LINCOLN — Isabelle Bourne tied her career high with 22 points and produced her third consecutive double-double by pulling down 11 rebounds to lead five Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska rolled to an 87-72 women’s basketball win over visiting Penn State on Sunday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 11-9 overall and 9-8 in the Big Ten, while Penn State slipped to 8-11 and 5-10 in the conference. Bourne who was coming off 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds in a mid-week win at No. 24 Northwestern, hit 7-of-13 shots from the field while knocking down 7-of-10 free throws. She added two assists and two blocked shots while helping the Huskers secure another win despite the absence of starting forward Bella Cravens, who sat out for the second straight game with a lower leg injury.
Junior guard Sam Haiby added 18 points, including 15 in the second half, to go along with eight rebounds and a game-high six assists. Haiby also sank a career-high four three-pointers on just five attempts, as Nebraska knocked down a season-high 13 threes on the day. NU’s three-point total, which came on just 24 attempts, tied for the fourth-most threes by a Husker team in a game in school history.
Redshirt sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin contributed four threes of her own on six attempts on her way to a career-high 18 points. Scoggin scored her 18 points on just nine field goal attempts while adding a career-high five assists for the Huskers.
Senior Kate Cain pitched in 11 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots, while Annika Stewart rounded out the five Huskers in double figures with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 from long range. Stewart’s points came in just seven minutes of game action, and they all came in a crucial three-minute stretch to close the first half and set the tone for the rest of the game.
Trailing 32-28 with just over three minutes left in the first half, Stewart entered to give Cain a breather while Bourne was sitting on the bench with two fouls. Stewart scored on a layup off a baseline out-of-bounds play to cut the PSU lead in half, before Scoggin scored on a driving layup to tie the game at 32.
After a Husker stop, Stewart buried a three-pointer. Penn State answered with two points at the other end, before Stewart connected on another three off an assist by Scoggin to put the Huskers up 38-34. With 48 seconds left in the half, Stewart capped a 12-2 surge to close the quarter with a layup off another assist by Scoggin to send Nebraska to the locker room with its biggest lead at the time, 40-34.
Nebraska pounded the ball inside to start the second half, but Penn State rallied to cut the lead to 47-45 on Maddie Burke’s second three-pointer of the quarter with 6:51 left in the period. Burke finished with 20 points on six threes on the afternoon.
From that point, Nebraska outscored the Lady Lions 23-9 the rest of the quarter to take a 70-54 lead to the fourth. NU’s contributions during the surge came from all over, as Haiby hit two threes, Scoggin pitched in five points, Bourne three, Cain three and MiCole Cayton and Kendall Coley each added huge three-pointers in the final 35 seconds to cap a 30-point third quarter for the Big Red.
In the third period, Nebraska hit 9-of-13 shots (.692), including all five of hits three-point attempts.
Penn State continued to battle, cutting the margin to 70-61 by opening the fourth quarter on a 7-0, before Bourne and Haiby combined for Nebraska’s next 12 points to push the Husker lead back to 82-67 with 2:44 left.
Nebraska finished the game at 51.9% (28-54) from the field, including 54.2% (13-24) from three-point range. The Huskers also sank 18-of-26 free throws (.692). The Big Red out-rebounded Penn State, 40-39, and committed just nine turnovers in the game.
The Huskers held an explosive Penn State offense to just 35.7% (25-70) shooting, but the Lady Lions were able to knock down 11-of-32 threes (.344). PSU hit just 11-of-19 free throws (.579), while committing just six turnovers.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Wednesday when the Huskers travel to Minnesota. Tip-off with the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena is set for 6 p.m. (CT) with live video coverage provided to subscribers of BTN Plus. Fans can also follow Nebraska with the Husker Sports Network radio call on the Huskers App and Huskers.com. The Big Red will be looking to avenge a 76-71 loss to Minnesota at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 19.