WBB:Huskers Defeat Texas A&M, 73-59

Chelsea Aubry scored a career-high 20 points on a perfect shooting night to lead four Huskers in double figures as the Nebraska women's basketball team escaped from Reed Arena with a 73-59 win over Texas A&M on Wednesday night.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 16-8 overall and 8-4 in the Big 12, as the Huskers secured their first .500 or better conference record for the first time since 1999-2000. NU also ended a two-game losing streak to Texas A&M in College Station. The Aggies fell to 13-10 overall and 3-9 in Big 12 play.

Aubry, a 6-2 forward from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, smashed her previous career best of 16 points by hitting 7-of-7 shots from the field, including her only three-pointer of the night, while hitting 5-of-5 of free throws.

Kiera Hardy added 18 points, including four three-pointers and 13 points in the first half to shoot Nebraska to an early lead. Freshman Danielle Page continued her strong play by finishing with 11 points, including seven points in the final five minutes, as Nebraska expanded a three-point lead to win going away with their biggest lead of the night at 14 points. Jelena Spiric added a solid effort with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Elena Diaz added six points and a career-high nine rebounds for the Huskers.

Senior point guard Jina Johansen added a career night of her own by dishing out 11 assists, while adding five points and three rebounds to pick up the first win of her career in Texas against a Big 12 Conference opponent. Johansen captained a season-high 25-assist performance by the Huskers, who recorded assists on 25 of their 27 made field goals on the night.

Although Johansen scored just five points, she hit one of Nebraska's biggest shots of the night by burying a three-pointer with 11:25 left in the game to give the Huskers a 48-44 lead. Johansen's three-pointer followed a three-point by Hardy, that gave NU a 45-44 lead after the Aggies took their only lead of the second half at 44-42 with 13:20 to play in the game.

The back-to-back three-pointers by Hardy and Johansen sparked a 12-0 Nebraska run over a three-minute stretch to extend the Huskers lead to 10 points at 54-44 with 9:25 left in the game.

Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said Johansen's leadership and passing ability were keys for the Huskers.

"We are lucky to have a senior point guard in Jina Johansen that is as smart of a player as I have ever coached," Yori said. "She got us into things and did a great job of handling A&M's pressure. She also made some great passes tonight."

The Aggies were able to cut the NU lead back to three points at 56-53, before Aubry and Page finished off the game for the Huskers by combining for the Huskers' final 17 points in the final six minutes.

On the night, Nebraska hit a season-high 56.3 percent (27-48) of its shots from the field, including 6-of-11 three-pointers (54.5 percent). The Huskers were also a sizzling 86.7 percent (13-15) from the free throw line, including 8-of-9 free throws in the final 4:24. NU also outrebounded Texas A&M, 36-29, while committing just 14 turnovers against an A&M squad that was forcing nearly 23 turnovers per game.

The Aggies shot just 36.1 percent (22-61) from the field, while hitting 6-of-17 three-pointers. The Aggies were just 9-of-16 free throws, while committing just 10 turnovers.

Hardy, the Big 12's leading scorer in conference action, knocked down a trio of three-pointers in the first half to power the Huskers to an early 13-point lead, before the Aggies trimmed NU's advantage to six points at halftime.

Nebraska shot out of the gates to a 7-2 lead before Texas A&M scored seven straight points to take its first lead at 9-7 after five quick points from the Aggies' A'Quonesia Franklin less than five minutes into the game.

After the quick 7-0 run by the Aggies, Hardy took over, scoring 10 points in the next four minutes to shoot the Huskers to a 21-12 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.

Chelsea Aubry gave the Huskers' their first double-digit lead at 25-14 with a pair of free throws with 9:04 remaining in the opening stanza. NU's lead grew as large as 13 points at 27-14 after an Elena Diaz layup with seven minutes left in the half.

Franklin shot the Aggies back into the game again late in the half by scoring seven points to trim NU's lead to just 36-30 at the break. Franklin, a 5-3 point guard, entered the contest averaging just 5.6 points per game, but scored 12 in the first half alone and finished with 15 points. Morenike Atunrase was the only other Aggie in double figures with 10 points.

Nebraska returns to Big 12 Conference action when the Huskers travel to Lawrence, Kan., to take on Kansas on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a Fox Sport Net national telecast.


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