Husker Women Rally to Beat Illinois

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Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Story Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

Champaign, Ill. – All-American Rachel Theriot scored 20 of her game-high 27 points in the second half to rally No. 19 Nebraska from a seven-point second-half deficit to a 58-53 victory on Sunday at the State Farm Center.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 12-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten with a sweep of a pair of Big Ten road wins this week. The Fighting Illini slipped to 11-5 and 2-2 in the conference.

Nebraska trailed 49-43 with 6:42 left, but Theriot responded by scoring eight straight points for the Huskers over the next two minutes to tie the score at 51 with 4:30 left. After nearly 1:30 of scoreless basketball for both teams, Theriot scored again to give Nebraska the lead for good at 53-51 with 3:03 left.

The Big Red then got a free throw from Hailie Sample and a layup from Emily Cady to push the NU lead to 56-51 with 1:34 left. Brandi Jeffery added a free throw with 14 seconds left to push the margin to 57-51.

Amarah Coleman scored the only four points for the Illini in the final 6:40, with a bucket at 5:28 before getting the final two for the Illini with 7.6 seconds left. Coleman led Illinois with 18 points off the bench for the game, including eight of the Illini’s final 10 points over the last 10:30.

Theriot sealed the win with one more free throw, as Nebraska outscored Illinois 15-4 in the game’s final 6:21 with 11 points from Theriot.

Although Theriot was the only Husker to finish in double figures, they got contributions across the board, including six points and 12 rebounds from Cady and seven points and nine rebounds from Sample, who went 3-for-3 from the floor.

Jeffery added five points, nine big rebounds and two crucial steals, while Tear’a Laudermill pitched in nine points, five rebounds, a team-high three assists and two steals of her own.

Nebraska shot just 36.2 percent (21-58) for the game, including 2-of-11 from three-point range. The Huskers also connected on just 14-of-22 free throws. However, NU dominated the glass, 46-34, for the game, including plus-11 in the second half. The two teams each committed just 12 turnovers in the contest.

Despite a rough shooting day, Nebraska still outshot the Illini, as Illinois hit just 35 percent (21-60), including 6-of-20 from three-point range. The Fighting Illini hit 5-of-6 free throws.

Kyley Simmons managed 10 points for Illinois, while Shelby, Neb., native Chatrice White added nine points and ine rebounds on 3-of-8 shooting with three turnovers.

The Huskers trailed 29-27 at the half but outscored the Illini 10-2 a 3:05 stretch late in the half to tie the game at 27 after trailing 26-17 with 3:20 left. Illinois guard Taylor Tuck got a leaner in the lane with one second left to give the lead back to the Illini. Tuck, who started in place of the injured Ivory Crawford, finished with five first-half points.

Coleman added seven points out of the same spot in the lineup, while White managed seven points and five rebounds in the first half despite being strapped with two first-half fouls.

Laudermill led the Big Red with eight first-half points, while Theriot added seven points in the opening period. Cady and Allie Havers each pitched in four first-half points.

The Huskers return home to take on three-time defending Big Ten champion Penn State on Thursday. Tip-off between Nebraska and the Lady Lions is set for 6 p.m. Tickets are available now at Huskers.com.