Lincoln – Nebraska used a 25-0 run in the first quarter and an 18-0 run in the third quarter while playing outstanding defense from nearly start to finish on its way to an 88-33 women’s basketball victory over Alabama A&M on Sunday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers, who improved to 3-0 with their third consecutive win of more than 50 points, got a career-high 23 points from Isabelle Bourne on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor. Bourne, a third-year sophomore from Canberra, Australia, scored 16 points during Nebraska’s huge first-quarter run to put Nebraska firmly in control. She got her 23 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal in just 21 game minutes.
Alabama A&M scored the game’s first two points before the Huskers reeled off 25 straight. Kierra Johnson-Graham hit a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left in the first quarter to end the run, but Nebraska led 25-4 at the end of the first. The Huskers held the Bulldogs to the fewest first-quarter points by an opponent since the advent of the quarter system in 2015-16.
However, the Bulldogs showed their fight in the second quarter by scoring the first seven points. They extended the surge to 13-2, cutting Nebraska’s lead to 27-17 with five minutes left in the half. Nebraska rallied to outscore A&M 7-2 in the final 4:30 of the half to take a 34-19 lead to the locker room.
The Huskers who were held to fewer than 20 points in a quarter for the first time this season by being limited to nine in the second quarter, came out of the locker room and bolted on an 18-0 run that included back-to-back three-point plays by Jaz Shelley. She added one more free throw to cap the run and give Nebraska a 52-19 lead with 5:23 left in the third quarter. Shelley finished the game with eight points, six assists and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Nebraska outscored the Bulldogs 30-10 in the third to build a 64-29 lead. The Big Red continued playing suffocating defense in the fourth, outscoring the Bulldogs 24-4. The four points allowed in the fourth were also a Husker record.
For the game, Nebraska had nine different players score five or more points, including starters Bella Cravens, Ashley Scoggin and Sam Haiby who all finished with eight points. Alexis Markowski contributed seven points and six rebounds, while Annika Stewart and Whitney Brown each pitched in six. Kendall Moriarty contributed a career-high five points, while Allison Weidner, Ruby Porter and Kendall Coley all managed three points for the Huskers.
Nebraska hit 50 percent (32-64) of its shots from the floor, including 8-of-20 threes (.400), while knocking down 16-of-27 free throws. The Huskers dominated the glass, 47-28, and won the turnover battle, 26-12.
The Bulldogs were led by nine points from Kierra Johnson-Graham, who went 5-for-5 at the free throw line, while Dariauna Lewis out of Omaha North High School added six points and a team-best seven rebounds. Lincoln Northeast graduate Nigeria Jones managed two points and three rebounds off the bench.
The Huskers held Alabama A&M to just 20.8 percent (10-48) shooting, including 0-for-9 from long range. The Bulldogs did connect on 13-of-14 free throws.
Nebraska capped its opening week with three consecutive 50-plus point victories for the first time in school history and its 166-point total victory margin was the largest in any three-game span in the Husker record book.
Nebraska continues its five-game season-opening home stand on Wednesday by playing host to Creighton on Wednesday night. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Bluejays is set for 7 p.m