Despite a slow start from Nebraska women’s basketball on Friday evening, the Huskers dominated Oral Roberts in a 90-61 win.
Senior center Kate Cain led the way for Nebraska, as she scored 10 first-quarter points.
Oral Roberts took an 11-5 lead less than three minutes into the first quarter before the Huskers went on an 11-0 run to go up 16-11. For the rest of the period, the teams continued to go back and forth before a make from Cain tied the score at 22 to end the quarter.
Sophomore guard Trinity Brady continued the hot start from Cain by draining two straight 3-pointers to start the second quarter, followed by nine points from Isabelle Bourne in four minutes later in the period. The Huskers lit it up from everywhere on the court, taking a 10-point lead going into the half, 45-35.
“I think that [Isabelle Bourne] did a great job of just sparking us at times, just with defense and rebounding and in kind of other areas,” Nebraska head coach Amy Williams said postgame.
Other than a solid start from junior guard Ariel Walker and consistent scoring from freshman guard Camryn Hill, the Golden Eagles stood no chance on the offensive end. Oral Roberts shot 28.9% from the field in the game and turned the ball over 17 times.
Cain ended the game not only having scored in double digits with 14 points, but also finished with a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds. Cain’s signature shot-blocking skills were also in full display as she finished with six on the night, including five in the second half.
Freshman guard Whitney Brown added four steals in her Husker debut. This was facilitated by a fantastic team effort from the whole Husker squad that pressured the passing lanes, crashed the glass and got back on defense in transition, according to Williams.
“The biggest thing we have been trying to work on with our newcomers is understanding that you need to earn time and minutes and things with defense and rebounding,” Williams said.
The Huskers really started rolling in the third quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles 26-13, pushing the lead to 23 points. Nebraska improved on its free throw shooting in the second half, going 8-of-11 from the charity stripe in the third quarter after shooting 4-of-10 from the line in the first half.
Nebraska kept its foot on the pedal to outscore Oral Roberts 19-13 in the final quarter and come out with a 29-point win.
The Huskers finished the game with six players in double digits. Brady led the team with 15, while three other Huskers ended with 14 points.
Another Husker debut made by freshman forward Annika Stewart went well, as she finished with 12 points, shooting 2-of-2 from 3-point range, and collected two steals.
“Annika was able to get a couple of open looks and she is very confident to knock those down,” Williams said.
Oral Roberts shot a measly 27.3% from the 3-point line, heaving up 33 3-point attempts in the game. On the other hand, the Huskers finished with a 46.7% 3-point shooting percentage as a team. This is mitigated by the fact, though, that they only put up 15 attempts in the game.
Injured Oral Roberts senior guard Keni Jo Lippe, a first-team all-summit League player who averaged 18.5 points and eight rebounds per game last year, caused a big change in the game plan for Oral Roberts and for Williams’ defensive gameplan.
“You take a player like Keni Jo Lippe who is just a tremendous, tremendous player out of the lineup, it just changes things in a real hurry for a team like Oral Roberts, and I think we can do a better job of finding ways to adjust,” said Williams.
Hill led the game in scoring for the Golden Eagles, finishing with 19 points.
The Huskers return to Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday as they take on the Idaho State Bengals at 5 p.m. CT.