Nebraska kept things close four three quarter with No. 5 Louisville on the road Thursday night, but just ran out of gas late, falling 85-68 to drop to 2-4 on the season.
Louisville guard Asia Durr, an All-American and the returning ACC Player of the Year, led all scorers with 25 points while contributing a game-high eight assists for the Cardinals. Durr also grabbed six rebounds for Louisville, who remained unbeaten on the year in seven games.
It was the sixth 20-point individual performance the Husker defense has given up this season. Team defense was a focal point heading into the campaign and it was again a thorn in the Huskers’ side on Thursday night.
Forward Maddie Simon scored 16 points while guard Hannah Whitish pitched in 15 for the Huskers. Freshman guard Sam Haiby gave the Huskers three in double figures with 12 points. On most nights, that’s a strong enough offensive showing to keep you in the game.
Just not when the other team shoots 52 percent from the floor and 35 percent from deep.
And with Louisville shooting the lights out of its own gym, gifting extra possessions proved costly. Louisville got 26 points off a season-high 23 Nebraska turnovers while adding nine offensive rebounds. Nebraska lost the rebounding battle — this one 35-33 — for the third time this season.
Nebraska got off to a hot start, taking an 11-10 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Cardinals responded with an 11-3 run to end the frame. The lead stretched to 10 early in the second quarter but Nebraska fought back to bring it within five midway through. Again Louisville took control back and entered the halftime break up 40-31.
Nebraska trailed by eight points at 58-50 after a three-pointer by forward Taylor Kissinger with 1:24 left in the quarter, but the Cardinals scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 62-50 lead to the final period. Over the final minute of the third quarter through the first five minutes of the fourth, Louisville used an 18-6 run to break the game open.
Nebraska completes its five-game non-conference road trip by taking on Creighton (1-4) in Omaha on Sunday, with tip set for 1 p.m. CT.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.