Nebraska forgot to bring their offense tonight as they could not get anything going. Kansas played a great game against Nebraska and made the Huskers work for everything. Foul trouble for Alexis Markowski doomed the Huskers as she was the only one who could find the basket consistently.
The usual starting lineup is on deck for Nebraska: Markowski, Shelley, Potts, Krull and White. This will be the third time in the past year these two teams have met. Nebraska won the first game in 3 overtimes while Kansas knocked off Nebraska in the second meeting. The Jayhawks went on to win the WNIT.
Maggie Mendelson is not yet with the basketball team but should join after Christmas. She needed some rest time after the volleyball season ended.
Jaz Shelley picked up a foul with 1.2 seconds on the shot clock for the Jayhawks. That is an unfortunate turn of events. Nebraska’s defense then forced another late shot clock desperation heave that did not go in. Kansas returned the favor by keeping Nebraska locked down until the end of the shot clock. It tok two minutes before anyone could score and the Jayhawks went up 4-0 before Markowski grabbed a layup (4-2 Kan) at 7:13.
The score stagnated there for several minutes and then the Huskers went on a five point run to go up 7-4 at the first media timeout. Markowski and Shelley are responsible for all seven Husker points.
The Jayhawks scored seven out of the break to take back the lead (11-7 Kan) with 2:17 left. This sequence included two Husker turnovers due to travelling - an indication of the defensive pressure Kansas is using.
A Darian White steal and layup pushed the Huskers closer (11-9 Kan) with a minute to go and that was all the scoring for the rest of the quarter.
Kansas 11 Nebraska 9
Fast and furious scoring tied the game at 14. After that the Jayhawks took over with the next nine (23-14 Kan) to take a big lead and force Amy Williams to take a timeout at 5:16. Alexis Markowski is on the bench with two fouls - a big reason for the Jayhawk surge.
The break didn’t work as KU continued to extend their lead (25-14 Kan) with 4:29. Amy Williams decided she couldn’t wait longer and brought Markowski back into the game. A three-pointer by Krull broke the scoring drought (25-17 Kan) at 3:16.
Markowski committed her third foul (offensive). Bugger.
With her out of the game, the Jayhawks again went on a run.
Kansas 32 Nebraska 17
Six Huskers and eight Jayhawks have gotten into the scoring column. No one is taking over the game, but Kansas is clearly more productive so far. In addition to Markowski’s foul trouble, Jaz Shelley is 1-6 from the field. It is a tough night all around for the Big Red.
Markowski is back in the game - Amy Williams is trusting her veteran to be smart. The Huskers scored four points (32-21 Kan) before KU responded. Nebraska cut the lead to 10 (35-25) at 6:51. Markowski is making a huge difference for the Huskers right now. She has eight points, six rebounds and three fouls.
The Jayhawk lead grew to 13 before the Huskers found the basketball for a 38-27 score at the media timeout with Kansas free throws pending.
KU made their free throws but Logan Nissley announced her presence to cut the lead to 10 (40-30 Kan) at 4:23. Kansas’ 6’6” center Jackson is running her mouth nonstop right now. The quarter ended with some back-and-forth scoring. The Husker offense is picking up the pace, but they need to do a whole lot more to come from behind and win this one.
Kansas 46 Nebraska 34
The Jayhawks opened the quarter with a splash three (49-34 Kan). They continued to score and open up the lead even more until Callin Hake made a free throw for Nebraska (53-35 Kan). Nebraska needs a lot of points and soon. Unfortunately for them, both teams go into full lockdown defense and no points are scored for over two minutes. The Huskers grabbed a three before the media timeout (53-38 Kan).
Full court pressure gave the Huskers a steal and score (53-40 Kan). Trading fouls and free throws kep the margin at 13 (55-42 Kan). The Jayhawks are slowing the game and using as much shot clock as they can. Nebraska’s best chance is to draw fouls and they are doing that fairly well - but it is probably too little too late, especially when the Jayhawks are making such good decisions on offense (59-43 Kan) at 2:13.
Markowski has her normal double double despite spending a lot of time on the bench due to fouls. The Huskers cannot seem to close the gap as Kansas has an answer for everything Nebraska tries.
Natalie Potts fouled out.
Points are scored by both teams, but not enough by Nebraska.
Final. Kansas 69 Nebraska 52
Stats and Thoughts
The Huskers have been a decent offensive team this season, but tonight did not hold true to form as they shot 28.6% from the field (ouch). Markowski was the only scorer of note with 19 points. She was also the only rebounder of note for Nebraska with 11. Nebraska committed fewer turnovers (14) than KU (15) and outrebounded the Jayhawks 43-36. Those stats were not enough to overcome an uninspiring offensive showing.
The ladies have 11 days off before facing Maryland on New Year’s Eve at 1:30 pm.