Nebraska finishes regular season with win over Northwestern
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Jaz Shelley and Alexis Markowski both put up big double-doubles to lead four Huskers in double figures, as the Nebraska women’s basketball team rolled to an 80-64 win over Northwestern in front of more than 6,000 fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Huskers (16-13, 8-10 Big Ten) outscored the Wildcats (9-20, 2-16 Big Ten) 50-34 in the second half, including 16 points and 12 rebounds in the final 20 minutes from Markowski, who finished the day with 16 points and 14 boards. It was her Big Ten-leading 14th double-double of the season and 20th of her Husker career.
Shelley, who finished with 19 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with six assists and three steals, added 11 points and five boards in the second half as Nebraska pulled away. She posted her fourth double-double of the year and 10th of her Husker career.
Sam Haiby finished her final regular-season home game with 13 points, including 10 after halftime, while Isabelle Bourne pitched in 11 points and four boards. Maddie Krull just missed double digits with nine points – all in the second half.
The Big Red finished the game by hitting 26-of-57 shots (.456) from the field, including 6-of-21 threes (.286), while sinking 22-of-27 free throws (.815). The Huskers owned the glass on the day, 49-26, including a 25-8 edge in the final 20 minutes.
Shelley led Nebraska with eight points, eight rebounds and four assists in the first half. Bourne added seven points and three rebounds for the Big Red, which hit 11-of-27 shots (.407) from the field, but just 2-of-10 three-pointers. The Huskers were also 6-of-8 at the free throw line and won the rebounding battle, 24-18, in the half.
Nebraska’s defense put up another strong effort, holding the Wildcats to 40 percent (26-65), including just 4-of-21 threes (.190). Northwestern added 8-of-11 free throws and won the turnover battle, 19-15. Paige Mott led the Cats with 18 points, while Hailey Weaver contributed 12 points and Carolina Lau 11.
Northwestern answered with nine points from Caroline Lau and eight points from Paige Mott. The Wildcats hit 13-of-35 shots (.371), including 2-of-11 threes, and 2-of-4 free throws, while winning the first-half turnover battle, 11-8.
Nebraska led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter and pushed the margin to 10 points at 21-11 after back-to-back buckets by Maggie Mendelson off the bench with just over six minutes left in the half. But the Wildcats responded with an 8-0 run that included six points from Lau and a basket by Mott.
The Huskers pushed the lead back to eight at 29-21 after four straight points from Callin Hake off the bench with 2:49 left, but the Wildcats closed the half with a 9-1 surge that included the final five points after Nebraska’s bench was whistled for a technical foul..
The Cats kept momentum early in the second half, taking a 34-31 lead, before Haiby, Bourne, Krull and Markowski combined for an 11-2 Husker surge to regain a 42-36 lead. The Big Red pushed the lead to 60-50 at the end of three quarters, with the last seven points from Markowski who finished with 12 points in the quarter. Nebraska extended the margin to 18 points in the closing minutes before settling for the 16-point win.
Nebraska will be back in action to open the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday, March 2. The Huskers earned the No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 seed Michigan State on the second day of the tournament with tip-off set for 11:30 a.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis.