The Hokies are a powerful offensive team and can play defense to match when needed. They showed that in spades as they frustrated and locked down a Husker team that has plenty of weapons of its own. Nebraska dropped to 5-3 on the season.
The Huskers were cold from long range early on. Virginia Tech used several offensive runs and played excellent defense to jump out to a 21-8 lead in the first frame.
Annika Stewart was **fire** in the second quarter as she scored 10 straight points for Nebraska. Trinity Brady took an elbow to the head and left the game and the Hokie player was called for an intentional foul. Brady has a long history of concussion problems, so I hope they are being overly cautious and she is able to return soon.
The Huskers outscored the Hokies in the second period 16-14 and were down 35-24 at half. Nebraska actually cut the lead to eight points but Tech buried a three-pointer with a few seconds left to extend their margin to double digits again.
Trinity Brady will not return to the game and Maddie Krull took her place in the first five to take the floor after the break.
Nebarska again held their own in the third quarter, led by Alexis Markowski. The Husker center hit a three pointer with 30 seconds left to cut the lead to 10 (52-42 VT). Virginia Tech again hit a late three to extend their lead before the buzzer (55-42 VT).
I don’t want to report on this. You do not want to read about this. The Hokies scored 17 points to open the quarter an never looked back from there.
We shall not speak of this quarter again.
Final. Virginia Tech 85 Nebraska 54
Stats and Thoughts
Things only get tougher as the Huskers start conference play against #20 Maryland on Sunday.
For the game, the Hokies held Nebraska to just 33.9 percent (20-59) shooting from the field, including 6-of-20 threes (.300). NU did hit 8-of-10 free throws. Virginia Tech knocked down 50.8 percent (30-59) of its field goal attempts, including 10-of-24 threes (.417), while going 15-of-21 (.714) at the free throw line. The Hokies also won the rebounding battle, 36-33, and the turnover war, 12-7.
Isabelle Bourne notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Annika Stewart added double digits for Nebraska with 10 points.
The loss of Sam Haiby seems to have discombobulated the Huskers more than I even imagined. There are likely other factors at work, but this Husker team looks like they are still searching for an identity and a “go-to” person.
There are very talented and very tough players on this team. Hopefully they begin to figure out who they are and what they do well soon as the Big Ten takes no prisoners in how they arranged the conference schedule. Nebraska plays a schedule befitting a team that expected to contend for a top four/five finish and right now they are playing more like a middle-of-the-pack team.
I still think they have time to find their way and the talent to pull a few surprises. Let’s hope I’m right as the Terrapins will be a tough game in three days.
Go Big Red!