Las Vegas – Nebraska’s defense was strong for the second straight, holding Sacred Heart to just one field goal in the first 15 minutes to bolt to a 29-9 lead on its way to a 72-49 win on Saturday after at the South Point Shootout.
The Huskers, who improved to 7-1 with their second straight win at South Point Arena, got season highs of 15 points and five three-pointers to go along with four assists and three steals from senior guard Hannah Whitish. Junior Taylor Kissinger added 11 points, including a pair of threes for Nebraska’s Big Red.
Junior Kate Cain added eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks, two assists and a steal in a strong all-around effort, while senior Nicea Eliely pitched in eight points, five boards, a season-high five assists, two steals and a block of her own.
Nebraska got contributions up and down the roster, as all 12 Huskers who played in the game found the scoring column, including freshman guard Makenzie Helms who scored the first two points of her career and added a pair of rebounds against Sacred Heart (3-4), a school from her home state of Connecticut that advanced to the 2019 Postseason WNIT out of the Northeast Conference last season. .
As a team, Nebraska hit 45.5 percent (25-55) of its shots from the field, including 7-of-23 three-pointers (.304). The Huskers also knocked down 15-of-20 free throws (.750). NU outworked Sacred Heart on the glass, 38-25, and won the turnover battle, 20-16.
Defensively, the Huskers held their sixth opponent to fewer than 55 points in eight games to open the season. For the contest, Sacred Heart hit just 31.8 percent (14-44) of its shots from the field, including 7-of-27 threes (.259). Nebraska limited the Pioneers to just 1-for-12 three-point shooting in the first half to help build a 36-18 halftime lead. SHU did hit 14-of-23 free throws (.609) scoring seven of its first nine points in the game at the free throw line before getting a deep, banked three-pointer from the right wing by Jayla Davis for its second field goal of the game with less than 4:30 left in the second quarter.
Davis finished with 10 points, including a pair of three-pointers, while Pioneer leading scorer on the season Adrianne Hagood led all scorers with 16 points.
Nebraska returns home after a successful tournament to play host to Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Wednesday. Tip-off between the Huskers and Blue Devils at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 6 p.m.