With one second left in the third quarter, the Huskers were down six points. A buzzer beater trey by Indiana made it a nine-point margin going into the fourth quarter. The Huskers went on to lose by almost 30 points in a 81-53 meltdown against the ranked Hoosiers.
I am at a loss to explain what I have been watching from this women’s basketball team the past few weeks. This was a veteran squad that tore up the (admittedly weak) non-conference schedule. They won their conference opener and were sitting at 12-1.
They finished the regular season 17-12 and as the likely #10 seed in the conference tournament.
The Hoosiers got out to a quick 8-0 lead before Leigha Brown found the basket for the Huskers. The teams went back and forth for the rest of the quarter with the Husker defense being discombobulated at times (to go with an offense that was discombobulated almost all of the time).
Indiana 21 Nebraska 13 end of first
The Hoosiers built the lead up to 12 points before the Huskers clawed back to within single digits. The offense was still not finding much rhythm or points. The defense tightened up and forced a couple of shot clock violations. Working in Nebraska’s favor are that they are getting offensive rebounds (of course, that means they are missing shots).
As the clock worked under a minute in the half, the Hoosiers held a 31-23 lead - make that 33-23 as Izzy Bourne is getting worked over by the Hoosiers when she’s on defense. The Huskers fought back to close within six (33-27) at half.
The Huskers held serve in the quarter, going back and forth with the Hoosiers. Leigha Brown continued to be the only real offensive threat. Kate Cain continues a dismal shooting night as she has yet to hit a field goal. Despite a complete lack of any pulse in the offense and a defense that continues to let Indiana get some easy baskets near the rim, the Huskers kept it close. A buzzer-beater three by the Hoosiers extended their lead to nine points going into the fourth quarter.
We shall never speak of this again.
Final. Indiana 81 Nebraska 53
Leigha Brown led the Huskers with 22 points as she went 7-12 from the field and 1-3 from the three point line. The rest of the Husker team shot a combined 10-49 from the field and 3-13 from long range. Thanks to 6-6 free throw shooting, Hannah Whitish contributed 11 points.
Two guards led the team in rebounds (another indicator of what a miserable game it was for Nebraska) with Sam Haiby grabbing six and Hannah Whitish five. The Huskers overall only managed three assists compared to 13 turnovers.
The Huskers limp into the Big Ten tournament as the likely #10 seed, which does give them a first round bye. The tournament starts on March 4 and ends on March 8.
Outside of winning the conference tournament, the Huskers most likely postseason option will be the WNIT. Their RPI is high enough and they will finish above .500 which should be enough to get them the bid. Nebraska has typically been fairly aggressive in bidding for home games, so expect at least one more outing at PBA after the conference tournament.