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Nebraska WBB 65 Northwestern 63: Recap

Haiby heroics helps Huskers hold off defending conference champs

Scott Bruhn

First Quarter

Northwestern hit first, a three-pointer which Sam Haiby answered for the Huskers. Lindsay Pulliam made a jumper (she has all five NW points so far) and Ashley Scoggin hit a three for Nebraska.

Northwestern made all three of their first shots as did Nebraska. It is good to see the team in red shooting well. Nebraska has a significant height advantage, but haven’t been able to use it yet.

The Huskers missed their first shot when Issie Bourne was hammered on a fast break. the scoring went stagnant for a couple of minutes at 8-7 (Nebraska) until Issie Bourne corralled a Cain miss and used that height advantage for the putback.

At the media timeout, Nebraska leads 12-9.

The Husker women look like a week off did them some good as they look rested and are not pressing. It helps when the shots are falling. Ruby Porter entered the game - it is good to have another guard back from injury. On her first touch, Porter hit a nice three from the wing. The Wildcats are playing an extended zone that the Huskers are handling well, for the most part (Annika Stewart turned it over and gave NW a fast break bucket to take the lead at 16-15.


The Wildcats got out to a four point lead (19-15) before a pair of Bourne free throws closed the gap. When NW makes a shot, they are setting up a full court press, which is causing the Huskers to eat up shot clock before they can set up their offense.

Bella Cravens was hammered an hit her free throws to tie up the game at nineteen with 25 seconds left in the quarter.

End of first. Northwestern 21 Nebraska 19

Second Quarter

Cain picked up her first foul on a shot block attempt early in the quarter. The Wildcats haven’t challenged her much but they were successful there. Whitney Brown made an excellent defensive play (prevented a layup) and it was followed by Haiby determination as she got her own rebound and put in the basket despite a whole lot of contact that wasn’t called. Four quick points by the Wildcats gave them a five point lead (28-23) at the seven minute mark.

Northwestern’s athleticism is negating the Husker size advantage, but when Nebraska can work the ball into Cain and Bourne, they are doing a great job on the offensive glass. Northwestern ‘s lead expanded to six (34-28) until Whit Brown hit a three. She decided one wasn’t enough and hit another to tie the game. Offensive rebounding is saving Nebraska’s bacon right now. At the media timeout the game is tied at 34.

After the timeout, Nebraska committed a couple of quick fouls and the Wildcats ratcheted up the defensive pressure and forced some late shot clock work.

Whit Brown has been all over the floor making plays for the scarlet and cream.

Kate Cain registered here first block with a minute and a half to go in the quarter but the Husker offense had been cold until Haiby hit a rainbow with 20 seconds left. Northwestern got the final possession but came up empty.

Halftime. Northwestern 38 Nebraska 36.

Third Quarter

Ashley Scoggin gave the Huskers a 39-38 lead with an early three pointer. Cain picked up her second foul as did Issie Bourne. A Husker free throw extended the lead to 40-38 which is where it stayed for several minutes.

Cain picked up her third foul. Her usual flawless technique is a bit off today as she has been caught swinging her arm and leaving her feet.

Northwestern’s scoring drought was broken by free throws and the game was tied at 40. Northwestern continued to use their blizzard defense to discombobulate the Nebraska offense. Sam Haiby hit a three as the shot clock expired and Annika Stewart is giving the Huskers some good minutes with Cain on the bench. Northwestern is in the bonus with three minutes left in the quarter.

Annika Stewart got into the scoring column behind a nice dish from Bella Cravens. It is good to see the freshman hit a shot - she has been streaky so hopefully this starts a hot streak.

The Huskers opened up a 49-42 lead behind some Haiby heroics and another Stewart jumper. A heads-up play by Scoggin (bounding the ball off a Wildcat) gave Nebraska another possession. However, the Huskers committed a turnover when they could have played for the final shot and gave NW a possession right back. The Wildcats capitalized and cut into the lead.

Nebraska 49 Northwestern 45

Fourth Quarter

Issie Bourne picked up her third foul (offensive) early but stayed in the game and blocked a shot on the other end. She then sized up the NW defense which sagged off and hit a long three to get the Huskers back up by seven (52-45).

Sam Haiby went down - OH NO! She is in a lot of pain, but grabbing her calf, which makes one hope she has a muscle cramp and not a serious injury. Ashley Scoggin came in for Haiby and hit her free throws to give Nebraska a nine point lead (54-45).

After trading baskets, Nebraska’s offense went stagnant as they did a lot of dribbling and looking only to heave up desperation threes as the shot clock expired that missed badly. With Haiby on the bench, there isn’t a “creator” on the floor right now for Nebraska.

Northwestern cut the Husker lead to four at 56-52 at the media timeout halfway through the quarter.

Anni Stewart hit an early shot clock three to give Nebraska more cushion - I suspect they are going to need all of that and more. Unfortunately, Annika turned the ball over and committed a foul fighting for it back to give Northwestern the ball back. They capitalized and closed within three (59-56). Bella Craven put up a turnaround as the shot clock buzzed (61-56 Huskers).

Sam Haiby is back in the game for the final two and half minutes. Unfortunately, she bailed out the Wildcats with a late shot clock foul. The Wildcats are hustling harder than Nebraska and forcing turnovers and saving loose balls. In the blink of an eye, the Wildcats tied the game up at 61 with 1:40 left.

Haiby heroics gave Nebraska a two point lead. Bella Cravens committed the offensive foul (her fourth) to give the ball to the Wildcats. They promptly tied it up at 63 with 53 seconds.

Nebraska gets the final possession and


Haiby missed the first layup attempt, got the rebound and put up a no-look reverse layup at the buzzer to put Nebraska ahead for the upset. WOW! What a gutsy performance by her to come back after experiencing leg cramps.

Final. Nebraska 65 Northwestern 63

Nebraska knocks off the defending conference champs and #15 Wildcats.

Sam Haiby scored 19 points including two very important ones at the end. Issie Bourne and Ashley Scoggin scored 11 points apiece. Kate Cain may have only scored two points, but she pulled down 11 big rebounds and added four blocked shots. Issie Bourne added 10 rebounds and two blocks of her own. Haiby added eight rebounds and five assists.

Next Game

Nebraska will host Rutgers on Sunday January 3 at 2 pm.

Coach Williams’ Post-Game Remarks

Haiby’s Post-Game Remarks

Bourne’s Post-Game Remarks