Coach Connie Yori went with her usual lineup of Laudermill, Sample, Cady, Theriot and Hooper to start the game. The Huskers got off to a really slow start missing a lot of open looks and mishandling some passes and the Wildcats were
able to jump out to a 14-7 lead seven minutes into the game.Both teams were took a bunch of shots from beyond the arc and were not very successful. In the first nine minutes of the half, Wildcat Nia Coffey was the only player to make a three pointer as her team led 17-12. The Huskers started to tighten things up and play more disciplined on defense and we able to cut the Wildcat lead to 21-18 with 7:46 left in the half.
The Huskers had still not made a three-point shot until Jordan Hooper made one with left and the Huskers had their first lead of the game 23-21. The game continued to go back and forth and Northwestern clung to a 28-27 lead with 3:45 remaining in the half. The game continued with a lot of end to end action to close out the half with the score even at 35-35
Nebraska shot 15-37 from the field and 1-6 from beyond the arc and Northwestern shot 15-31 and made three of twelve three pointers. Jordan Hooper and Rachel Theriot both had 10 points in the first half while Northwestern's Christen Inman led the team with 11 points. In the first half, Nebraska outscored the Wildcats 16-14 in the paint and 13-5 off turnovers.
The game was still tight early in the second half but the Huskers got into a bit of trouble committing three fouls in the first five minutes of the second half. The Wildcats continued to hold a slim 50-48 halfway through the second half. Northwestern was shooting 45.7% compared to just 36.4% for the Huskers.
The Huskers took their first lead of the second half when Rachel Theriot heaved a three pointer that just beat out the shot clock. "I was getting a little lucky today," Theriot said in her press conference, "I heard people counting down and I just tossed it." It was 55-52 and the Huskers started rolling and making more shots.
Though the Wildcats were able to hang around and kept it close trailing 61-60 with 3:28 left. The game kept going back and forth with both teams exchanging leads. Northwestern called a timeout down by one point with 16.1 seconds left.
Northwestern fouled Theriot after she snatched a rebound with 3.5 seconds left. She missed her first foul shot and Northwestern grabbed the rebound and ran up the court but Ashley Deary's buzzer beater did not fall and the Huskers held on to win 66-65. A little to close for comfort but Nebraska won their Big Ten conference opener in thrilling fashion in front of a boisterous crowd.
-Rachel Theriot lead the Huskers tonight with 19 points and eight assists while racking up six rebounds. Tear’a Laudermill had a big night with 14 points and five assists in just 25 minutes of play. Jordan Hooper had her seventh double-double of the season, and 33rd of her career, chipping in with 14 points and 10 rebounds tonight. Christen Inman lead the scoring for the Wildcats with 19 points and five rebounds and Nia Coffey had a nice night as well scoring 16 points and collecting nine rebounds.
-Connie Yori opened the press conference by saying "This the way the Big Ten is going to be this year...we're going to see a lot of close games that come down to the wire." Going off her comment, on the same night the Huskers beat Northwestern, the other ranked Big Ten teams, Purdue and Iowa, lose to Ohio State and Indiana respectively. Pretty much every conference game is going to be a grind for this basketball team.
-Yori also gave plenty of credit to Rachel Theriot and Tear'a Laudermill. Both players combined for 19 of the team's 31 second half points. "Her (Laudermill) floor game...pace has definitely improved." Laudermill herself said "I'm blessed to have my speed" and now in her junior year "I'm more confident in shooting the three pointers." Yori was also impressed with Theriot's stat line tonight. "She (Theriot) layed a solid floor and played aggressive she needed to...she's a different from last year but still a good player."
-Tonight's attendance was 4853 (different from the 6089 paid attendance) was loud tonight and create a fantastic atmosphere in this game. Both Connie Yori and Rachel Theriot gave lots of credit to the fans in the post-game press conference.
-The Huskers hit the road next week for matchups against Michigan State on Thursday (9th) and Illinois on Sunday (12th) before heading back home to play Minnesota on the 16th and a big game against Purdue on the 19th.
GO BIG RED!!!