Photo Credit: John Peterson

Huskers Pull 23-Point Upset Win On Road Against No. 20 Maryland

December 04, 2022

Amy Williams looked to Annika Stewart on the bench in the midst of Nebraska’s matchup on the road against No. 20 Maryland.

Williams said in her postgame radio appearance that it was there she took notice of the bruises on the body of her sophomore forward, showing the fight she and the entire team had put in so far this season.

The first eight games of the year hadn’t been the most kind to the Huskers, even as they sat at 5-3 heading into today. They dropped three games on the road, two to top 25 and all by double-digits. In addition, they’d been struggling with a number of injuries. Sam Haiby played six minutes in her season debut before going out again. Allison Weidner had an injury to her eye early on in the same game, and wore goggles in the next few contests. Trinity Brady took an elbow to the head against Virginia Tech, and wasn’t available against the Terrapins.

On Sunday, the Huskers faced another top-25 opponent on the road while missing a starter. This opponent was one that was 15-0 all-time against Nebraska, and had just taken down a top-10 team days earlier.

However, the fight Williams saw in her team prevailed on this occasion, as Nebraska won 90-67.

“I feel awesome. I feel emotional. I feel grateful. I feel blessed,” Williams said. “Incredibly blessed to coach young women that just keep fighting and keep believing in each other and keep believing in me and just keep buying in and believing in the program. Even though we’ve been through some hard games here early this season, haven’t quite been able to put it all together, but they just kept fighting and kept scratching.”

Although four starters scored in double figures, Jaz Shelley led the way. She had 29 points, 16 of them in the third quarter, to go along with five assists and three steals.

The last two times Nebraska faced top-25 opponents, it had fallen behind early and been unable to make up the difference. This matchup went differently. Although the Huskers opened with three straight turnovers, Isabelle Bourne followed it up by scoring eight consecutive points before a Shelley three marked an 11-0 run. The Terrapins did bounce back, eventually holding a 16-14 lead, but Alexis Markowski’s short fadeaway with a couple seconds left brought it back to a tie at the end of the period.

But by the time the half neared, the team found itself in a familiar, dangerous position. Maryland led 36-25 after a layup from Shyanne Sellers gave her 14 points. The Huskers hadn’t scored in five minutes, and this was the type of deficit Nebraska couldn’t come back from in its three losses.

Then Shelley showed up again. She hit one three to break the drought, grabbed a rebound then drained another from beyond the arc. When halftime came, the deficit was just five points.

“We’ve seen it happen a lot of times on all the film that we’ve watched of Maryland and all the times that we’ve seen teams play here in the past where it’s 11, and then next thing you know, it just kind of gets to 15, 17 and it’s out of hand,” Williams said. “In that moment, it was almost like there was just a mentality of ‘No, this is not going to happen, not today.'”

That alone, of course, still wasn’t enough to put Nebraska ahead. Maryland led, even with Diamond Miller sitting on the bench for the final 14 minutes of the half with two fouls. Its top two scorers, Miller and Abby Meyer, combined for just two points in the half.

The first points of the third quarter came by way of Miller being left alone for three and hitting it. She scored seven points in the opening four minutes, but Shelley responded with another pair of threes in that stretch.

Tides truly shifted in the final three minutes of the third quarter. In a span of five offensive possessions, Shelley compiled 10 points and an assist. The last of those points put Nebraska up 60-56 with one quarter to go.

Against Virginia Tech three days ago, the Huskers were outscored 30-12 in the final quarter. Fortunes were almost completely reversed this time, as they were the ones to put up 30 points in the fourth quarter to Maryland’s 11.

This stretch wasn’t quite like the 14 consecutive points she had in overtime against Mississippi State, but it was of similar importance.

Shelley’s final points in her 40 minutes on the floor came just prior to Nebraska’s breakaway. She helped in forcing a Miller turnover, then was fouled by the guard on the other end. Her two free throws were matched by two from Miller on the other end to make it 77-67, but the Terrapins stopped scoring after that.

Besides Shelley, Bourne and Markowski scored 18 and 14 points, respectively. Weidner had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

The loss for Maryland was a second letdown following a ranked victory. The Terrapins beat No. 17 Baylor in November, then dropped the next game to DePaul.

On Nebraska’s end, it was a departure for what had been the norm. Even in a successful season last year, the Huskers were 5-6 on the road and 0-3 against ranked opponents in their arenas.

Now, they’ll return home for five straight games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Williams said the team’s now had the opportunity to learn from the struggles from early this season and be a better team from here on out.

“It’s been a quite a swing of emotion on this road trip,” Williams said. “But I think one thing that’s pretty special is this trip has given us a lot of time to really spend together and just decide what kind of a team that we want to be.”

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap