Rosalie’s Reaction as Maryland outruns Nebraska 75 – 47


In their conference home-opener yesterday, the Nebraska Cornhuskers hoped to shake off the loss at Minnesota on Dec. 29th, but it was not to be. In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 7,505 nationally televised by CBS, No. 14 Maryland Terrapins came into Lincoln with “upset” on their agenda and walked away with a HUGE 28-point victory over Nebraska 75 – 47.

Yesterday’s game was BIG for both teams but for very different reasons. Maryland, who is the preseason pick to win the Big 10 this year, is the “new kid” on the block. They wanted to demonstrate they will be a major player in Big 10 women’s basketball. At the other end of the court, Nebraska is the returning Big 10 Champions of the 2013 -14 season. Gone is Jordan Hooper but returning are the core group of seniors Emily Cady, Brandy Jeffery, Hailie Sample, Tear’a Laudermill and junior Rachel Theriot. They certainly would like to repeat the success of last season. With two losses on the season already they were looking to get back on the “winning” track.

Mar 8, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Connie Yori coaches on the sidelines against the Michigan State Spartans during the Womens Big Ten Tournament semifinal round at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Nebraska defeated Michigan State 86-58. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

In her pre-game interview with Matt Coatney of the Husker Sports Network, Coach Connie Yori emphasized some key points in the strategy to win the game.  She said “Nebraska would need to find a way to eliminate easy baskets against us. We are going to have to get physical to keep them off the glass and get rebounds.  We have to handle the ball better and not commit turnovers.”

Once again, this game was a tale of two radically different halves. The first half of the game was very entertaining with neither team managing to gain and keep a lead for very long. Maryland center Brionna Jones only played 3 minutes before having to sit the rest of the half with 2 fouls. That was perhaps a major factor in Nebraska’s first half success.  Nebraska took a lot of shots and got good rebounds. Husker guards (Laudermill, Jeffery, Theriot) led the team with 19 of 23 points. The teams headed to the locker room tied at 27 -27 after a key last second shot by NU forward Hailie Sample.

From the second half tip it was quickly obvious that momentum had shifted to Maryland. Brionna Jones, who sat with fouls in the first half came roaring out of the locker room to spark Maryland and lead the team to an insurmountable lead. Maryland went on a quick 7 -0 lead very early while the Huskers struggled.  Nothing went right for the Huskers. Shots were few and far between with careless ball handling leading to many turnovers. As the second half minutes ticked off the clock it was clear the Maryland offense just wore down the Husker defense and yet Nebraska could barely muster any offense against the stellar Maryland defense. In the end, Nebraska just ran out of gas and was completely dominated by Maryland.

Who succeeded in proving their point and achieving their goal yesterday? Without question, Maryland. Terrapin Coach Brenda Frese has put together a squad of tall athletes who are not only fast but who can also shoot the 3-point goals from anywhere on the court. They lead the Big 10 in scoring offense, offensive rebounding, field goal percentage and rebounding margin. The starting line-up of Malina Howard, Brionna Jones, Laurin Mincy, Lexie Brown and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough combined to score 45 of their 75 points.

Apr 5, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Maryland Terrapins center Brionna Jones (left) and center Malina Howard (5) during practice before the semifinals of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Womens Division I Championship tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

In her post game interview, Coach Yori took responsibility for her team’s second half performance. “I have to do a better job preparing our kids coming out of the locker room. We just can’t turn it over that much and they scored a lot of points off our turnovers.  We really, really struggled offensively under the basket.”

More from Husker Corner

Was fatigue a factor in Nebraska’s loss?? Bench depth remains a nagging issue. Jasmine Cincore, Anya Kalenta, Natalie Romeo and Chandler Smith have been out for about 6 weeks with foot and/or leg injuries. Last week the flu bug hit some team members. We did suit up a couple more girls for this game and we were able to substitute more to rest the starters. However, for Nebraska to play championship caliber ball the entire squad will have to get healthy and participate fully in practices. The ability to rotate players is key to keeping fresh legs. The Huskers also continue to suffer from inconsistent offense. Cady, Theriot and Laudermill can’t carry the shooting responsibilities for the entire game.  Everyone on the floor must CONTRIBUTE.

Nebraska falls to 10 -3(0-2)and must now regroup and start over from scratch. With a healthy bench returning, Coach Yori has to figure out how to rebuild the offense and strengthen the defense. Huskers head out on the road for a Thursday night meeting at the Breslin Center in East Lansing to take on the Spartans.  As always, GO BIG RED!!