Eliely’s 19 Not Enough for Huskers Against Unbeaten Bears

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Courtesy: NU Media Relations

Lincoln – Nicea Eliely pumped in a career-high 19 points, but it was not enough to prevent unbeaten California from running to an 86-65 win over the Nebraska women’s basketball team at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.The Huskers fell to 3-5 on the season, while the Bears improved to 7-0. Eliely, a 6-1 freshman wing from Colorado Springs, Colo., led the Huskers in scoring for the first time in her young career, while adding two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Eliely hit 8-of-13 shots from the floor, including 2-of-3 three-pointers.Eliely was part of a 10-for-19 shooting performance from three-point range for the Huskers. Sophomore Maddie Simon from Lincoln, added a season-high 11 points off the bench while knocking down 2-of-3 three-pointers of her own.Jasmine Cincore, a junior guard from Arlington, Tenn., also hit 2-of-3 threes on her way to seven points, three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals to help the Huskers.Freshmen Rylie Cascio Jensen and Hannah Whitish, and post players Jessica Shepard and Allie Havers also knocked down three-pointers on the afternoon for the Big Red in front of a season-high crowd of 5,573 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Although the Huskers shot it well from long range against the Bears, Cal was able to force 26 turnovers and convert those miscues into 33 points. Nebraska forced 16 turnovers by the Bears, including 13 in the second half, but was only able to muster 19 points off those turnovers.

Shepard managed eight points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Big Red, but was surrounded by the Bears inside throughout the day and hit just 3-of-14 shots from the floor. Havers pitched in nine points on 4-of-11 shooting. Senior guard Esther Ramacieri pitched in two points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists.

Cal sophomore forward Kristine Anigwe, who was the 2016 USBWA National Freshman of the Year, scored 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field while adding 5-of-5 shooting from the free throw line. She also contributed four rebounds and four blocked shots.

Anigwe’s strong effort led five Bears in double figures, including 13 points from freshman Jaelyn Brown, who scored 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting with a pair of threes. Point guard Asha Thomas added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 threes for the nation’s top three-point shooter in terms of percentage. Freshman guard Mi’Cole Cayton contributed 11 points off the bench on 5-of-8 shooting, while adding a five assists. CJ West rounded out the Bears in double digits with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting to go along five boards in just 17 minutes.

Nebraska led 13-9 after an Eliely three-pointer with 4:21 left in the first quarter, before Cal answered with a 9-0 run to take an 18-13 lead with 2:47 left. The Huskers rallied to trim the margin to 20-18 on Cascio Jensen’s three with 1:17 left in the quarter, but a three-pointer by Cal’s Thomas just ahead of the buzzer gave the Bears a 25-19 edge heading to the second quarter.

The Huskers got a quick two from Havers to trim the margin to 25-21 to open the second period, but the Bears produced a 7-0 run to claim their first double-digit lead of the game at 32-21 with 7:35 left in the first half. Shepard answered with a jumper to cut the margin back to nine, but the Bears then erupted for a 15-2 surge to take a 47-25 lead before Whitish’s three-pointer at the buzzer made the score 47-28 Cal at the half.

Nebraska could get no closer than 14 the rest of the way. For the game, Nebraska hit 38.1 percent (24-63) of its shots from the field, including 52.6 percent (10-19) three-pointers. NU hit 7-of-13 free throws, while outrebounding Cal, 40-35, including an 18-11 edge on the offensive glass. 

The Huskers continue their three-game home stand on Tuesday when they take on Drake. Tip-off for the battle with the Bulldogs at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7 p.m. Tickets for Tuesday night’s game are available now at Huskers.com.