Huskers roll at Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minn. - Nebraska played its most complete game of the season, rolling to an 84-63 win over Minnesota at Williams Arena on Sunday evening.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten while notching its second Big Ten road victory. Minnesota slipped to 13-6 overall and 2-3 in the conference. It was the Huskers' first-ever win over the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena, and came in front of more than 6,300 fans and a Big Ten Network national television audience.
Senior Lindsey Moore put together her best game of the year with a season-high 26 points and a season-high seven rebounds to go along with seven assists and three steals in a marquee matchups of Big Ten point guards with Minnesota's Rachel Banham. Moore hit 9-of-15 shots from the field, including 2-of-5 three-pointers and 6-of-7 free throws.
Jordan Hooper added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Emily Cady contributed her third double-double in Big Ten play with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Freshman guard Rachel Theriot added the best all-around game of her young career with 13 points and a career-high eight assists against just one turnover. Theriot hit 5-of-8 shots from the field, including 3-of-5 three-pointers.
The contributions came across the board for the Big Red, who also got nine points, six rebounds and two assists from Hailie Sample and five points and three boards from Meghin Williams. Tear'a Laudermill rounded out the scoring for NU with a second half bucket while providing intense defensive pressure.
"It was a great win for us today, and it was great to get a win in the way we got it," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "I thought we were the most aggressive we have been all season, and I thought we got back to playing the kind of basketball we want to play. We defensive rebounded and got out in transition and we played with confidence. It is really fun to win when everybody contributes like they did today."
Nebraska shot a season-high 48.3 percent (29-60) from the floor, including 8-of-15 three-pointers. NU also hit 18-of-23 free throws, while keeping Minnesota off the line entirely in the second half. NU won the battle of the boards, 42-35, and won the turnover battle 12-11.
Defensively, the Huskers' zone defense held Banham to 15 points on just 6-of-21 shooting from the field. Banham entered the contest averaging nearly 21 points per game. Micaella Riche added 10 points and eight boards before fouling out, while Shayne Mullaney contributed 10 points for the Gophers.
Minnesota hit just 37.5 percent (24-64) of its shots from the field for the game, including 7-of-17 three-pointers, while hitting 8-of-10 free throws - all in the first half.
Nebraska put together a strong first half and took a 41-38 lead into the locker room at the break. Theriot led the Huskers with 10 points and five assists in the opening period, while hitting 4-of-6 shots from the field, including 2-of-3 three-pointers.
Cady added nine points and five rebounds, while Moore pitched in eight points and three assists. NU also got five points and five rebounds from Hooper despite playing just 12 minutes because of foul trouble. Williams added five big points and three boards in place of Hooper to help the Huskers, while Sample contributed four points, two boards and two assists in the first half.
Nebraska hit 15-of-32 shots (.469) in the first half, including 3-of-7 (.429) three-pointers. NU was also 8-of-10 at the free throw line. The Huskers outrebounded Minnesota, 22-16 in the first half while committing seven turnovers, compared to five for the Gophers.
Minnesota hit 43.3 percent (13-30) of its first-half shots, including 4-of-8 three-pointers. The Gophers were also 8-of-10 at the line. Riche' led Minnesota with eight first-half points despite playing just 11 minutes because of foul trouble. Banham managed seven first-half points.
The Huskers started strong again in the second half, scoring seven straight points to push the lead back to 10 points at 48-38 with 18:39 to play. Minnesota cut NU's margin to six on two occassions, the last coming at 50-44 with 14:59 left.
But the Big Red responded with its biggest surge of the game, and 11-0 run capped by five straight points from Moore to push the margin to 61-44 with 10:18 left. The Golden Gophers could get no closer than 14 the rest of the way, as Nebraska built its biggest lead at 84-60 with 1:59 left.
The Huskers return home to take on Michigan State on Thursday night at the Devaney Center. The Spartans improved to 16-2 overall with a win at Indiana on Sunday afternoon and will be making their first-ever trip to the Devaney Center. Tip-off between the Huskers and Spartans is set for 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available now at Huskers.com.