It was a slow start to the game as Minnesota scored first and it took the Huskers almost two minutes to tie it up. The Husker posts, Markowski and Bourne, scored the first four points for Nebraska. A Bourne layup (assisted by Shelley) gave Nebraska an 8-6 lead at the media timeout. Markowski has taken two three pointers so far, both were good looking shots but missed. If those start going in, it will stress a young Gopher defense that could be forced to make decisions in defensive switches.
Both teams missed seemingly easy shots out of the timeout and then Anni Stewart committed the first foul of the game. One free throw was good and then Bourne scored another basket to give Nebraska a three point lead (10-7 Neb). The Huskers went on an offensive drought as the Gophers battled back into the lead (11-10 Minn). Jaz Shelley got the lead back wtih a three as the clock went under a minute (13-11 Neb). Each team scored once more to end the quarter.
Nebraska 15 Minnesota 14
Issie Bourne scored the first point of the quarter with a free throw, but missed the second (16-14 Neb). That is her ninth point of the game. The Huskers next point came from a Haiby free throw (the other was not good). Former Husker MiCole Cayton has been getting a fair bit of playing time for the Gophers. Husker turnovers and missed shots led to a six point Gopher lead (23-17 Minn).
Bourne moved into double digit scoring with a three, but the Gophers answered with multiple scores to take an eight point lead (28-20 Minn) and force Amy Williams to use a timeout at 6:11. The Gophers have four team fouls very early in the quarter and the Huskers will get to the free throw line with each foul by Minnesota.
The quarter went even more sideways as the lead reached 12 for the Gophers before a Bourne free throw broke the drought (32-21 Minn). A four point run for Nebraska was answered by the same for Minnesota (36-25 Minn). Shelley scored her eight and ninth points (36-27 Minn) at two minutes. Maddie Krull took a charge and then scored a layup (36-29 Minn) to prompt a Gopher timeout.
good pass, good finish.— Nebraska WBB (@HuskersWBB) February 16, 2023
Markowski → Krull pic.twitter.com/Ie6hkmVJAF
Bourne extended the Husker run wtih two free throws (36-31 Minn) as the clock wound under a minute. A Gopher jumper registered the final points of the half.
Minnesota 38 Nebraska 31
Bourne leads Nebraska with 15 points and Shelley has nine. Alexis Markowski has five rebounds and Maddie Krull pulled down four. The only Husker in foul trouble is Anni Stewart with two.
A Minnesota team that averages 20ish turnovers a game only has four so far. Missed shots have led to a young, inconsistent Gopher team having success in transition and few opportunities for Nebraska to steal the ball.
Nebraska opened the quarter with a quick foul. Sigh. Fortunately both free throws were missed. A Minnesota foul led to Shelley three pointer (38-34 Minn). The Gophers committed three fouls in the first 70 seconds and Nebraska capitalized with a Markowski three to cut the lead to one (38-37 Minn). The Gophers called a timeout to regroup.
NEBRASKA GOT THE LEAD BACK!! A Haiby layup gave the Huskers 39 points and she was fouled. The free throw was good (40-38 Neb). The Gophers tied the game back up at 40 but the Huskers apparently liked being in the lead as Krull connected on a three (43-40 Neb). Minnesota answered with a three of their own to tie the game at 43.
Multiple Minnesota players have three fouls apiece and Nebraska is in the bonus with six minutes left in the quarter. Anni Stewart got the lead back, making one of two free throws (44-43 Neb). A Minnesota player picked up her fourth foul (committing two within a few seconds of each other). Bourne free throws extended the lead and followed it with a layup. Minnesota displayed some offensive fireworks to tie the game at 48; the points came fast an furious as Krull got in on the three-point play party (51-48 Neb) at 4:44.
Both team’s defenses went on vacation as the scoreboard could barely keep up with the scoring explosion.
