After scoring 25 points in the first quarter and 24 in the second, Nebraska women’s basketball scored 25 total points in the second half and overtime in an 80-74 loss to Ohio State.
Buckeye junior guard Braxtin Miller was held scoreless in the first half, but had 17 points in the second half and overtime to lead the game in scoring. Freshman guard Kierstan Bell added 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Despite the loss, junior center Kate Cain and freshman forward Isabelle Bourne both had impressive performances. Cain nearly put together a triple-double, posting 14 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks. Bourne had a career-high 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.
Nebraska started the game out on a roll offensively. After falling behind 17-10 midway through the first quarter, the Huskers finished the period on a 15-6 run to go into the second quarter with a 25-23 lead. Cain led the charge, scoring eight points on 4-5 shooting in the quarter.
The Huskers took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring Ohio State 24-11. This included a 10-0 run in the middle of the quarter that gave Nebraska a 15-point advantage. Nebraska locked down the Buckeye offense, holding them to 4-19 shooting and forcing six turnovers in the quarter. Three of Ohio State’s four field goals in the period were 3-pointers, which kept it in the game.
Nebraska put on an offensive clinic in the first half, shooting 55% from the field, 60% from three and it also went 9-11 from the free-throw line. Cain, Bourne and senior guard Hannah Whitish all had 10 points in the opening half. Sophomore guard Sam Haiby also contributed with five points, four rebounds and seven assists heading into the second half.
Things slowed down immensely for both teams to start the second half. Ohio State outscored Nebraska 19-10 as the Huskers made just one field goal in the third quarter. The Buckeyes didn’t fare much better, shooting 5-23 in the period and 2-10 from three.
Going into the final quarter, Nebraska held a slim 59-53 lead after leading by 15 early in the third quarter. After Cain opened up the final period with a layup, Ohio State responded with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to two. The Huskers continued to hold the Buckeyes off, taking a 68-62 lead with 3:25 left after a 3-pointer from senior guard Nicea Eliely.
In the final three minutes of the game, Ohio State made its run. Nebraska was held scoreless in that stretch and turned the ball over three times. Sophomore forward Aaliyah Patty made a layup off an offensive rebound to cut the lead down to four, and Bell hit back-to-back shots to tie the game at 68 with over a minute left. Nebraska sophomore forward Leigha Brown had a chance to win the game late, but missed the jumper as time expired to send the game into overtime.
Brown opened the scoring in overtime with a layup, and the Buckeyes responded with one of their own 12 seconds later. Eliely missed a shot on the following possession, leading to a layup from Patty that gave Ohio State its first lead since the first quarter.
That lead didn’t last long, as Whitish responded with a 3-pointer and Brown added a free throw to give Nebraska a 74-72 lead. However, it was all Ohio State after that, as the Buckeyes scored the final eight points of the game. The dagger came with 34 seconds left, as Miller knocked down a 3-pointer to give Ohio State a 78-74 lead.
Up until recently, Nebraska had played well in the fourth quarters of games. However, the Huskers have started to slip, losing three of their last four games. Nebraska’s next chance to get back on track will come on Thursday, Feb. 6, against Iowa on the road.