NEB WBB: Romeo, Huskers Scorch Illini, 86-71

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Romeo, Huskers Scorch Illini, 86-71
Freshman Ties School Three-Point Record in Win
Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Freshman guard Natalie Romeo tied a school record with seven three-pointers on her way to a career-high 26 points to lead seventh-seeded Nebraska to an 86-71 pounding of 10th-seeded Illinois in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament at Sears Centre Arena on Thursday night.

With the victory, Nebraska advanced to Friday’s Big Ten quarterfinal game against second-seeded Iowa. Tip-off between the Huskers and No. 14 Hawkeyes for the third time this season is set for 6 p.m. with live television coverage by BTN. The Huskers improved to 21-9 overall with their third victory in the last four games, while completing a three-game season sweep of Illinois. The Fighting Illini fell to 15-16 to end the regular season.

Romeo’s career-best effort led five Huskers in double figures, as the Big Red were firing on all cylinders against the Illini’s “Buzz” defense.

Senior forward Hailie Sample pitched in 14 points, seven rebounds, four rebounds and a block, while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the field and 6-for-6 at the free throw line.

Fellow senior Tear’a Laudermill pitched in 14 points and four assists and a block of her own on 5-of-8 shooting, including a three-pointer. Laudermill also hit all three of her free throws.

Senior Emily Cady contributed 11 points, eight rebounds and an assist while going 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 at the line. Nebraska’s fourth senior Brandi Jeffery added six points while producing a team-high nine rebounds and a career-high eight assists. The seniors combined for 17 of Nebraska’s season-high 24 assists in the game on just 29 made baskets as a team.

Sophomore Allie Havers added a huge performance off the bench with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting while adding four assists, two assists and a block in just 20 minutes.

Overall, Nebraska shot a season-best 61.7 percent (29-47) from the field, including 50 percent (8-16) from three-point range. The Huskers also connected on 20-of-23 free throws (.870). Nebraska dominated the boards, 42-33.

Nebraska controlled the game from start to finish to complete the sweep of Illinois, building a 28-point lead with 8:21 left in the game. Every Husker in Nebraska’s special 1988 throwback uniforms competed and contributed in the Husker win, which was their fourth straight in the Big Ten Tournament. Nebraska improved to 8-2 in the tournament in four seasons in the conference.

The defending Big Ten Tournament champions, Nebraska erupted for a spectacular first half, racing to a 49-29 lead thanks to a 11-0 run in the first four minutes to take a 13-2 lead and a 16-0 run in a 3:40 span midway through the half to turn a 20-15 edge into a 36-15 lead with 7:43 left.

Romeo did the most damage for the Big Red, burying 5-of-7 first-half threes in the first 11:03 of the game.

While Romeo erupted from long range, the Huskers also caused the Fighting Illini all kinds of problems at the rim. Cady scored nine first-half points on 3-of-4 shooting and 3-of-4 free throws despite picking up her second foul with 3:39 left in the half.

Havers added seven points off the bench on 3-of-4 shooting, while Sample pitched in six first-half points on her only field and 4-for-4 free throw shooting.

The Huskers also forced three first-half fouls on Illini freshman center Chatrice White, who went scoreless and attempted just one shot while playing 11 minutes. Forward Jacqui Grant also committed three first-half fouls but scored seven points. Both White and Grant fouled out midway through the second half. White finished the game with a season-low five points while fouling out for the second time in three games against the Huskers. Grant also fouled out for the second time this season against NU, as the Illini committed 20 or more fouls in all three losses this season to the Huskers.

Senior Ivory Crawford, who did not play in either regular-season loss to Nebraska, also committed three first-half fouls. She managed six points, five rebounds and three assists. Crawford fouled out late in the game, but not before finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and five steals.

Nebraska, who also got six points, five rebounds and four assists from Jeffery, and six points, three rebounds and two assists from Laudermill in the half, hit 12-of-14 first-half free throws.

