Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
LINCOLN - No. 19 Nebraska jumped to a 20-point halftime lead and cruised to an 87-53 women's basketball victory over South Dakota on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska improved to 9-2 with its third straight win, while snapping South Dakota's five-game winning streak. The Coyotes slipped to 7-6 on the season.
All-American Jordan Hooper led four Huskers in double figures with a game-high 19 points, while adding seven rebounds and a career-high matching four assists.
Junior guard Tear'a Laudermill pitched in a career-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, while contributing five rebounds in just 21 minutes. She added her fifth blocked shot of the season.
Sophomore Sadie Murren added a breakout performance with 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Murren, a 5-8 guard from Colon, Neb., more than doubled her previous career-best on the glass of three. In fact, entering the game she had just 11 rebounds in her previous nine games this season. Murren was the leading rebounder in the game.
Junior forward Emily Cady contributed 10 points and seven boards in another solid effort, while nine Huskers scored four or more points in the contest. All 10 Huskers found the scoring column, including freshman guard Esther Ramacieri who got the first point and first two rebounds of her career.
Murren also hit 3-of-6 three-pointers on the day to lead Nebraska's season-high 10 threes in the game. The Huskers went 10-for-24 from long range against the Coyotes, including two threes from Laudermill and two more from Brandi Jeffery, who finished with six points.
"That is what they call a feel-good win," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Everybody contributed. Everybody scored and hustled. It was a great way to end the semester so everybody could get home to their families for the holidays. Hopefully we can come back refreshed for the next part of our season."
As a team, Nebraska hit 46 percent (29-63) of its shots from the field and connected on 79.2 percent (19-24) of its free throws. With Murren leading the charge with seven second-half rebounds, the Huskers were a plus-13 on the boards after intermission. NU finished with a 46-33 edge on the glass for the game. Nebraska also won the turnover battle, 16-14.
The Huskers were solid defensively, holding the Coyotes to just 29.3 percent (17-58) shooting for the game, including just 4-of-25 from long range. USD also went just 15-of-23 at the line.
Raeshel Contreras led three Coyotes in double figures with 17 points, but went just 5-of-14 from the field and 5-of-12 at the line. Tia Hemiller and Nicole Seekamp each contributed 11 points, but the rest of the Coyotes combined for just 14 points.
For the game, Nebraska's bench outscored USD's 28-5. The Coyotes, who were without regular starter Heidi Hoff (injury), also missed one of their top reserves, Margaret McCloud. She missed the game because of a family funeral. The absence of those two players pushed Contreras into the starting lineup.
Nebraska took immediate control of the game, opening with an 11-0 run in the first four minutes. NU also closed the first half with a 10-0 surge to take a 40-20 lead into the locker room. Laudermill led the Big Red with 11 first-half points, while Cady pitched in nine points. Hooper contributed eight points and five rebounds despite hitting just 3-of-12 shots from the field. She went a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor in the first five minutes of the second half.
The Huskers connected on 14-of-33 shots in the first half, including 5-of-10 three-pointers. NU also knocked down 7-of-8 free throws. Nebraska won the turnover battle 12-5, but was even on the glass at 19. USD team went just 8-of-27 from the field. The Coyotes did hit 3-of-10 threes, but managed just 1-of-2 free throws. Contreras led USD with eight first-half points, while Hemiller added six points on a pair of threes.
Nebraska's lead kept growing in the second half, hitting 28 points at 54-26 after Hooper's first three-pointer in three games with 15:25 left. It grew to 30 for the first time at 67-37 on a layup by Allie Havers off an assist from Hooper with 8:16 left. NU took its biggest lead at 35 points after a pair of Murren free throws made it 81-46 with 3:35 left.
Despite the one-sided score, the game was Nebraska's longest from start-to-finish of the season lasting nearly two hours and 10 minutes because of a pair of 10-minute delays caused by malfunctioning shot clocks. The first delay occurred with 4:41 left in the first half. The second occurred before the start of the second half.
The Huskers head home for the holidays before returning to close non-conference action against Oral Roberts on Sunday, Dec. 29. Tip-off at Pinnacle Bank Arena with the Golden Eagles is set for 2 p.m. with tickets available now at Huskers.com.