Playing at the RAC is no easy task and despite a hard-fought game, the Huskers came up short 69-65 in New Jersey. Nebraska fell to 13-3 and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
The Huskers were sizzling from the three-point line, shooting 50% (12-24) they were only 11-34 (39%) from two-point range and couldn’t overcome a Scarlet Knight defense that shut down the paint and forced Nebraska into 11 more turnovers than their opponents (17-6).
Nebraska got out to a hot start right from the tip and ran to an 11-2 lead before giving up an 11 point run to Rutgers. The first quarter ended in an 18-18 tie. The second quarter was a back-and-forth battle that featured more scoring than I expected from two defensive-minded teams. Some sloppy play at the end of the quarter allowed the Scarlet Knights to score four points in 18 seconds and go into half with a 35-32 lead.
The third quarter (and the start of the fourth quarter) were a disaster for Nebraska as the Scarlet Knights extended their lead to as much as 15 before the Huskers began chipping away and fighting back. It was too little, too late as the final score remained in favor of the home team.
Sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek matched her season high with 14 points by hitting a career-high four three-pointers and added five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Senior guard Hannah Whitish was the only other Husker to manage double figures with 10 points, including a trio of threes, while adding four rebounds, four assists and a steal, while Leigha Brown, Nicea Eliely and freshman Isabelle Bourne added nine points apiece, while Sam Haiby and freshman Trinity Brady each pitched in seven points.
The schedule does not ease up for the Huskers as they face Maryland next. The Huskers have yet to defeat the Terrapins in women’s basketball. They will visit No. 17 Maryland on Thursday in College Park. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (CT) at the Xfinity Center with live television coverage on BTN.