The Nebraska women’s basketball team earned its first conference win of the season over Illinois on Sunday but committed 25 turnovers in the process.
Head Coach Connie Yori said she wasn’t concerned by that statistic and was more impressed by the Huskers’ improved defense, as the Illini only shot 33 percent from the field.
Illinois took 72 shots, 22 three-point shots and of those shot attempts, 24 of them were made, with three of them being from beyond the arc.
However, in Nebraska’s two previous games on the road- at Northwestern and Maryland- it lost by a combined 62 points. NU committed 19 turnovers over both games, which is a combined 16 more than its opponents.
Yori said she thinks the Huskers’ tightly-compacted schedule and long road trips contributed to their turnovers.
Nebraska’s turnovers gave Illinois a little life, but it was not enough to change the flow of the game.
Illinois had 25 points off NU’s turnovers, which was nine more than Nebraska. They also had six more points in the paint, and five more points on fast breaks.
The Huskers still managed to mask those statistical blemishes by dominating the boards.
Freshman forward Jessica Shepard led Nebraska with 19 total rebounds to contribute to its 48. Illinois had 16 fewer boards and gave NU more opportunities to run its sets.
Shepard had five offensive rebounds, providing her with second chances on opportunities to shoot from the field or free throw line.
NU attempted 26 free throws and made 65 percent of them, but its higher field goal percentage made the difference.
The Huskers shot better than the Illini in all three categories, including field goal percentage, free throw percentage and three-point percentage. NU’s field goal percentage made up for its turnovers, as they shot 52 percent from the field.
Shepard, the Huskers’ leading scorer, was 11-18 from the field and attempted 14 free throws, of which she made seven.
Illinois attempted to run switches on Nebraska, and NU was able to exploit its weakness by quick ball movement and unselfishness.
It had 18 assists to Illinois’ six.
The Huskers attempted a higher percentage of shots, as the Illini took 12 more three-point shots and shot 13 percent.
Illinois’ high volume of missed shots allowed Nebraska more opportunities to score off its misses and capitalize off Illinois’ offensive disarray.
Nebraska has averaged 14.8 turnovers per game this season, still leading its opponents in turnover margin with an average of 1.7 fewer turnovers per game than its opponents. Next on the Huskers’ schedule is Penn State on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions have a negative turnover margin with -0.5.