Huskers Drop One-Point Game to the Aggies

Kiera Hardy's last second scoop shot from five feet as time expired rolled off the back of the rim, as No. 21 Texas A&M held on for a 66-65 win over the No. 25 Nebraska women's basketball team at Reed Arena on Wednesday night.

Kiera Hardy scored 16 points, including NU's last seven points, while adding seven rebounds for the Huskers, while Kelsey Griffin notched her eighth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 boards in the loss. The setback ended Nebraska's school-record 10-game road winning streak and dropped the Huskers to 16-4 overall and 4-2 in the Big 12, while Texas A&M improved to 11-0 at home this season while moving to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in the league.

Chelsea Aubry added 12 points and four boards, while Danielle Page pitched in seven points, five rebounds and four blocked shots off the bench to help the Huskers in a defensive struggle with the Aggies.

Nebraska was in position to win on Hardy's last-second shot despite being held to just 34 percent (17-15) shooting from the field, including just 21.4 percent (3-14) from three-point range by the Big 12's best defense. The Huskers stayed in the game by knocking down 28-of-33 free throws.

Despite NU's poor shooting, Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said the Huskers' effort and work on the glass kept them in the game.

"We didn't lose because we didn't play hard," Yori said. "My goodness we played hard tonight. We just didn't play well on offense, but we outrebounded a very athletic team by seven. We turned it over too much, and we missed some of the easy shots that we were able to get."

The Aggies, who hit just 28.6 percent of their shots in the first half, heated up in the second half, connecting on 46.7 percent of their second-half attempts to finish the night at 36.9 percent (24-65). A&M hit 5-of-8 three-pointers in the second half, after missing its first eight three-pointers in the opening period. A&M also hit 12-of-19 free throws on the night.

Nebraska outrebounded A&M, 43-36, but committed 21 turnovers while forcing just 13 miscues by the Aggies.

A'Quonesia Franklin led the Aggies with a game-high 21 points, while Morenike Atunrase added 19 points. The two A&M juniors combined for 32 of their 40 points in the second half. Takia Starks, the Aggies' leading scorer coming into the game, managed just three points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field.

Nebraska took a 30-26 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to eight first-half points from Aubry, who led NU with eight first-half points. Aubry, who was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-5 at the free throw in her only previous appearance at Reed Arena two years ago, hit her first three shots from the field. Aubry hit her first three-pointer and added a free throw on a traditional three-point play to score all eight points in the first five minutes to shoot Nebraska to a quick 10-6 lead.

The Huskers led by as many as six points on two occasions in the first half, thanks to seven first-half points from Griffin and five first-half points from freshman guard Yvonne Turner.

Nebraska took its biggest lead of the game at 39-32 on a pair of Hardy free throws with 16:28 left in the game, but Atunrase led a major Aggie rally, scoring 10 of A&M's 13 points during a critical surge that turned a 40-36 Nebraska lead into a 49-45 A&M edge with 8:46 left in the game.

Texas A&M's lead grew to 55-47 on Atunrase's third three-pointer of the half with just six minutes to play, but Nebraska battled back. Jelena Spiric hit a layup with 5:22 left to end NU's 5:28 drought without a field goal. The field goal sparked a 9-0 Husker run capped by a pair of Griffin free throws with 3:12 left to give NU a 56-55 lead.

Starks ended NU's run with her first field goal of the game, followed by a jumper from Franklin to push the Aggie lead back to three points at 59-56.

Hardy tied the score at 60 on a pair of free throws with 1:23 left, but Frankling and Danielle Gant hit back-to-back shots to give the Aggies a 64-60 edge with 25 seconds left.

Hardy hit two free throws with 19.2 seconds left, before Atunrase answered with a pair of free throws with 18.9 seconds left. Hardy then knocked down a three-pointer with 13.4 seconds left to make it 66-65.

Starks missed two free throws with 11.6 seconds remaining to give the Huskers a final chance to win. After Griffin collected the defensive rebound, Ashley Ford dribbled down the right side of the floor and handed off to Hardy, who knifed through three Aggie defenders and put up a scoop shot with her right hand. The ball hit the right side of the rim and rolled off the back of the iron to left side to allow the Aggies to improve to 10-0 at home this season.

Nebraska returns home to the Devaney Center to open a three-game homestand against Kansas on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at or by calling 1-800-8BIGRED.

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