The Gophers regained the lead at 2:53 (59-55 Minn). A Krull three point play brought Nebraska back within one (59-58 Minn). Krull is now in double digits for scoring, but then picked up her third foul. Both teams are in the bonus with slightly more than two minutes left. Another Minnesota player picked up a fourth foul.
I SERIOUSLY CANNOT TYPE FAST ENOUGH TO KEEP UP WITH THE SCORING. The Huskers scored 33 points and Minnesota scored 29 in this quarter.
Minnesota 67 Nebraska 64
Minnesota struck first in the quarter after a Husker turnover (69-64 Minn). The Huskers finally scored on a three point play by Shelley a minute into the final frame (69-67 Minn). The Gophers again have committed three fouls in the first 70 seconds of a quarter. The third one was reviewed due to contact to Issie Bourne’s face. A third Gopher has picked up her fourth foul (this one is a starter). The Huskers were awarded free throws and Nebraska sent Shelley to the line; she scored five points with no time coming off the clock (69-69 tie).
Markowski was fouled and made her free throws to get the lead back (71-69 Neb).
Haiby is fouled (that is five fouls on the Gophers in 90 seconds) and extended the lead (73-69). That is now four Gophers with four fouls. Missed shots by Nebraska and a three by Minnesota cut the lead to one (73-72 Neb).
Markowksi committed Nebraska’s first foul of the quarter and the free throws allowed the Gophers to grab the lead back (74-73 Minn). Anni Stewart committed her fourth foul.
Back and forth scoring resulted in a one point Husker lead (76-75 Neb) with 5:35.
Anni Stewart fouled out at 4:43 (she played seven minutes) and the Gophers grabbed the lead back (79-78 Minn).
A Gopher player fouled out. Krull made both free throws (80-79 Neb) at 4:24.
SO MANY POINTS!! (83-81 Neb) at 3:54 as Jaz Shelley reached 30 points on the night.
With 2:16 left Minnesota led 89-85. Amy Williams called a timeout. Minnesota is scoring on every possession and the Husker offense is not taking advantage of the Gopher foul trouble.
The Huskers are tanking their NCAA tournament hopes. Minnesota led 91-85 at 1:37.
Jaz Shelley three!!! 1:02 left (91-88 Minn). The steal and assist came courtesy of Sam Haiby.
Minnesota made one of two free throws (Shelley’s fourth foul).
ANOTHER SHELLEY THREE AND SHE IS FOULED!! She made the free throw to tie the game at 92 with 46 seconds left. Another Minnesota player fouled out on the play.
J4Z SHELLEY— Jacob Padilla (@JacobPadilla_) February 16, 2023
Our ball.— Nebraska WBB (@HuskersWBB) February 16, 2023
Tied game at 92.
The Huskers used their last timeout. They have to inbound this ball successfully and try to win the game (and avoid giving Minnesota another possesion and a chance to win).
Haiby is fouled with 10 seconds left. She missed both free throws.
Minnesota will get a chance to win the game.
And they do.
Minnesota 95 Nebraska 92
Stats and Thoughts
This loss does a lot of damage to Nebraska’s hopes for an NCAA tournament bid. This was a jungle ball game in the second half and the Huskers could not take advantage of Gopher foul trouble. Nebraska lost their third straight game, this one to the 12th place team in the conference.
Jaz Shelley scored 37 and Issie Bourne 21. Maddie Krull had 13, Haiby and Markowski each scored nine. The Husker bench scored three points to 37 for Minnesota. Ouch.
Markowski pulled down 14 rebounds, Bourne seven and Haiby five. Nebraska outrebounded Minnesota 43-40.
This game was entertaining if you like points, but incredibly frustrating at the same time. The Husker defense is generally very good, but couldn’t buy a stop tonight. Even with injuries that forced some lineup changes throughout the season, this Husker team has enough talent to win a lot of games. Losing to a team that is very young and only has two conference wins in mid-February is not ideal.
Hopefully, the ladies can shake this one off because they need to lock in and get some wins to reach their goals.
Go Big Red.