Once again, the underclassmen made their presence known as the Husker women’s basketball team picked up their fourth win despite a slow start. Sophomore Kate Cain and freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek both produced double-doubles and freshman Leigha Brown led four Huskers in double figures with a career-high 18 points, as Nebraska rolled to a 96-63 win over San Jose State.
Sophomore Taylor Kissinger was the fourth Husker in double figures as she unleashed an onslaught of three-pointers in the third quarter and totaled 17 points for the game.
Cain and Veerbeek combined to out-rebound San Jose State 31-21, while the rest of the Huskers added 25 more boards to give Nebraska a plus-28 rebound margin (56-28) on the afternoon. It tied for the 10th-best rebound margin in school history and marked the second straight game that the Big Red amassed a plus-20 or better margin on the glass.
The Huskers started slow, but gradually put the pedal to the metal as they eventually outdistanced the Spartans with a big fourth quarter.
Nebraska trailed 5-4 five minutes into the game, before Brown supplied instant offense with a 15-foot jumper ahead of a three-pointer 40 seconds later to give the Huskers a 9-8 lead. She hit another three-pointer two minutes later to give NU a 14-8 lead with 1:28 left in the quarter. That remained the score at the end of the period, as Brown scored eight points in just over three minutes for the Big Red.
Veerbeek and Cain combined for Nebraska’s final 10 points of the quarter to send Nebraska to halftime with a 34-26 lead.
The Huskers came out in full attack mode in the second half led by a three-point show from Taylor Kissinger and Hannah Whitish. Whitish finished with nine points and eight assists.
Nebraska ended any upset hopes for the Spartans early in the fourth with an 11-0 run at the start of the quarter and outscored San Jose State 34-14 the rest of the way.
For the game, Nebraska hit 51.3 percent (41-80) shots, including 10-of-27 threes (.370), but just 4-of-11 free throws.
Nebraska held San Jose State to 37.1 percent (23-62) shooting, but the Spartans did connect on 42.3 percent (11-26) of their threes. San Jose State also hit 6-of-8 free throws and matched the Huskers in the turnover department with 15. Lewis, who went 3-for-4 from long range, led San Jose State with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Benally hit 4-of-7 threes to finish with 14 points.
Nebraska will play the University of Denver on Saturday the 15th. The tip off will be at 4:30 pm - a time that was only recently announced to try and avoid overlap with the Husker volleyball team’s play in Minneapolis in the national semi-finals and, possibly, the national championship game.