Ruby Porter is still not available - knee.
Rumor has it (Coatney and Griesch on the pregame) that UT Martin has five players in the transfer portal. I believe one of those is one of their all-conference players and possibly one other expected starter?
Starters for Nebraska - Scoggin, Brown, Cain, Bourne and Haiby. Unsure if Cravens is still sore (ankle) or if UT Martin’s lineup change caused Amy Williams to adjust. Whit Brown has been a very dependable distributor and ball handler.
Kate Cain was immediately active on both ends of the floor as she blocked a shot and then hit a basket to open scoring for the game. UT Martin answered with a three (3-2 UTM). A Bourne basket gave Nebraska the lead (4-3 Neb) but the Skyhawks got it right back after an offensive foul on Cain (5-4 UTM). It continued to be a back and forth game for the next couple of minutes until Cain committed her second foul and freethrows gave the Skyhawks a three point lead (9-6 UTM) at 5:25. Annika Stewart replaced Cain and she promptly committed a foul. Martin opened up more daylight with a three (12-6 UTM). Chelsey Perry is killing the Huskers as she has 10 of the 12 Skyhawk points.
Out of the break, Issie Bourne hit a basket (assisted by Stewart) and then was called for a foul. These fouls are pretty soft calls but Husker posts have all four team fouls. The first Husker three came from Anni Stewart. Layups by Cayton and Scoggin brought the Huskers within one (16-15 UTM) with three minutes left. The score was 19-17 UTM in the final minute of the quarter. One Cravens free throw cam with five seconds left.
UTM 19 Nebraska 18
The Husker defense needs to clamp down the rest of the game like it did in the final three minutes of the quarter.
Neither team could get much going on offense, the Huskers especially are forcing shots and rushing their offense. The first points of the quarter came at 6:26 with a Scoggin jumper to give Nebraska the lead (20-19 Neb). Bella Cravens is cleaning the glass with five rebounds already. A Coley three was the only other offense the Huskers would find before the media timeout and lead 23-21.
If you like defense, the next three minutes were great fun for you as neither team could get any points. UTM hit a three and then Cravens hit a layup. That much offense felt jarring after watching a defensive slog for so long (25-24 Neb) as the clock went under a minute for the half. A Haiby jumper ended the half.
Nebraska 27 UTM 24
Issie Bourne has six points, Annika Stewart five and Ashley Scoggin four. The only Husker not in the scoring column is Whitney Brown. Bella Cravens has nine rebounds and Bourne six. Haiby and Stewart each have four.
The Huskers are shooting 35% from the field but holding UTM to 29%. The Huskers are only shooting 14% (2-14) from long range while UTM is at 29%. Nebraska is outrebounding the Skyhawks 25-15. Sam Haiby only got one shot attempt; that will have to change if the Huskers hope to pull away in the second half.
Nebraska opened the quarter with an 13-0 run behind two Cain free throws, a Scoggin three, a Bourne three point play, a Brown three and Bourne free throws (40-24 Neb). UTM finally hit a basket at 5:09. At the media timeout the Huskers held a 40-26 lead.
The Skyhawks came out of the break with a quick score (40-28 Neb) but their best player (Perry) picked up her third foul and Bella Cravens hit her free throws (42-28 Neb). That was followed by a Cayton layup (44-28 Neb).
Two UTM players (Perry - their best player and Robins have four fouls apiece. This could be big for a team that only has eight players available. Sam Haiby still has only two points, but other Huskers are picking up the slack, including MiCole Cayton who scored six straight for Nebraska in a stretch in the third (48-30 Neb). Bourne broke Cayton’s Husker scoring streak with a jumper (50-30 Neb) with 22 seconds left in the quarter. The Skyhawks scored four quick points to end the quarter.
Nebraska 50 UTM 34
Out of the break, the Huskers scored quickly behind a Brown three and Scoggin layup (55-34 Neb) which was followed by two Skyhawk baskets and another Brown three pointer (58-38 Neb) which forced a Skyhawk timeout.
In a development we may never see again, Sam Haiby has the least points scored of any Husker (2). Every other Husker has three or more!
The other Husker guards, Scoggin, Brown and Cayton are making up for the attention UTM is giving to Haiby. A Scoggin jumper was followed by ANOTHER Brown three, another Scoggin jumper and Cayton layup (67-38 Neb).
Out of the media timeout, UTM scored six on a three point play (foul by Cravens) and a three pointer (67-44 Neb). Annika Stewart scored a three point play of her own (70-44 Neb) to get within striking distance of being the fifth Husker in double figures (she has eight so far).
Final Nebraska 72 UTM 46
Stats and Observations
Ashley Scoggin and Issie Bourne led the Huskers in scoring with 13 apiece. Whitney Brown contributed 12 and MiCole Cayton 10 points. Bella Cravens vaccummed up 14 rebounds and Bourne eight. Kate Cain and Bella Cravens each blocked two shots and Anni Stewart one. Haiby, Bourne and Scoggin each had three assists.
As a team, the Huskers shot 47% from the field and held UTM to 31%. Nebraska had the edge in rebounds (45-25), assists (13-8), and bench points (28-3) but committed one more turnover than UTM (9-8).
Nebraska will face either Colorado or Louisiana at 5 pm (central) on Saturday.