Check out the savvy move by Hannah Whitish at :49 in which the senior point guard is in-bounding the ball, bounces it off the back of a Badger and makes a nifty reverse layup. Also, freshman Isabelle Bourne (#34) is going to be an incredibly fun player to watch for Nebraska. If she is contributing this much already, I can hardly wait to see what is in store for the next 3 1⁄2 years of her Husker career.
Nebraska used an 11-0 first-quarter run, and an impressive 14-point run over a five minute stretch in the third and fourth quarters on its way to an emphatic 65-50 victory over Wisconsin.
Sophomore guard Leigha Brown led a strong performance by the Nebraska bench, leading the Huskers with 15 points (shooting at a 60% clip), while forward Isabelle Bourne added career bests off the bench with 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots. The Nebraska bench outscored the Badger reserves 29-9 on the night to help the Huskers improve to 13-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten. It is Nebraska’s best start since opening 14-1 in its first year in the Big Ten in 2011-12.
Nebraska controlled the boards, 38-28, on the night and outscored Wisconsin 10-6 in second-chance points and 15-7 in points off turnovers, although Wisconsin won the turnover battle, 16-14. The Huskers held the Badgers to just 35.7 percent (20-56) shooting, including just 3-of-10 from three-point range. For the game, Nebraska hit 48.2 percent (27-56) of its shots from the field, including 35 percent (7-20) of its three-pointers.
Sophomore forward Ashtyn Verbeek scored the first five Husker points, but Wisconsin held a 10-5 lead midway. Leigha Brown took over and scored eight straight points to put the Huskers on top 13-10. Sophomore guard Sam Haiby added a three-pointer to end the quarter 16-12 in favor of the good guys.
Kate Cain was called for her second foul and was replaced by Izzy Bourne, who played very well. The Huskers extended their lead to 11 at 24-13. Ashtyn Verbeek was called for her second foul midway through the second quarter bringing sophomore post Kayla Mershon to the floor.
The Badgers closed within seven before the Huskers found the basket again.
Halftime. Nebraska 30 Wisconsin 21
Four Huskers (three starters) starters were in foul trouble - Mershon, Cain, Verbeek and Haiby (two fouls each).
Verbeek was called for her third foul at the 6:00 mark and went to the bench. The Husker lead was cut to five at two points in the quarter but the Husker posts (Cain and Bourne) kept Nebraska’s offense above water. Freshman Izzy Bourne was playing more minutes than normal because of Verbeek and Mershon’s foul trouble and she delivered quality playing time for Amy Williams.
At the media timeout, the Huskers tied their largest lead of the game at 11 with a 41-30 score.
The Husker defense went into lockdown mode and turned it into offense with a Haiby layup to close the quarter.
Nebraska 48 Wisconsin 35
Hannah Whitish opened the quarter with a three point splash. She followed it with another to push the Husker lead to 19 and make the Wiscy coach call a timeout less than two minutes into the quarter. 54-35
Out of the timeout Izzy Bourne escaped for an easy layup to put Nebraska up 21 and cause another Badger timeout. It was followed by Nicea Eliely layup, more Husker offense and Nebraska’s largest lead of the game came mid-quarter at 25.
More basketball happened. The Badgers took garbage time more seriously than the Huskers.
Final. Nebraska 65 Wisconsin 50
On the first round, the Husker women have swept the western quadrangle of the Big Ten with wins over Iowa, Minny and Wiscy. There will be rematches will all of these teams, but early returns are positive.
One very good thing about playing the Badgers is that they are a stingy defensive team that (hopefully) prepared the Huskers for the buzzsaw that is waiting in their next game. Rutgers plays a stifling brand of defense that is exceptional even by Big Ten standards. Nebraska visits the Scarlet Knights on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. (CT) tipoff. Live radio coverage will be on the Husker Sports Network and a live video stream for BTN+ subscribers.