Jaz Shelley erupted for 20 points and buried four three-pointers to lead four Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska worked its way to an 80-70 women’s basketball road win at Wisconsin on Wednesday night at the Kohl Center.
Nebraska notched its eighth win in the last 11 games to improve to 21-7 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin slipped to 7-20 overall and 4-13 in the conference.
Shelley, a 5-9 guard from Moe, Australia, scored eight points and nailed a pair of big threes in the fourth quarter while adding five rebounds, four assists and a steal on the night. Fellow Australian Isabelle Bourne contributed 14 points of her own on 5-of-8 shooting, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the third period and send Nebraska to the fourth quarter.
Sam Haiby pitched in a strong effort with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal. She sealed the Husker victory with four straight free throws in the final 45 seconds to put Nebraska up 80-67 with 30 seconds left, matching its biggest lead of the game.
Freshman post Alexis Markowski also provided a big presence inside with 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Fellow freshman Allison Weidner contributed eight points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in her fourth career start. Bella Cravens added seven points and five rebounds off the bench, as Nebraska’s reserves outscored the Badger bench 16-0 in the game.
The Huskers finished 47.5 percent (29-61) from the field, including 41.2 percent (7-17) from three-point range. NU was also solid at the line, connecting on 78.9 percent (15-19) of its free throws, while winning the rebounding battle, 34-28. The Huskers also won the turnover department, 15-11, outscoring the Badgers 22-7 in points off turnovers in the contest.
Wisconsin nearly matched Nebraska shot-for-shot on its home court, hitting 49.1 percent (26-53), including 7-of-17 threes. The Badgers also hit 11-of-14 free throws (.786). Brooke Schramek led five Badgers in double figures with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-5 threes. Julie Pospisilova contributed 15 points and five assists, while Katie Nelson pitched in 14 points and 10 assists. Halle Douglass (11) and Krystyna Ellew added 10 points and six rebounds for UW in a losing effort.
Nebraska went to the fourth quarter with a 56-47 lead and got a quick layup from Weidner to open the period to extend the margin to double figures. But Wisconsin got back-to-back threes from Schramek and Ellew to cut the margin to 58-53 with 8:46 and force a Husker timeout.
The Big Red responded immediately with Bourne completing a traditional three-point play at the eight-minute mark, before a Weidner layup and a Shelley three-pointer quickly pushed Nebraska’s lead to 66-53 with 6:57 left and cap an 8-0 run that took just 1:03. Schramek stopped the run with another three, but Cravens answered with a three-point play to put the Big Red back up by 13. The two teams continued to trade baskets down the stretch, but Wisconsin could get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.
The Huskers closed the second quarter on a 10-0 run in the final six minutes to take a 40-31 halftime lead. Shelley started the run with a three-pointer, before MiCole Cayton sparked the Big Red with another three-pointer and a layup in a 45-second span to give NU a 38-31 lead. Both teams then went scoreless for 3:45 before Whitney Brown knocked down a 15-foot jumper from the right wing as time expired to send Nebraska to the locker room with its biggest lead.
The Huskers took advantage of a short-handed group of Badgers after Schramek picked up her third foul with 6:56 left in the half. From that point, Nebraska outscored Wisconsin 14-2, only surrendering a second-chance jumper by Nelson with 6:13 left in the half. Despite Schramek’s foul trouble, she led all scorers with 11 first-half points while Pospisilova contributed nine points. Nelson and Douglass scored four first-half points for UW.
Nebraska hit 48.3 percent (14-29) of its shots in the first half, including 4-of-10 while hitting 8-of-9 free throws. The Huskers held a slim 15-14 rebounding edge at the half, and won the turnover battle 9-6 in the first 20 minutes. Wisconsin answered by hitting 12-of-25 shots (.480), including 3-of-8 threes (.375). The Badgers were also 4-of-5 at the free throw line.
NU’s bench outscored UW’s reserves 9-0 in the first half, including the final seven points of the second quarter by Cayton and Brown.
Shelley led the Huskers with nine first-half points and three assists, while Haiby added seven points. Bourne contributed six point, while Markowski pitched in five points and six rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
Nebraska closes Big Ten regular-season play when the Huskers return home to take on Northwestern Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.