Huskers Beat Bulldogs in Albuquerque

By NU Athletic Communications
Dominique Kelley scored a career-high 21 points to help the Huskers to a 67-54 win against Butler in New Mexico on Friday night.
Dominique Kelley scored a career-high 21 points to help the Huskers to a 67-54 win against Butler in New Mexico on Friday night.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Albuquerque, N.M. - Cory Montgomery scored a career-high 22 points and Dominique Kelley added a career-best 21 points as the Nebraska women's basketball team finished strong in a 67-54 victory over Butler in the opening game of the Holiday Inn and Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament at The Pit/Bob King Court on Friday evening.

With the victory, Nebraska improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1996-97 and advanced to Saturday's tournament championship game where the Huskers will face the hosts from New Mexico, which defeated William & Mary, 68-51, in Friday's second game. Tip-off for Saturday's game with the Lobos (5-1) is set for 8 p.m. central time with live video available on HuskersNside and free live audio on Huskers.com.

Butler, which returned five starters from a team that won 20 games a year ago, slipped to 1-3 on the season and will face William & Mary (3-2) on Saturday at 6 p.m. central.

In addition to a career-high 22 points, Montgomery tied her career best with 11 rebounds to produce her first double-double of the season. It was also her third straight 20-point scoring effort. The junior forward from Cannon Falls, Minn., was 10-for-20 from the field and added a blocked shot and a steal for the Huskers.

While Montgomery was getting it done for the Huskers on the low block, Kelley keyed Nebraska's perimeter presence by pumping in a career-high 21, five more points than her previous career best of 16 which she produced earlier this season at Creighton and last season against Florida.

Kelley connected on 5-of-8 shots from the field and buried 11-of-12 free throws to help seal the win for NU. The sophomore guard from Lincoln, Neb., also pulled down five rebounds, dished out three assists and grabbed two steals in the best all-around effort of her career.

Kelley's shooting helped the Huskers overcome a poor shooting performance on the night. For the game, Nebraska went 0-for-9 from three-point range and just 15-of-26 at the line, after opening their three-game road trip by knocking down 8-of-15 threes and a school-record 18-for-18 free throw attempts in a win at Denver on Monday night.

Sophomore forward Kaitlyn Burke added eight points with her first four two-point field goals of the season. Tay Hester added seven points and eight rebounds in a strong effort.

For the fifth consecutive game this season at least eight Huskers found the scoring column, but other than the strong nights from Montgomery, Kelley, Hester and Burke, no other Husker scored more than two points.

Despite the scoring struggles of several Huskers, Nebraska produced a true team effort on the glass by producing a season-best plus-18 rebounding margin (53-35), including a 17-5 edge on the offense boards. In addition to Montgomery's career effort on the glass, Yvonne Turner pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, while dishing out five assists and notching three steals. She added a blocked shot to give the Huskers a lift despite hitting just 1-of-7 shots on the night.

True freshman Harleen Sidhu added a career-best seven boards, including a pair of offensive rebounds, while all 10 Huskers who saw action grabbed at least one board.

Nebraska's effort on the glass allowed them to overcome 40 percent (26-65) shooting from the field and 10 second-half turnovers. NU finished the night with 15 turnovers as a team, while forcing 14 by the Bulldogs, who entered the contest averaging just 10.7 turnovers per game.

Although NU struggled from the field, the Huskers forced the Bulldogs into just 35.7 percent (20-56) shooting, including a 2-for-19 effort from three-point range. BU did hit 70.6 percent (12-17) of its free throws. The Bulldogs hit just 28.6 percent (8-28) of its shots from the field in the second half, while going a dismal 0-for-11 from three-point range after halftime.

Melanie Thornton led the Bulldogs with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Lade Akande added 12 points and six boards for the Bulldogs.

In a back-and-forth first half that featured 10 lead changes and six ties, Nebraska got four straight points from Montgomery to close the half to take a 33-31 lead into the locker room at the half.

Montgomery finished the half with 11 points, while Kelley led the Huskers with 13 first-half points. Kelley added three rebounds, two assists and a steal in the opening stanza.

The Huskers hit 14-of-34 shots from the field, but missed all four of their three-point attempts and hit just 5-of-9 free throw attempts in the first half. But NU hit the offensive glass hard, outrebounding BU, 7-1, on the offensive end.

