This was a hard-fought game against a team that is consistently a top recruiter and performer in all of college basketball, not just the Big Ten. This is only the second win Nebraska has earned in 18 tries...it was a good one!
Jill’s Note: This recap is more brief in places than most as my computer was misbehaving (restarting frequently) throughout. I did my best to keep up when I had windows of opportunity.
This game started as the definition of “back and forth” as Maryland scored first and Nebraska answered - and so on (6-6 tie) through the first half+ of the period. The Huskers took their first lead on a Callin Hake three (9-6 Neb).
Maryland is an explosive and athletic team, but they don’t have anyone that can body up Alexis Markowski and the Husker center is doing some work.
The quarter continued with more back-and-forth and the quarter ended in a tie.
Nebraska 20 Maryland 20
Hake continued her hot shooting as she scored first to give Nebraska a 23-20 lead. The first half of this period continued to be a see-saw affair with Maryland leading 26-25 at 5:51. After that, the Huskers went on a 7-0 run to take a 32-26 lead.
Of course, Maryland fought back to close the gap. The quarter ended with the Hukers clinging to a one point lead.
Nebraska 39 Maryland 38
Maryland came out firing - with fouls - and the Huskers were in the bonus within the first four minutes of the quarter. Nebraska extended their lead to as much as five (48-43 Neb) before Maryland answered (48-45 Neb) at the media timeout. Maryland is 2-10 of their latest field goal attempts.
And, I jinxed it, as the Terps hit immediately (48-47 Neb) and then both teams exchanged baskets as the Huskers were first to 50 and added a Hake layup for good measure (52-49 Neb). Alexis Markowski is FEELING it in this game. She’s not used to being guarded by a guard on defense and is flexing her muscles.
Callin Hake is all over this recap, for good reason, as she made a veteran play to get Nebraska a possession (bounced a ball off a MD player as she was falling out of bounds). The ensuing Husker possession saw another Markowski basket. The next time down the floor, Markowski missed, but with everyone crashing on her, Natalie Potts was free to pick up the trash and layed it in to the give the Huskers their largest lead of the game (56-49 Neb) at 2:05.
I have no idea how Jaz Shelley sees some of these passes, but she found Markowski over most of the Maryland team who was fouled and made her free throw (59-51 Neb) but the Terps hit a three to close the gap (59-54 Neb).
Hake is also FEELING IT as she answered (62-54 Neb). The final possession went to Nebraska (with 1.2 seconds) and Markowski was fouled on the throw-in (bad decision by Maryland). Four Terps now have three fouls. Alexis made one.
Nebraska 63 Maryland 54
The Terrapins scored first despite Natalie Potts’ best efforts (63-56 Neb). Both teams exchanged baskets (of course, Nebraska’s was a Shelley three) but Maryland closed the gap more with another basket (66-60 Neb). Amy Williams took a timeout to break the Terp momentum.
Both teams showed their offensive explosiveness out of the break but Nebraska extended their lead to nine (71-62 Neb). Both teams committed offensive fouls (Callin Hake was involved in both). Maryland’s best player (Sellers) committed her fourth foul.
Shelley committed an offensive foul. That is four offensive fouls called in a row. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that. That was Shelley’s fourth and she went to the bench. Sellers stayed in the game.
Maryland closed within four (71-67 Neb) with 4:43 left.
Shelley drew the fifth foul on Sellers! That was a close one and Husker fans held their breath until the refs made the call. Even on replay, that was one I wouldn’t want to be the official fouling someone out on.
Callin Hake continued her fiery ways (three pointer) and Markowski got herself into position on a transition play for a layup to get the lead back out to nine (76-67 Neb). There is plenty of time left with three minutes+.
The Huskers are grabbing ALL the offensive rebounds right now as they keep the ball on their end of the floor for over a minute. Unfortunately, the could not score and Maryland could (76-72 Neb) with 1:51.
A Maryland free throw cuts the lead to three (76-73 Neb) with 1:50.
Darian White is fouled. She makes both (78-73 Neb) with 1:09.
The Pinnacle Bank Arena crowd is LOUD! A foul on Markowski gives Maryland free throws and they make one (78-74 Neb) with one minute left.
Natalie Potts is fouled as she drives with 2.9 on the shot clock. She makes both (78-74 Neb) with 43 seconds. Natalie Potts is beasting as much as Markowski was in the earlier parts of the game.
Maryland makes a basket with 38 seconds left (78-76 Neb) and fouls Darian White. She makes both (82-76 Neb).
The Terps make a three (82-79 Neb) and fouls Shelley immediately. She makes both (84-79 Neb) with 29 seconds).
Potts is fouled and makes both (86-79 Neb) with 21 seconds. The third Terp fouled out on that one.
Nebraska allows Maryland the layup (86-81 Neb) with 10 seconds. Darian White is fouled and makes one.
Final. Nebraska 87 Maryland 81
Stats and Thoughts
You will never guess (yes you would), but Alexis Markowski earned another double double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Natalie Potts joined her with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Jaz Shelley had a different sort of double double with 13 points and 11 assists.
Callin Hake also scored in double digits with 16.
I would normally post most stats, but you really only need to know one.
This is the second time the Huskers have every beaten Maryland in women’s basketball. More importantly, this is the second time in the last three games they have done so.
Go Big Red.
Nebraska travels to Madison to play Wisconsin on Thursday, January 4. Tipoff is at 8 pm central. The game will be on the B1G network.