Minneapolis — At long last, the shots fell for the Nebraska women's basketball team. Perhaps because, at long last, NU attacked an opposing defense instead waiting for a weakness to present itself.
Both happened just in time to snap a two-game skid and grab a crucial Big Ten road win. The Huskers ran with Minnesota for a half, then ran away from the Gophers for an 84-63 rout at Williams Arena.
NU hit 48 percent of its shots, including 53 percent from 3-point range. Guards Lindsey Moore and Rachel Theriot combined for 39 points and 15 assists. Forwards Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady ran the floor and found open spots in Minnesota's zone defense.
The quartet help turn a 50-44 lead midway through the second half into a blowout with an 11-0 run. When the Gophers tried to shoot their way back into contention, the Huskers (13-6, 3-3 Big Ten) consistently had an answer.
“We were aggressive in transition, we were aggressive driving the ball, and that looked a little like the Husker basketball of last year,” coach Connie Yori said on her postgame radio show.
It did not look like NU's recent, ugly loss at home to Illinois. Against the Illini, the Huskers passed up opportunities to penetrate the lane to throw it around the 3-point arc.
Sunday, Nebraska shot eight more free throws than 3-pointers. Cady and Moore each reached the line seven times.
Nebraska also limited the taller, more athletic Gophers (13-6, 2-3) to 11 offensive rebounds.
“When we rebounded, we got it out, we pushed it ahead, we attacked,” Yori said.
Moore finished with a game-high 26 points that included several flashy layups. Theriot — a talented freshman whom Yori has kept in the starting lineup to gain experience — had 13 points and eight assists. She knocked down three 3-pointers.
“Rachel did a fabulous job tonight taking care of the ball and knocking down shots,” Moore said.
The Huskers mostly scrapped their man defense in favor of a zone that appeared to surprise the Gophers. Minnesota guard Rachel Banham — who came into the game averaging more than 20 points and scored 39 earlier this year against Creighton — was held to 15. She made 6 of 21 shots.
NU moved back into a tie for sixth in the Big Ten. The Huskers play Michigan State on Thursday.