Published Sunday, January 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm / Updated at 7:32 pm
BASKETBALL
Cady, Hooper spark Husker win

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The No. 16 Nebraska women’s basketball team made sure it wouldn’t be bitten by the “buzz” two years in a row.

NU dissected Illinois’ aggressive, half-court defense in a 75-56 win at State Farm Center. The Huskers had been preparing for the Illini’s trademark trap since October, coach Connie Yori said on her postgame radio show. Illinois held the Huskers to a season-low in points last year by forcing 26 turnovers.

The buzz had its way in the first half, as Nebraska squandered an early 13-point lead and led 26-22 at halftime. But NU blew the game open in the second half, scoring 49 points in the final 20 minutes.

“We struggled for a bit in the first half and then we just settled down in the second half,” Yori said. “We looked for the things that we practiced.”

Senior forward Jordan Hooper — who scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds — said the Huskers (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten) started throwing better cross-court “skip” passes against Illinois (7-9, 0-3) and creating more opportunities for open shots.

“We’ve been talking about it since October, the buzz defense,” Hooper said. “It’s kinda crazy, it’s a lot of people just running around trying to get steals.”

Nebraska got clarity from the chaos, turning the four-point halftime lead into a 43-31 cushion by the 13-minute mark after junior forward Emily Cady completed a three-point play. Illinois never got closer than 10 after that.

Cady scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She handled the ball in some way on nearly every offensive possession, breaking free for layup tries or drawing a double team so she could pass to teammates on the wing. Hooper was the beneficiary of several Cady passes. Junior guard Tear’a Laudermill scored 13 points, hitting two 3-pointers.

NU had 18 turnovers, but Illinois was rarely able to capitalize, missing 25 of 27 3-point attempts. Its bench took 11 shots and made one. Ivory Crawford led the Illini with 19 points. Senior guard Amber Moore — one of the league’s better 3-point shooters, made 1 of 8 attempts and finished 10 points below her season scoring average.

“We were fortunate,” Yori said. “They go 2 of 27 from the 3-point line. I’ve been on the other side of that — maybe not quite that bad.”

The Huskers host Minnesota at Pinnacle Bank Arena at 8 p.m. Thursday.

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >