Hooper carries Huskers past Buckeyes
Columbus, Ohio - Jordan Hooper erupted for 28 points and seven rebounds to lead the Nebraska women's basketball team to a 62-53 win over Ohio State at Value City Arena on Thursday night.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 15-6 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten, while Ohio State slipped to 11-10 overall and 1-7 in the conference. The Huskers notched their third Big Ten road win and recorded their first-ever win at Value City Arena.
Hooper hit 5-of-9 three-pointers in the game and 10-of-21 shots overall from the field to lead all scorers with 28 points while adding seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. The 6-2 junior forward from Alliance, Neb., scored 12 of NU's 14 points in a six-minute span late in the second half. She hit three straight short jumpers to turn a 56-49 lead into a 62-49 edge with 3:24 left.
Senior Lindsey Moore added 11 points and six assists, including eight points in the second half. The 5-9 point guard from Covington, Wash., hit three three-pointers on the night.
Sophomore Emily Cady added 10 points and six rebounds, while freshman Rachel Theriot contributed nine points, five rebounds and six assists. Theriot got four rebounds in the final six minutes, including a pair of offensive rebounds that she turned into points for the Huskers to seal the win.
Nebraska finished the game with 43.6 percent (24-55) shooting, including 36 percent (9-25) from three-point range. The Huskers were also a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line, but did not shoot a free throw in the second half as OSU was only whistled for five fouls in the game. NU also won the turnover battle 16-13, but were outrebounded 36-29. The Huskers managed just six offensive rebounds, but turned them into 11 second-chance points, while Ohio State got just four second-chance points on 11 offensive boards.
Senior guard Tayler Hill led Ohio State with 22 points, five rebounds and six assists, but went 0-for-5 from three-point range. As a team, Ohio State went just 1-for-13 from long range, missing its first 11 attempts from beyond the arc. Nebraska outscored the Buckeyes 27-3 from long range on OSU's homecourt.
Ohio State shot just 38.2 percent (21-55) from the floor for the game, but did hit 10-of-11 free throws. Ashley Adams helped the Buckeyes with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Aleksandra Dobranic scored all seven of her points in the second half, including OSU's only three-pointer to keep the Buckeyes within striking distance.
Nebraska led from start to finish in a game, but Coach Connie Yori was not ever comfortable with the Husker margin.
"That was anything but pretty," Yori said. "It's good that we hit some shots or else I don't know how we would have won. We did some good things in the first half, but the game just seemed like it was moving in slow motion. They got all the hustle plays in the first 15 minutes of the second half, until Rachel finally got some rebounds for us, and Hooper hit some shots to put it away."
Nebraska took a 34-24 lead to the locker room at halftime thanks to 16 first-half points from Hooper, who scored seven straight points in a 1:35 span to fuel an 11-0 NU run to give the Huskers their biggest lead at 34-21.
NU hit 5-of-13 three-pointers including 3-of-6 shooting by Hooper. The Huskers were 12-of-30 overall from the field. Nebraska also won the turnover battle 10-5. NU was outrebounded 20-15 in the opening half, but the Huskers got seven second-chance points while OSU went scoreless off its second chances.
Theriot added seven points, including a game-opening three-pointer in her return to her home state, to go along with three first-half assists. Cady pitched in six first-half points.
The Big Ten's leading scorer, Hill led OSU with 12 points, but the Buckeyes went 0-for-7 from three-point range and just 9-of-26 from the field. Adams added eight first-half points.
The Huskers return home to the Devaney Center to continue Big Ten action on Sunday, when they play host to Minnesota. Tip-off against the Golden Gophers is set for 2:05 p.m. on Pepsi Pack the House Day at the Devaney Center. Fans can purchase general admission tickets for just $1 and 24-ounce Pepsi products will be on sale for just $1 at the concession stands. Fans are encouraged to participate in National Wear Red Day to support women's heart health. The game will also feature the FM Acro dunk team at halftime
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