The Nebraska women’s basketball team has been searching all year for a consistent third scorer to help Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper shoulder the offensive burden.
In Thursday’s 67-38 blowout of Indiana, three of them were ready for duty.
Guards Rachel Theriot and Tear’a Laudermill set career highs with 14 points apiece, while forward Emily Cady pitched in 11. They combined to hit 16 of 22 shots and helped spur an 18-2 run at the end of the first half. NU’s swarming pressure defense did the rest.
Moore and Hooper combined for just 16 points. That suited coach Connie Yori just fine.
“You can’t just rely on Jordan and Lindsey,” Yori said after the game on the Big Ten Network. “It’s pretty easy to guard two players, so we’re gonna have to have others do a little bit more for us. And today was a good example of that we do have others who can score. They just gotta be confident.”
Cady, Laudermill and Theriot were that for the Huskers (12-4, 2-1 Big Ten) during a key stretch in the first half.
After Indiana (10-6, 1-2) pulled within 19-15 at the 6:14 mark, Cady answered with a falling 3-pointer from the top of the key. Laudermill followed with a mid-range jumper. Two minutes later, Theriot hit Hooper on a give-and-go for an easy layup. Laudermill made two more shots — including a 3-pointer — and Theriot finished the half with a layup to give NU a 37-17 halftime lead.
That cushion grew as big as 62-24 in the second half after Cady made two free throws. The Hoosiers were unable to break through Nebraska’s defense, shooting 28 percent for the night.
Most of Indiana’s problems came at point guard, where Andrea Newbauer and Nicole Bell weren’t able to set up the offense until half of the shot clock had been burned. That led to either expired shot clocks or rushed jumpers that resulted in easy Husker defensive rebounds. NU won the rebounding battle 50-27, as Hooper finished with 11 boards to go with her 11 points.
Theriot, a freshman, had six assists on the night. Off the bench, forward Katie Simon had her strongest performance of the year with eight points and four rebounds. Indiana was led by Aulani Simpson, who scored 15 points but needed 14 shots to do it.
The Huskers play at 1 p.m. Sunday at No. 8 Penn State. The game will be televised on ESPN2.