Isabelle Bourne led five Huskers in double figures with a game-high 17 points to power an explosive and balanced Nebraska attack in a 108-50 women’s basketball season-opening win over Maine on Tuesday afternoon in front of 4,479 fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska’s 108-point eruption tied for the ninth-highest point total in school history and marked the first time the Huskers have reached the century mark under Head Coach Amy Williams. Overall, it was the first time the Big Red have reached 100 points since scoring 100 against Pepperdine on Nov. 15, 2014. Nebraska’s 58-point victory margin over the defending America East Conference regular-season champions also matched the seventh largest in school history.
Bourne put up her 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-4 three-pointers, while adding five rebounds, three assists and a block in just over 16 minutes of action. The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia set the tone by scoring Nebraska’s first four points in a game the Huskers never trailed.
Fellow forward Bella Cravens added 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. The 6-3 junior from Laie, Hawaii, also dished out two assists and blocked a shot for the Big Red against the Black Bears. Another Husker post player, second-year forward Annika Stewart, added 12 points and five rebounds, to help Nebraska outscore Maine 60-28 in the paint on the afternoon.
Redshirt sophomore Ashley Scoggin led Nebraska’s backcourt with 12 points and a game-high six assists. She scored 10 points in the first quarter as Nebraska raced to a 28-8 lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes.
Returning second-team All-Big Ten guard Sam Haiby did not score in the first quarter, but scored eight quick points midway through the second quarter to help the Huskers build a 52-26 halftime advantage. Haiby rounded out Nebraska’s five players in double figures with 10 points, while contributed three assists.
After the break, Nebraska shot 13-for-16 (81 percent) in the third quarter to tie a school record with 30 third-quarter points and build an 82-35 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Husker newcomer Jaz Shelley was also outstanding in her Nebraska debut, scoring eight points on 3-of-3 shooting including a pair of three-pointers, while adding five assists without a turnover. Shelley also led the Big Red with two blocks and two steals.
Freshman Allison Weidner from Humphrey, Neb., pitched in nine points, four rebounds and two assists without a turnover in a strong collegiate debut, while fellow Nebraskan Alexis Markowski contributed eight points and seven rebounds. Australian Ruby Porter added seven points, four assists and three rebounds in a strong effort, while Kendall Coley contributed six points. All 12 Huskers who saw action scored for the Big Red, including four points from Whitney Brown and two points from freshman Kendall Moriarty.
Nebraska dominated Maine in all phases, shooting 61.2 percent from the floor (41-for-67), including 53.3 percent (8-15) from three-point range. The Huskers were also 18-of-22 (.818) from the free throw line, while controlling the glass, 43-20. Nebraska committed just six turnovers while forcing 16 on Maine, as the Huskers put up a 26-to-6 assist-to-turnover ratio as a team.
Anne Simon led the Black Bears with 14 points, while adding three rebounds and three assists. Maeve Carroll pitched in 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds and five assists, while point guard Alba Orois added eight points and a team-high six assists.
Nebraska held Maine to 39.6 percent (21-53) shooting from the field, including just 21.7 percent (5-23) from long range.
The Husker performance followed the Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Rally, which was attended by nearly 1,600 middle grade students from 30 schools across the Cornhusker state. The 6th through 8th-grade students came from as far away as Kimball, and from all parts of the state from Northeast Nebraska, central Nebraska and the southeast corner of the state.
The students heard inspirational and educational messages from Director of Athletics Trev Alberts, Coach Amy Williams and Sam Haiby along with volleyball players Madi Kubik and Kenzie Knuckles, baseball players Max Anderson and Brice Matthews, All-America bowler Cassidy Ray.
Nebraska returns to action at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday, when the Huskers play host to Prairie View A&M.