Nebraska Women's Basketball vs. Michigan Photo No. 3

Nebraska’s Alexis Markowski (40) attempts to block a shot from Michigan’s Emily Kiser (33) during the game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Going up against a ranked opponent is an obstacle for any team to go up against.

The Nebraska women’s basketball team knows what it takes to beat a ranked opponent as it took down then-No. 8 Michigan in early January. Since then, the Huskers have dropped three consecutive games against ranked opponents, with the latest now being a 80-70 loss against No. 21 Ohio State on Thursday night. 

The downfall for the Huskers were their 16 turnovers, as well as inefficiency from the field shooting 25-of-74. The one consistent star on the court for the Huskers was freshman forward/center Alexis Markowski, who led the way with 23 points and 15 rebounds. 

Nebraska started the game against the Buckeyes, eerily like the game against the Wolverines, fast and scoring at ease. Its 22 points in the first quarter to the Buckeyes 19 was due in part to strong team chemistry and efficient shooting. 

Sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin led the Huskers in the inaugural quarter with five points, shooting 2-of-3 from the field and 1-of-2 from 3-point range. Scoggin also was the one to kick off the scoring in the game with a 3-pointer. 

In the first quarter the Huskers had three players account for four points each in sophomore guard Jaz Shelley, sophomore center Isabelle Bourne and junior forward Bella Cravens. 

Shelley, coming off her worst shooting game as a Husker in the loss against Mayland, got started early as she finished the quarter 2-of-3 from the field with two assists, alongside her four points. 

Nebraska, besides its prolific scoring, did what it sought out to do, out-rebounding the Buckeyes 13-4 in the first quarter. Nebraska, despite the outcome, out-rebounded Ohio State 48-34 in the contest. 

The Huskers finished the first quarter with momentum as they capped it off with a 9-2 run, up 22-19 after the first. With momentum, the Huskers added five points to their lead within the first minute of the second quarter, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Bourne who finished the game third in points with 12. Those five quick points for the Huskers were only followed up with only four more for the rest of the first half, as they scored nine points in the quarter. 

The second quarter dented  the Huskers chances of winning. The Buckeyes would nearly double Nebraska’s quarter points with 17. The Buckeyes were led by junior forward Rebeka Mikulasikova in the second with eight points on 3-of-5 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc. Mikulasikova, with the help of an eight point second quarter, finished the game with 15 points. 

The first half was capped off with a Buckeye 9-0 run to flip what was a three point lead for the Huskers into a five point deficit. 

The Huskers, who were full-court pressed the majority of the first half of the game, went into halftime with a stagnant offense. In the third quarter, the Huskers would find offense in the form of Markowski, who finished the quarter with eight points, but would ultimately be overshadowed by Buckeye senior guard Taylor Mikesell’s 11 points. 

Mikesell on the night finished with a team high 21 points on 7-of-13 from the field, 5-of-8 from 3-point range and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. The Huskers could not find an answer for Mikesell’s in her 38 minutes, most notably in the third quarter when she went 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. 

Ohio State’s exclamation point on the quarter would come with a pair of Mikesell 3-pointers to expand its lead to 13 heading into the final ten minutes of play. 

Despite the double-digit deficit, the Huskers showed fight until the end of the game — they out scored the Buckeyes in the final quarter 24-21. Nebraska, with the late game production from Markowski and Shelley, who finished the quarter with nine and eight points respectively, had fought back to a four point deficit with 7:16 left in the fourth. 

With the game well in their grasp, the Huskers squandered a comeback by letting junior guard Jacy Sheldon, the Buckeyes’ leading season scorer, close out the game. Sheldon ended the night with 14 points with the help of a six point fourth quarter. 

Nebraska’s inability to keep up with the streaking Ohio State offense, mostly on account of turnovers, added to the lackluster 26.1% 3-point shooting of Nebraska. All this found the Huskers losing their second straight and fifth consecutive road game. 

Nebraska, coming off back-to-back ranked opponents, looks at a more favorable stretch for the rest of the season. They have a 53% or better percent chance of winning each of their final six regular season games, according to herhoopstats.com.

The Huskers need to take this loss as a learning experience to close out the regular season on the right foot heading into the Big Ten Tournament. 

Nebraska’s next opportunity to prove itself in a hostile environment will be against Illinois on Feb. 12 at 2:00 p.m.

sports@dailynebraskan.com