I was worried about this game after the news broke about a suspended coach and player no longer on the roster.
I need not have been concerned as the Huskers put the hammer down early and cruised to a 93-70 win over Minnesota. This completes the sweep of the regular season series with the Golden Gophers.
Allison Weidner drew her first career start and put in 23 points to lead four Huskers in double figures. Issie Bourne contributed 17 points and four rebounds, Alexis Markowski 15 points and nine rebounds while Sam Haiby had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. MiCole Cayton just missed double figures (nine points) while Jaz Shelley dished out a career high 12 assists to go with five rebounds and five points.
Nebraska finished 54.1 percent (33-61) from the field, including 10-of-21 (.476) from three-point range. In the second half, the Huskers hit 19-of-30 (.633) shots, including 5-of-8 threes (.625) to score 52 in the half. NU also dominated the glass against the Gophers, 39-28, and won the turnover battle, 11-9, in one of its most complete efforts of the season.
Nebraska went to halftime with a 41-34 lead thanks to 11 first-half points from Bourne on 5-of-6 shooting. Weidner helped the Huskers get out to a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter with seven points in the period.
Cayton stepped up big for the Big Red late in the half with back-to-back threes after Minnesota cut what was a 10-point Nebraska lead (35-25) to three points at 35-32 with just under two minutes left. Shelley added three points, three rebounds and six assists in the first half.
Bourne scored the first two points of the second half to push Nebraska’s lead back to nine, before Kadi Sissoko, who finished with 14, made 1-of-2 free throws for Minnesota. Weidner’s second three-pointer gave Nebraska its biggest lead of the game at that point (46-35), before a pair of Haiby free throws pushed the margin to 13. Scalia answered with a field goal, before Haiby and Markowski teamed up on an 8-0 run in just one minute to push the Big Red margin to 56-37 with 5:58 left in the third quarter.
Nebraska closed the third with a 71-47 advantage and then claimed its biggest lead at 92-62 with Kendall Coley’s three-pointer with 3:21 left.
The Huskers held Minnesota, one of the Big Ten’s best three-point shooting teams, to just 2-of-9 shooting in the game from long range.
Nebraska returns to the road on Wednesday when the Huskers travel to Wisconsin. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Badgers is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT). Live video coverage will be provided for subscribers of B1G+, while Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will have the call for the Huskers Radio Network and Huskers.com.