WBB: Huskers Season Comes to an End

Kelsey Griffin scored 19 points and Elena Diaz scored a season-high 14 points, but it was not enough to stop the Nebraska women's basketball team from falling at Kansas State, 77-63, in the WNIT quarterfinals at Bramlage Coliseum on Friday.

With the loss, Nebraska ended its season with a 19-13 record, posting the Huskers' most victories since the 1998-99 season. Kansas State improved  to 22-10 overall and advanced to the WNIT semifinals to play Western Kentucky in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Kiera Hardy added 14 points for the Huskers, but Kansas State received big efforts from Claire Coggins, JoAnn Hamlin and Kimberly Dietz to get the win.

Coggins finished with 22 points, including six three-pointers, while Hamlin added 20 points and seven boards. Dietz pitched in 19 points and three three-pointers, as the Wildcats connected on 10 threes on the night.

The Wildcats opened the game strong, building an 11-5 lead after a Kimberly Dietz three-pointer, before the Huskers started to chip away at the KSU lead.

Jessica Gerhart stopped a 6-0 KSU run by knocking down her third three-pointer of the season, before Chelsea Aubry trimmed the Wildcat lead to one with a layup with 12:50 left in the half.

KSU's lead grew back to five points, before Griffin capped a 5-0 NU surge with a jumper with 8:15 left to tie the score at 15.

Griffin then gave NU an 18-17 lead with a three-point play with 7:02 left in the half, before the Huskers built their biggest lead at 22-17 after back-to-back jumpers by Elena Diaz with 5:08 left.

KSU then responded with a 10-0 run before Griffin hit a jumper with two minutes left in the half, but the Wildcats added an 8-0 to take their biggest lead of the half at 35-24 with 16 seconds left.

Hardy stopped the Wildcat run and sent NU to the locker room with a little momentum on a 19-footer at the buzzer to make it 35-26 KSU at the half.

NU trimmed KSU's lead to eight points early in the second half, but the Wildcats kept pushing and eventually built a 16-point lead at 55-39 with just under 13 minutes left in the game.

The Huskers refused to go away quietly, despite overcoming an overwhelming travel schedule that had players and coaches on the road for five straight days without a day of practice and multiple players and coaches battling illness.

"I thought our team gave a great effort tonight," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said, "especially considering our travel situation and the number of players we have battling illnesses. We're not making any excuses though. All those things are part of the game and you have to be able to overcome them to win. I thought Kansas State played very well tonight and hit some shots and controlled the boards."

Despite the obstacles, Nebraska continued to battle, cutting KSU's lead to 69-61 after five straight points from Hardy with 1:39 left in the game.

For the game, Nebraska shot just 40.3 percent from the field and was outrebounded 44-32. The Huskers hit 3-of-8 three-pointers and 10-of-13 free throws, while committing just 14 turnovers.

Kansas State connected on 41.9 percent of its shots, including a 10-for-27 effort from long range. The Wildcats also hit 15-of-22 free throws and committed 15 turnovers.


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