Huskers Suffer First Loss in Setback to Jays
Lincoln - Hannah Whitish scored 14 points but Nebraska struggled on a cold-shooting night in a 64-49 loss to Creighton at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday night.
Whitish hit 5-of-10 shots from the floor, including 2-of-3 threes, but the rest of the Huskers went just 13-for-45 as the sophomore guard was the only Husker to manage double figures. Nebraska slipped to 3-1 with the loss, while Creighton improved to 2-1 with their first victory in Lincoln since Dec. 10, 1993.
Despite the cold shooting, the Huskers trailed just 21-18 late in the second quarter, before the Jays used the second of two 11-0 runs in the first half to take a 32-18 halftime lead.
Creighton's first 11-0 run staked the Jays to a 15-4 lead, before Nebraska responded with a 6-0 run to end the first quarter behind 15-10.
Nebraska extended its run to 8-0 with the opening basket of the second quarter to cut the margin to 15-12, and the two teams settled into a defensive slugfest for the next seven minutes.
Trailing 21-18, Nebraska missed a pair of free throws that could have cut the Bluejay margin to one. Instead, Audrey Faber, who finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, responded with a pair of free throws for the Jays to extend the lead to 23-18 with 2:21 left. The Big Red then missed two more free throws with 1:52 left, and Creighton took full advantage.
CU, which opened 1-for-8 from three-point range, buried three straight three-point attempts in the final 1:36 of the half, beginning with back-to-back bombs from Jaylyn Agnew and capped with a third from Faber.
That set up a continued three-point onslaught in the third quarter for the Jays, who only scored on six third-quarter possessions but all six were worth three points, including two more three-pointers for Agnew to open the half, one for Faber and single threes from Tatum Rembao and Sydney Lamberty. The only two-point basket in the quarter for the Jays came from Temi Carda, who made it a traditional three-point play to give the Jays a 44-26 lead with 3:14 left in the third.
Nebraska cut it back to 11 at 44-33 after a Whitish three with 1:19 left in the third, but Creighton took a 50-33 lead to the fourth and never looked back.
Agnew finished with game highs of 20 points and nine rebounds for Creighton while adding three blocks.
The Huskers, who welcomed back sophomore Nicea Eliely from a preseason ankle injury, got four points, five rebounds, three blocks and a steal from the 6-1 guard. However, Nebraska faced unexpected adversity before the opening tip as junior forward Maddie Simon sprained an ankle in warmups and was scratched from the starting lineup.
Sophomore forward Grace Mitchell stepped into her first career start with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting, while adding five rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Freshman center Kate Cain added six points and four rebounds but no other Husker scored more than five points.
As a team, Nebraska hit just 18-of-55 shots (.327) from the floor, including 4-of-12 threes (.333), while hitting 9-of-16 free throws (.563). The Huskers were outrebounded, 39-38, and lost the turnover battle, 13-11.
Creighton hit 25-of-62 shots (.403), including 11-of-27 threes (.407). The Bluejays hit 10-of-19 threes in the final 22 minutes of the contest.
Nebraska will make its first road trip of the season when the Huskers travel to the San Juan Shootout in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Huskers open the tournament on Thanksgiving Day by taking on the Buffalo Bulls (2-0) at 3:15 p.m. (CT). The Big Red will close the tournament on Friday against Coastal Carolina with a 1 p.m. (CT) tip.