Lincoln – Nicea Eliely posted her second straight double-double with game highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds to power Nebraska to a 63-49 women’s basketball win over SIUE on Sunday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The 6-1 senior wing from Colorado Springs, Colo., added game highs of four steals and two blocks as well to go along with three assists to help the Huskers improve to 4-0 on the young season. She also scored eight of Nebraska’s final 10 points over the game’s final 5:15 to secure the 14-point win over the Cougars, who slipped to 1-3.
Sophomores Leigha Brown (12 points) and Ashtyn Veerbeek (10) added double figures for the Big Red, while senior guard Hannah Whitish pitched in eight points, a career-high nine rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Nebraska jumped out to a 19-9 lead in the opening quarter following three consecutive three-pointers by Whitish and Brown in a 57-second span. After an SIUE timeout with 2:26 left, the Cougars scored the final five points of the quarter to trail 19-14 heading to the second.
In a low-scoring, clunky second quarter, the Cougars outscored Nebraska 8-4, as the Huskers went just 1-for-13 from the field, including 0-for-6 from three-point range.
Nebraska still held a 23-22 lead at the half, before Veerbeek took over the game in the first five minutes of the second half. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, scored eight points, including a pair of threes, to push Nebraska’s lead back to 10 at 36-26 with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
The Huskers built a 44-32 lead at the end of three periods, and grew the lead to 63-47 with 2:08 left in the game on Eliely’s final points of the day.
Nebraska hit 40.7 percent (24-59) of its shots for the game, including 7-of-28 threes (.250), while hitting 8-of-12 free throws (.667). The Husker defense was solid, holding SIUE to just 33.9 percent (20-59) shooting, including just 1-of-13 from three-point range. The Cougars also went 8-for-13 at the foul line. NU won the rebounding battle, 45-32, while SIUE held the edge in turnovers 14-12.
The Huskers continue their four-game home stand on Wednesday when they take on defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. with tickets available now at Huskers.com.