Kelsey Griffin scored 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the Nebraska Cornhuskers to an 83-44 victory over 16th-seeded Northern Iowa in the first round of the NCAA women’s tournament Sunday night, denying the Panthers the opportunity of eliminating two number one seeds on consecutive nights.
Dominique Kelley added 11 points for Nebraska (31-1), the top-seeded team in the Kansas City regional. Nebraska coach Connie Yori and Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren were teammates in college at Creighton, and Yori didn’t take it easy on her friend and former point guard.
The Huskers blew the game open with an 22-7 spurt to start the second half, forced 17 Panthers turnovers and made 10 of 20 3-pointers to move on to the second round.
Midway through the first half, the Huskers were clinging to a 20-18 lead before they turned up the pressure on the Panthers, who shot 29 percent for the game. Nebraska had eight steals in the first and forced 12 turnovers.
Panthers guard Jacqui Kalin, an All-Missouri Valley Conference player and the team’s leading scorer during the regular season, missed her first 11 shots and finished with two points on 1-for-12 shooting. The Huskers will now take on 8th seeded UCLA Tuesday night at 8:30 pm.
Click here for post game quotes from Connie Yori and the players.