Allison Weber Purdue 1.30

Nebraska’s Allison Weber (3) holds off Purdue’s Rokia Doumbia (2) during the game against Purdue at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

It was the conclusion of a weird week for the Nebraska women’s basketball team. 

After having two postponements leading to nearly two weeks without action, the Huskers entered Sunday’s game against Purdue in the midst of a four-game series across seven days. 

But despite a lot going on in very little time, Nebraska continued to power through as it welcomed and took down another Big Ten opponent, besting Purdue 81-66 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

For sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne, the win was a reflection of the team’s post-pause momentum.

“We’re just coming in everyday with that same mindset,” Bourne said postgame. “Think about what we need to be consistent about, give a good effort on and off the court everyday. That’s really what we’ve been doing.”

On the afternoon, the Huskers were led by the trio of freshman guard Allison Weidner, Bourne and freshmen center Alexis Markowski. The three combined for 51 points, with Markowski dropping 23 and Weidner and Bourne both dropping 14. For Weidner, her 14 points was a season-high. 

“We feel like every game calls for something different,” Nebraska women’s head basketball head coach Amy Williams said postgame. “But, that allows us to utilize our players in different ways that matters. I feel like our players will have opportunities to really spark our team as the season progresses.” 

Markowski also led the team in rebounds, alongside sophomore guard Jaz Shelley, with both players grabbing seven. Shelley also led the team in assists with six, and blocks and steals, snatching three each. She also had eight points on the day. 

As a team, the Huskers were 29-of-58 from the field, 11-of-20 from 3-point range and 12-of-16 from the foul line. Defensively, Nebraska was stingy, holding Purdue to 25-of-69 from the field, 10-of-31 from 3-point range and 6-of-13 from the free throw line. The Huskers also outrebounded Purdue 41-38 and out-blocked it 6-1.

The first quarter of action had a slow start to things. Purdue tipped things off with a jumper just under 20 seconds in, which it followed with a layup over a minute later. Junior guard Sam Haiby quickly responded to the 4-0 run by landing a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one. Another minute later and the Boilermakers pushed their lead up to six following a jumper and a 3-pointer. But once again, the Huskers struck from beyond the arc, with Markowski landing her first 3-pointer of the game to make the score 9-6. 

Coming off the media timeout, scoreless action once again commenced, with both teams playing aggressively on the defensive side. Over two minutes after Markowski landed a 3-pointer, Bourne delivered her first 3-pointer of the game to tie things up at nine and ended the scoreless drought. Weidner followed up Bourne’s 3-pointer with an and-one layup, giving Nebraska a 12-9 lead. 

Momentum started brewing for Weidner as she drove back the court two more times to suddenly give the Huskers a 16-9 lead. Purdue slipped in a layup to make it 16-11, but Bourne retaliated with a layup and a an-one to wrap up the first quarter. 

Purdue tried getting back into the game at the start of the second, but a block by Cravens, followed by a Weidner 3-pointer made it more difficult. After Weidner got two more points from the free throw line, the Boilermakers quickly put up a 8-0 run to cut the lead to 24-19. 

However things grew dim for Purdue when sophomore guard Madison Layden left the game due to injury. Two other players went down for Purdue throughout the game, but Layden was the most significant. With the Boilermakers’ top scorer suddenly out, Nebraska’s momentum started picking up.

“You just got to give a lot of credit to them,” Williams said. “They had to play through a lot of adversity over the course of this ball game. Losing a couple of kids to injury throughout, but they just kept fighting.”

It started with Haiby responding to Purdue’s 8-0 run with a 3-pointer of her own to make the lead 27-19. Shelley and Weidner paced Nebraska from there, and the Huskers took a 35-23 lead into halftime.

Markowski wasted no time getting points in the second half, landing a jumper seconds in. But Purdue tossed in a couple of 3-pointers to try and get back into the game. However, Shelley and Markowski combined to deliver a 6-0 run to give Nebraska a 46-29 lead.

Then after a Purdue layup, Markowski and Cravens added five more points to push the lead to 51-31. Nebraska maintained a comfortable advantage, at 61-42, heading into the final quarter.

Purdue didn’t stay down however, and soon dropped the lead down to 67-57 halfway through the fourth quarter. Still, the sudden run didn’t phase the Huskers. Two free throws by Markowski and a 3-pointer by Scoggin pushed the lead to 72-57 with three-and-a-half minutes left. Purdue wouldn’t crack Nebraska’s double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest. 

“We’re incredibly excited to get this win,” Williams said. “We have a ton of respect for Purdue with the way they’ve been playing the game. They’re a good team that plays hard.” 

With the win, the Huskers are now 15-4 on the season and 4-4 in Big Ten play. Their next game will be at home on Feb. 1 against Rutgers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and can be viewed on Nebraska Public Media or listened to on Husker Radio Network. 

sports@dailynebraskan.com