Nebraska and Purdue meeting up in women’s basketball?
Must mean overtime.
For the third straight game the Huskers and Boilermakers needed more than regulation to determine a winner, and on Saturday No. 14 Purdue held on for a 69-66 overtime victory at the Devaney Sports Center.
Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper drained a three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game but couldn’t connect on an off-balance triple at the end of the overtime session that would have kept the two teams on the floor for more basketball.
“I think it’s like in a contract that we have to go to overtime with Purdue,” said NU’s Lindsey Moore, who led the 25th-ranked Huskers with 22 points and 8 assists while playing all 45 minutes. “Both teams just grit it out and grind it out.”
Nebraska's early cold shooting had Huskers coach Connie Yori wondering if her team would ever make a shot.
“Shooting as poorly as we did and to play as hard as we did, that’s a compliment to our team,” Yori said. “We had our chances.”
“Shooting poorly” hardly describes Nebraska’s frigid start: The Huskers missed their first 16 shots and trailed 13-1 with 12:35 remaining in the first half. Finally, Brandi Jeffery broke the streak with a three-pointer at the 11:26 mark.
“We played hard on defense and got stops, so we still hung around,” Moore said. “We rebounded well and we needed to get second- and third-chance opportunities.”
Moore hit a three-pointer to pull Nebraska to within three, 26-23, at the half despite the Huskers shooting just 8-for-37 (21 percent) from the field.
Nebraska (11-4 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) tied the game five times in the second half before finally taking a lead, 45-42, on Hooper’s first three-point make at the 7:18 mark. Purdue surged back in front and appeared to have the game won at 59-53 with less than a minute to play. But the Boilermakers missed one-and-one opportunities and Hooper made a pair of three-pointers, the second tying the game at 59 all.
“It was a broken play,” Hooper said. “We were trying to get the ball to Lindsey but she had two people on her. Em (Emily Cady) skipped the ball to me. Thank God I caught it and made the shot.”
Purdue took a 62-59 lead in overtime on a three-pointer by Courtney Moses and never gave it up. Nebraska pulled to within two, 66-64, on a layup by Tear’a Laudermill with 59 seconds left and got the ball back with a chance to tie. But Hooper, who was just 6-for-21 from the field, forced up a contested three-pointer with 25 seconds to play and Purdue rebounded. Hooper’s last chance to tie the game with two seconds left was long and Purdue survived.
Hooper finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Huskers. Cady contributed seven points and 12 rebounds, and Jeffery added eight points and four steals. Nebraska was 24-of-78 (30.8 percent) from the field and 9-of-30 (30 percent) from beyond the arc.
Purdue’s Sam Osterello hit key shots for the Boilermakers all afternoon and ended up with 17 points and 19 rebounds. Drey Mingo and Moses also had 17 points each for Purdue (13-2, 2-0). Former Lincoln Southeast standout KK Houser had a poor shooting effort (1-for-12) but finished with six points, five assists and a career-high nine rebounds.
“It was exhausting,” Houser said. “I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, but it’s always a long, hard-fought battle with Nebraska. It was a very special day (to be back in Lincoln). My grandmother was here and she’d never been to a college game. There was a lot of family and friends here, so it was a good day. And we got a win.”
Nebraska beat Purdue 93-89 in triple overtime last year in West Lafayette and the Boilermakers won a 74-70 double-overtime decision over the Huskers in last year’s Big Ten championship game.
PURDUE 69, NEBRASKA 66, OT
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Three-pointers--7-23 (Mingo 1-4, Ostarello 1-1, Moses 3-9, Houser 1-8, Wilson 1-1). Field-goal percentage--39.3. Free throw percentage--77.8. Team fouls--16. Assists--13 (Houser 5). Turnovers--18. Steals--4 (Ostarello 3). Blocked shots--2 (Osterello).
Three-pointers--9-30 (Cady 0-2, Hooper 3-13, Moore 3-7, Theriot 0-2, Laudermill 1-2, Jeffery 2-4). Field-goal percentage--30.8. Free-throw percentage--69.2. Team fouls--13. Fouled out--Sample. Assists--20 (Moore 8). Turnovers--9. Steals--8 (Jeffery 4). Blocked shots--5 (Theriot 2).