Butler was outworked on the boards, 24-17, in the first half by NU, but outshot the Huskers by hitting 12-of-28 field goal attempts, including 2-of-8 shooting from three-point range. BU also hit 5-of-7 free throws.

Thornton led the Bulldogs with 10 points and four rebounds while making her first start of the season.

The game remained a possession-for-possession battle early in the second half with NU clinging to a 39-38 lead with 15 minutes left, before Hester scored five straight points and assisted Montgomery on a three-point play to give the Huskers their biggest lead of the night at 48-40 with 12:40 left.

Butler trimmed the lead back to three points before baskets by Catheryn Redmon and Nicole Neals sandwiched a pair of Kelley free throws to push NU's lead back to 54-46 with 8:43 left. Butler could get no closer than five points the rest of the way, as Kelley sealed the win at the line for the Huskers.


Official Basketball Box Score


Official Basketball Box Score Butler vs Nebraska 11/28/08 5:00 PM MST at The Pit/Albuquerque, NM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VISITORS: Butler 1-3 TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS ## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN 15 MILLER, Tara........ f 0-2 0-1 2-2 1 2 3 4 2 1 2 0 0 14 24 THORNTON, Melanie... f 5-8 0-1 1-2 1 9 10 3 11 1 4 2 4 29 55 AKANDE, Lade........ c 5-10 0-0 2-5 1 5 6 1 12 2 0 0 3 24 10 BOWEN, Brittany..... g 3-8 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 2 7 1 1 0 1 27 25 BRIERLY, Devin...... g 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 16 12 BURNS, Terra........ 3-7 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 4 7 1 3 0 0 27 20 JONES, Candace...... 0-2 0-2 0-1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 7 21 BROWN, Candyce...... 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 17 23 BASS, Azjah......... 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 1 2 2 0 0 0 13 30 LESTER, Susan....... 1-5 0-4 5-5 0 2 2 2 7 1 1 0 1 17 32 HAMILTON, Chloe..... 1-4 0-1 2-2 1 1 2 0 4 0 1 0 0 9 33 MAY, Kaley.......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 TEAM................ 6 6 Totals.............. 20-56 2-19 12-17 5 30 35 20 54 10 14 2 10 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-28 42.9% 2nd Half: 8-28 28.6% Game: 35.7% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-8 25.0% 2nd Half: 0-11 0.0% Game: 10.5% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 5-7 71.4% 2nd Half: 7-10 70.0% Game: 70.6% 0

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HOME TEAM: Nebraska 5-0 TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS ## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN 32 Hester, Tay......... f 3-9 0-1 1-4 5 3 8 3 7 1 1 0 0 23 40 Montgomery, Cory.... f 10-20 0-1 2-6 3 8 11 2 22 0 2 1 1 33 05 Burke, Kaitlyn...... g 4-9 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 8 0 3 0 0 25 22 Turner, Yvonne...... g 1-7 0-3 0-2 3 6 9 3 2 5 2 0 3 28 24 Kelley, Dominique... g 5-8 0-1 11-12 0 5 5 1 21 3 4 1 2 28 11 Neals, Nicole....... 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 2 0 0 0 14 13 Kuhlmann, Kala...... 1-5 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 2 2 1 0 0 24 21 Sidhu, Harleen...... 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 5 7 0 0 0 1 0 1 13 42 Bober, Nikki........ 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 5 44 Redmon, Catheryn.... 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 0 1 0 0 7 TEAM................ 2 2 4 Totals.............. 26-65 0-9 15-26 17 36 53 15 67 13 15 2 7 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-34 41.2% 2nd Half: 12-31 38.7% Game: 40.0% DEADB 3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-4 0.0% 2nd Half: 0-5 0.0% Game: 0.0% REBS F Throw % 1st Half: 5-9 55.6% 2nd Half: 10-17 58.8% Game: 57.7% 3

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials: Scotty Hermann, Adria Molina, Laurie Porter Technical fouls: Butler-TEAM. Nebraska-None. Attendance: Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total Butler........................ 31 23 - 54 Nebraska...................... 33 34 - 67 1st round - Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament

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