Photo by Pat Radigan
Story by Pat Radigan
Fourth-quarter surge pushes NU win streak to five
A dominant effort from freshman Kate Cain and a late-push from Nebraska’s steady hands guided the Husker women’s basketball team to an 86-69 win over Florida Atlantic on Tuesday night in Lincoln.
Cain posted 22 points, 14 rebounds and 11 blocks, all career highs, and Nebraska outscored FAU by 16 points in the final frame to run away with its fifth-straight win. After needing three overtimes at Drake, and a dramatic comeback at Kansas, Nebraska made its move early in the fourth quarter against the Owls and never looked back to improve to 9-3 on the young season.
The career-night for Cain came on 10 of 16 shooting, and also included three assists. The 14 rebounds tied a career-best, while her 11 blocks were a school record and propelled NU to set a team record with 13 blocks in the game. In fact, Cain’s 11 blocks alone broke the previous team record of 10 blocks in a game.
With Cain clogging up the paint, Nebraska was able to limit FAU to 14-for-52 shooting from inside the 3-point line, while the Huskers won the rebound battle by 10, despite giving up 15 offensive rebounds.
As the defense held, Nebraska broke the game open with 34 points in the fourth quarter.
After a four-point play for FAU put the Owls up by three, however, a 3-pointer by senior Emily Wood quickly erased that edge. With the game tied 57-57 a few minutes later, Wood hit another ‘3’ and was fouled. Nebraska’s four-point play put the Huskers up 61-57, and gave the Big Red the lead. The Huskers ended the game on a 20-5 spurt, and finished the fourth quarter with four 3-pointers to help break the game open in the closing moments.
Hannah Whitish hit 6 of her 11 shots to finish with 17 points, and did her best to keep up with Cain’s contributions by adding 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Nebraska’s ability to share the ball led to all five starters scoring in double figures, with Wood’s 11 points off the bench making it six total Huskers to score at least 10 points.
Maddie Simon scored 13 points before fouling out, with Nicea Eliely and Jasmine Cincore scoring 10 each and combining for 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
Next up for Nebraska is Washington State on Friday, with the women’s squad playing the first of two games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. After this week, Nebraska will host Ohio State to open Big Ten play on Dec. 28 before heading to Minnesota on New Year’s Eve.