Huskers Knock Off Bluejays, 60-57

In a game that featured two dramatically different halves, Nebraska survived a last-second three-point attempt by Creighton to escape the Civic Auditorium with a 60-57 win over the Bluejays on Tuesday night.

Nebraska improved to 9-2 on the year after battling back from a six-point deficit late in the second half, while Creighton slipped to 2-8 on the season. The Bluejays had their two-game winning streak snapped, while Nebraska captured its third consecutive victory by winning its first game against Creighton at the Civic Auditorium since 1998.

"I am not surprised at all by the way this game went," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Creighton is a much better basketball team than their record. They set the tempo in the second half, and we responded. I think this is a big win for our basketball team because we had players step up and make plays and we battled back after losing a lead, which we have not had to do yet this season."

The Huskers controlled the first half as both teams struggled offensively. Nebraska led 24-17 in what was the fourth-lowest scoring first half by both teams in school history. The 17 points scored by CU in the first half tied for the fifth-lowest opponent total in the NU record book.

The two teams erupted in the second, combining for 41 points in the first eight minutes of the second half, while scoring on nearly every possession. At one point, Creighton scored on eight of nine possessions to turn an eight-point deficit with 14:52 to play into a six-point lead with 8:44 left.

Nebraska led for the first 28 minutes of the game after bolting out of the gate on a 11-0 lead in the first 5:45 with baskets from five different Huskers, including a three-pointer from Chelsea Aubry.

CU freshman Megan Neuvirth broke up the Husker shutout on her layup with 14:10 left in the half. Nebraska maintained a double-digit lead after Cory Montgomery's three-pointer made it 20-10 with 8:02 left in the first half.

Neuvirth also gave the Bluejays their biggest lead of the game in the second half at 49-43 with 8:44 left. Jelena Spiric came through with a huge three-pointer to stop CU's surge, before freshman Kala Kuhlmann added a jumper to cut Creighton's lead to one at 49-48 with 6:53 left.

Kiera Hardy, who scored 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists, then took over. The senior guard from Kansas City, Mo., hit a jumper to give Nebraska the lead back at 50-49, before draining a three-pointer to make it 53-49 NU. After Creighton's Ally Thrall answered with a three-pointer, Hardy converted a three-point play to keep the Huskers in control at 56-52 with 3:59 left.

Nebraska did not trail again, as Creighton cut the NU lead to one point at 56-55 before Spiric answered with a layup, and Kelsey Griffin and TK LaFleur added free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Griffin led the Huskers with 13 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Spiric added 11 points, and Aubry added 10 points and six rebounds in a strong effort to give Nebraska four players in double figures.

Chevelle Herring and Ally Thrall led Creighton with 12 points, while Bronson added eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

For the game, Nebraska hit 48.1 percent of its shots from the field, including 60 percent shooting in the second half. Creighton hit just 34.8 percent of its shots from the field, but hit 48.2 percent of its shots from the field in the second half. CU hit 25 percent (5-20) from three-point range, including 4-of-11 shooting in the second half.

Creighton, which entered the game shooting better than 78 percent at the free throw line, hit just 54.5 percent (6-11) of its free throws.

In the lowest scoring first half of the season for the Huskers, Nebraska missed nine of its final 13 shots from the field in the half to end the stanza shooting just 37.9 percent, including 2-of-7 shooting from three-point range. NU also committed 12 first-half turnovers and did not attempt a free throw.

Although the Huskers struggled offensively late in the first half, the NU defense suffocated the Bluejays throughout the half. CU shot just 20 percent from the field (6-30), including 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) in the opening period. Creighton did hit 4-of-6 free throws, while committing 10 turnovers.

The Huskers return to the Devaney Center Thursday night to take on Nicholls State. Tip-off against the Colonels is set for 7:05 p.m.

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