Women's Basketball vs. North Carolina Central

Nebraska’s Jaz Shelley (1) drives the ball into the paint during their game against North Carolina Central at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The last time Nebraska women’s basketball had three 100 point games in a season, head coach Amy Williams was just six years old. Yet, in those three games, Nebraska went 2-1. 

On Saturday, the Huskers made sure they wouldn’t go 2-1 when scoring 100 points in a season as they decimated North Carolina Central 113-58. Although it was a historic achievement, Williams was more focused on how her team was able to play, rather than how many points they could put up.

“The biggest thing for me is that if we scored 90 points, but still committed to our game plan, I’d still feel just as good about it,” Williams said postgame. “What I feel great about are what we did as a team. The great balance with our team is what I’m more excited about. Scoring over 100 points is just a byproduct of that.”

The win wasn’t the only historical achievement of the afternoon for the Huskers. For the first time in her career, sophomore guard Jaz Shelley finished the game with a triple-double, tallying 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Shelley is now one of four players in program history to have a triple-double. The most recent was by former center Kate Cain back in 2017, where she had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 11 blocks. 

“It’s awesome and I love that it’s here,” Shelley said postgame. “I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. So it’s just awesome that I get to put my name in the books with this program.”

Along with Shelley’s monumental day, the rest of the team had a domineering afternoon. Leading the way for the Huskers in scoring was sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin. Scoggin had a career-high 19 points and also tied a career-high with four 3-pointers. 

Accompanying Scoggin was freshman forward Annika Stewart who tied a career-high 15 points. Shelley was third in scoring and sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne was fourth with 13 points. Rounding out the top five was freshman forward Kendall Coley with 11 points. Coley also finished the game with seven rebounds. 

Another notable performance was by freshman guard Allison Weidner who finished with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists. 

As a team, the Huskers were 41-of-76 in field goal shooting, 14-of-28 in three-point shooting and 17-of-23 in free throws. Nebraska also finished the game with 58 rebounds, 28 assists and seven blocks. 

The first two minutes of play went scoreless, and it wasn’t until nearly two-and-half minutes in when Shelley coasted into the paint and laid one up for the game’s first score. 30 seconds later, Shelley soared a pass across the court to a zipping Bourne who caught the pass and landed a layup. Scoggin then dropped in her first points of the game with a layup followed by a free throw. 

The run continued for Nebraska as Shelley hit a nothing-but-net from beyond the arc. Following a North Carolina Central jump shot, Cravens tossed a shot up deep in the paint and landed it. This was preceded by another pass from Shelley, which landed in the hands of Scoggin who drove towards the rim and scored a layup. With the score 14-2, the Huskers’ run was seemingly going to only grow from there. 

Coming off a timeout, Nebraska wasted no time building its momentum. Shelley found Coley for a 3-pointer to extend Nebraska’s lead to 17-2 . After an Eagle free throw, freshman center Alexis Markowski got her first score of the game thanks to a quick steal by Weidner. Markowski followed this up with two trips to the foul line, going 3-of-4 to make the score 22-3.

North Carolina Central chipped into Nebraska’s lead with a quick reverse layup and three free throws. But, freshman guard Kendall Moriarty replied to the Eagles five-point surge with a layup, which was then accompanied by a Coley jumper. The Eagles did get one more free throw in the quarter making the score 26-9 heading into the second. 

Bourne started things off in the second quarter with a basket, which North Carolina Central replied to with its own jumper. Then when the Eagles went for a layup, junior forward Bella Cravens denied the visitors with a big block. North Carolina Central did land another jumper, making the score 28-13 until Bourne made a 3-pointer. 

Shelley then threw up her second 3-pointer of the day to make the score 36-15. Weidner added to the now 8-6 bout by going 2-of-2 at the foul line. North Carolina Central also went 2-of-2 at the free-throw line but was quickly overshadowed by Cravens and Bourne, both of whom landed quick baskets. Coley added to the Husker run with a jump shot of her own, pushing the lead to 44-17. 

Freshman guard Ruby Porter also chimed in on the run by landing her first 3-pointer on the day.  Following some back-and-forth action, Stewart continued her second-quarter surge by landing a 3-pointer in the final minute of the first half. After two free throws from Coley, the Huskers went into the locker room up 59-19. 

North Carolina Central came out of the locker rooms with a reverse layup, a jumper and a 3-pointer to suddenly make the score 59-26. Scoggin shut down the 7-0 run by the Eagles with two swift 3-pointers of her own. Bourne also dropped in a basket under the rim, which put Nebraska back up by 41. Shelley added to the Husker barrage with her third 3-pointer to make the score 72-26. 

As the quarter neared its end, Weidner and Cravens dropped a basket in, before North Carolina Central landed two more points from the foul line. Then with under 10 seconds left, Stewart took a shot, missed, got the rebound and put it back up to send the Huskers into the fourth up 86-36.

Nebraska maintained its dominance in the game’s final quarter, cruising to the 113-58 victory. The Huskers remained undefeated and bested their fourth opponent by 50 or more points this season.

“Everybody’s playing pretty confidently,” Williams said. “Winning obviously heals a lot of things and our team feels good about it. We’re continuing to improve and finding the areas that need to get better.”

With the win, the Huskers are now 5-0 on the regular season and won’t return home for a game until Dec. 11. The team’s next game will be against Drexel University at the Dana on Mission Bay Holiday Tournament in San Diego, California. Tipoff is set for Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. and can be listened to on Huskers Radio Network. 

“We’re really excited for these games coming up,” Bourne said postgame. “Creighton was a really good test because we know we can fight, so that’s really going to help us at San Diego. These first five games helped get our confidence up, but it’s these harder games down the line we really want.” 

sports@dailynebraskan.com