Connie Yori’s search for alternative scorers is temporarily over.
The Nebraska basketball coach said she needed players beside top scorers Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore to fill in the gaps in the offense.
She got just what she asked for as sophomore Tear’a Laudermill came off the bench to score 14 and freshman starting guard Rachel Theriot posted a career-high 14 to lead Nebraska over Indiana 67-38 Thursday night at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.
Hooper still finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds and sophomore Emily Cady scored 11 points and had 10 rebounds while Nebraska notched its best defensive effort since allowing Denver 38 points Dec. 30, 2007.
“Three things: One, we had players who hadn’t been scoring a lot step up with Rachel, Tear’a, Emily and even Katie Simon, who had eight (Thursday),” said Yori. “And we’re going to need everybody to score.
“Two, our pressure defense was good, then when Tear’a comes in it increases the pressure and we played very good defense.
"Three: We got rebounds.”
Nebraska (12-4 overall, 2-1 Big Ten), outrebounded Indiana 50-27. The Hoosiers (10-6, 1-2) shot just 28 percent from the field and had just four players score in the game.
Aulani Sinclair, one of the top scorers in the Big Ten, was limited to 15 points, and Simone Deloach added 14, but they were the only two Hoosiers in double figures.
Nebraska jumped to a 9-1 lead, with Indiana getting its first field goal with 11:33 left in the first half. After closing to 19-15 on a three-pointer by Sinclair, NU tore off on an 18-2 run with three-pointers by Cady and Laudermill and three more baskets on assists from Moore to take a 37-17 halftime lead. Nebraska outscored Indiana 15-3 in the first seven minutes of the second half.
“This is close to what we talked about after the Purdue game,” Laudermill said. “We couldn’t hang our head about an overtime loss where we knew the mistakes we made cost us. It came down to focusing on Indiana and playing this game, not that one over again.”
Laudermill said the defense charged everybody up on the team, but the no-look passes by Theriot and Moore for easy layups sent the team into cheers. “When you get incredible passes like those, everybody is involved, and you know Rachel and Lindsey are just making the whole team look good because they are so good.”
Nebraska will return to Lincoln before flying to Penn State for a 1 p.m. game Sunday with the preseason Big Ten favorite to be televised on ESPN2 (Time Warner Channel 35).
“They already got our attention,” Laudermill said.