Highlights/Reaction- Husker women’s hoops controls Oral Roberts 77-67
Lincoln – Sam Haiby scored a team-high 20 points to lead three Huskers in double figures as Nebraska rolled to a 77-67 women’s basketball win over Oral Roberts on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Haiby also had five rebounds and a career-high four steals.
Fellow sophomore Leigha Brown added 15 points, as did junior center Kate Cain, who also contributed eight rebounds and four blocked shots in an outstanding all-around effort. Cain hit her first seven shots from the field to help the Huskers build a 15-point lead on several occasions in the second half. With the victory, Nebraska improved to 9-1, while ORU slipped to 4-7.
Sophomore forward Ashtyn Veerbeek pitched in seven points, seven rebounds and a career-high four assists, while adding a block and a steal, while senior Nicea Eliely pitched in eight points, five rebounds, a career-high seven assists to go along with three steals and two blocks in another strong all-around effort.
As a team, Nebraska shot 44.6 percent from the floor (29-for-65), which included a 10-for-14 (71 percent) effort in the second period. Senior guard Hannah Whitish added eight points and three rebounds, while Kayla Mershon (4) and Isabelle Bourne (2) rounded out the scoring for the Huskers.
Keni Jo Lippe led the Golden Eagles with a game-high 21 points. She also had seven rebounds and two assists. She was one of three Golden Eagles to hit three threes in the game, including Rylie Torrey (3-7, 13 points) and Sarah Garvie (3-6, 11). Katie Kirkhart gave ORU four players in double figures with 10 points.
Nebraska trailed 17-16 at the end of the first quarter, despite bolting to 10-2 lead that included five early points from Cain. The Huskers were explosive in the second period, shooting 10-for-14 from the floor (71.4 percent) and finishing the quarter on a 17-7 surge. NU headed into the break with a 40-30 lead. Cain had seven points in the second period for a total of 12 in the first half.
After the break, both teams battled back and forth. Haiby had nine points and Brown had eight to combine for 17 of NU’s 24 in the third period, helping Nebraska jump to a 13-point lead at 63-50, matching its largest of the game at the time. In the final period Nebraska jumped out to 70-55 lead with just under seven minutes to play after Haiby swished a three. The Golden Eagles cut into NU’s lead with a 6-0 run to put the score at 70-61 before NU rebuilt the lead to 15 with under a minute left.
After the game, Nebraska Coach Amy Williams announced that junior Taylor Kissinger (Minden, Neb.) will not play the remainder of the season. Kissinger, who led Nebraska with 19 points and tied a career high with six three-pointers in NU’s win over Duke on Dec. 4, has been battling a hip injury that will require surgery. Kissinger, who will undergo surgery in a few weeks, will miss the remainder of the season after competing in five of Nebraska’s first 10 games. She should be able to regain this season of eligibility.
The Huskers Nebraska continues its four-game home stand on Sunday, Dec. 22 by hosting Manhattan at noon.