Nebraska controlled the game from start to finish, but was never able to deliver a final blow to the Jayhawks until the overtime. The Huskers jumped to a 10-point lead in the first seven minutes and led by 12 with 13 minutes in the game, before KU rallied.
Kansas took its only lead at 48-46 with 4:29 left, but Kaitlyn Burke responded for NU. The junior guard from North Vancouver, British Columbia, drained her third three of the game to give NU the lead back with 3:59 left. Burke hit another jumper 30 seconds later, and the Huskers were able to eventually push the lead to four at 54-50 after a three-point play from Lindsey Moore with 1:26 left.
Burke finished with a career-high 20 points, including four three-pointers, while Moore added a career-high 23 points, six rebounds and five assists.
But Carolyn Davis, who led all scorers with 26 points, while adding 10 rebounds, answered Moore with a three-point play of her own to cut it to 54-53 with 28 seconds left.
NU freshman forward Jordan Hooper then put the cushion back to three for the Huskers by connecting on both ends of a one-and-one free throw situation with 21 seconds left. Hooper finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, scoring 10 in the second half.
But Monica Engelman, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Jayhawks, sent the game to overtime with a leaning three-pointer from the right wing with 10 seconds left to tie it at 56.
Nebraska was unable to convert on a pair of shots in the final five seconds to send the game to overtime.
In the overtime, it was all Nebraska from the tip, as the Huskers scored on every offensive possession to outscore KU, 19-5 in the extra period.
Senior center Catheryn Redmon won the tip and Burke hit a layup to give NU a 58-56 lead. NU got a stop and Redmon, who produced her fourth double-double of the year with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, added a free throw, before getting a stop at the other end with a defensive board.
NU pushed the lead to six at 62-56 on Katya Leick's three-pointer in the right corner with 3:19 left in OT. After KU got a pair of free throws from Davis, Burke buried her fourth three of the game to put NU up seven. Redmon then matched her season high with her fifth blocked shot on the following possession, but Leick came up with a steal and Moore scored to put NU up 67-58 with 1:42 left.
Engelman gave KU hope again with her fourth three-pointer of the game, but Redmon got an offensive rebound and a putback to extend the margin to 69-61. Leick finished the next two defensive possessions for NU with a defensive rebound and a block and Moore finished off KU by hitting four straight free throws to extend the margin to 73-61. Redmon added one more defensive board and two more free throws to close the scoring.
For the game, Nebraska hit 40.6 percent (28-69) of its shots, including 31.6 percent (6-19) from three-point range. NU was also a solid 81.3 percent (13-16) at the free throw line. NU matched KU on the glass with 47 rebounds, while winning the turnover battle, 18-15.
"I think we improved as a basketball team today, especially from an execution standpoint," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "It is so hard to win any game in this conference, that we are really excited about getting this win. Our players should feel really good about that win, and I think they do."
In the overtime, NU was 5-of-6 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three-point range. NU also hit 7-of-9 free throws. KU went just 1-for-10 from the floor in overtime, and just 1-of-6 from three-point range. KU was 2-of-2 at the line in the extra period.
"We were not leaving this court without a win today," Burke said. "We were going to make however many plays we needed to make in the overtime to get the W."
For the game, Kansas shot just 31 percent (22-71) from the field, including 4-for-24 from three-point range, thanks to a 4-for-11 shooting night from long range from Engelman. The rest of the Jayhawks went 0-for-13 from beyond the arc. KU was also 13-of-16 at the free throw line.
Nebraska bolted to a strong start, jumping to a 14-4 lead thanks to a 8-0 run by Burke, who buried back-to-back threes. Burke scored all eight of her first-half points during the surge, while Moore added 10 first-half, including five straight after KU trimmed the margin to 14-10 with 10 minutes left.
Redmon added six points and six rebounds in the opening to half, with all six points coming in the final 6:07 to send the Huskers to the halftime locker room with a 28-20 lead. NU led despite hitting just 33 percent (11-33) of its shots from the field, thanks to a 22-21 rebounding edge, and a 13-8 turnover margin.
Kansas got 11 points and six rebounds from Davis in the first half, but Davis hit four of KU's seven shots from the field in the half. KU hit just 7-of-26 shots (26.9 percent), including an 0-for-6 effort from three-point range. No other Jayhawk scored more than four points in the first half.
Nebraska will take the mid-week off from competition before returning to action on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Kansas State. The Huskers will face the Wildcats at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan., with tip-off set for 1 p.m. The game will be televised nationally by FSN and free live audio from the Husker Sports Network will be available on Huskers.com.