April 20, 2014

Huskers hold off Michigan State

Jordan Hooper scored a game-high 25 points as the Nebraska women’s basketball team topped No. 25 Michigan State, 59-54, at the Devaney Center on Thursday night. It was the Spartans’ first conference road loss.

Hooper, who hit 9-of-18 shots from the field, including 3-of-7 three-pointers, became the first opponent to get her season average against a tough Spartan defense, that has allowed just 47 points per game.

Hooper led a dominant Nebraska inside game that outscored the Spartans 34-18 in the paint. Hooper added seven rebounds to help the Huskers outrebound Michigan State 39-38, after MSU entered the game with a plus-11.2 rebound margin in Big Ten play.

Nebraska’s defense was solid for the second straight game, holding the Spartans to just 25.8 percent (8-31) shooting from the field, including 2-of-7 from long range in the first half.

Hooper scored NU’s first five points of the second half to help the Huskers stay in control and the Spartans cut the lead to three points at 37-34 on a three-pointer by Courtney Schiffauer with 15:17 left, but never got closer as the Huskers held the Spartans without a field goal for nine minutes during one stretch of the second half.

Nebraska notched its second straight Big Ten win to improve to 4-3 in the conference, while moving to 14-6 overall. It was the Huskers’ second win over a top-25 foe this season. NU won in December over then-No. 24 Florida State.

The Huskers will take the weekend off before returning to Big Ten road action at Ohio State on Thursday, Jan. 31. Tip-off between the Huskers and Buckeyes is set for 7:30 p.m. (central)