Hooper sets record en route to 31 in a win over Indiana
Lincoln - All-American Jordan Hooper scored 31 points and broke the Nebraska women's basketball career three-point record to lead the No. 21 Huskers to a 76-61 win over Indiana on Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., drained a season-high six three-pointers to push her school-record total to 270, breaking the previous mark of 267 set by Kiera Hardy (2004-07). Hooper hit 10-of-18 shots from the floor in the game, including 6-of-12 threes, and 5-of-7 free throws to notch the ninth 30-point performance of her career.
With Hooper leading the way, Nebraska claimed its sixth consecutive victory to improve to 19-5 overall and 9-3 in the Big Ten. Indiana slipped to 17-8 overall and 4-8 in the conference.
Nebraska's win came with the added drama of Coach Connie Yori being forced to leave the game with just under 12 minutes left after fainting on the sideline. Yori went to the floor at Pinnacle Bank Arena after Hooper gave the Huskers the lead for good with a layup and a foul to put the Big Red up 52-50 with 11:43 remaining.
Yori, who had experienced dizziness earlier in the day, walked off the floor under her own power in front of the more than 8,000 applauding fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena. She was examined in the Husker locker room and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. She did not return to the court.
In her absence, the Huskers executed with precision on offense and closed the door on the hot-shooting Hoosiers on defense. Nebraska held Indiana to just seven points over the next 11 minutes to build its biggest lead at 74-57 with 36 seconds left. Hooper had 10 points during the surge and 20 during the second half.
Sophomore point guard Rachel Theriot produced another tremendous all-around game with 23 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Theriot, who did not commit a turnover while playing the full 40 minutes, scored seven of her points, while adding three assists, both of her steals and her block during the final 12 minutes.
Junior forward Emily Cady also played a huge role in the Husker victory by notching her team-leading 11th double-double of the season with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with four assists, two blocks and a steal.
Hailie Sample pitched in six points, six boards, three assists and two blocks, while Tear'a Laudermill contributed four points, two rebounds and an assist while limiting Indiana's leading scorer Larryn Brooks to just 10 points - seven under her season average.
Alexis Gassion led the Hoosiers with 19 points, including three three-pointers. As a team, Indiana hit 10-of-27 threes, but after opening the game 8-for-17, went just 2-for-10 down the stretch.
For the game, Nebraska hit 45.9 percent (28-61) of its shots from the field, including 8-of-19 three-pointers (.421). The Huskers were also 12-of-14 at the free throw line. NU outrebounded Indiana, 36-33, and won the turnover battle 14-6, as the Huskers matched their season-best with six turnovers.
The Huskers trailed 36-32 at halftime after Indiana buried seven first-half three-pointers. The Hoosiers opened the game 0-for-6 from long range, but hit 7-of-10 to close the half to score 21 of their 36 first-half points from beyond the arc.
Nebraska answered with 14 first-half points, five rebounds and three assists from Theriot. Hooper added 11 first-half points, including three first-half threes to tie Hardy's school career record with 267.
Nebraska won the first-half battle of the boards 17-16, and the turnover battle 5-3, but Indiana hit 13-of-26 shots (.500) and 3-of-4 free throws along with 7-of-16 threes (.438). The Huskers hit 13-of-32 (.406) and 4-of-12 threes (.333) while getting two Theriot free throws.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Thursday when the Huskers travel to Ohio State. Tip-off with the Buckeyes is set for 6 p.m. (CT)
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