Senior Kaitlyn Burke led four Huskers in double figures with 14 points, but the No. 17 Nebraska women's basketball team struggled through a cold shooting night in a 57-49 loss to Kansas in the NCAA Tournament first round at the Jack Stephens Center.
Nebraska, which made its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past four years, ended its season with a 24-9 record that included a 10-6 Big Ten mark. Kansas improved to 20-12 and meets No. 3 seed Delaware in the second round Tuesday in Little Rock.
Burke, playing her final game as a Husker, hit 7-of-9 shots from the field to lead sixth-seeded NU with 14 points and four assists in 33 minutes. Freshman Emily Cady added her third career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds on 3-of-4 shooting from the field. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., hit NU's lone three-pointer and went 3-for-3 from the line.
While Burke and Cady combined to go 10-for-13, the rest of the Huskers went 10-for-48, including a 5-for-21 effort from junior point guard Lindsey Moore, who went 0-for-6 from long range. Moore still finished with 12 points, six rebounds, two assists and a steal.
NU's leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Hooper, who missed the past week of practice with a stress reaction in her lower leg, went just 4-of-18 from the field and 0-for-8 from long range in 32 minutes. Hooper still just missed her fourth straight double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The rest of the Huskers went just 1-for-9, with junior forward Meghin Williams hitting 1-of-2 shots to finish with NU's lone two points off the bench. Williams added four rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Freshman forward Hailie Sample, who also missed the past week of practice with a stress reaction in her lower leg, did not shoot and managed three rebounds, an assist and a steal in just 13 minutes.
For the game, Nebraska went 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, including a season-low 1-for-19 from three-point range (5.3 percent). NU hit at least four threes in every other game this year, and never shot a lower three-point percentage than 17.9 (5-28 vs. Northwestern).
The Husker defense kept them in the game for 40 minutes against the Jayhawks, holding KU to just 37.9 percent shooting (25-66) from the field, including just 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from long range. Kansas was also just 5-of-10 from the free throw line.
KU outrebounded Nebraska, 45-42, including 17-14 on the offensive glass. The Jayhawks turned their 17 offensive boards into 19 second-chance points, while NU managed just nine second-chance points off its 14 offensive boards.
Kansas also won the turnover battle, 15-13, and turned Nebraska's 15 miscues into 16 points, while the Huskers converted KU's turnovers into just four points.
Angel Goodrich led Kansas with a game-high 20 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block in 39 minutes. Freshman forward Chelsea Gardner added a huge night with 15 points and 16 rebounds in place of KU All-Big 12 forward Carolyn Davis, who has missed the last eight games with a season-ending knee injury.
Aishah Sutherland managed eight points and five rebounds, but played just 20 minutes because of foul trouble. Natalie Knight and Asia Boyd each finished with five points for KU.
In a sluggish first half, the Huskers trailed by as many as 10 points before taking a 28-20 deficit into the locker room. The Huskers shot just 32 percent (8-25) in the first half, including 0-for-5 from three-point range. NU was also outrebounded, 25-19, by the Jayhawks. The Huskers did hit 4-of-5 free throws, but lost the first-half turnover battle, 8-7.
Burke led the Huskers with eight first-half points on 4-of-4 shooting, while Hooper added six points and four rebounds, but went just 2-of-7 from the field. Moore pitched in four points, three rebounds and an assist, but went just 1-of-6 from the field. The only other Husker to find the scoring column was Meghin Williams, who managed two points, a rebound and two blocked shots.
Gardner led KU with 10 points and six rebounds in the first half, while Goodrich added eight points and three assists despite committing five turnovers. Boyd gave the Jayhawks a big lift with five points, to help KU overcome two first-half fouls from Goodrich, Sutherland and CeCe Harper. Sutherland, KU's leading scorer and rebounder, played just six first-half minutes and did not score, while Harper played just three minutes without scoring.
KU hit 34.3 percent (12-35) of its first-half shots, including 2-of-10 threes. The Jayhawks were also just 2-of-6 from the free throw line.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations