After a season-opening win against Oral Roberts, the Huskers had themselves a challenge going up against Idaho State, a team which finished third in the Big Sky Conference last season.
Yet, despite the Bengals giving the Huskers a fight throughout the first half, Nebraska overcame Idaho State and snatched a 64-51 victory to improve to 2-0.
“Idaho State is a really good team,” head coach Amy Williams said postgame. “I think they’re going to go on and have a great season. They execute well and know how to play together and so this was a challenge for us and I’m proud of our performance, but there are still things to work on.”
The lead scorer for the Huskers was redshirt sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin, a player who didn't score in the team’s 90-61 win over Oral Roberts on Friday. In their game against the Golden Eagles, Scoggin shot 0-for-7 on field goals and 0-for-4 on 3-pointers.
In this game against Idaho State, however, Scoggin dominated the floor and finished the game with 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
“Ashley works so hard and puts so much time in the gym that even when she goes zero-for-seven, she won’t let it get to her,” Williams said. “She’s very capable and she showed it here tonight.”
Behind Scoggin in scoring was freshman forward Annika Stewart, who lit up the court with 15 points. Stewart, who scored 12 points in her Husker debut against Oral Roberts, was only in the game tonight for nine minutes in total.
“15 points in nine minutes, as a head coach you’re thinking, maybe I should’ve had her out there a little bit more,” Williams said. “I’m so pleased with the way that [Ashley] Scoggin has performed in these first two games.”
Another notable performance came from junior guard Sam Haiby, who led the team in rebounds with 11. Sophomore guard Trinity Brady had a team-high four steals.
This game also featured a personal matchup between sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne and her sister Callie, who led Idaho State in rebounds in the game with 14. Both sisters finished the game with nine points.
“It’s a really special thing,” Williams said. “For both of them to be as far away from home as they are and to be able to get those two together competing against each other is really special.”
Much like the first game against Oral Roberts, the Huskers and Bengals remained close with one another throughout the first quarter, as they finished the first 10 minutes with the score 13-12 for the Bengals.
Idaho State attempted to extend the lead in the second quarter as they jumped ahead 22-17, but the Huskers went on a 7-3 run to go into the half trailing 25-24.
The back-and-forth action continued into the second half as Nebraska took the lead with Idaho State right behind it. Despite the competition of the first half, the Huskers slowly pulled away with the lead as they finished the third quarter up 46-40.
Idaho State tried to make something happen as they scored the first basket of the fourth quarter, trimming the deficit to 46-42, but the rest of the quarter was all Nebraska as it went on an 18-9 run to put the game away 64-51.
The Huskers will begin their conference campaign on Thursday night as they take on 2-1 Illinois, which is coming off of a close 53-50 win against Omaha. Tipoff for the game is at 7 p.m.
“Both Oral Roberts and Idaho State really gave us different looks and that’s helpful when you haven’t had much preparation for conference play,” Williams said. “With a Big Ten opponent coming in shortly, it’s really nice to face teams who force you to make adjustments and adapt which is really helpful for us.”