It was a successful trip to San Diego for the Nebraska women’s basketball team as the Huskers stayed unbeaten and won The Dana on Mission Bay Holiday Tournament championship.
Nebraska opened the four-team tournament with a 65-53 win over Drexel on Friday, and then got past tournament host San Diego 64-56 on Saturday night. Nebraska improves to 7-0, something that hasn’t happened since the 2014-15 season.
Up next for the Huskers is the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Nebraska travels to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to play another 7-0 team, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, on Wednesday. Tip for that game is scheduled for 6 p.m. The Demon Deacons, who made the NCAA Tournament last season, have won three consecutive games by 20 or more points.
Nebraska 65, Drexel 53
The star of the game against the Dragons was guard Jaz Shelley, who scored 30 points while ripping down seven rebounds and blocking four shots. The transfer from Oregon was deadly from 3-point range, making 6-of-7 from behind the arc. Shelley also went an efficient 8-of-9 at the free-throw line to help propel the Huskers to the win.
“She shot it well against that zone they were playing,” Nebraska head coach Amy Williams said to Huskers Radio Network after the game. “She found open areas, she was really aggressive and efficient. To do all that and score 30 points on nine shots is pretty incredible.”
No other Husker scored in double figures against Drexel as Isabelle Bourne added seven points and five rebounds while both Mi’Cole Cayton and Annika Stewart each chipped in with six points. Cayton shot 2-of-3 from 3-point range while Stewart was 1-of-2.
Defensively, Bella Cravens had a monster night on the glass with 14 rebounds. The Hawaii native also added five points on the offensive end. Alexis Markowski, a true freshman from Lincoln Pius X High School, came off the bench to score five points with nine boards and one block.
The Huskers’ deep bench came up big in the win as it outscored Drexel’s bench 19-2.
Nebraska 64, San Diego 56
Like the first game against Drexel, nothing came easy for the Huskers in the tournament title game against San Diego, which is coached by former Husker assistant coach Cindy Fisher.
Shelley led the Huskers with 16 points while Sam Haiby and Ashley Scoggin scored in double digits at 15 and 12 points, respectively. Both teams had trouble making shots as they combined to shoot 36% (40-of-109) from the field and just 58% (25-of-43) from the free-throw line. Along with a poor shooting performance, the Huskers also had to overcome 23 turnovers in the game.
Nebraska led just 47-46 to start the fourth quarter. With around four minutes left in the game, Haiby got a steal that later turned into a dagger 3-pointer from Shelley to give her team a 56-52 lead:
Hustle & Teamwork. 🌽🔥
Huskers lead 62-54! pic.twitter.com/IMRIbJEZZd
— Nebraska WBB (@HuskersWBB) November 28, 2021
Haiby, a second team All-Big Ten selection last season, finished her night with five assists and hit big free throws down the stretch to keep the host Toreros at bay—she went 7-of-10 at the line to help her team earn the win. Shelley had another efficient game from beyond the arc as she went 5-of-8 from 3 to go along with a team-high four steals. Scoggin had the 3-point shot falling too and went 4-of-6. The Huskers shot 52.6% (10-of-19) from 3 in the win.
Both Cravens and Markowski did work on the glass against San Diego, too. Cravens grabbed a team-best 15 rebounds, which included four on the offensive end, to go with seven points. Markwoski scored seven points as well and hauled down seven boards, five of which were offensive.
Going into the tournament, Williams wanted to see her team outrebound their opponents. Consider that mission accomplished as the Huskers outrebounded San Diego 46-34 and Drexel 50-34.
After its game at Wake Forest, Nebraska will play its first Big Ten opponent, Minnesota, on Monday, Dec. 6.