Nebraska rallies in final seconds for first Big Ten road win in nearly two years

MINNEAPOLIS — Nebraska scored the final six points to defeat Minnesota 79-74 Sunday in Big Ten women’s basketball, handing the Gophers their first home loss of the season.

The Huskers trailed 74-73 with 38 seconds left after a steal and a layup by Kenisha Bell, who finished with 30 points for Minnesota (12-3, 1-1).

But Maddie Simon hit a jumper with 24 seconds left off an assist from Taylor Kissinger to put the Huskers ahead.

Simon then sank two free throws after rebounding a missed Minnesota 3-pointer, and Nicea Eliely clinched the victory with two free throws with four seconds left.

“They showed a lot of toughness here today,” coach Amy Williams said of her team on her postgame radio show. “I thought this was one of our most complete games.”

It was the first Big Ten road victory in almost two years for the Huskers (10-5, 1-1). But it was also their fourth road win of the month. They handed Kansas its first loss Dec. 6, then won in double overtime at Drake three days later.

“That gave us the confidence to know we could do it again,” Williams said.

Simon, a junior forward from Lincoln Pius X, finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead four Huskers in double figures. Hannah Whitish contributed 14 points and five assists, Eliely had 14 points and six rebounds and Jasmine Cincore added 11 points on 5 of 8 shooting.

“I think everybody’s sharing the ball really well right now,” Simon said. “I’m just really proud of this team.”

Nebraska shot a season-high 52.5 percent (31 of 59) from the field to go with a season-best 84.6 percent (11 of 13) from the foul line. The Huskers also held the Gophers 15 points below their season average and 20 points below (94.2 per game) their average at Williams Arena.

The Huskers are off for a week before visiting Northwestern on Jan. 7.

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