Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Blows Out Washburn 70-27 in Exhibition

October 30, 2022

Nebraska women’s basketball came out strong in its exhibition against Washburn on Sunday, beating the Ichabods 70-27.

The No. 22 Huskers opened the game strong, scoring the first 11 points and not allowing a single point until over halfway through the first quarter. They increased the lead to 29 by halftime, then cruised to the victory from there.

Alexis Markowski led the effort, putting up 18 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Fellow forward Isabelle Bourne also scored in double-digits, with 12 points, eight rebounds and three rejections.

“We saw somebody that’s wanting to establish herself as a huge presence for our team and and I thought (Markowski) did that,” head coach Amy Williams said postgame. “Obviously a double-double in limited minutes, about half the ballgame, and so it’s great to see that.”

Each Husker starter scored in the team’s 11-0 run to start the game. Allison Weidner hit one of two free throws to put the first point on the board, then Bourne hit a 3-pointer after an offensive rebound on the next possession. Trinity Brady hit a layup and Jaz Shelley put in a three before Markowski capped off the run with a hook shot shortly after a Washburn timeout.

While four starters were returners to that role from last season, Brady was a somewhat new face among them. With the fifth returning starter, Sam Haiby, out for an extended time due to injury, the fourth-year junior guard stepped in. Brady missed the majority of the last two seasons with injuries, finishing the game with five points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal.

“She’s a super valuable player on our team,” Bourne said. “She’s got really high IQ, fits in really well, especially being out two years, to come on and fit in so well with our team, it’s awesome for us moving forward.”

The Huskers had contributions from the bench as well. Forward Annika Stewart added nine points in 16 minutes. Guards Maddie Krull and Kendall Moriarty were the first players off the bench, each playing over 20 minutes and scoring six and seven points, respectively.

Krull, a transfer from South Dakota, helped end the first half on a high note. Shelley grabbed a rebound and took the ball up for one last possession and dished it to Krull in the corner. She hit the 3-pointer, her first shot and make of the game. She added another make from beyond the arc in the second half.

“She knocked down a couple of threes and maybe turned down one that I would have liked to her to take late,” Williams said. “She’s more than capable, she’s been working very hard in that area, seems like she always makes those late clock shots in practice. And we saw that at the end of the first half there.”

She was also praised for her defensive ability by Williams and Markowski. She didn’t have any defensive stats show up in the box score, but she contributed to a strong team showing on that end. Washburn shot just 17.8%, turning the ball over 21 times as well.

“I thought that there were some really good things,” Williams said. “I thought that we tried to limit a few things and be aggressive on certain situations and I thought we forced them into some turnovers so that was outstanding for us to see.”

The head coach pointed out that she wants her team to make further improvements on that end, citing the six offensive rebounds given up in the first half and saying that they were undisciplined at times.

In addition to a 43-point win, the Huskers have also received potential good news for further down the line. Haiby was originally ruled out for the entirety of the season due to her injury, but that may have changed, according to Williams. The guard had surgery on Thursday, which revealed that the injury may not have been as severe as originally thought. Still, there is no timetable for her return.

“If there is any opportunity that she’ll be able to return and play with this team, that’s pretty exciting for everybody involved,” Williams said. “So we’re always going to keep Sam’s best interests at heart first and we’ll see what type of timeline we have for her.”

In the meantime, Nebraska will turn its focus to the regular season opener just over a week from now. The Huskers will take on Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 7, with tipoff at noon.

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