Indiana will be without Makenzie Holmes, which will bring sophomore Kiandre Browne into the starting lineup. Even though she is not a returning all-conference player like Holmes, she will still be a difficult matchup for Alexis Markowski. Grace Wagner is out due to COVID protocols, so the Hoosiers will have a short bench (but they lean on their starters for the most part).
The Hoosiers have won five straight against Nebraska and the last two have been in blowout fashion. Can Nebraska reverse their fortunes today? Nebraska will still be without Bella Cravens - that could be a problem if Indiana’s slashing guards get Husker posts into foul trouble.
Alexis Markowski opened the scoring with a layup that was answered on Indiana’s next possession. Without Holmes, Nebraska’s posts are finding room to work as Issie Bourne scored the next basket to give Nebraska the 4-2 lead. Indiana tied it up at 4 with 90 seconds played.
Sam Haiby committed an offensive foul. The Hoosiers grabbed their first lead (7-6) at 6:49 but Nebraska got it right back when Haiby drove to the rim without committing a foul. The game is fairly fast paced so far, which I think is beneficial for Nebraska. Allison Weidner came in the game and immediately hustled for a rebound an put it back up to extend the Husker lead to 10-7. Indiana went on an eight point run to take a 15-10 lead. The fast pace is benefitting the Hoosiers right now as their defense is creating turnovers and they are cashing in on transition. Sam Haiby and Anni Stewart scored for Nebraska but the Hoosiers extended their lead to six. The Huskers have committed six turnovers already.
Indiana 22 Nebraska 16
It took over a minute for either team to score, but Jaz Shelley found her three point shot. Unfortnately Indiana was more successful and extended their lead to nine (28-19 Ind). A Markowski layup and Shelley three point play got the Huskers right back into the game (24-28 Ind). Both teams traded three pointers (Scoggin for Nebraska). Indiana’s leading scorer Cardano-Hillary is playing with two fouls. At the media timeout, the score was Indiana 31, Nebraska 27 with two Hoosier free throws pending.
A nine point run by the Hoosiers extended the lead out to thirteen (40-27). The Hoosiers are doing a good job defending the Husker three point shots. Allison Weidner picked up her second foul. Alexis Markowski finally broke the run but Indiana maintained a healthy lead.
Indiana 44 Nebraska 31
The Huskers have 10 turnovers (yuck). The Huskers are shooting 39% from the field but only 25% from the three point line. The Hoosiers are shooting 55% from the field and 38% from long range.
Jaz Shelley has 10 points and Alexis Markowski six. Issie Bourne and Markowski each have four rebounds. Nebraska only has three assists as Indiana is doing a good job jumping the passing lanes and getting turnovers.
Bourne missed two free throws to start the quarter, but then Jaz Shelley started off the scoring for the quarter. Indiana hit another wide open three. Nebraska’s usually stingy long range defense is not in the right place tonight. The Hoosiers continued to build a bigger lead, extending it to 50-33 with two and half minutes payed. The Huskers are going to need to try and draw fouls (and make their free throws) if they hope to get back into this one.
At the six minute mark, the score is 52-38 in favor of the Hoosiers. The score stayed there for the next minute of game time. Two Shelley free throws got Nebraska a bit closer but then Indiana scored four. The score stayed at 56-40 Indiana until the clock went under a minute when Shelley made one of two free throws. An Indiana free throw and Haiby jumper ended the quarter.
Indiana 57 Nebraska 43
One of the Indiana players drew her fourth foul and Sam Haiby capitalized on the possession. Sam Haiby is in pain (shoulder) and leaves the floor. A four point run by Nebraska (Markowski and Bourne closed the lead to eight (56-47 Indiana). The camera shots of Haiby with the trainers show her in a lot of pain. I’m not sure we’ll see her again this game.
Nebraska’s rebounding seems much better this quarter. Allison Weidner drew a foul and got the Huskers within seven, but then Indiana hit a three to extend their lead to 10 (61-51). The turnovers are still rampant for Nebraska as they committed their 17th of the game. With five minutes left Anni Stewart was left wide open and hits a three, which the Hoosiers answered with a two (63-54 Ind). One of Indiana’s starters fouled out. The Huskers will be in the bonus the rest of the way.
Markowski took advantage of the smaller lineup and hit a layup (63-56 Indiana) but the Hoosiers managed yet another three pointer. Markowski hit one of her own to maintain the seven point margin (66-59 Ind) but then she picked up her fourth foul with 2:03 left. Indiana is in the bonus too.
Markowski! 68-61 with 51 seconds
Markowski! 68-63 with 39 seconds (she has scored 11 so far this quarter)
Indiana missed two free throws.
Indiana turnover with 28 seconds.
Weidner drew a foul with 24 seconds. She made two. 68-65 Indiana.
Shelley commits a foul going for a turnover. The Hoosiers made their free throws. 70-65 Indiana.
Missed three pointer by Nebraska. 14 seconds.
Foul by Nebraska. 72-65 Indiana with three seconds.
Final. Indiana 72 Nebraska 65
Three Huskers scored in double digits, Markowski (17), Shelley (15), and Haiby (10). Shelley almost grabbed another double double with nine rebounds. Markowski pulled down seven. Shelley had three assists (but six turnovers). Alexis Markowski is making it hard for Amy Williams to put Cravens back in the starting lineup once her ankle is healed.
Nebraska shot 40% from the field and 29% from the three point line. They missed seven free throws (11-18) with Bourne and Markowski going 0-5 from the stripe. The Huskers held the Hoosiers without a field goal in the final three and a half minutes.
Nebraska committed 19 turnovers to 13 for Indiana and outrebounded the Hoosiers 41-35.
It was a valiant comeback effort against one of the best teams in the country, but not quite enough tonight. The Huskers travel to Iowa next for a rematch with the Hawkeyes.