Huskers Storm Past Rebels, 80-59

Danielle Page scored a career-high 27 points, while adding eight rebounds and three blocks to help the Nebraska women's basketball team run past Ole Miss 80-59 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Sunday afternoon.

Danielle Page, who hit 12-of-16 shots from the field with most of those coming away from the basket on mid-range jumpers, powered the Huskers to a 2-0 start against some strikingly strong early season competition at the Devaney Center.

Page's career performance on Sunday came against an Ole Miss squad that returned 11 letterwinners from a team that advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007. She opened her senior season with a then-career high 19 points in the Huskers' win over a UTEP team that returned four starters from a team that went 22-8 a year ago.

"Danielle was awesome today," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "She was hitting open shots and running the floor and playing solid defense. She was doing everything we asked her to do. She is off to a great start to her senior season and she deserves it because she is a hard-working kid with a great attitude."

Page powered Nebraska's effort from start-to-finish, as the Huskers never trailed in the game. After NU jumped to a 9-2 lead, Ole Miss tied the score at 16 with 11:03 to play in the first half.

After Dominique Kelley scored her only points of the game on a dribble-jumper from the free throw line to give NU the lead back, Ole Miss' Shantell Black answered with a jumper to tie the game again before Page made sure the Rebels would never threaten the NU lead again.

The 6-2 forward Monument, Colo., hit a jumper to start a 15-0 Husker run. Page also scored the final eight points of the run to push NU to a 33-18 lead with 5:37 left in the first half. Black stopped NU's run with a pair of free throws, but Page wasn't finished, scoring on another jumper to pump NU's lead back to 15.

Page finished the first half with 14 points and Nebraska carried a 45-30 lead into the locker room. Sophomore forward Cory Montgomery also helped the Huskers in a big way inside in the first half, pouring in eight points while grabbing seven rebounds in 12 first-half minutes. The efforts by Page and Montgomery were especially critical since first-team All-Big 12 forward Kelsey Griffin scored just one point in the opening period.

Griffin, who made her Big 12-leading 66th consecutive start despite playing with sore ribs suffered in NU's final exhibition win over Nebraska-Omaha on Monday, was unable to hit a field goal for the first time in her career and finished with a career-low two points.

Page and Montgomery, who combined for 37 points and 15 rebounds, weren't the only Huskers to step up against the Rebels. Sophomore guard Yvonne Turner pumped in a career-high 11 points while tying a career high with five rebounds. She also dished out three assists and snagged two steals.

Junior transfer Tay Hester matched her career high with 13 points, while adding four rebounds and four assists, and freshman guard Kaitlyn Burke added her second straight solid performance with nine points and two steals off the bench despite being limited by first-half foul trouble.

Nicole Neals also gave the Huskers a boost off the bench with five points, including a three-pointer soon after NU's 15-0 run.

Overall, Nebraska's bench outscored Ole Miss 25-13, and helped the Huskers to a 42-37 rebounding advantage over the Rebels. The Huskers also finished plus-one in the turnover department against Ole Miss, an impressive number considering Ole Miss finished the 2006-07 season with a plus-8.5 turnover margin. The Huskers turned those turnovers and defensive rebounds into 20 fastbreak points, while the Rebels got just one fastbreak basket in the game.

Nebraska played solid offensively against the Rebels' pressure defense, hitting 54.2 percent (32-59) of its shots from the field. NU managed just 3-of-11 shooting from three-point range and knocked down just 13-of-23 free throws attempts in the 21-point win.

The Huskers held Ole Miss to just 38.8 percent (26-67) shooting from the field, including just 2-of-7 shooting from long range. The Rebels also hit just 5-of-12 free throws while committing 21 turnovers. Carla Bartee led Ole Miss with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Alliesha Easley added 13 points of her own. Unfortunately, Easley was unable to finish the game after being carried off the floor with a right leg injury after scoring on a layup with 4:24 left in the game.

Nebraska will continue its three-game season-opening homestand against another traditionally strong Southeastern Conference opponent next Saturday, when the Huskers take on the Florida Gators. Tip-off at the Devaney Center is set for 5:05 p.m., and will follow the Nebraska men's basketball game against Alabama A&M at the Devaney Center, which will tip at 1 p.m.


Big Red Report Top Stories