It looks like Anni Stewart will be back in the lineup. She is a valuable presence in the post rotation but also as a sharpshooter from long range. I doubt she plays many minutes in her first game back after a long absence, but this is a good game to knock off some rust.
The usual starting lineup will be out on the court: Markowski, Shelley, White, Potts, and Krull. Krull is sporting a new hair color as she is now a dark brunette instead of blonde. It threw me off when I saw her walk out on the court at first.
It was a slow start for both offenses as over a minute went by without any scoring. Darian White free throws started things for Nebraska (2-0 Neb). Two more minutes went by before Jaz Shelley gave the crowd something to cheer about (5-0 Neb) at 6:41. Southern is really focusing on Markowski (as they should) and more willing to give Nebraska looks from three. Southern has committed four turnovers already.
After a Markowski free throw, the Jaguars finally found the basket (6-2 Neb) at 5:34. After the media timeout, the Huskers got more free throws (Shelley). Five of Nebraska’s eight points have come from the charity stripe.
A six point run by the Huskers opened up a double digit lead (14-2 ) with two minutes left. A Markowski three, Southern layup, Markowski free throws, and Southern buzzer beater finished out the first quarter. Alexis has 10 points already.
Nebraska 19 Southern 6
The Jaguars started the quarter with a silly turnover. Logan NIssley hit on a long two (21-6 Neb). Southern has committed nine fouls compared to two for Nebraska. They also have nine turnovers compared to three for Nebraska.
A barrage of three pointers (three for Nebraska and one for Southern) resulted in a 30-9 score with five minutes left. Shelley has tied Vonnie Turner in career three pointers.
I stepped away for a couple minutes and came back to a 37-14 score. More free throws and three pointers led to a big lead for Nebraska at the half.
Nebraska 43 Southern 17
Markowski and Shelley both have 11 points. Logan Nissley has eight. Markowski is leading the Huskers in rebounding with four.
The Huskers pushed the lead to 30 early in the quarter (53-23 Neb) but then started to turn the ball over and commit more fouls. Southern cut into the Husker lead and closed within 22 (53-31 Neb) before the Huskers cleaned up their act. Jaz Shelley rolled an ankled but didn’t leave the game (whew!)
The Husker scoring drought is over five minutes...and then Logan Nissley ends the Jaguar run (56-31 Neb). This quarter is hard to watch, but Nebraska is at least holding their own.
After a layup, Markowski sits at 998 career points...AND THE REVERSE LAYUP IS GOOD!! She was fouled and made the “and one” (65-35 Neb) to raise her career total to 1001 points. Southern’s full court pressure is discombobulating the Huskers a bit. Southern may not be on Nebraska’s level as a team, but they are experienced and aggressive. They are a giving Amy Williams some things to point out in film sessions this week.
Believe it or not, Natalie Potts sits at zero points so far. Markowski also seems unlikely to reach her usual double double with four rebounds to go with her 19 points.
Potts is now on the board after a great pass in transition from Maddie Krull (69-40 Neb). Credit also goes to Callin Hake who had to work through some pressure to find Krull on the other end of the floor. Some more sloppiness (really, this game can end anytime!) made it a 70-42 Nebraska lead at the midpoint.
The last five minutes was excruitiating - especially knowing a big volleyball match was on deck...missed shots, lackluster defense, and a general lack of urgency all around. The Huskers have now surpassed Southern’s turnover mark (21 to 18). Yuck.
With one minute left, the score is 76-48 Nebraska.
Husker fouls led to three Jaguar points (76-51) and Jess Petrie fouling out.
Final. Nebraska 76 Southern 51
Stats and Thoughts
Markowski led Husker scorers with 21. Others in double digits are Shelley (15) and Nissley (14). Natalie Potts pulled down nine rebounds and Jess Petrie six. Darian White had five assists.
Nebraska shot 44% from the field while Southern managed 33%. Nebraska won the rebound battle 44-26. The Huskers committed 23(!!) turnovers to 19 for Southern.
I don’t have a lot of analysis on this one. It was sloppy and uninspired.
On the flip side, it was good to see Nebraka take care of business even when having a bad day.
The Huskers visit the Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 6:30 pm central.