Nebraska built a 13-point lead with 7:35 left but Penn State erupted on a 15-0 run in just 1:21 to take the lead and escape with an 83-76 victory over the Huskers at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday night.
Freshman Alexis Markowski led five Huskers in double figures with 23 points and seven rebounds. Markowski’s three-point play with 7:35 left put the Big Red up 68-55, but an explosive run by Penn State dropped Nebraska to 19-7 overall and 8-7 in the Big Ten. Penn State improved to 10-15 overall and 4-11 in the conference while snapping its eight-game losing streak.
Markowski scored eight of her points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Huskers within striking distance, but it was not enough. Isabelle Bourne added 15 points inside for Nebraska, while Sam Haiby contributed 11 points, and Jaz Shelley and Bella Cravens 10. Freshman Allison Weidner added seven points, a career-high-tying eight rebounds and six assists while replacing Ashley Scoggin in the starting lineup. Scoggin had made 51 consecutive starts for the Big Red.
Makenna Marisa led Penn State with 22 points, while Kelly Jekot contributed 13 points and four three-pointers including two triples in the fourth. Niya Beverly added 12 points, all in the second half, including a three-pointer to give Penn State the lead for good at 73-70. Maddie Burke, who had gone 0-for-11 from three-point range during Penn State’s eight-game losing streak, hit 3-of-6 threes against the Huskers.
Nebraska hit 44.3 percent (31-70) of its shots, but just 5-of-20 three-pointers (.250). The Huskers went 9-for-12 at the free throw line and out-rebounded PSU, 42-35. Nebraska beat Penn State 17-12 in the game in points off turnovers, but in the decisive fourth quarter, the Lady Lions got seven points off turnovers during their 15-0 run to turn the tide.
PSU hit 45.5 percent (30-66) of its shots, including 12-of-30 threes (.400). Penn State was also 11-for-15 from the free throw line. PSU went 12-for-20 from the floor in the fourth, including 4-of-8 from long range.
Nebraska took a 37-28 halftime advantage after leading by as many as 13 points late in the second quarter. Markowski led the Big Red with nine points and three rebounds in the first half, while Weidner pitched in seven points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Shelley added a pair of first-quarter three-pointers and four first-half assists, while Bourne also contributed six first-half points. Haiby pitched in five points including NU’s first three-pointer and a buzzer-beating layup to end the half. Cravens added four points and three boards off the bench in the opening 20 minutes.
Nebraska, which led 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, hit 44.4 percent (16-36) of its first-half shots, including 3-of-10 threes. The Huskers were 2-of-3 at the free throw line and out-rebounded Penn State, 23-14, while outscoring the Lady Lions, 8-2 in second-chance points. NU also won the first-half turnover battle, 8-7.
The Huskers held Penn State to 36 percent (10-28) shooting, including 4-of-13 three-pointers. PSU hit all four of its free throws, which came from Marisa who led the Lady Lions with nine first-half points.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten home action on Sunday when the Huskers take on Minnesota.