Women's Basketball vs. Indiana State Photo No. 13

Nebraska’s Alexis Markowski (40) prepares to receive a pass over Indiana State’s Florence Tshimanga (13) during the game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Nebraska women’s basketball team made it to double-digit wins on the season after a 78-50 victory over Indiana State on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

The win marked Nebraska’s best start, 10-0, since 2009-2010. 

“It's a great start, we’ve really tried to let everyone out here worry about the actual record and for us to just worry about did we get better today than we were yesterday,” head coach Amy Williams said postgame. “Knowing that in Nebraska women’s basketball history it has only happened one other time and that was a pretty special season.” 

The Huskers offense was led by a pair of first-year Huskers in sophomore guard Jaz Shelley and freshman forward Alexis Markowski, who both finished the game with 17 points. Shelley added three rebounds, four assists, and two steals in her 25 minutes played. 

Markowski had the Huskers most impressive stat-line with her first career double-double. The Lincoln native added 10 rebounds, one block and one steal in her 16 minutes to her 17 points. In the game Markowski collected a pair of made 3-pointers, which held important significance.

Her father, Andy, played for the Nebraska men’s basketball team but didn’t record a 3-pointer in his career. 

“In her dad's entire career at Nebraska he never hit a three,” Williams said. “She has that bragging rights on dad now and she got a couple of those today.” 

Rounding out Nebraska’s leading scorers was junior guard Sam Haiby, who finished with 12 points and added five rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in 22 minutes. 

The Huskers didn’t have the most complete game of the season, turning the ball over 24 times and barely out-rebounding the Sycamores. Even with the struggles the Huskers had they were able to have a stout defense that halted the Sycamores leading scorer, junior guard Del’Janae Williiams, to just 10 points.

Nebraska shot 27-of-54 from the field, 6-of-24 from 3-point range and 18-of-26 from the free throw line. The Huskers finished with 42 rebounds, 17 assists, seven blocks and 13 steals. 

“I don’t think that anyone in that locker room would have thought that was our most complete game of the season,” Williams said. “I think that [Indiana State] highlighted some weaknesses that we have a few days to work on here during finals week and we are looking forward to that opportunity.” 

After a slow start from both sides, a drive to the paint by Shelley that ended in a layup got the scoring started. On the ensuing possession for the Sycamores, they got a layup to go from  sophomore forward Mya Glanton that was quickly answered courtesy of Shelley’s first and only 3-pointer of the first half. 

Shelley would end the day an uncharacteristic 1-of-4 from 3-point range. 

Indiana State eventually tied the game at 9, but Nebraska quickly opened the floodgates.  Bourne broke the tie with a basket, then freshman guard Allison Weidner extended the lead to six with two layups.

Indiana State capped off scoring in the first quarter with a jumper from junior guard Caitlin Anderson, but the Huskers still finished the quarter with an 18-11 lead. 

From there, Nebraska began to take control. Two Haiby free throws sparked an 11-0 scoring run. The run was highlighted by sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin hitting her only 3-pointer of the game. 

The Sycamores got their first points of the second quarter in two free throws from Anderson with 4:30 left to play. The Huskers held the Sycamores to a total of six points in the second quarter, as Indiana State shot just 13% from the field and 0% from 3-point range. The Huskers scored 21 points in the quarter. 

“We always say that our defense starts our offense. Once we get those defensive stops we can get out in transition and the pace starts to build in our offense,” Shelley said postgame. “It all starts on our defensive end and once we pick that up you see a huge difference in our offensive game.” 

Following a brief Sycamore scoring spurt, Markowski’s 3-point barrage began, hitting her first of two 3-pointers to bring the Huskers up 19. Markowski rarely showcases her outside shot, but was comfortable from distance on Saturday.

“Honestly I am pretty comfortable. I just am not on the perimeter that much so not a lot of opportunities come to shoot the three,” Markowski said postgame. “[It] depends on how I am feeling that day but most of the time I will shoot that [3-pointer].” 

With two seconds left in the first half Markowski added a layup for the Huskers to take a 39-17 lead into halftime. 

The Sycamores were the first to introduce the second half with a jumper from senior guard Natalia Lalic. Haiby got the second half started for the Huskers with a pair of free throws to put the Huskers up 22 with 8:06 left to play in the third quarter. 

The Huskers then showed an excellent display of passing as Weidner got the final quick pass to find the open freshman guard Ruby Porter for a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 23.  

Following the Porter 3-pointer to bring the Huskers up 26, Markowski got her second 3-pointer to fall with 4:12 left to play in the third quarter. The freshman had her best performance as a Husker, a performance she attributes to her increased confidence at the collegiate level. 

“Honestly [it’s] just a confidence stand point for me and it just keeps growing every game that I play in a Husker jersey,” Markowski said. 

Nebraska was essentially in cruise control from there, entering the final frame up 59-31.

Heading into the final ten minutes of play, Cravens got a rebound off of a 3-pointer miss by Shelley and put it back up for a layup to get the first points for the Huskers in the fourth quarter. 

The Sycamores had an answer to every one of the Huskers’ baskets as both teams finished the quarter with 19 points. Markowski, fittingly, capped the game with a layup to secure Nebraska’s 78-50 victory. 

“We are definitely happy with the win, this is probably one of our first games where it has felt a little off,” Shelley said. “We definitely have a lot to work on still and that is actually exciting because we have so many areas that we can grow in.”

With the victory, the Huskers head into the teams next game against Drake with some areas to improve on. The game will be played at 12:00 p.m. in Pinnacle Bank Arena on Dec. 19 and can be viewed on Big Ten Plus as well as listened to on Huskers Radio Network.

sports@dailynebraskan.com