Huskers dominate Tigers

Lincoln - Junior Kiera Hardy scored 20 points to lead five Huskers in double figures as the Nebraska women's basketball team cruised to a 93-68 win over Texas Southern Wednesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.

Hardy, a 5-6 guard from Kansas City, Mo., produced her third 20-plus scoring performance in the last four games and tied her career high with six assists. Hardy hit 6-of-9 three-point attempts on the night, while moving into sole possession of third place on NU's career three-point list with 134 in her career. Hardy added two steals and did not commit a turnover for the third time in the last five games.

Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said Hardy's performance was nearly perfect for the Huskers.

"I thought Kiera played a flawless game," Yori said. "Her offensive production was awesome. She had six assists and no turnovers and I thought she played really good defense without fouling."

Two freshmen scored in double figures for the Huskers.  TK LaFleur, a 5-9 guard from Houston, Texas, produced a career-high 15 points by hitting 7-of-13 shots from the field, while adding three steals in a strong all-around effort. Kelsey Griffin, a 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, notched double figures for the fifth time in six games this season with 10 points and nine rebounds, just missing her second career double-double.

LaFleur, who scored in double figures for the second straight game, said she was pleased with her offensive performance.

"I was pretty confident today," LaFleur said. "I wanted to come out, play my game and relax. Instead of rushing the offense, I just let the shots come to me."

Juniors Jessica Gerhart and Chelsea Aubry added 12 and 13 points, respectively, as the Huskers had a season-high five players in double digits. Aubry added five rebounds, while tying a career high with three assists. Senior forward Elena Diaz just missed double figures by scoring nine points and pulling down four rebounds, and sophomore forward Danielle Page seven points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

Nebraska's best offensive performance of the season included a 55.7 percent shooting effort from the field and 21 assists. The Huskers hit 34-of-61 shots from the field, including 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) three-pointers, while hitting 16-of-18 free throw attempts (88.9 percent).       

Tied at 13 with 14:31 left in the first half, two free throws from Aubry sparked an 18-3 run for NU, highlighted by back-to-back three pointers from Aubry and LaFleur.  The Huskers held the Tigers without a field goal for almost 14 minutes in the first half.

The Huskers pressured the Lady Tigers into committing 23 turnovers, and led by as many as 28 points on the night.

Monica Okolo led the Lady Tigers with 16 points, while Yernise Rivera added 11 points. Taneisha Riles and Ahklia Gorman joined them in double figures with 10 points each. For the night, TSU hit 42.6 percent from the field, but was held to just 6-for-21 shooting (28.6 percent) in the first half.

The Lady Tigers caught fire in the second half, hit 17-of-33 field goal attempts (51.5 percent), and finished the game a strong 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) from three-point range. The Lady Tigers also connected on 82.4 percent (14-17) of their free throws.

Nebraska outrebounded TSU 32-29, and the Huskers commited just 14 turnovers on the night.

The Huskers return to road action on Saturday, when they travel to Evanston, Ill., to battle Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern. Tip-off time at Welsh-Ryan Arena is set for 2 p.m. with a radio broadcast provided by the Pinnacle Sports Network, including 1400 AM-KLIN in Lincoln and on Huskers.com. 

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