Huskers Hold Off Creighton

Scott Bruhn/NU Communications

Sam Haiby scored 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half to help Nebraska withstand a fourth-quarter Creighton rally, as the Huskers secured a 67-62 women’s basketball win over the Bluejays on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Haiby added two rebounds, three assists and two steals in the second half to help Nebraska build a 16-point second-half lead before hanging on for the five-point victory to snap Creighton’s five-game winning streak in the series and improve to 4-0 on the young season. Creighton slipped to 1-2 with a pair of narrow road losses.

Haiby’s final two points came at the free throw line with 5.4 seconds left to seal the win, as the All-Big Ten guard scored seven of Nebraska’s 14 points in the final period.

Nebraska held on despite going just 2-for-14 from the field and 10-of-17 from the line in the final period.

For the game, Nebraska hit 32.3 percent (20-62) of its shots from the field, including 5-of-20 threes, while connecting on 22-of-31 free throws. The Big Red played outstanding defense throughout, holding Creighton to 32.8 percent shooting (21-64) including 5-of-19 from long range. The Huskers, who led from nearly start-to-finish, outscored Creighton 22-15 at the free throw line and won the turnover battle against the Jays, 17-11, despite full-court pressure from CU for much of the second half.

True freshman Alexis Markowski, the 2021 Nebraska High School Player of the Year, fueled a first-half Husker surge that allowed the Big Red to take a 33-20 lead to halftime. Nebraska outscored the Jays 22-10 in the second quarter with six big points coming from Markowski. The 6-3 center added four rebounds and a blocked shot in just over 12 meaningful minutes in the game off the bench.

Creighton came out of the locker room with a 6-0 run to start the third quarter to cut the lead to 33-26, but Markowski answered with five straight points in a 44-second span to quickly put the Big Red back up by double digits at 38-26. Moments later, freshman Kendall Coley pushed the Husker margin to 41-26 with a three-pointer. Although Coley finished with three points, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal, she wreaked havoc on the defensive end throughout the night to help Nebraska quiet the Jays.

Nebraska maintained its double-figure edge throughout the rest of the third quarter, claiming its biggest margin on a Haiby shot late in the quarter to make it 53-37.

In a rough and tumble fourth quarter, the two teams combined to hit just 9-of-34 field goal attempts. Creighton finished the night with 27 fouls, while Nebraska was called for 23 in the game.

Ashley Scoggin contributed nine points on a trio of three-pointers, while Bella Cravens pitched in nine more for the Huskers. Isabelle Bourne managed five points and seven rebounds, while Ruby Porter, Allison Weidner and Jaz Shelley each contributed four points. Shelley also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds from her point guard spot while dishing out three assists. Freshman Kendall Moriarty rounded out Nebraska’s scoring with a key three-pointer in the first half to help the Huskers take control of the game.

Carly Bachelor led Creighton with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead all players in both categories. Morgan Maly added 16 points with a trio of three-pointers off the bench for CU, while Tatum Rembao contributed 12 points and seven rebounds. Emma Ronsiek put up nine points and eight rebounds inside, while Molly Mogensen rounded out the CU scorers with eight points and six rebounds.

Nebraska caps off its five-game season-opening home stand on Saturday when the Huskers host North Carolina Central.

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