WBB: Huskers Cruise Past Colorado, 70-54

The Nebraska women's basketball team completed its first regular-season sweep of the Colorado Buffaloes since the 1983-84 season, as the Huskers cruised to a 70-54 win over the Buffaloes at the Devaney Center on Saturday night.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 11-7 overall and 3-4 in the Big 12, while Colorado slipped to 6-14 overall and 1-7 in league action.

Four Huskers produced double figures in scoring, led by junior forward Jessica Gerhart, who scored a career high 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field. Freshman Kelsey Griffin produced her 14th double-figure scoring performance with 14 points, while junior Kiera Hardy added 12 points and a career-high nine assists. Freshman TK LaFleur added 11 points for her fourth double-figure scoring effort of the season.

Senior Elena Diaz added six points and LaToya Howell contributed eight assists and four rebounds to go along with two points.

The Huskers shot 50.9 percent from the field and forced the Buffaloes into committing 23 turnovers while the sure-handed Huskers only turned the ball over 11 times for a season-best plus-12 turnover margin. CU outrebounded NU, 36-31.

Leading 37-22 to start the second half, Gerhart hit consecutive baskets and Hardy added a three-pointer to push the lead out to 20 at 44-24. The Buffaloes made a run at the Huskers, cutting their lead back to 15 with about 14 minutes left to play, before Griffin scored five consecutive points and LaFleur added a basket to give Nebraska a 19-point lead with just under 11 minutes left.

The Husker jumped out to a 15-point halftime lead on the strength of balanced production up and down Nebraska's lineup. Gerhart scored 12 of her season-high 16 points in the opening period including six straight points midway through the half to keep the Huskers out in front.

Griffin added seven points in the first half, including five of NU's first eight points of the game. LaFleur added six points off the bench for the Huskers in the opening period, as eight players found the scoring column for NU in the first half.

Nebraska raced to a 10-point lead in the game's first five minutes by using full-court pressure to force five early CU turnovers. The lead fluctuated between seven and 15 points the rest of the half. Hardy and Howell each distributed five assists for the Huskers in the opening stanza.

The Huskers forced 12 CU turnovers in the first half and did not commit a turnover of their own in the game's first 14 minutes. NU shot 48.4 percent from the field in the first half, while holding Colorado to 32.3 percent shooting in the opening period. NU outscored CU at the free throw line 6-0 in the first half, as Colorado did not make a trip to the free throw line in the first half, despite NU being whistled for nine first-half fouls.

Nebraska continues its two-game Big 12 home stand when the Huskers play host to Iowa State on Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Devaney Center. Tip-off against the Cyclones is set for 7:05 p.m., with a special "Bring Your Daughter to the Game Night" as part of the 20th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day.


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