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Third-Period Surge Lifts Nebraska Over SIUE

Bria Stallworth
Bria Stallworth

LINCOLN, Neb. – Despite holding Nebraska to just four points in the second period Sunday, the Cornhuskers used a strong third period offensively to push past SIUE women's basketball 63-49 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

SIUE dropped to 1-3 while Nebraska improved to 4-0 to start the season.

SIUE's defense was stunning in the second period, holding Nebraska to 1-of-13 shooting (7.7 percent) from the field and 2 of 4 (50 percent) from the free throw line.

"We locked in defensively by limiting them on the boards and their ability to get second-chance points," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher.

By halftime, Nebraska held a 23-22 lead.

"I was proud of how hard we battled and stuck to the game plan," Buscher said.

However, the Cornhuskers surged in the third period behind eight points from Ashtyn Veerbeek on 3-for-3 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers. Nebraska outscored SIUE 21-10 during that 10-minute stretch after shooting 7 of 14 (50 percent) from the field.

Bria Stallworth, who played for Nebraska the last time these two teams met in 2017, led SIUE overall with nine points. Christen King, Allie Troeckler and Zaria Whitlock followed with eight points each.

Buscher said she was proud of Stallworth's performance at Nebraska.

"It could easily get to you, but I thought she played with a calm demeanor in front of their 4,000 fans," said Buscher.

Nicea Eliely led three players in double figures for the Cornhuskers with 13 points. Leigha Brown scored 12 while Ashytyn Veerbeek added 10.

Nebraska shot 24 of 59 from the field (40.7 percent), including seven three-pointers. SIUE hit 20 of 59 field goals (33.9 percent) with a lone trey coming from Mikia Keith. Nebraska also won the battle on the boards 45-32.

"We improved today and got better even though we didn't get the result we wanted. We just know we have to be better the next time we step out onto the floor," added Buscher.

SIUE returns to First Community Arena at the Vadalabene Center Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest against rival Saint Louis.