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Illinois goes 20 points late to defeat the Nebraska women

LINCOLN, Neb. (Nebraska) — Sam Haiby scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough.

Illinois went on a 20-0 run in the second half to defeat Nebraska women’s basketball 72-64 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Haiby also had eight rebounds and four assists, while Alexis Markowski added his 12th double-double of the season and his fourth straight, with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Jaz Shelley contributed 12 points and eight rebounds while Isabelle Bourne threw with 11 points and five rebounds, but Nebraska slipped to 14-10 overall and 6-7 in Big Ten play.

Makira Cook led Illinois (19-6, 9-5 Big Ten) with 22 points and four assists, while Kendall Bostic produced a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Adalia McKenzie added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Jayla Oden came off the bench with 12 points and six rebounds after starter Genesis Bryant suffered a left foot injury midway through the first half.

Nebraska fought its way up to 37-29 in the first half on great efforts inside Markowski and Bourne.

Markowski led the Big Red with 12 points and nine rebounds in the first half, while Bourne added 11 points, two boards and two steals.

Bourne and Markowski combined for a threesome, putting the starting posts of Illini Bostic and Brynn Shoup-Hill in trouble as well.

The Huskers hit 44.4% (12-27) on their first half shots, including four on 11 from 3. The Big Red also outscored the Illini 9-2 at the free throw line, winning the battle of the tables 22-16.

Markowski (5-7) and Bourne (4-6) were a combined 9-of-13 from the field in the half.

Illinois fell within striking distance to win the turnover war six to three and outscore Nebraska 8-1 in points on turnovers.

But the Huskers held Illinois to just 13 of 35 shots, including just one of seven 3s. Cook led Illinois with 12 points in the first half, including 10 in the second quarter, while Bostic and McKenzie had 6 points each in the first 20 minutes.

The Huskers got back to work inside in the second half getting the first 2 points from Markowski, after Illinois had opened the half with 4 straight points.

But it was the only field goal of the half for Nebraska’s inside duo of Markowski and Bourne, who combined to go 1-for-12 against the Illini defense after halftime.

After the teams traded free throws, Maddie Krull downed Nebraska’s only 3-pointer of the second half to extend the Nebraska lead to 43-34.

Minutes later, Shelley scored 4 straight points to give NU the largest lead of the half, 47-36, with just over four minutes left.

Nebraska got just one field goal the rest of the quarter — a layup by Krull — before Illinois capped it off on an 8-0 run that included 5 straight by Bostic and a 3-point play by Oden.

The Huskers advanced to the fourth quarter with a 51-49 lead.

Oden then scored 7 of the Illini’s first 12 points of the fourth quarter to cap a 20-0 run and claim a 61-51 lead with 5:15 left.

Illinois reclaimed its biggest margin at 68-57 on a 4-pointer by Jada Peebles with just over three minutes left, but the Huskers quickly cut the lead to 68-64 on a layup by Haiby at 1:34 from the end.

Nebraska hit nearly everything on the line in the fourth quarter, as Haiby (7), Shelley (2) and Krull (2) combined for 11 of 12 free throws in the final five minutes.

Haiby’s layup was NU’s only field goal of the quarter.

Nebraska made just five of 25 shots from the field in the second half, including one of 10 3-pointers, to finish the game on 32.7 percent from the field overall and 5-of-21 from long range.

The Huskers hit 25 of 34 free throws, including 16 of 21 in the second half.

Nebraska beat Illinois on the board 41-37 but lost the turnover battle 14-9.

Illinois sizzled in the second half, hitting 16 of 31 shots to finish on 43.9% for the game.

The Illini connected on three of 10 second-half 3-pointers to finish on 23.5% for the game, and went 10-of-11 at the free throw line in the contest.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action at No. 13 Michigan on Sunday. The fight between the Huskers and Wolverines is set for noon.

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports Tags: Adalia McKenzie, Alexis Markowski, basketball, Big Ten, college basketball, fighting illini, Husker basketball, husker womens basketball, husker womens hoops, Illinois, Jayla Oden, Jaz Shelley, Kendall Bostic, Maddie Krull, Makira Cook, Nebraska, Nebraska Women’s Basketball, Sam Haiby, score, university of illinois, women’s basketball, women’s college basketball

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