Issie Bourne scored the first four Husker points as Nebraska led 4-3 in the first three and a half minutes. Alexis Markowski picked up an offensive foul on a screen. A couple of Husker turnovers fortunately did not lead to any Scarlet Knight points. However, some good offense by Rutgers gave them their first lead at 4:32 (5-4 Rutgers).
Rutgers found more offense than Nebraska in the final minutes of the period and held Nebraska to the lowest total I’ve ever seen in a quarter from Nebraska.
Rutgers 10 Nebraska 5
A brilliant cut by Sam Haiby looked good, but missed and the offensive woes continued for the Huskers with a bunny layup miss by Markowski and a layup miss by Bourne. Holy cow. This is as bad as I’ve seen Nebraska ever shoot. Rutgers extended their lead in the first three minutes fo the quarter (14-5 Rutgers). The Huskers decided to quit missing shots and just turn the ball over instead.
A ten+ minute scoring drought is not generally recommended and the Huskers continued to lose ground. The defense did force a shot clock violation, so there’s that.
WE CAN HAZ A BASKET! Sam Haiby scored on a layup to break the drought.
A steal and layup by Sammy gave the Huskers nearly as many points in 20 seconds as they scored in 14 minutes (14-9 Rutgers) at 5:39.
Haiby to Mendelson got the Huskers within three (14-11) but Rutgers answered quickly (16-11 Knights). Maddie Krull scored on a rebound and putback (16-13 Rutgers). Maggie Mendelson picked up her second foul.
The next minute turned into a veritable scoring explosion as Nebraska clawed within two (21-19 Rutgers). Nebraska is getting back in transition and the guards are launching the ball down court for easy layups (that are finally going in). The Huskers have not hit a three pointer yet and Rutgers only has one.
Make that two as the Knights hit another one from the same exact spot. (27-20 Knights) The Huskers are 0-14 from deep.
Rutgers 30 Nebraska 20
Alexis Markowski got her first basket, but the Knights answered immediately (32-22 Rutgers). One more Husker basket was all of the offense for the next three minutes (32-24 Rutgers) at 6:19.
Nebraska drew three fouls on the Knights on one possession, finally culminating in two Markowski free throws. Two Knights starters have three fouls apiece. With only eight on the roster, the Knights have to avoid foul trouble. Maddie Krull is having a nice quarter. She is always good on defense, but has been involved in the offense as well. (34-28 Rutgers)
Jaz Shelley is sitting at ZERO points for the game thus far. That will have to change for Nebraska to get back in this one. Going 0-18 from the three point line is definitely not helping either.
Rutgers is not missing and takes their biggest lead of the game (39-28 Rutgers). And things went downhill from there. Nebraska is now 0-21 from the three point line.
Rutgers 45 Nebraska 31
Things continued to unravel for Nebraska as the Knights opened up a 19 point lead on two different occasions (54-35 Rutgers) midway through the final quarter.
Krull hit a three point shot for Nebraska. That is big news right now (54-38 Rutgers).
Nebraska began to claw their way back, but it may be too little too late as they are within 11 (54-43) with three and a half minutes left.
Final. Rutgers 57 Nebraska 45
Thoughts and Stats
Nebraska scored a season-low 45 points. They managed that by going 2-25 from the three point line, 9-16 from the free throw line, and 17-60 (28%) from the field. Maddie Krull led the Huskers in scoring with 11 and Sam Haiby pitched in 10. Jaz Shelley went 0-10 from the field. Ouch.
Nebraska forced 21 Rutgers turnovers while only committing 13 of their own. Rutgers outrebounded Nebraska 46-35. Issie Bourne pulled down nine rebounds and Sam Haiby six.
To put it mildly, this was as bad a performance as I’ve seen from a Husker team in quite a while. Amy Williams’ first year as head coach featured quite a few poor games and this one is right up there with that horrible-terrible-no-good-very-bad season.
Nebraska lost to a Rutgers team that was winless in the Big Ten until today. They have a midweek game with Penn State before hosting one of the best teams in the country in Ohio State next weekend. The Huskers will need to get over this one in a hurry.