Alexis Markowski and Isabelle Bourne both produced double-doubles, as Nebraska dominated the paint in a 71-53 women’s basketball win over Tarleton on Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Markowski powered in 16 of her season-high 24 points in the second half while also pulling down 12 of her career-high 18 rebounds after halftime. The 6-3 sophomore from Lincoln also tied career highs with three blocked shots and three steals, while adding two assists. It was Markowski’s second double-double of the season.
Bourne, a 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia, added her first double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while adding a block and a steal of her own.
Jaz Shelley just missed a double-double of her own with eight points to go along with a season-high 12 assists. The 5-9 guard from Moe, Australia added six rebounds to help the Huskers post a season-high plus-27 (53-26) rebound margin against the Texans.
Nebraska improved to 3-2 on the season, while Tarleton slipped to a matching 3-2 on the year.
In addition to the big nights from Nebraska’s three returning starters, the Huskers got a season-high eight points including a pair of three-pointers from Trinity Brady, while Kendall Moriarty added a career-high eight points off the bench.
The Huskers also welcomed the return of graduate guard Sam Haiby, who played six minutes for the Big Red in the first two-plus quarters. Haiby, who missed NU’s first four games of the year after originally expecting to miss the entire season with a leg injury, played an even more important role after starting guard Allison Weidner left with an eye injury after scoring the game’s first two points approximately one minute into the contest. Haiby produced four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
In a low-scoring first quarter, Nebraska used a pair of 6-0 runs to take a 12-8 lead to the second period. The Huskers added to the lead in the second quarter, taking a 31-24 edge to halftime.
The Huskers then stormed out of the locker room to build an 18-point edge at 45-27 with 6:07 left in the third quarter. Brady started the surge with a three-pointer, before Shelley and Bourne scored back-to-back baskets to put the Big Red up 38-24. Markowski then pushed the margin to 16 with a second-chance bucket.
Tyler Jackson stopped NU’s 9-0 run to start the second half by burying a long three-pointer, before Markowski answered with a traditional three-point play to make it 43-27. Markowski scored again on a mid-range jumper to cap Nebraska’s 14-3 surge to start the quarter.
However, 20 seconds later, Haiby left the game and did not return, and Tarleton took advantage with a 16-3 surge. Teresa Da Silva, who led Tarleton with 24 points and five assists, scored the final 10 points of the eruption to pull the Texans within 48-43 heading to the fourth quarter.
Markowski, who scored Nebraska’s final 10 points of the third quarter, added NU’s first basket of the fourth quarter on a putback. After a Shelley layup, Markowski then scored on back-to-back possessions to push the Husker lead back to 13 points at 58-45 with 5:14 left. Tarleton was never able to cut the margin to single digits again.
Nebraska finished at 45.5 percent (30-66) from the field, despite hitting just 17.4 percent (4-23) of its threes. The Huskers also went 7-of-10 at the free throw line. The Big Red held Tarleton to just 34.4 percent (21-61) shooting, while the Texans knocked down 7-of-18 threes (.389). The Texans also went 4-for-6 at the line.
Nebraska’s 53-26 domination on the glass, included 21 offensive rebounds, which helped the Huskers outscore the Texans, 50-14 in the paint. Although Tarleton won the turnover battle, 21-16, the Huskers outscored the Texans 22-16 in points off turnovers.
The Huskers open a four-game road swing by traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico early Wednesday morning. NU will open the Puerto Rico Clasico by taking on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday at 12:30 p.m. (CT), before facing Mississippi State on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (CT).