Posted By: Sports
Courtesy: UNL Media Relations
Lincoln - Nebraska knocked down a season-high 12 three-pointers to shoot its way back from a 12-point first-quarter deficit on its way to a 66-58 win over Omaha on Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Sophomore Jessica Shepard scored a team-high 17 points to go along with nine rebounds despite battling foul trouble and a collapsing zone defense throughout the night. The 6-4 Shepard hit 6-of-12 shots from the field, including a pair of second-half three-pointers to help shoot the Huskers to their third victory in their season-opening four-game home stand.
Freshman Hannah Whitish added double figures with 10 points for the second straight game, including a pair of three-pointers. The 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., also dished out a career-high five assists - all in the second half.
Senior Allie Havers from Mattawan, Mich., grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and scored nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the floor, just missing a double-double.
While Nebraska improved to 3-1, Omaha slipped to 1-3 on the year despite holding the Huskers to just eight two-point field goals on the night. Nebraska went 8-of-25 inside the arc and 12-for-31 from beyond, including 12-for-25 in the final three quarters.
It was a true team win for the Huskers with three shooters with nine points and two in double digits. Freshman Nicea Eliely, who finished with nine points and six rebounds, helped to jumpstart a sluggish first-quarter defense for the Huskers. She finished with a career-high four steals, including a steal that led to her go-ahead layup with 52 seconds left in the third quarter to give the Big Red the lead for good.
The Huskers, who closed the quarter on a 9-0 run, got the first points of freshman Rylie Cascio Jensen's career on a three-pointer with 32 seconds to take a 45-41 lead to the fourth. She added a fourth-quarter three-pointer to push NU's edge to 53-47 with 6:44 to go and Omaha did not get closer than three points the rest of the way. Cascio Jensen finished with six points and two steals on the night.
While Nebraska's young guards played major roles in the second half, senior Esther Ramacieri sparked the Huskers with back-to-back threes in the second quarter to help slash Omaha's 12-point first-quarter edge. Ramacieri's second three gave Nebraska its only first-half lead at 28-27 with 3:09 left, before the Mavs rallied for a 31-28 halftime lead. Ramacieri, a 5-8 guard from Quebec, Canada, finished with a career-high three threes to finish with a career-best nine points. She added three assists and two steals on the night.
Nebraska was slow offensively in the first quarter with just nine points in 10 minutes, while going 0-for-6 against the UNO zone. The Mavericks opened the game on a 7-0 run, until Havers made a jumper which sparked a 7-0 response for the Huskers. Omaha's Michaela Dapprich, who finished with 18 points, scored the next eight points, six coming off of three-pointers to fuel a 10-0 Omaha run. Four scoreless minutes followed before Dapprich closed the quarter with a jumper to put the Huskers down 21-9.
Nebraska took its biggest lead of the night at 66-56 before Shepard fouled out with 0.4 seconds left. All-Summit League senior Mikaela Shaw hit both free throws for the Mavs to finish with a game-high 19 points.
Up next, the Huskers hit the road for three straight beginning with the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas. The Huskers will open the tournament against Washington State on Friday evening at 8 p.m. CT. The Huskers will then face Virginia on Saturday at 8 p.m. CT before traveling to Virginia to participate in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge where they will play Virginia Tech.