Nebraska women’s basketball holds off Northwestern for road win
EVANSTON, Ill. (Nebraska Athletics) – Isabelle Bourne scored 18 points to lead four Huskers in double figures Monday night as Nebraska built a 22-point second-half lead before holding on for a 78-66 win at Northwestern.
Alexis Markowski notched her 11th double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Sam Haiby contributed 17 points and five rebounds to help the Huskers improve to 14-9 overall and 6-6 in the Big Ten.
Northwestern slipped to 8-15 overall and 1-11 in the league.
Jaz Shelley also crossed the 1,000-point career scoring mark by finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots.
Nebraska took a 22-point lead to the fourth quarter by getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Kendall Moriarty and Haiby in the final 40 seconds for a 56-34 edge.
The Huskers went to the fourth 10-for-20 from 3-point range – the 10th time this season that Nebraska hit double-digit 3s in a game.
But Northwestern took Nebraska’s hot long-range shooting out of the equation in the final period, forcing 11 turnovers with the Wildcats’ pressure defense.
But the Cats also fouled relentlessly, and the Huskers answered the bell.
The Big Red hit 18 of 25 free throws in the fourth quarter, including 12 straight attempts at the stripe in the final 2:20 to seal the victory.
For the game, Nebraska hit 41.2% of its shots from the field while holding Northwestern to just 31.8%. The Huskers hit 10 of 21 threes, while holding the Wildcats to 30%.
The Big Red also hit a season-high 26 free throws on a season-best 34 attempts (.765), while Northwestern went 18 of 26 (.692) at the line.
Nebraska dominated the glass 49-34 to compensate for losing the turnover battle 24-11.
Paige Mott led Northwestern with 13 points, while Sydney Wood and Courtney Shaw each contributed 12 points.
Nebraska got off of to a great start for the second straight game, building a pair of 17-point leads in the first half.
Bourne (9) and Annika Stewart (8) combined for 17 first-quarter points as the Huskers put together their first 30-point quarter since a win at No. 20 Maryland on Dec. 4.
The Huskers hit six first-quarter 3s, including a pair from Stewart, who capped a 5-0 run to end the quarter with a long 3 at the buzzer to put the Big Red up 30-15.
The second quarter was a whole different animal for both teams.
Bourne reached double figures in points with a layup with 8:48 left in the half, but the Huskers then went scoreless for more than five minutes before a pair of Haiby free throws with 3:31 left.
But Nebraska’s defense remained solid and held the Wildcats to just 10 second-quarter points.
A Shelley 3-pointer to close the quarter sent the Huskers to halftime with a 37-25 lead.
Nebraska hit 12 of 32 (.375) first-half shots, including 7 of 12 threes (.583). The Huskers also went 4 for 4 at the free throw line and won the battle of the boards 24-18.
The Big Red defense held Northwestern to 9-for-31 (.290) shooting, including 5 of 13 threes (.385), while the Cats went 2 for 4 at the line. Northwestern won the first-half turnover fight 8-7.
Bourne led Nebraska with 11 points and five rebounds in the first half, while Markowski added five points and five boards despite missing much of the second quarter with foul trouble.
Caleigh Walsh led Northwestern with six first-half points on a pair of 3-pointers.
The Huskers return to Big Ten home action on Thursday, when the Big Red take on Illinois. Tipoff between Nebraska and the Fighting Illini is set for 7 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com.
Live video will be provided by B1G+, while free live audio is available through the Huskers Radio Network, Huskers.com and the Huskers App.