Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics
Lincoln - No. 18 Nebraska opened the game with a 24-0 run and cruised to an 89-53 women's basketball victory over Oral Roberts at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
All-American Jordan Hooper erupted for 30 points and added 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year in just 20 minutes of work against the Golden Eagles. It was Hooper's eighth career 30-point game and 32nd career double-double, as she moved past Kiera Hardy into No. 5 on Nebraska's career scoring list.
The Huskers closed the non-conference portion of their schedule by improving to 10-2 on the season.
Hooper, who had 23 points and eight rebounds in the first half, led five Huskers in double figures as Nebraska exploded for a school-record 62 first-half points. Nebraska also hit a season-high 12 three-pointers, knocking down 50 percent of their triples on the day.
Nebraska hit 52.5 percent (32-61) of its shots from the field overall, including a season-best 63.9 percent (23-36) in the first half. NU opened the game 7-for-7 from the field. The Huskers, who also hit 13-of-17 free throws for the game, outrebounded ORU, 41-29, and won the turnover battle, 22-15.
"That is as good as I've seen one of my team's play offensively, in the first half especially, in a long time," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "I thought our ball movement was really good and obviously it helps that we made a lot of shots. I also thought our defense was pretty good in the first half, especially in the first 15 minutes."
The Huskers raced to a 24-0 lead after a Hooper layup with 13:12 left in the first half. ORU didn't get on the board until Kaylan Mayberry hit a jumper with 12:39 left.
Nebraska then answered with 11 straight points to take a 35-2 lead after an Emily Cady three-pointer. Cady, a 6-2 junior forward, finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a pair of threes.
Mayberry heated up to score 17 points in the first half, but Nebraska kept scoring, eventually pushing the lead to 39 points at 49-10 on a Rachel Theriot jumper with 4:09 left in the half. Theriot finished the game with 11 points, four assists and three rebounds.
Junior guard Tear'a Laudermill added another strong performance with 11 points, a career-high five assists and a season-high three steals in just 18 minutes of work. Sophomore guard Sadie Murren added her second straight game with double digits, pumping in 11 points including a trio of three-pointers.
Hooper pushed NU's lead to 40 for the first time, burying a three-pointer with 2:25 left in the half to make it 56-15. Hooper added another three-pointer and a three-point play in the next 38 seconds to finish the first half with 23 points.
Nebraska's lead grew as large as 49 points on a pair of occasions in the second half, the last coming after seven straight points from Hooper capped by a steal and layup to make it 83-34 with 9:49 left.
Oral Roberts opened the game just 1-of-12 from the field and never recovered. The Golden Eagles slipped to 1-9 on the season after going 20-of-58 (34.5 percent) from the field. ORU did hit 8-of-17 three-pointers (47.1 percent) and 5-of-8 free throws. Christian Key led ORU with 25 points, scoring 23 of ORU's 28 points in the second half.
Nebraska wraps up its five-game home stand by opening Big Ten Conference play with Northwestern on Thursday, Jan. 2. Tip-off between the Huskers and Wildcats is set for 8 p.m., and tickets are on sale now at Huskers.com. The game will also be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network.