The big news for the Husker women’s hoopsters is that junior Taylor Kissinger will have hip surgery, ending her season. Kissinger is coming off a 19 point performance vs Duke in the B1G/ACC challenge. Hopefully, the surgery is successful and she is back and healthy next season.
Oral Roberts was experiencing turmoil of their own as their starting point guard left the team and announced her intention to transfer two days ago, along with (her sister) one of the top reserves.
The first quarter was one to forget as the Huskers jumped out to an eight point lead, but gave it up to end the quarter down by one, 17-16. Kate Cain was a force for the Huskers and likely the reason Oral Roberts did not gain more momentum.
In the second quarter, the Husker defense and offense started to click and they went on a 13-0 run toward the end of the quarter. ORU battled back a bit and at halftime, Nebraska held a 10 point lead 40-30.
The third frame was largely a back-and-forth battle. The Huskers extended their lead to 14 but then fouled ORU with a few seconds left in the quarter. One free throw was good. The quarter ended with the Huskers up 63-50.
In the fourth quarter, the Huskers never were able to really pull away from the Golden Eagles with a four minute scoring drought being a large reason for that. In the final two minutes the Huskers were able to extend the lead from a low of nine points all the way to 15 before ORU scored five garbage time points in the final seconds.
Final Huskers 77 Golden Eagles 67
I felt the Huskers should have won this game by a lot more, but a win is a win and we’ll take it. Sam Haiby scored a team-high 20 points to lead three Huskers in double figures. Haiby also had five rebounds and a career-high four steals.
Fellow sophomore Leigha Brown added 15 points, as did junior center Kate Cain, who also contributed eight rebounds and four blocked shots in an outstanding all-around effort. Cain hit her first seven shots from the field to help the Huskers build a 15-point lead on several occasions in the second half. With the victory, Nebraska improved to 9-1, while ORU slipped to 4-7.
Sophomore forward Ashtyn Veerbeek pitched in seven points, seven rebounds and a career-high four assists, while adding a block and a steal, while battling through what appeared to be an ankle sprain - hopefully it heals up soon. Senior Nicea Eliely pitched in eight points, five rebounds, a career-high seven assists to go along with three steals and two blocks in another strong all-around effort.
As a team, Nebraska shot 44.6 percent from the floor (29-for-65), which included a 10-for-14 (71 percent) effort in the second period. Senior guard Hannah Whitish added eight points and three rebounds, while Kayla Mershon (4) and Isabelle Bourne (2) rounded out the scoring for the Huskers.
The Huskers Nebraska continues its four-game home stand on Sunday, Dec. 22 by hosting Manhattan at noon.