Bourne 1.9.20

Nebraska’s Isabelle Bourne (34) looks for a shot during the Huskers’ matchup against Wisconsin at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

A bad shooting night against the Hoosiers for Nebraska women’s basketball led to disaster, as No. 15 Indiana cruised to a 81-45 victory Sunday afternoon.

Heading into the contest, Husker head coach Amy Williams only had seven players available, the thinnest Nebraska’s depth has been all season.

Sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne started the game hot for the Huskers, scoring six quick points to keep Nebraska in it early. However, both teams went cold offensively overall in the quarter, as Nebraska shot 4-of-15 from the field and the Hoosiers went 6-of-18. Indiana led 13-9 at the end of the period, led by five points from junior forward Aleksa Gulbe.

The Huskers were hoping for an improved shooting performance after a bad first quarter, however things only deteriorated from that point. The Hoosiers went on a 15-0 scoring run in the second quarter, much of that run predicated on great defense that led to points in transition.

The rotation grew more strained just a few minutes into the second quarter as well. Junior forward Bella Cravens was forced out of the game with a leg injury, leaving the Huskers with just six players in rotation until Cravens’ eventual return in the third quarter. The forward rallied to finish the game with 12 points.

At halftime, the Huskers shot just 25.8% from the field and 18.2% on 3-pointers, with 14 of their first half points coming from Bourne, who also shot 6-of-14 from the field. The Huskers leading scorer on the season, junior guard Sam Haiby, struggled heavily in the first half, shooting 1-of-9.

Gulbe continued to shine in the second quarter, finishing the half with 13 points and five rebounds. This was complemented by her teammate, sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes, who  scored 12 points in the first half to help lift the Hoosiers to a 38-19 lead at the break.

Along with Gulbe and Holmes, junior guard Grace Berger had a strong third quarter, scoring a pair of mid-range jumpers a few minutes into the period.

Fighting back and forth all night, senior forward Kate Cain and Mackenzie Holmes had themselves a block party. Cain picked up two in quick succession in the third quarter on back-to-back Hoosier drives. The center also slid into sixth all-time for blocks in the Big Ten during the course of the game. Both finished with three blocks in the contest. 

Rolling in the third quarter with ball movement in transition and in the half court offense, Indiana kept its foot on the pedal. Gulbe and Holmes finished the quarter and eventually the game with a combined 34 points — a complete shooting clinic. Going into the fourth quarter, Indiana led 57-29.

With the Hoosiers sitting their starters for most of the fourth quarter, the Huskers had their highest scoring quarter of the game. Unfortunately, this still wasn’t enough to win the quarter, getting outscored 24-16 in the fourth, with the Huskers finishing the game shooting the ball a measly 27.1% from the floor.

The Huskers return to action against the Purdue Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on BTN.