No. 15 Huskers Outlast Illinois, 59-57
Freshman Natalie Romeo's three-pointer from the corner with 1:11 left gave No. 15 Nebraska its only lead of the game in a 59-57 come-from-behind women's basketball win over Illinois on Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
With the victory Nebraska improved to 16-4 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten, while Illinois dropped its sixth straight decision to fall to 11-10 overall and 2-7 in the conference. Two of those six losses during the stretch have come to the Huskers.
Romeo, who finished with six points, three assists and a steal off the bench, hit Nebraska's first and last field goals of the game - both three-pointers. The 5-7 guard from Martinez, Calif., hit two of NU's five three-pointers in the contest.
Romeo's big shot allowed Nebraska to come all the way back from an 11-point first-half deficit and a nine-point second-half margin to get its 10th home win of the season.
"We have a lot of confidence in Natalie," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "She puts in the work before and after practice and gets in the gym on off days shoot. She earned that shot and she deserved for it to go in."
Senior guard Tear'a Laudermill, another Californian, led the Huskers with a team-high 16 points, including a pair of threes. Junior point guard Rachel Theriot added 11 points, six rebounds and a game-high eight assists, while sophomore center Allie Havers pitched in 10 huge points off the bench.
Nebraskan Chatrice White led all scorers with 23 points to go along with seven rebounds for the Illini. The Shelby native had 15 in the second half, including four three-pointers to keep the Illini in the lead throughout the second half before fouling out with 1:40 left.
Brittany Carter added 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for Illinois, while Jacqui Grant pitched in 11 first-half points. She fouled out with 4:02 remaining.
Nebraska trailed by as many as 11 points on two occasions in the first half, and trailed by 10 at 29-19 with 6:24 left in the half before a 9-0 run shot the Huskers back into it.
Theriot, who became the 30th 1,000-point scorer in school history with her first basket with 7:11 left in the half, scored seven straight points including the first five to open NU's run.
Laudermill led the Huskers with nine in the first half, including a pair of threes, while Havers pitched in six points, two rebounds, a block and a steal in seven first-half minutes off the bench.
Nebraska trailed 33-30 at the half despite shooting 50 percent (11-22), including 57.1 percent (4-7) from three-point range. NU made just 4-of-8 free throws in the opening period, but outrebounded the Illini, 19-15. However, the Huskers committed 11 first-half turnovers while forcing just four on Illinois.
Grant led Illinois with 11 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting including a three, but committed three first-half fouls. Carter added 10 points, including a pair of threes, and five rebounds in the opening half. White contributed eight points, including the first six of the game for the Illini.
Illinois hit 41.2 percent (14-34) of its first-half shots, including 3-of-10 threes, while connecting on both of their free throw attempts. In addition to three first-half fouls on Grant, White, Carter and Amarah Coleman all committed two fouls in the opening period.
Nebraska cut the lead to 33-32 to open the second half on a Theriot jumper, but White and Carter answered with back-to-back shots to push the margin back to 37-32. NU cut it to one again at 37-36, before back-to-back White threes extended the margin to 43-36 with 14:06 left.
The Huskers whittled the lead back to 43-40, before a Taylor Tuck layup and another three by White extended the margin to 48-40 with 11:20 left. The Illini took their biggest lead of the second half less than two minutes later on a Carter jumper with 9:40 left to make it 51-42.
But Nebraska's seniors responded, beginning with a three-point play from Emily Cady off an assist by Theriot with 9:04 left. A Laudermill layup, followed by a Cady free throw and a three-point play by Laudermill after a steal at the defensive end tied the game for the first time since the tip at 51 with 7:42 left.
Ties at 53 and 54 gave way to a 57-54 Illini lead after the 6-4 White's fourth three-pointer of the second half with 3:43 left.
The Huskers shut out Illinois the rest of the way, getting a layup from Hailie Sample off an assist from Theriot with 1:57 left to set up the corner three by Romeo off the assist from Sample with 1:11 remaining.
Sample finished with seven points, a season-high 14 rebounds and one assist, while Cady managed nine points and 12 boards for the Big Red.
Nebraska outrebounded Illinois 41-27, including a plus-10 margin in the second half. Illinois won the turnover battle, 17-11, but the Huskers committed just six of those turnovers in the second half.
