Lincoln - Jordan Hooper produced her second 30-point game of the season while Lindsey Moore added 27 points to power the No. 24 Nebraska women's basketball team to an 80-71 win over South Dakota State at the Devaney Center on Wednesday night.
With the victory, Nebraska closed non-conference play with an 11-1 record while dropping the Jackrabbits to 7-6 on the season. The Huskers led 36-34 at the half before building a 17-point lead midway through the second half. SDSU, which has advanced to three straight NCAA tournaments, continued to battle and eventually cut the lead back to seven before falling.
Hooper and Moore carried the Huskers down the stretch. Hooper's 30 points marked a Devaney Center career high and her second 30-point performance in the last three games. She added 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and the eighth of her career, while notching her seventh 20-point effort in 12 games this season.
Moore added 14 of her 27 points after hafltime, while adding five of her six assists for the game. She also pitched in four rebounds and a pair of steals. It was Moore's third 20-point scoring effort of the season.
"Jordan and Lindsey hit a lot of shots for us tonight, and we needed them to," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "We didn't really shoot the ball that well as a team, so when you look at the box score and see that we were plus-eight in turnovers and plus-eight in rebounding, those were huge for us tonight."
For the game, Nebraska hit just 35 percent (21-60) of its shots from the field, including just 8-of-30 (.267) of its three-point attempts. The Huskers made up for their poor shooting by attacking relentlessly in the second half, whether through Hooper in the post or with Moore on dribble penetration.
Nebraska hit 24-of-31 second-half free throw attempts, to finish with a season-high 30 made free throws on 37 attempts. NU outrebounded SDSU, 39-31 for the game, while winning the turnover battle, 20-12.
South Dakota State shot a blistering 54.2 percent (26-48) from the field, including 7-of-15 three-pointers. SDSU also hit just 12-of-21 free throws for the game.
Ashley Eide led SDSU with 21 points and five rebounds, while Jennie Sunnarborg pitched in 20 points and seven backs as the only two Jacks in double figures.
Hooper and Moore carried the Huskers in the first half, combining for 26 of NU's 36 points on their way to a 36-34 halftime lead. Hooper nearly produced a double-double in the first half alone with 13 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 three-pointers.
Moore added 13 points of her own on 4-of-8 shooting, while adding one assist and one steal. While Hooper and Moore combined to go 9-of-20 from the field and 4-of-10 from three-point range, the rest of the Huskers combined for just 3-of-16 shooting and just 2-of-9 threes.
Sunnarborg and Eide each scored 10 points to lead the Jacks in the first half, combining to hit 8-of-12 shots from the field and all three of their three-point attempts.
SDSU hit 13-of-24 shots from the field, including 4-of-8 threes and 4-of-6 free throws in the opening stanza. NU hit just 12-of-36 shots from the field, including 6-of-19 threes, but connected on all six of its free throw attempts. The two teams were tied on the glass with 18 boards apiece, while the Huskers won the first-half turnover battle, 10-5.
Hooper, who went 10-of-19 from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point range, opened the second-half with a three-point play to give NU's its biggest lead at the time at five. Freshman Emily Cady, who finished with nine points, five rebounds and three steals, added four quick points. Moore pitched in four straight points to push NU's lead to nine at 47-38 with 15:56 left.
Moore's three pointer three minutes later off an assist from Hooper gave the Huskers their first double-digit lead of the night at 54-43 with 12:32 left. Hooper's fourth three-pointer of the game with 8:47 left gave the Huskers their biggest lead at 62-45.
Moore knocked down a career-high 13-of-14 free throws in the game, including 9-of-10 in the second half.
The Huskers will enjoy time off for the holidays before opening their first season in the Big Ten Conference against preseason conference favorite and No. 16 Penn State on Friday, Dec. 30. Tip-off between the Huskers and Lady Lions is set for 6 p.m. central at the Joyce Center. Free live audio will be provided by the Husker Sports Network on Huskers.com.