Husker Women Grab Second Conference Win

By: Courtesy: NU Media Relations
By: Courtesy: NU Media Relations

Cory Montgomery notched the sixth double-double of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds to help lead the Nebraska women's basketball team to a 62-56 win over Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon at the Devaney Center.

The Huskers used a 13-4 surge out of the locker room at the start of the second half to help take a 19-point lead with 7:45 left in the game, before holding on for their second Big 12 Conference win. With the victory, Nebraska improved to 11-12 overall and 2-8 in the Big 12, while Texas Tech slipped to 14-10 and 4-6 in the league.

Nebraska snapped a 12-game series losing streak against Texas Tech, dating back to the Huskers' last win over the Lady Raiders at the Devaney Center in 1997 - the first year of Big 12 Conference action. NU also snapped its five-game overall losing streak this season.

Montgomery, a junior forward from Cannon Falls, Minn., scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in the second half to help push NU to a double-digit cushion. She added seven points and six boards in the first half to produce her fifth double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Dominique Kelley added a big game with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and a career-high three steals in a career-high 35 minutes. The Lincoln native also went 6-for-6 at the free throw line to help the Huskers.

Yvonne Turner gave the Huskers three players in double figures, as the 5-8 junior guard out of Omaha scored 12 points including a pair of three-pointers, while adding four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals despite first-half foul trouble.

Sophomore forward Catheryn Redmon played a major role down the stretch, hitting a pair of free throws after Texas Tech had cut the NU margin to four points in the final minute. Redmon also had a key defensive stop against Tech forward Kierra Mallard and a crucial defensive rebound. Redmon also held Tech's top scorer, Dominic Seals, to just four points and five rebounds in the game. Seals scored 19 second-half points against the Huskers last season in Lubbock.

"It feels great to get a win," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Anytime you can get a win in this league, it is an accomplishment, and I'm happy for our players. They have been working extremely hard and playing and practicing with a lot of energy. They deserved to get the reward of the victory. With all the adversity we have had to overcome this year, they have had great attitudes and showed today that we are going to keep fighting."

Montgomery helped the Huskers to a 28-23 halftime lead by pumping in seven points and pulling down six rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Kelley led all scorers in the first half with eight points, while Turner added five points despite playing just eight minutes because of early foul trouble. Turner's three-pointer with 25 seconds left in the half sent the Huskers to the locker room with a five-point lead.

The Huskers forced 12 first-half turnovers by Texas Tech, while committing just nine of their own, but the Lady Raiders outrebounded NU 23-16 in the first half. Tech hit just 30.3 percent (10-33) of its first-half shots, while NU knocked down 11-of-27 field goals (40.7 percent), including 2-of-3 three-pointers. Nebraska was also a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line, while Texas Tech hit a pair of first-half free throw attempts.

Nebraska led by as many as six points at 17-11 and trailed only once at 7-5 in a low-scoring first half. After taking a five-point lead to the locker room the Huskers erupted out of the locker room in the second half with a 13-4 surge that included an 11-0 run to take a 41-27 lead on a pair of Kelley free throws with 15:19 remaining in the game.

After pushing the lead to 16 points, Texas Tech trimmed the lead to 11 points and had the ball before Nebraska surged again, extending the lead to 56-37 with 7:45 left in the game. At the time, Nebraska held a 20-13 advantage in the turnover column, but Texas Tech turned up the aggressiveness and physicality on defense down the stretch, forcing five NU turnovers.

The Lady Raiders got a major lift from junior guard Jordan Murphree, who buried three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to turn a 58-47 NU lead into a 60-56 Tech deficit with just 50 seconds left. Murphree finished with a game-high 18 points, while adding four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Overall she went 4-for-6 from three-point range on the afternoon, but Tech hit just 5-of-16 shots from long range.

Tech would get no closer, as Redmon hit two free throws with 26 seconds left to seal the 62-56 win for Nebraska.

Nebraska hit 43.4 percent (23-53) of its shots from the field for the game, including 4-of-10 three-pointers. The Huskers also knocked down 12-of-16 free throws, while forcing 23 turnovers by Texas Tech. NU committed 18 turnovers of its own, including five in the final 7:45, and was outrebounded, 43-32, by the Lady Raiders.

Texas Tech connected on just 35.9 percent (23-64) of its shots from the floor. Tech also hit 5-of-6 free throws. Mallard just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine boards for the Lady Raiders, while LaVonda Henderson added 10 points, six rebounds and four assists starting in place of Maria Moore, Tech's regular starter at point guard. Moore did not start because of swelling in her left knee, but did play three minutes midway through the first half.

Nebraska returns to Big 12 road by taking on No. 16 Iowa State on Wednesday in Ames. Tip-off at Hilton Coliseum is set for 7:05 p.m., with live television coverage provided FSN Midwest in Nebraska and Iowa. The game can also be heard live for free on Huskers.com, courtesy of the Husker Sports Network.


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