Omaha - Hailie Sample scored a career-high 20 points but No. 25 Nebraska suffered a 66-57 loss to in-state rival Creighton at D.J. Sokol Arena on Wednesday night.
With the loss, the Huskers slipped to 6-3, with all three losses to 2012 NCAA Tournament teams. The defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Bluejays improved to 4-2, notching their first win over a top-25 team in three tries on their homecourt this season. Nebraska's setback snapped a seven-game winning streak in the series with the Jays.
Sample, a 6-1 sophomore forward from Marcus, Texas, hit 9-of-14 shots from the field and both of her free throw attempts to finish with 20 points - doubling her previous career high. She added five rebounds and a pair of assists to go along with one steal.
Senior point guard Lindsey Moore added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 three-pointers. She added six assists, two rebounds and three steals for the Huskers.
Tear'a Laudermill added eight points off the bench on 3-of-5 shooting, while Meghin Williams pitched in six points on another 3-of-5 effort. While those four Huskers went a combined 21-of-35, the rest of NU's roster went just 3-for-24 on the night. While Moore went 2-of-3 from three-point range, the rest of the Huskers were 0-for-10.
As a team, Nebraska shot 40.7 percent (24-59) from the field and 2-for-13 from three-point range, while going 7-of-8 at the line. NU fell despite outrebounding CU, 33-28, and winning the turnover battle, 14-11.
Freshman Marissa Janning led Creighton by tying her career high with 19 points. Janning hit 4-of-6 three-pointers while connecting on 7-of-10 shots from the field. She added three assists. Junior McKenzie Fujan added a career-best 13 points while hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers and 4-of-6 shots from the field overall.
Creighton won the game from long range, hitting 9-of-22 shots from beyond the arc to outscore the Huskers by 21 points from three-point range. Overall, CU hit 56.3 percent (27-48) of its shots from the field, but just 3-of-8 free throws.
Creighton shot to a 36-27 halftime lead on its homecourt thanks to 6-of-11 three-point shooting in the first half. Overall, CU hit 62.5 percent (15-24) of its shots in the first half. While the Bluejays were hot, the Huskers were not. NU went just 1-for-6 from long range, while going 12-of-30 overall from the field. Nebraska did outrebound Creighton, 16-12, including 7-1 on the offensive glass, and won the turnover battle 7-6 in the first half.
Nebraska led 19-18 with 6:22 left in the first half after back-to-back buckets by Sample. But CU responded with three consecutive three-pointers to push the lead to 27-21 with 4:12 left. NU cut the margin back to 27-25 after Emily Cady's first two points of the game, but the Jays closed the half on a 9-2 run in the final two minutes.
The Huskers cut CU's lead to three at 43-40 on Moore's second three-pointer with 12:43 left. But Jordan Garrison, who finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, got a layup and was fouled on the following possession. She missed the free throw, but Carli Tritz, who managed six points for the game, got the offensive board and putback to quickly extend CU's lead back to seven points with just over 12 minutes left. NU could not get the lead back to one possession again.
Nebraska's Jordan Hooper was held scoreless for the first time in her career, going 0-for-7 from the field. She and Creighton's Sarah Nelson, nearly shut each other out on the night, as Hooper held Nelson to just four points.
The Huskers return to the Devaney Center for a top-25 showdown with No. 24 Florida State on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off between NU and the unbeaten Seminoles (7-0) is set for 2:05 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com.