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Nebraska women's basketball open Pinnacle Bank Arena with big win over UCLA

David McGee

First Half

The Huskers started a little sluggish and struggled shooting from beyond the arc things began to settle down for them after the first media timeout.  Emily Cady had a really good start to the game scoring eight of the Huskers first 15 points.  As the game went on the Huskers began to get in their groove and go into really fast transition plays often using a lot of long passing sequences to get the ball across the court.  Jordan Hooper began shooting hot from beyond the arc and the Huskers went on a 10-0 run to take a 29-13 lead going into a media timeout.  Huskers were shooting 52% and nearly 43% beyond the arc at this point.  As soon as the Huskers got the defensive rebound, they continued to be lightning fast on transitions.  Jordan Hooper finished the first half with 19 points and 4 rebounds, nearly outscoring UCLA.   Thea Lemberger lead the UCLA scoring with nine points while Atonye Nyingifa had 4 points and 4 rebounds

Second Half

The second half got off to a much slower start with both teams clamping down on defense.  Both teams combined for just seven points in the first five and a half minutes.  UCLA began shooting more from outside the arc to get back into the game and their first nine points of the half were all three pointers.  Hooper had six of the ten Huskers points in the first eight minutes of the second half.  Nebraska began to press on the gas midway through the second half  to take away any of hope of a UCLA win and cruised to a 77-49 victory.  Despite really struggling in the first half, true freshman Allie Havers came out really strong in the second half scoring 14 points.  Jordan Hooper led the team with 27 points and 11 rebounds and Rachel Theriot led the team with nine assists.  On the other side of the ball, Thea Lemberger finished with 17 points while sixth year senior Atonye Nyingifa had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Bruins.

Post Game Notes

-The attendance for this game was 9750 which is the highest attendance ever for a Huskers WBB non-conference matchup as well as highest attendance for a Huskers WBB home opener.

-The Huskers shot nearly 50.9% from the field and were 78.3% from the charity stripe.  UCLA shot 34% in the game and were only 9-17 from the foul line.  The Huskers made three 3 pointers in the game which all came in the first half and shot 0-5 from beyond the arc in the second half.

-UCLA came into the game plagued with injuries and only managed to play six players throughout the game today.  Allie Havers said in the post-game press conference that the team really wanted to run the floor and wear them out.   This strategy gassed the UCLA players and they had a lot of trouble dealing with Nebraska's fast transitions today.

-UCLA coach Cori Close gave tremendous credit to the Nebraska coaches and players and said her team lacked focus and discipline in the game while admitting the Huskers were more disciplined than we were.

-Nebraska coach Connie Yori said in the press conference they put an emphasis on communicating more with each other the last three days of practice.  I think it really seemed to pay off based on their performance in today's game.  Yori also gave a lot of credit to frehsman Allie Havers for being a good competitor and hard worker.  She was able to overcome adversity after a bad first half and come out firing in the second half.

The next Husker women's basketball will be on Monday night when they take on Alabama.  Tip off is set for 7:00 p.m. and I should have a preview up for that game on Sunday but until then...