The Nebraska Cornhuskers were big underdogs coming into their matchup with #20 Maryland. However, as they say, that’s why they play the game.
Nebraska defeated the Terps 90-67 behind a dominant 29-point effort from Jaz Shelley. Shelley added five assists, three rebounds, and three steals in a complete performance. She was electric from a three-point range knocking down six of them.
“I’m really proud of our team for this win. We have a ton of respect for the Maryland program, so to come in here and get a win like this is pretty special for us. It was a great team effort, and I thought Jaz Shelley sparked us. When she plays aggressively minded offensively, our whole team is better,” Coach Amy Williams said.
Nebraska shot 50% compared to 40% for Maryland. The rebounding was very even, with the Cornhuskers grabbing 35 and the Terps securing 34.
Three-point shooting was a major reason for the Nebraska victory. They shot 12 of 25 from behind the arc.
“We’re in conference play now, and every team can shoot the three, so that’s just an area for us that we’re going to have to continue to keep repping in practice, showing in film, trusting our rotations, and being able to get in a stance. Until we clean up some of those easy things, scout specific, then we’ll continue to have tough games like these,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.
One positive for the Terps was the play of Shyanne Sellers. She scored a career-high 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting and collected a team-high eight rebounds.
“I think just being aggressive but a career-high type of night, it doesn’t mean anything when you lose the game. We’re back to the drawing board,” Sellers said.
The Terps scored the first four points of the game, but Nebraska responded with an 11-0 run fueled by the shooting of Isabelle Bourne. She hit two straight threes and a layup while Maryland struggled to contain her.
Bourne finished the game with 18 points on a very efficient 7 of 11 shooting to go with six rebounds.
From there, the teams traded baskets, with neither one able to pull too far away from the other. The first quarter ended tied at 16-16.
Maryland struggled at times to deal with the size of Alexis Markowski. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year scored 14 points and six rebounds.
However, despite the size advantage Maryland was able to outrebound Nebraska 23 to 17 in the first half.
Brinae Alexander played well for the Terps. She sparked a 13-0 run at the end of the second quarter to help Maryland take a 36-25 lead, their largest of the game.
Alexander scored 14 points and hit three shots from behind the arc in the game.
However, Shelley responded in a huge way with two straight threes to put the Cornhuskers right back in the game.
“Jaz hit those two big shots. She had the courage to step and just drain two really big shots. To cut the lead to five where it’s still within reach at halftime was really really important,” Williams said.
Shelley was a strong presence for Nebraska on both ends of the floor. She was Second Team All-Big Ten and named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team last year.
The half ended with Maryland leading 36-31.
Terps star Diamond Miller finally got on the scoresheet knocking down a three to open the second half.
She was unusually quiet in the first half, partially due to foul trouble but was more involved on offense in the second. However, she lacked her usual finishing touch in shooting the ball. She finished the game with 13 points on 3 of 12 shooting in her most disappointing game of the year.
Abby Meyers also has a tough night offensively. She has been a lethal scorer to start the year, but she only managed 2 points on 1 of 7 scoring today.
“We need Abby to do more. We need Lav (Briggs) to do more. We need our vets to step up, and they’re more than capable of that,” Frese said.
The Cornhuskers used their three-point shooting to stay in the game when Maryland looked they could pull away.
Shelley was dominant all game, but she really heated up in the third quarter scoring 16 points to put the Cornhuskers in the lead 60-56.
Nebraska continued their hot shooting into the fourth quarter where they outscored the Terps by 19 points. They looked like a complete team in the quarter, thoroughly outplaying Maryland on both ends of the floor.
“It was our defense, to be honest. We had way too many breakdowns where they just drove to the middle to get us to help and overhelp and then just kicked for threes,” Frese said.
The Cornhuskers closed the game on a 13-0 run to secure a 90-67 win.
Maryland will continue their season next Thursday when they face off against Purdue in West Lafayette.