Hooper leads Huskers past South Florida
Tampa, Fla. - Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore each produced 20-point games to lead the Nebraska women's basketball team to a 62-52 road win over previously unbeaten South Florida at the Sun Dome on Sunday.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 8-3 while notching its second straight win over an unbeaten Florida school. The Huskers extended their winning streak against Florida schools to 13 straight games, including series sweeps of Miami, Florida State, Florida and South Florida in recent years. USF slipped to 8-1 on the season.
Hooper produced her fifth double-double of the season and 22nd of her career with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while adding three blocked shots. It was Hooper's second straight double-double following 36 points and 12 rebounds in last Saturday's win over No. 24 Florida State.
Moore added 20 points, four rebounds and three assists, while hitting 8-of-13 shots from the field, including 2-of-5 threes.
Sophomore forwards Hailie Sample and Emily Cady added strong games at both ends of the court. Sample finished with six points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Cady added four points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Fellow sophomore Tear'a Laudermill also played a key role off the bench with seven points, including five straight to help the Huskers take a double-digit lead midway through the second half.
The Huskers went to halftime tied with the Bulls at 30, after building a seven-point lead at 30-23 with just 1:06 left in the half. Hooper led NU with 11 points and seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes, while Moore added 10 points and two assists. Cady pitched in four points and nine rebounds.
However, USF closed the half on a 7-0 run in the final 1:05 to tie the game for the fifth time in the opening half. Inga Orekhova led the Bulls with 11 points, while Andrell Smith pitched in eight points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and her twin sister Andrea had seven points and two assists.
Nebraska hit 50 percent (12-24) of its shots in the first half, including 2-of-9 three-pointers. The Huskers were also 4-of-5 at the free throw line and won the rebounding battle, 22-17. USF hit just 33.3 percent (12-36) of its shots, including 6-of-19 three-pointers, while Andrea Smith missed all three of USF's free throw attempts. The Bulls dominated the first-half turnover battle, 13-5.
The game was tied at 36 with 15:34 left, before Moore, Sample and Laudermill fueled a 12-0 run over the next six minutes to push NU's lead to 12 points at 48-36 on Laudermill's three-point play at 9:42.
Andrell Smith, who finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds for USF, hit back-to-back three-pointers around a pair of free throws by Laudermill to cut NU's lead to eight points at 50-42 with 7:54 left. The Huskers then held the Bulls without a field goal again for more than four more minutes
Hooper scored eight points for NU during the stretch as the Huskers took their biggest lead at 60-43 with 5:08 left following a three-pointer and a pair of free throws by the 6-2 junior forward from Alliance.
Moore's final two points came with three minutes left to keep the NU lead at 62-45, before USF scored the game's final seven points.
Nebraska finished the game with 41.7 percent shooting (20-48), including just 5-of-23 from three-point range. But the Huskers hit 17-of-23 free throws (73.9 percent), outscoring the Bulls 17-6 at the line. NU also outrebounded the Bulls 45-44 for the game, but lost the turnover battle, 18-10.
USF hit just 26.4 percent (19-72) against Nebraska's zone defense, including just 8-of-34 three-pointers. The Bulls were just 6-of-13 at the line.
Nebraska returns home to open a four-game home stand, when the Huskers take on Oral Roberts Thursday at the Devaney Center. Tip-off between the Huskers and the Golden Eagles, who won 20 games last season, is set for 7:05 p.m.
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