, but we won the possessions, which allowed us to overcome a poor shooting night."
For the game, Nebraska hit just 33.3 percent (22-66) of its shots from the field, and just 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from three-point range. NU was also just 12-of-17 from the free throw line. Indiana outshot NU from the field, hitting 43.5 percent (20-46), including 3-of-6 three-point shooting. The Hoosiers hit just 5-of-14 free throws.
Freshman Tear'a Laudermill also gave the Huskers a major lift off the bench with nine points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal in 21 minutes. It was just Laudermill's second appearance in the past six games, as she has missed time recently with illness and injury.
Laudermill's defensive pressure on the ball helped slow Indiana's hot shooting early and ignite Nebraska's 30-4 surge that started midway through the first half and continued through the first five minutes of the second half.
Senior guard Kaitlyn Burke added five points, while junior point guard Lindsey Moore was held to just four points on 2-of-10 shooting, but dished out seven assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Sasha Chaplin led the Hoosiers with 15 points and six rebounds, while Jasmine McGhee added nine points and four boards off the bench.
Nebraska rebounded from a slow start against the Hoosiers by ending the first half on a 25-4 surge in the last 11:34 to take a 37-24 halftime lead.
The Huskers hit just 2-of-9 shots from the field to open the game as Indiana jumped to a 16-6 lead with 13:30 left in the half. The Hoosiers opened the game by hitting 9-of-13 shots, including both of their free throw attempts, as Sasha Chaplin and Quaneisha McCurty combined for 15 quick points.
But back-to-back three-pointers from Cady and Rebecca Woodberry got the Huskers rolling, before the 25-4 surge, which included back-to-back three-pointers from Hooper in a 30-second span.
Eight straight points by Hooper and Cady pushed NU's lead to 28-22 before five straight points from Tear'a Laudermill pumped the Husker edge to 33-24.
Kaitlyn Burke and Lindsey Moore scored the final four points of the half to send the Huskers to the locker room with a double-digit lead.
Hooper led the Huskers with 14 points and four rebounds in the first half, while Cady added 10 points and two rebounds. Laudermill pitched in six first-half points.
As a team, Nebraska hit just 12-of-31 shots from the field, including 5-of-14 three-pointers, while connecting on 8-of-10 free throws. The Huskers dominated the turnover battle, 14-5, but Indiana won the first-half rebounding battle, 17-16.
Indiana hit 47.8 percent (11-23) of its shots in the half, including 2-of-4 threes, but went 0-for-2 at the free throw line. Chaplin led Indiana with eight points and five rebounds at the half, while McCurty added seven points and two boards.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Sunday when they travel to Iowa. Tip-off between the Huskers and Hawkeyes is set for 3 p.m. with live television coverage provided the Big Ten Network. Free live audio will also be available on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.