Isabelle Bourne

Isabelle Bourne (34) pivots to keep the ball during the game against Morgan State University at the Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

With only seven players available for Nebraska women’s basketball, it was going to take a lot in order to defeat conference opponent Purdue. 

Despite career-highs in scoring for sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne and redshirt sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin, the Huskers fell to the Boilermakers 83-72, marking their third straight loss of the season.

“We gave a pretty good effort today, but we’re not looking for moral victories,” Williams said postgame. “Right now, we just want to continue to compete and be able to battle for 40 minutes.”

Bourne led the team in scoring, finishing with a career-high 22 points nearly two weeks after scoring 21 against Illinois. Scoggin was behind Bourne with a season-high 16 points, which she also had against Idaho State earlier this month. The guard added three assists and two steals as well. Junior guard Sam Haiby had 16 points, three assists and two steals on the day. 

“Isabelle [Bourne] is finding ways to give us a spark,” Williams said. “She hit a couple of three-point shots and was very confident in the perimeter. It shows her versatility and it helps her continue to grow as a player. Ashley [Scoggin] was more aggressive and comfortable as well.”

All of Nebraska’s points in the game came from starters, which Purdue took advantage of as it had 32 points from its bench. Other big factors in the game were offensive rebounds and second chance points, as the Boilermakers led significantly in both categories.

“We knew in a game like this rebounding was going to be the key,” Williams said. “We gave up 12 offensive rebounds and 13 second chance points where we only had six rebounds and 0 second chance points. That was the difference maker.”

3-point defense has been a point of concern for the Huskers so far this season. After the Huskers gave up 14 3-pointers to Creighton and another six to Indiana, Purdue shot 10-of-22 from beyond the arc.

“We gave six 3-point shots in the first half and four in the second half,” Williams said. “Numbers like that is a reason why we lost to Creighton last week and to see it here today was disappointing.” 

The game started off tight. After Purdue took a 9-3 lead early on, Nebraska quickly responded by going on a 9-2 run to go up 12-11. This was followed by a back-and-forth run which ended the quarter with Purdue up 23-20. The Boilermakers once again went on a run in the second quarter and spent nearly half of the period leading by double-digits. Nebraska headed into the locker room down 41-34 after a 6-0 run to end the half.

This momentum ended for the Huskers as Purdue came out in the third and outscored Nebraska 21-15 to go into the fourth quarter up 62-49.

The difference never came within 10 points in the fourth quarter, as the game finished with an 83-72 loss for Nebraska. 

“We need to learn how to come back from halftime, continue a run, build the energy and not dig ourselves into a hole,” Williams said. “We also need to get more physical. Purdue really took advantage of our lack of physical pressure which led to points and rebounds for them.”

Nebraska’s next game will be on Thursday, Dec. 31 at home on BTN against conference opponent No. 15 Northwestern. Tipoff will be at 1 p.m.