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Nebraska WBB Drops a Close One to Indiana

Close games have not been kind to the Huskers this season

NCAA Womens Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana hung on for an 82-78 win in Lincoln on Sunday. The Huskers rallied from a 12 point deficit late in the third quarter before going on a run to tie the game twice late in the fourth. The Huskers are now 1-5 in Big Ten games that came down to two possessions or less.

Sam Haiby scored 17 points and Hannah Whitish added 16 as Nebraska slipped to 5-6 in the Big Ten and 10-12 overall. Indiana improved to 17-6 and 6-5 in the league.

Haiby, a freshman from Moorhead, Minn., got her 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and a 7-for-8 effort at the free throw line, while Whitish notched her sixth consecutive game in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. She was also 3-for-6 from three-point range.

Senior Maddie Simon gave the Huskers a spark off the bench by scoring all 12 of her points in the second half. She scored 10 points in a 7:26 span to help Nebraska erase Indiana’s 58-46 lead to tie the game at 65 on Simon’s three-pointer with 5:42 left. Simon also led the Huskers with seven rebounds and two steals.

Sophomore Kate Cain added nine points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Big Red, while Taylor Kissinger pitched in eight points, three boards and two assists.

As a team, Indiana hit 46 percent (29-63) of its shots from the field, including 21-of-34 (.618) combined in the second and third quarters. The Hoosiers finished 6-for-18 from three-point range, including 6-for-14 in the second half, and sealed the victory by going 18-for-21 at the free throw line (.857) for the game. IU out-rebounded the Huskers 37-36, but Nebraska outscored Indiana 15-11 on second-chance points. The Hoosiers also won a tight turnover battle, 13-12.

Nebraska hit 44.3 percent (27-61) of its shots, but just 4-of-22 threes (.182) against the Big Ten’s best three-point field goal percentage defense. The Huskers hit 20-of-29 free throws (.690) in the game.

Two Good Things

  • Balance. Again, the Huskers had everyone but one get into the scoring column and every Husker grabbed at least one rebound.
  • It was great to see Maddie Simon have a great game. It couldn’t have been easy for the senior to gracefully accept being removed from the starting lineup in favor of a freshman, but she has continued to provide leadership and good play at critical times for Nebraska.

Two Not So Good Things

  • No Husker had more than two assists. Part of the Husker game plan appeared to be for the guards to slash to the basket and that will negatively affect ball movement, but it seemed to be a bigger problem beyond the focus on penetration. It showed in the assist column.
  • The loss drops Nebraska into a three-way tie for 8th in the Big Ten conference. The Huskers next opponent (Michigan) is one of the teams sharing that spot with Nebraska. The Wolverines will be out for revenge after Nebraska used a huge fourth quarter rally win earlier this season in Lincoln.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Thursday night when the Huskers travel to Michigan. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Wolverines at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor is set for 6 p.m. (CT) with live national television coverage provided by the Big Ten Network. Free live audio will be available on from the Husker Sports Network.