Husker Women Splash Islanders, 73-44
San Juan, Puerto Rico - Annika Stewart erupted for a career-high 23 points including three of Nebraska's 11 three-pointers, as the Huskers rolled to a 73-44 women's basketball win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Puerto Rico Clasico at Roberto Clemente Coliseum on Friday.
Stewart, a 6-3 forward from Plymouth, Minn., added a pair of traditional three-point plays for the Big Red while contributing a career-high eight rebounds to power Nebraska. Stewart finished 8-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-5 from long range, while knocking down all four of her free throw attempts.
Nebraska improved to 4-2 with its second straight win, while Texas A&M-Corpus Christi - the preseason favorite to win the Southland Conference - slipped to 2-4.
Stewart entered the game midway through the first quarter with Nebraska trailing 12-5 and sparked the Huskers with a quick three-pointer. That three opened a 17-2 NU surge that flipped the score to 22-14 in Nebraska's favor. Although the Islanders slowed the surge, Stewart hit back-to-back shots, including another three, to push Nebraska's edge to 27-18. She finished with 10 points in the second quarter, as Nebraska built a 35-20 halftime lead by outscoring the Islanders 23-6 in the period.
Jaz Shelley, who finished with 11 points and five assists, also played a big role in the second quarter. The 5-9 guard poured in eight second-quarter points including a pair of corner threes in the closing minutes of the half.
While Stewart and Shelley had big second quarters, sophomore Allison Weidner was Nebraska's catalyst throughout the first half. The 5-10 guard from Humphrey, Neb., had 10 points and four boards in the first 20 minutes. She scored Nebraska's first two points of the game for the second straight contest. On Tuesday, she missed the final 39 minutes of NU's win over Tarleton after suffering an eye injury while scoring NU's first two points. She took the court Friday with red goggles on and played a spectacular first half in spectacles on her way to 13 points, five rebounds and two steals.
Alexis Markowski overcame foul trouble for the Big Red to finish with her second double-double of the week with 10 points and 10 rebounds. It was Markowski's third double-double of the season. She led a Nebraska rebounding effort that closed with a 42-20 advantage over the Islanders, who had not lost a rebounding battle in their first five games this season. NU's work on the glass allowed the Huskers to outscore the Islanders 18-5 in second-chance points.
Nebraska hit 44.1 percent (26-59) of its shots from the field in the game, including 39.3 percent (11-28). Seven different Huskers hit at least one triple, including Callin Hake (2-4), Alexis Markowski (1-1), Kendall Coley (1-1), Allison Weidner (1-2) and Trinity Brady (1-4) along with the five combined threes from Stewart (3-5) and Shelley (2-3).
NU's 11 three-pointers marked the third time this season that the Huskers knocked down at least 10 threes in a game, snapping a three-game stretch in which the Big Red combined to go just 14-of-67 (.209) from beyond the arc.
The Huskers connected on 71.4 percent (10-14) of their free throws and matched the Islanders with 11 turnovers. However, Nebraska outscored Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 11-2 in points off turnovers, including 11-1 in the first half.
Nebraska's defense held the Islanders to just 27.3 percent (12-44) shooting for the game, including just 3-of-15 three-point shooting. The Islanders missed their first nine three-point attempts before knocking one down in the final minute of the third quarter. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi did outscore Nebraska 17-10 at the free throw line, hitting 17-of-24 attempts (.708).
Alecia Westbrook led the Islanders with 14 points and five rebounds, while Makinna Serrata added nine points and six boards. No other Islander scored more than five points.
Nebraska wraps up its action at the Puerto Rico Clasico by taking on Mississippi State (5-1) Saturday. The Bulldogs opened their stay in Puerto Rico with a 67-32 win over Georgetown earlier Saturday. Tip-off between the Huskers and Bulldogs is set for 12:30 p.m. (CT) at Roberto Clemente Coliseum. A live video stream will be provided by FloSports. Free live audio will be available across the Huskers Radio Network, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 590 AM in Omaha, along with Huskers.com and the Huskers App.