Nebraska shot 44.2 percent (23-52) for the game, including 38.5 percent (5-13) from three-point range. NU went just 8-of-14 at the free throw line. Illinois finished 40.4 percent (23-57) from the floor, including 41.2 percent (7-17) from beyond the arc. The Illini went 4-of-6 at the line.
Nebraska returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday to complete a two-game home stand by taking on Michigan. Tip-off between the Huskers and Wolverines is set for 2 p.m., and tickets are available now at Huskers.com.
Loper Men Tied For MIAA Lead, Down Washburn in OT
All five starters scored in double figures and York freshman Ty Danielson came up big late to help Nebraska Kearney slip past Washburn in overtime, 87-86, Thursday night in Topeka.
UNK (13-5, 8-3) is now in a four-way tie for first place in the MIAA along with Lindenwood, Pittsburg State and Missouri Southern State. Meanwhile, the Ichabods fall to 10-12 (5-6).
In a game with a staggering 19 lead changes and 16 ties, Danielson broke a 78 all tie with 2:19 left in overtime when he nailed his fourth and final three of the night. The big shot came after a WU turnover and the Lopers wouldn't trail again.
Things weren't easy down the stretch, however, as UNK went 1 of 2 at the line with nine seconds left to make it 85-81. Washburn senior guard Kyle Wiggins (game-high 28 points) quickly made a layup, forcing UNK to inbound the ball and make some free throws.
Danielson promptly went 2 of 2 at the line with two seconds to go seal the deal; Wiggins provided some last second excitement with a half-court three to finish the scoring.
Wiggins wished he would've made that shot at the end of regulation. After junior forward Connor Beranek (Ravenna) tied the game at 76 with five seconds to go, Wiggins raced down the court and misfired on a jumper.
"We had some good things happen to us. To have a real good season, once in a while, you have to get a break here and there," said UNK co-head coach Tom Kropp. "If you had to pick one play, it was Ty's three. The ball was scrambling around on the floor; somehow it gets knocked out to him and he not only gets possession but hits a three."
The Lopers had to work around some serious foul trouble as Danielson, Beranek (Ravenna) and junior forward Ethan Brozek (Norfolk Catholic H.S.) all had four fouls by the end of the contest.
Brozek picked up his at the 8:45 mark of the second half but still managed to go for 23 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks. He was 8 of 12 from the field and 7 of 9 at the line.
"That's where we were fortunate," said Kropp. "Ethan played well on both ends of court despite being in foul trouble for a long time."
Like Brozek, Beranek had 12 points after intermission. He finished with 19 on 7 of 16 shooting (2 of 4 threes) while pulling down six defensive caroms and handing out a team-best six assists.
Finally, Danielson (15) and fellow freshman Trey Lansman (12) combined for 27 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Wiggins reached his point total by sinking 10 of 17 shots (3 of 6 threes). Playing 41 minutes, he also had five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Senior wing Alex North (17 pts., 9 rebs.) had another big effort against UNK with the 'Bods bench tallying 24 points.
UNK is at Emporia State Sunday afternoon. The Hornets dropped to 9-11 (2-9) after a 66-44 home setback to Fort Hays State on Wednesday.
Nebraska-Kearney track & field team members Kevin Carder, Dillon Schrodt and Jackie Ziemke have been selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 7 teams, as selected by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).
To be eligible for this squad, a student-athlete must carry a 3.30 cumulative GPA, be a starter or key reserve and been at his/her current school for one academic year. Finally, sports information directors (SID's) vote on the makeup of the Academic All-American and All-District teams.
District 7 includes schools from the MIAA, NSIC (Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference) and GAC (Great American Conference).
This is the second year of the expanded Academic All-America program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non-Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division Academic All-America Team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.
Carder maintains a 3.99 GPA as Political Science major. Currently running across Europe, the Albion native was the Lopers team MVP in cross country in each of the past two years while being an NCAA provisional qualifier at 10,000 meters this spring.
In the ring, Ziemke (Waco) earned All-American honors in the shot this past March thanks to a third place finish. Also qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she has a 3.93 GPA in Business Administration.
A junior from Lincoln North Star, Schrodt was an All-American in the heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor meet with a third place finish. At last week's NCAA Outdoor meet, he placed ninth in the decathlon and also was a qualifier in the 110 hurdles. He maintains a 3.86 GPA in Math (grades 7-12).