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Husker Ladies (9-9) (4-3)Huskers Come Up Short Against Wildcats
Lincoln - Nebraska overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to take a 54-53 lead with 37 seconds left, but Northwestern made the plays in the closing seconds to escape with a 58-54 women's basketball win over the Huskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday night.
Nebraska slipped to 4-4 in the Big Ten and 9-10 overall with its sixth loss by two possessions or less this season, while Northwestern improved to 5-3 in the Big Ten and 12-7 overall.
Nebraska led 21-19 with one minute left in the first half, but the Wildcats erupted on a 10-0 run with the final six points of the first half and the first four points of the second half to build an eight-point lead.
Northwestern sophomore Lindsey Pulliam, who finished with a game-high 21 points, scored 10 of the Wildcats' 12 points in the third quarter, including a jumper with 4:10 left to give the Cats their biggest lead of the night at 33-23.
As Nebraska has shown all season, the Huskers refused to go away, rallying to cut the Northwestern lead to 37-34 at the end of three quarters.
The Wildcats answered with five points from Sydney Wood in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to regain a 42-34 lead, before the Huskers rallied again.
Hannah Whitish, who led the Huskers with 12 points on four three-pointers on the night, buried a three with 8:14 left, before Taylor Kissinger got a traditional three-point play, slashing the Wildcat margin to 44-40 with 7:24 left.
The lead remained at four before Kissinger hit her only three of the night with 4:16 left to trim Northwestern's edge to 49-48. Pulliam put the Cats back up 53-50 with a jumper, before Whitish tied the game at 53 with her final three of the night with 1:03 remaining.
The Huskers then got a big defensive play with a steal that resulted in Nicea Eliely getting fouled after diving on the floor for a loose ball with 37.8 seconds left. Eliely made the second of two free throws to briefly give the Huskers their only lead of the second half at 54-53.
However, Northwestern senior forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah drove for a layup with 25 seconds left to give Northwestern the lead at 55-54, and the Huskers were unable to score the rest of the way. Akpanah finished with 10 points and a game-high 19 rebounds to go along with four blocks, helping the Wildcats out-rebound the Huskers 51-41 on the night.
Veronica Burton then pushed the lead to three points with a pair of free throws with 6.4 seconds left for her only two points of the game, before a steal by Jordan Hamilton led to a Husker foul. Hamilton, who finished with 12 points including three three-pointers, sank her second free throw with 3.3 seconds left to seal the win.
Nebraska held a one-point lead in the final minute despite shooting a season-low 29.2 percent (19-65) from the field. The Huskers did hit eight three-pointers, but shot just 28.6 percent (8-28) from long range. Nebraska also hit just 8-of-14 free throws (.571).
The Huskers played some of their best defense of the season, holding the Wildcats to just 35.9 percent (23-64) shooting, including 5-of-16 threes (.313). The Wildcats also struggled at the free throw line, going just 7-for-12 (.583).
Although Northwestern was plus-10 on the boards, the Huskers answered by winning the turnover battle 14-8. Nebraska's eight turnovers were a season best.
Although Whitish was the only Nebraska player in double figures, all 10 Huskers contributed at least one point and one rebound in the game. Freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek had nine points and five rebounds while tying her career best for the second straight game with three blocks. Nicea Eliely added seven points and a pair of steals, while Taylor Kissinger and Leigha Brown each pitched in six points. Freshman Kayla Mershon had a team-best seven rebounds, while also adding five points, one block and two steals.
Thu, 1/24, vs Northwestern, (11-7) (4-3), @ PBA, 7:00pm CT, BTN Plus
Huskers Face Tough Clash with Wildcats
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~GOOOOOO LADY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PACK PBA - BEAT THE 'CATS'!!!! GET 'ROWDY' & MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!!!!!
GRIT; NO QUIT LADY HUSKERS!
o Huskers Game Page: http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=211787344
o VIDEO: BTN Plus - https://www.btn2go.com/game/northwestern-at-nebraska-on-01242019
o Audio Links:
Matt Coatney & Jeff Griesch on the Call
o Live Game Stats:
o Game Notes: http://www.huskers.com/pdf9/5481650.pdf
Huskers Expect Tough Home Clash with Wildcats
• This Nebraska/Northwestern game has all the makings of a close game. The two teams not only have identical league marks, they are separated by fewer than 10 spots in the RPI and they are both battling for a top-four spot in the conference standings.
• Nebraska is coming off its first win over a top-25 opponent this season after rallying for a 63-57 victory over No. 23 Minnesota at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday evening. The Huskers trailed by nine points with eight minutes left, before closing the game on a 12-0 run. Nebraska held the Gophers without a field goal for the game’s final six minutes to secure its third fourth-quarter comeback win in Big Ten Conference play this season.
• Junior guard Hannah Whitish (10), sophomore guard Taylor Kissinger (9) and freshman guard Sam Haiby (6) combined for all 25 of Nebraska’s points in the fourth quarter against Minnesota, while junior guard Nicea Eliely grabbed five of her career-high six steals in the final period.
• Leigha Brown, a 6-1 freshman from Auburn, Ind., shares the team scoring lead with 10.3 points per game including a team-best 13.0 points in Big Ten play. Fellow freshman Sam Haiby, a 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., has added 10.3 points per game off the bench.
• Nebraska’s bench is the most productive unit in the Big Ten, averaging 33.7 points per game in conference play.
Scouting The Northwestern Wildcats
• Sophomore guard Lindsey Pulliam leads the Wildcats with 16.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. Pulliam has struggled from long range this year, hitting just 7-of-42 threes (.167) including 2-for-13 in Big Ten play. However, she is averaging 19.4 points per game in conference action.
• Senior forward Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah continues to provide a dominant inside presence with 11.6 and 10.8 rebounds, while leading Northwestern with 31 blocks. She also ranks second on the team with 29 steals. Akpanah is averaging 12.9 points and 11.1 boards in league play.
• Sophomore guard Jordan Hamilton averages 9.7 points and a team-leading 3.8 assists, while knocking down 36.2 percent (21-58) of her threes.
• Freshman guard Veronica Burton contributes 7.9 points and a team-leading 2.6 steals per game. Burton has been the Wildcats’ most consistent threat from long range with 40.4 percent (21-52) success from beyond the three-point arc.
• Injured 6-2 junior forward Abi Scheid has missed the last three games, but has averaged 11.0 points and 5.6 rebounds while hitting 35.2 percent of her threes on the season, including 8-of-15 (.533) in the first four Big Ten contests.