The Huskers shot a sizzling 64 percent (16-25) from the floor, including 5-of-9 threes. NU also dominated the glass 20-14 in the first half, and matched Illinois with seven turnovers.

Illinois hit just 33.3 percent (11-33) of its first-half shots, including 3-of-10 threes. The Illini also hit 4-of-6 free throws.

Romeo continued her hot shooting early in the second half, burying back-to-back threes to keep NU’s lead at 57-37, tying the school single-game three-point record with 16:26 left. Minnesota briefly cut the lead to 17 at 61-44, but the Huskers responded with a 14-3 surge that included four points from Havers and five straight points from Laudermill to take a 75-47 lead.

Official Basketball Box Score


Official Basketball Box Score

ILLINOIS vs NEBRASKA

3/5/15 6:00 pm at Sears Centre Hoffman Estates, IL

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VISITORS: ILLINOIS 15-16 (6-12)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

34 Grant, Jacqui……. f 3-9 0-3 1-2 0 1 1 5 7 1 0 1 1 19

32 White, Chatrice….. c 2-4 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 5 5 1 1 0 2 22

15 Simmons, Kyley…… g 2-8 1-3 2-2 0 2 2 0 7 3 1 0 2 31

20 Carter, Brittany…. g 1-7 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 2 3 6 1 1 2 23

22 Crawford, Ivory….. g 9-20 1-5 0-0 7 3 10 5 19 4 4 0 5 32

0 Hartwell, Sarah….. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6

10 Coleman, Amarah….. 6-16 4-5 2-5 1 4 5 2 18 3 2 0 2 33

12 McConnell, Ashley… 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

21 Kissinger, Brooke… 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

25 Cattenhead, Kennedy. 1-6 1-4 2-2 1 2 3 0 5 0 1 0 5 13

3 Tuck, Taylor…….. 1-4 0-1 1-2 0 1 1 0 3 0 2 1 0 14

5 Oden, Nia……….. 2-4 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 2 4 1 0 0 1 5

TEAM……………. 3 3

Totals………….. 27-78 9-26 8-13 16 17 33 21 71 19 12 3 20 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-33 33.3% 2nd Half: 16-45 35.6% Game: 34.6% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-10 30.0% 2nd Half: 6-16 37.5% Game: 34.6% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 4-6 66.7% 2nd Half: 4-7 57.1% Game: 61.5% 2

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HOME TEAM: NEBRASKA 21-9 (10-8)

TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS

## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN

23 Cady, Emily……… f 4-6 0-0 3-4 1 7 8 2 11 1 2 0 1 24

3 Sample, Hailie…… f 4-4 0-0 6-6 1 6 7 2 14 4 3 1 0 29

1 Laudermill, Tear’a.. g 5-8 1-3 3-3 0 3 3 1 14 4 3 1 0 33

13 Jeffery, Brandi….. g 2-8 0-2 2-2 1 8 9 2 6 8 5 0 1 36

5 Romeo, Natalie…… g 8-12 7-11 3-3 1 3 4 2 26 3 4 1 2 36

11 Ramacieri, Esther… 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 4

12 Wood, Emily……… 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

22 Havers, Allie……. 5-8 0-0 3-5 0 4 4 2 13 2 3 1 0 20

30 Smith, Chandler….. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 2 1 0 11

31 Kalenta, Anya……. 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3

34 Cincore, Jasmine…. 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3

TEAM……………. 5 5

Totals………….. 29-47 8-16 20-23 4 38 42 16 86 24 24 5 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-25 64.0% 2nd Half: 13-22 59.1% Game: 61.7% DEADB

3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 3-7 42.9% Game: 50.0% REBS

F Throw % 1st Half: 12-14 85.7% 2nd Half: 8-9 88.9% Game: 87.0% 0

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Officials: Lisa Mattingly, Bryan Enterline, Amy Bonner

Technical fouls: ILLINOIS-None. NEBRASKA-None.

Attendance:

Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total

ILLINOIS…………………. 29 42 – 71

NEBRASKA…………………. 49 37 – 86