Ruby Porter is out for today, but there is still hope that it is not a long-term injury.
Note: I was driving for most of the first half, so my recap won’t be as detailed as normal.
The Terps scored first but Nebraska answered. It was a back and forth affair with Nebraska’s defense disrupting Maryland very effectively. The Huskers even had a one point lead at a couple of points in the first five minutes.
You can’t keep a team like Maryland down forever and they went on a 7-0 run to take a seven point lead. The Huskers managed to keep that margin from growing, but the offense is struggling - missing fairly easy shots. Fortunately the defense is keeping the Terps in check. The Huskers are also cleaning up the offensive glass, but they aren’t geting enough points off those second and third chances.
Maryland 18 Nebraska 11
The first five minutes continued to be a back and forth struggle as the Huskers would close the gap a bit but then Maryland would open it back up to that seven point lead.
After the media timeout, the Huskers continued to hold serve and even closed the gap as the score was 27-22 (Maryland) with 3:47 but the Terps quickly extended the lead with a three pointer. Nebraska continued to scrap and claw, but Maryland heated up from long range to exetnd the lead to eight (33-25 MD) with 2:23.
Maryland has been overloading on defense and the Huskers need to keep looking for the weak side to try and grab some cheap points. Maryland’s half court trap is causing trouble for the Huskers and leading to turnovers as the Terps continue to hold a 7-8 point lead (1:30). Sam Haiby hit a 40 foot shot clock beater to bring Nebraska within five (31-36 MD) as the clock approached one minute. A foul on Cain gave Maryland two free throws and they extended the lead back out to seven (38-31 MD). The final 45 seconds Ashley Scoggin hit a big three pointer (that weakside was open again) to bring Nebraska within four (38-34) as the half ended. The Huskers had the ball and a chance to cut the lead further but the Haiby jumper missed at the buzzer.
Maryland 38 Nebraska 34
Ashley Scoggin leads the Huskers with 12 points. Maryland is so focused on shutting down the triumvarate of Haiby/Cain/Bourne in the paint that they are letting Scoggin shoot without a hand in her face. The streaky Scoggin is on fire today and keeping Nebraska in this game. If Maryland commits resources to closing out on Scoggin, it may give the Husker team captains some room to work in the middle (but Maryland will still make it hard on them).
Cain already has eight rebounds and Haiby six and Sam Haiby has five assists to boot. Haiby and Cain each have a blocked shot. Issie Bourne picked up two fouls but Cain is the only other Husker with a foul. Nebraska is only 4-11 on layups. They’ll need those bunny points if they are to pull the upset. The Huskers are shooting 37% from the field and holding Maryland to 43%.
The Huskers opened the half with a turnover but then the Terps returned the favor. A Bella Cravens jumper brought Nebraska within two (38-36) but Maryland answered with a layup (40-36 MD). Nebraska picked up two quick fouls (Haiby and Scoggin). The Terps extended the lead to six but Sam Haiby scored her 1000th point on a three pointer (42-39 MD). The Huskers are playing a masterful defensive game. Ashley Scoggin picked up her second foul three minutes in. Maryland is a good free throw team, Nebraska does not want to put them at the line.
The half court trap by Maryland continues to pay dividends (Nebraska turnovers). The game continued to go back and forth with Maryland maintaining a three-five point lead as the first half of the period wound down. The score was 48-45 in Maryland’s favor at the media timeout.
Neither team found much offense out of the timeout until the Huskers closed within one (48-47) and then the teams traded three pointers and then layups (53-52 MD) as the clock approached two minutes. Both offenses went quiet for a minute until the Terps hit on two free throws (55-52 MD) with 1:11. A basket by each team ended the quarter.
Maryland 57 Nebraska 54
It is hard to overstate how much heart this Nebraska team is showing. They have the conference champions on the ropes and are collecitvely deciding that they will NOT lose this game. I admit I was concerned when I wrote up the preview, but I am glad to see it is the lockdown defense version of the Huskers that showed up today.
IT IS A TIE GAME!!! Haiby hit a three (57-57). Hustle by Kate Cain and Kendall Coley got the ball to Whitney Brown who assisted Haiby on that shot.
Sammy decided to take an encore. HUSKERS LEAD BY THREE!!! 60-57 Nebraska. Terp timeout (also assisted by Whit Brown). In the last two games, the offense has gotten a big spark from the walk-on freshman Brown.
Out of the timeout, the Terps tied the game at 60 and the teams traded baskets (Cain for Nebraska; assisted by Coley) to maintain the tie at 62. A Haiby jumper was followed by a Terp three pointer and another Haiby jumper (66-65 Neb). Haiby committed a foul and the free throws gave the lead back to Maryland (67-66 MD). Cain free throws continued the see-saw (68-67 Neb) at 6:11. A Terp free throw tied the game at 68 and a basket gave them the lead (70-68 MD) at the media timeout.
Terp free throws extended the lead to four (72-68) which is where the score stayed for about a minute. The Huskers are having a hard time finding offense in crunch time but their defense continues to scrap. What appeared to be a Maryland offensive foul was changed to a foul on Bourne when they could see she was in the restricted area. Maryland completed the four point play to take a seven point lead (75-68). Husker free throws closed the gap to five (75-70 MD) with 3:01.
Technical difficulties caused some missed action but when it came back with 34 seconds the Huskers were down four (77-73 MD). Maryland free throws sealed the game. A six minute scoring drought doomed the Huskers.
Final. Maryland 83 Nebraska 73
Stats and Observations
This game was closer than the final score indicated. Nebraska had a lead early in the fourth quarter, but a six minute scoring drought (field goals) prevented the upset.
Sam Haiby had 24 points, Ashley Scoggin 14 and Isabelle Bourne 13. Kate Cain cleaned up the glass to the tune of 11 rebounds while Haiby had nine and Bella Cravens eight. Haiby had six assists and Cravens three.
Early enrollee freshman Kendall Coley was trusted for 16 minutes in the game. She had three points and one rebound but accounted for a lot of hustle plays that don’t show up in the stat book. Fellow freshman Annika Stewart was her usual efficient self. She only got five minutes on the floor, but scored five points in that time. If she can put some work on improving her defense, she should see that increase. She is a fun and versatile player to watch. Another freshman, Whitney Brown, was the only Husker who didn’t get in the scoring column, but she had two big assists (back to back Haiby threes that gave Nebraska a lead early in the fourth) and has become a dependable ball handler and distributor.
Nebraska will likely get a WNIT bid. I’ll give you an update when I know when and where the Huskers play next.