No. 21 Huskers Win at Colorado

Kiera Hardy scored a game-high 16 points and Chelsea Aubry added 11 to lead the No. 21 Nebraska women's basketball team to its fifth straight win with a 54-44 victory over Colorado at the Coors Events Center on Saturday afternoon.

Playing in front of an FSN national television audience, the Huskers used an 11-0 run late in the second half to turn a four-point edge into a double-figure win in Boulder for the second consecutive season. Nebraska remained in a tie for first in the Big 12 at 9-2, while improving to 21-4 overall. Both records represent the best starts in school history.

Colorado slipped to 10-13 overall and 4-7 in the league with just their fourth home loss of the season. Nebraska posted its first back-to-back wins in Boulder since 1984 and 1985 and just their second win in the last 21 years. In a defensive struggle, the Huskers won despite posting their lowest scoring total of the season, by holding the Buffs to their lowest output of the year.

"That was hard," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "That was a tough game. We haven't won many games this year with our defense, but we are starting to do it more and more. Today, we played outstanding defense from start to finish and that was the difference."

The Huskers held the Buffs to just 35.3 percent (18-51) shooting from the field, including a 5-for-14 effort from three-point rage. CU also hit just 3-of-7 free throws. Nebraska managed just 37.1 percent shooting from the field for its second straight sub-40 percent shooting performance in a win. NU hit hit 6-of-20 threes and just 2-of-4 free throws.

Nebraska led just 43-39 with 8:15 left after a pair of three-pointers by Colorado, but the Huskers responded to CU's burst with 11 straight points, sparked by a three-pointer from Jelena Spiric. Hardy and Kelsey Griffin added back-to-back baskets, before Aubry connected on her third three-pointer of the game to push NU's lead to 14 with 5:10 left.

Freshman Yvonne Turner added her only point of the game with a free throw with 3:40 left to give Nebraska its biggest lead of the game, before Colorado scored the final five points of the game.

Spiric and Griffin each scored eight points to help the Huskers, while Griffin pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to help the Huskers finish plus-10 (42-32) on the glass for the game. The Huskers were also plus-two in the turnover department (19-17).

Danielle Page, a Colorado native, added six points, seven rebounds and three blocks off the bench to help the Huskers, while TK LaFleur contributed four points, five rebounds, an assist and a block.

Nebraska's defense held the Buffaloes to their lowest point total of the season, and no Buff managed double figures on the day, as Jackie McFarland finished with nine points and 13 rebounds. The Huskers all but silenced McFarland, who entered the game averaging more than 18 points and 11 rebounds per contest, in the first half. She ended the half with just two points, seven rebounds and three fouls.

The Huskers built a 30-20 halftime lead on the strength of great defense, rebounding and Hardy's hot shooting hand. Hardy scored all 12 of her first-half points in the final 10:26 to help the Huskers turn a three-point lead into a double-digit lead going into the locker room at the break.

Aubry also shot the Huskers to a solid first-half start, knocking down a pair of three-pointers and scoring eight of NU's first 12 points in the game's first eight minutes.

As a team, Colorado hit just 8-of-26 shots from the field in the first half, including 2-of-4 three-pointers. Nebraska also struggled from the field in the first half, hitting just 13-of-35 shots and 3-of-11 three-pointers, but the Huskers were plus-nine on the boards in the first half and plus-one in the turnover column at the half.

Nebraska returns home to the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Wednesday to take on Texas Tech. Tip-off with the Lady Raiders is set for 7:05 p.m. with a special 2-for-1 admission offering on Valentine's Day.

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