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Husker WBB take down Jaguars after first half struggles

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

First Half

The Husker came out with their regular starting lineup of Laudermill, Sample, Cady, Theriot and Hooper.  The Jaguars came out hot early on making three of their first four three point attempts jumping out to an 11-6 lead.  The Huskers also started off the game missing their first three attempts from the foul line.  The Jaguars pulled out to a six point lead before Nebraska cut it to 16-14 going to the second media timeout.  The Husker were shooting 50 percent from the field at this point but were 0-4 from beyond at the arc.

The Huskers took back the lead with a simple Allie Havers layup which was followed by back to back threes from Southern's Kendra Coleman and Nebraska's Hannah Tvrdy.  The game continued to go back and forth with the game tied 29-29 but the Huskers began to open things up when Jordan Hooper started making baskets and the Huskers went on a 7-0 run leading up to the last media timeout of the half.  The Huskers were starting to hit some threes and make better plays in transition and took a 38-32 lead going into halftime.

The Huskers were shooting 56% in the first half but were only 2-7 from beyond the arc and 8-16 at the foul line.  Jordan Hooper had 11 points and five rebounds for the Huskers while Emily Cady racked up six points and six rebounds.  On the other side of the ball, Kendra Coleman led Southern with 15 points including shooting 4 for 7 beyond the arc.  Nebraska also scored 20 of their 38 first half points from inside the paint.

Second Half

The Huskers started off hot in the second half shooting 5 for 7 and opening up a 48-37 lead with 16:16 left in the game.  The game also started to slow up a bit as there were 15 team fouls called in the first ten minutes of the second half.  However Southern would go away in this one and shot 4 for 6 after the timeout to cut the lead to 55-48.  After the timeout the Huskers broke out on a 10-0 run forcing Southern to call a timeout with 8:57 remaining.

The Huskers were shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc so far and already had more three points than they had in the first half.  Nebraska had a 75-59 lead at the last media timeout with 3:58 in the game.  Spend a good chunk of the second half on the fast break and continuing to take more shots from beyond the arc.  The Huskers continued to pull away from the Jaguars and finished the game with a 87-64 victory on a Sunday afternoon.

Jordan Hooper finished the game with 23 points which moved her past Kathy Hagerstrom into ninth place in all-time career scoring for Husker women's basketball.  Emily Cady had 18 points and 14 rebounds for her second career double-double.  Kendra Coleman led the Jaguars with a career high 30 points on the afternoon while shooting 7 for 12 from beyond the arc.  Before this game, she has only made 3 of 25 three pointers on the season.

Post-Game Notes

-The Huskers struggled from the foul line today making only 29 of their 44 shots and made six of their 18 shots beyond the arc.  The Huskers did dominate the post scoring 32 points inside the paint compared to just 18 for Southern.

-Jordan Hooper said the team "were a little bit sluggish and less energized in the first half" and since they were didn't play well defensively so they had to switch things up in the second half.

-Emily Cady said she's "trying to be more aggressive this year (around the rim) and take the pressure away from Hooper."  She almost mentioned Southern came out "really really aggressive in the game...we had to adjust their defense in the second half."

-Coach Connie Yori said her team "knew Southern were going to give us a good game" but knew on defense "we should have done a better job defending Coleman" and defending better as a team.  At halftime she told the team "we've got to do a better job of handling dribble possession" which led to the team playing a lot more zone defense in the second half.

-Yori also had a lot of praise for Cady this season. "She is a terrific basketball player...does so many things for us." Cady said the team has come a long way since the beginning of the season. "We play more as a team.  We are more meshed compared to the first two games."  However improvements still need to be made.  "We need to work on our defense."  If the Husker defense improves you can consider this team a legitimate contender to win the Big Ten this season.