In the 46th matchup between the Nebraska and Creighton women's basketball teams, Nebraska was able to snap a five-game losing streak against the Bluejays in a hard fought 67-62 victory on Wednesday night.
The win marked Nebraska’s first against the Bluejays under head coach Amy Williams.
After the game, the Huskers met Williams in the locker room with a water bath to celebrate the win, and Williams could not stop raving about her group once she dried off.
“Our goals are big and this is just one step to teach us that if we lock in to certain game plans we can play a certain style, different players, different rosters, different lineups to be able to match up against different teams,” Williams said postgame. “[This] showed that our versatility is a little deeper this year and we can adjust, I am just proud of my team.”
The Huskers were led by junior guard Sam Haiby, who had 15 points on 3-of-10 shooting while also adding five rebounds, five assists and three steals in 24 minutes of play. Haiby stuffed the statsheet, but what really helped the Huskers was her 9-of-11 performance from the free throw line.
“Shot wasn’t falling too well to start the game but they were being aggressive and the refs were calling a lot of fouls so I found myself trying to get to the line,” Haiby said postgame. “I try to pride myself in doing and be able to finish on the other end and knocking down free throws when we needed them.”
Another key performance for the Huskers came from freshman forward Alexis Markowski, who finished the game with 11 points on 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-5 from the free throw line. Markowski also added four rebounds and one block in the 13 minutes that she played.
The Huskers as a whole shot 20-of-62 from the field, earning them a 32.3%, and an uncharacteristic 5-of-20 from 3-point range. The Huskers did shine with their 71%, 22-of-31, performance from the free throw line.
“We talked about, at some point in this ball game we would probably have to ‘out-persevere,’ if that's a word, this team and we found a way,” Williams said.
The game started off with a fast pace as the two teams couldn’t get their first shots to fall. To start the scoring, Bluejays sophomore forward Emma Ronsiek got her layup to go — their one and only lead of the night over the Huskers.
On the ensuing possession for the Huskers, sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin got the offense rolling. Scoggin got her 3-pointer to fall, and that started a 9-0 run with help from Haiby, sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne and junior forward Bella Cravens to start off the scoring for the Huskers, taking a commanding 9-2 with 5:41 to go in the first quarter.
Creighton was able to keep pace with the Huskers, the latter of which shot 22% from the field in the first quarter, with the Bluejays adding two baskets right before the first quarter ended. Bluejays sophomore guard/forward Morgan Maly had a 3-pointer and fellow sophomore guard Molly Mogensen added a driving layup to bring Creighton within one entering the second quarter, 11-10.
The Huskers didn’t let the Bluejays stay around too long as they went on a 14-4 run to start the second quarter. The run by the Huskers was highlighted by Markowski as she accounted for six straight points of the 14.
“I was trying to get the best positioning but shout-out the guards for giving me the ball in the right position for me to finish,” Markowski said postgame. “It was really hype and I just felt a lot of energy and the team did too.”
Right before half the Bluejays tried to fight their way back into it with a 3-pointer from Maly that cut the deficit to ten, but the Huskers answered with a Scoggin 3-pointer to take a 33-20 halftime lead.
The Bluejays, however, started off the second half with a 6-0 run that was highlighted by a Ronsiek 3-pointer that cut the Huskers lead to seven just over two minutes into the half.
The Huskers halted the Bluejays run by a 8-0 run of their own with the first five straight points coming from Markowski. Freshman guard/forward Kendall Coley capped off the run with a huge 3-pointer that put the Huskers up 15 with 4:34 left in the third quarter.
The third quarter ended with a Bluejays jumper from Ronsiek to bring Creighton within 14 entering the final ten minutes to play in the game.
Bluejays junior guard/forward Carly Bachelor started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the game to 11. Haiby answered with a layup and a free throw for a three point play to answer. Creighton then went on a 5-0 run that got it to within 8 of the Huskers with 6:18 to play.
Following a five-minute scoring drought, freshman guard Allison Weidner got the Huskers back on the board with two free throws to give Nebraska a 58-48 lead with 4:21 remaining.
Just over four minutes later, with just seconds left in the game, Bluejay senior guard Tatum Rembao got the Bluejays to within three points of the Huskers with a layup and 3-pointer. Haiby wrapped up the game, and the comeback hopes for Creighton, by making her last two free throws to cap off the 67-62 victory for the Huskers.
The Huskers next action will be in Lincoln, Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena against North Carolina Central. Tipoff for the game will be at 12:00 p.m. and will be available to view on Big Ten Plus.