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Nebraska WBB 71 Wyoming 52 Recap

The final score looked easy, but the Huskers fought hard for this “easy” win

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Semifinals-Iowa vs Nebraska Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowgirls made an adjustment in their starting lineup, elevating Malene Pederson over Ola Ustowska. I am guessing that is to get more offensive firepower into the lineup.

First Quarter

The audio stream cut out for me early, but live stats kept chugging along. The Cowgirls jumped out to a 6-0 lead before a Markowski layup and freethrow got the Huskers on the board (6-3 Wyo). That is all the scoring until the media timeout. #DefensiveStruggle

Anni Stewart ties the game at 6-6!

....more audio issues...

Both teams traded baskets with the Huskers coming up 10-9 with 2 minutes left. The Cowgirls answered with a couple of baskets and free throws to take a five point lead (15-10 Wyo) as the clock wound under a minute.

Potts and White each scored to even the game.

Nebraska 15 Wyoming 15

White leads Nebraska with four points. Stewart, Potts and Markowski each have three. Hake has two.

Second Quarter

The Husker defense already looks like it will be the strength of this team as they force errors. The offense takes advantage with a seven point run to lead 22-15 after the first minute. Freshman Natalie Potts is powering this run on both ends of the floor. Timeout Wyoming.

Yikes! Potts picked up her second foul.

The rest of the team took their cue from Potts as White and Shelley continued to score after great defensive stops. Nebraska took their first double digit lead 26-15 at 6:15.

The run continues! Jess Petrie adds to the lead (28-15 Neb).

The Cowgirls get their first points of the second quarter after 6+ minutes but Shelley hits a layup to answer. Another Wyoming three-pointer leads to a 30-21 score with three minutes left in the half. The Huskers regain a double digit lead behind Shelley, but Wyoming is riding the three point wave to get back within eight (32-26 Neb) with 90 seconds left. The Huskers are tired, but there hasn’t been a stoppage to get the subs in.

Anni Stewart picks up her second foul as well. (It was a bad call - a flop on the Wyoming player should have been called according to the radio guys.)

Halftime Nebraska 32 Wyoming 28

Jaz Shelley and Natalie Potts lead on offense with eight points each. Darian White is close behind with six. Alexis Markowski leads the team with six rebounds and pitched in three points.

Third Quarter

Will the Huskers use the full-court press that resulted in a run to take the lead? Or will Wyoming adjust and remind their players how to play the press...stay tuned.

Potts drew a foul early and made one free throw. Another foul by Wyoming and free throws by White extended the Husker lead in the first 30 seconds (35-28 Neb). After a five second call on the Cowgirls, Jaz Shelley hits a layup and drew a foul for the double digit lead (38-28 Neb).

I have no idea where Natalie Potts was rated in recruiting rankings, but she is wreaking havoc for Nebraska so far. I think the Huskers found their Allison Weidner replacement. After a lot of back-and-forth, the game shook out to a 42-33 Husker lead with a little over six minutes left in the 3rd.

The Cowgirls went on an eight point run to head into the media timeout down one (42-41 Neb). The Husker starters are holding Wyoming in check, but the altitude is forcing a lot of substitutions and that hasn’t worked out well for Nebraska.

Jaz Shelley made one free throw out of the break...and an official review has apparently taken a three pointer off the board for Wyoming. The current score is 44-38 Nebraska after a Stewart jumper. Kendall Coley powered that basket with a defensive stop and quick pass out.

Alexis Markowski has entered double digit rebounds and then registers a block and another rebound. She may not be scoring points, but she is making sure her presence is known.

Wyoming got as close as four until Callin Hake was fouled and hit her free throws to give Nebraska a 48-42 lead with 1:36 left in the third Q. Free throws by both teams led to a 50-44 score. Alexis Markowski is starting to wake up with free throws, a blocked shot and landed two layups to end the quarter. The Cowgirls better take note that the Husker star is mad and adjust accordingly (most teams are not able to adjust to an angry Markowski).

Nebraska 54 Wyoming 44

Fourth Quarter

Markowski missed two free throws to start the quarter but she hit on a layup to make up for the mistake (56-44 Neb). She picked up her second foul after that, but I’m not worried about that this far into the game. Wyoming showed a remarkable unawareness of the shot clock and turned the ball over to Nebraska. Markowski IS ON FIRE (58-44 Neb). With Alexis Markowski waking up, Wyoming should be very, very afraid.

Rabble...rabble...rabble...Huskers open up a 20+ point lead. Wyoming apparently angered Markowski. That was a bad move. She is singlehandedly taking over this game in EVERY way.

Wyoming scored one basket (67-48 Neb) and that was the only movement for a while. This game is all over except for the horn but both teams are making sure to practice the right things in anticipation of a long season.

I suspect other teams know this, but they should not ANGER THE MARKOWSKI if they hope to win. Amy Williams has not typically fielded teams that are dependant on one player, but she might need to make an exception this season. Jaz Shelley is amazing but this team will run through Markowski.

Final. Nebraska 71 Wyoming 52.

Thoughts and Stuff

This Husker team looks like it will be made up of bricks and rock and depend on dragging other teams into the muck. I don’t hate that type of play; I rather love it, but it will be a hit/miss type of team. Any opponent that can’t find an answser for Markowski will lose big. A team that can, will win/lose depending on the surrounding cast. Jaz Shelley will be the wild card that determines Nebraska’s fortune for teams that can counter Alexis. Natalie Potts looks like the #InterestingNewcomer we should all be watching her development as the factor that makes the difference between WNIT and NCAA bids.

Creighton is coming up soon on the women’s schedule.

Stats the Way I Like It

Four Huskers scored in double digits: Markowski 17, Shelley and Potts 15, and White 11. Markowski notched her usual double-double with 13 rebounds. No one else came close as Shelley and White each grabbed four rebounds. Shelley also dished out seven assists.

The Huskers shot 50% from the field, but only 18% from the three-point line and hit 70% of their free throws. They outrebounded Wyoming 40-30 and scored 40 points in the paint compared to 20 for the Cowgirls. This Husker team has a long way to go before making waves in Big Ten play, but they have the pieces and the grit to do it.

Next Game

Nebraska will host Alcorn State on Tuesday November 14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The game will tipoff at 7 pm central and will be televised on B1G+.