Kiera Hardy scored a game-high 21 points, including a trio of three-pointers, to propel the Nebraska women's basketball team to a 69-49 victory over Michigan at Crisler Arena on Saturday
With the victory,
Nebraska stretched its winning streak to three
games and improved to 5-3 on the season, while Michigan slipped to 5-6 on the
Connie Yori was extremely pleased with the Huskers' victory.
"We are very happy
with the win," Yori said. "We just dominated in the second half. What a great
win. We didn't play a great basketball game, particularly on the offensive end,
but we did a really good job defensively in the second half."
Despite playing with
a minor back strain suffered earlier in the week, Hardy connected on 8-of-13
shots from the field, including 3-of-5 three-pointers to produce the 19th
20-point scoring effort of her career.
"As of yesterday
afternoon, we weren't sure if Kiera was going to be able to play," Yori said.
"But Kiera is a gamer and she came out and gave us a big boost, played well and
got it going in the second half."
Hardy, a first-team
All-Big 12 Conference guard, scored 15 points and knocked down all three of her
three-pointers, as Nebraska turned a 28-24 halftime lead into a
Jessica Gerhart added 12 points, five rebounds and two assists to help the
"I thought Jess
Gerhart really gave us a lift," Yori said. "She played more minutes than usual,
especially in the first half because of Kelsey Griffin's foul trouble, and I
thought she did a good job. For the second game in a row, I also thought she
played very well defensively."
Kelsey Griffin managed seven points, three rebounds, three assists, three steals
and two blocked shots despite sitting on the bench for 14 minutes in the first
half with foul trouble.
Senior point guard
LaToya Howell also played a solid game with six points, five rebounds, five
assists and two steals, while Chelsea Aubry added six points and six rebounds in
a strong effort.
Nebraska shot 47.3 percent (26-55) from the field for the game,
including 53.8 percent (14-26) in the second half. The Huskers were even better
from three-point range, knocking down 53.3 percent (8-15) of their
three-pointers, including 87.5 percent (7-8) in the second half. Nebraska also
hit 9-of-13 free throws (69.2 percent).
The Huskers enjoyed a major advantage in turnover margin, committing
just 13 turnovers while forcing the Wolverines in 23 miscues on the night.
Michigan did manage to outrebound the Huskers, 32-31.
Nebraska held Michigan to just 37.3 percent (19-51) from the field,
including just 27.8 percent (5-18) from three-point range. Michigan did hit 75
percent of its free throws, but managed just eight trips to the
Nebraska led from nearly start to finish in the game,
recovering from an opening three-pointer by Michigan's Janelle Cooper to score the next
six points to take a 6-3 lead that the Huskers never relinquished.
Although Nebraska never gave up
control of the game, the Huskers had trouble shaking the scrappy Wolverines
until the final 10 minutes of the game.
Nebraska led by as
many as nine points on four occasions in the first half and built the lead back
to nine points on three more occasions in the first 10 minutes of the second
half, before TK LaFleur connected on a three-pointer with 10:40 left to push
NU's lead to double-digits at the first time at 46-34.
Howell added a
breakaway layup to end a 7-0 Husker run to push Nebraska's lead to 14 points with 10:20 to
The lead hovered
between 12 and 14 points until Hardy sparked an 8-0 NU run with five straight
points before Aubry knocked down her second three-pointer of the game to give
20-point lead at 58-38 with 6:08 to play.
Nebraska maintained its
20-point edge the rest of the way, giving new Husker Sara Hieb and senior Ivana Drmanac their first playing time of the season.
Hieb, a 5-3 guard
from Brandon, S.D., who was added to NU's roster this week, and Drmanac,
who made her first appearance after missing the Huskers' first seven games after
knee surgery, both played the final minute for Nebraska in the win.
The Huskers return
home for the first time since Dec. 7, when Nebraska plays host to Texas State
on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center. Tip-off time is set for 7:05 p.m.
with radio coverage on the Pinnacle Sports Network, including 98.1 FM-KFGE in