Natalie Romeo hit seven three-pointers and scored 26 points, both career highs, to lead seventh-seeded Nebraska to an 86-71 win over Illinois in the second round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday.
Romeo, a freshman who has started nine straight games since All-American Rachel Theriot was lost for the season with an ankle injury, was 5 of 7 behind the arc in the first half when the Cornhuskers (21-9) opened a 49-29 lead.
Hailie Sample and Tear’a Laudermiller had 14 points apiece for the Cornhuskers while Allie Havers added 13 and Emily Cady had 11. Brandi Jeffery had nine rebounds and eight assists to go with her six points.
Nebraska, which shot 61.7 percent from the floor, led by as many as 28 with 8:21 to play. The Illini were held to just 34.6 percent shooting.
Nebraska (21-9) will play 14th-ranked Iowa, seeded second, in the quarterfinals on Friday.