Pullman, Wash. – Freshman Sam Haiby scored all of her career-high 20 points after halftime to help Nebraska erase a 13-point deficit, before Washington State ultimately prevailed 87-84 in double overtime at Beasley Coliseum on Friday night.
Nebraska, which slipped to 1-2 on the season, trailed 60-47 with two seconds left in the third quarter, despite nine points in the quarter from Haiby, and the Huskers trailed 60-49 heading into the fourth quarter.
Haiby got five more points in the fourth, including a three-pointer with 4:50 left and a pair of free throws with 3:49 left to cap a 10-0 Husker run that tied the score at 68.
The Big Red got two more points from Taylor Kissinger on a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime, as Nebraska’s defense held WSU without a field goal for the final 5:41 of regulation. Kissinger finished with seven points on the night.
Haiby gave Nebraska its first lead since the closing seconds of the first quarter when she scored on a driving layup on NU’s first possession of overtime to give the Huskers a 72-71 advantage. After a three-point play by Borislava Hristova, who scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Cougars, Maddie Simon hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 74 with 3:23 left in the first overtime. Simon finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Haiby then got four straight points to give Nebraska its biggest lead after halftime, 78-74 with 1:38 left. But the Huskers were shut out the rest of the overtime period, and the Cougars got two free throws from Hristova with 1:28 left and a layup from Maria Kostourkova on a broken down sideline out-of-bounds play with 2.1 seconds remaining to send the game to a second OT. Kostourkova finished with 13 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for WSU (1-2), which got its first win under first-year head coach Kamie Ethridge.
Nebraska came out aggressively again in the second overtime, as Simon and Whitish hit back-to-back threes to give the Big Red an 84-82 lead with 3:23 left. Neither team scored for more than two minutes, before Hristova hit a pair of free throws with 1:05 left to tie the game at 84. Hristova added her last basket with 26.1 seconds left to give the Cougars the lead for good, and after an Ula Motuga free throw with eight seconds left, WSU led 87-84.
The Huskers called timeout and got a wide open three from Hannah Whitish from the left wing that hit iron, went high off the backboard then fell on the front of the rim before dropping to the floor as time as expired. Whitish finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Kate Cain added a double-double with 10 points, including six in the fourth quarter, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots before fouling out late in the second overtime.
In addition to the huge games for Hristova and Kostourkova for Washington State, point guard Chanelle Moline poured in 26 points including a career-high five three-pointers, while Alexys Swedlund added 12 points with three threes. That group of four Cougars combined for 82 of WSU’s 87 points.
Nebraska hit 42.5 percent (31-73) of its shots from the field for the game, including 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three-point range. The Huskers also hit 15-of-19 free throws (.789) and outrebounded Washington State, 44-40. Both teams committed 15 turnovers.
Washington State outshot Nebraska for the game, connecting on 45.6 percent (31-68) of its attempts, including 9-of-22 threes (.409). The Cougars also hit 16-of-24 free throws.
Nebraska jumped out to a 12-6 lead midway through the second quarter, before Washington State rallied to outscore the Huskers 13-6 in the final three minutes, including five straight points to close the quarter with a 19-18 edge.
The Huskers tied the score at 25 and trailed just 31-29 after an Ashtyn Veerbeek basket with 3:27 left in the half. Veerbeek led the Big Red with nine first-half points off the bench, but her bucket was the last for Nebraska in the second quarter, as the Cougars closed the half on an 8-0 run in the final 1:30 to take a 39-29 lead to the locker room.
In the half, Washington hit 16-of-30 shots from the field (.520), including 2-of-5 threes (.400). The Cougars also knocked down 5-of-6 free throws (.833).
Nebraska hit just 12-of-30 shots from the floor (.400), including just 2-of-8 threes (.250). Nebraska hit 3-of-5 free throws. The Huskers outrebounded WSU 17-16, but lost the first-half turnover battle 9-6, including five turnovers in the final 3:30 of the half.
In addition to the nine first-half points from Veerbeek, the Huskers got eight points in the half from Simon and six on a pair of three-pointers from Whitish.
For the Cougars, Hristova, Molina and Kostourkova combined for 36 of WSU’s 39 points.
Nebraska continues road action next week when the Huskers head to Florida for the Miami Thanksgiving Classic. The Big Red tip off the two-game tournament against the hosts from No. 24 Miami on Friday, Nov. 23.