Jaz Shelley produced her first collegiate triple-double to fuel an offensive onslaught by Nebraska, as the Huskers rolled to a 113-58 win over North Carolina Central on Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Shelley, a sophomore from Moe, Australia who is in her first season with the Huskers, finished with 14 points and game highs of 10 rebounds and 10 assists in just 20 minutes of action to lead the Huskers to their third 100-point scoring performance in the first five contests – the first time in NU history that a team has hit the century mark three times in the same season.
Shelley helped Nebraska start the season 5-0 for the second time in the past three years by hitting 5-of-6 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 three-pointers, while also adding a team and career-high three blocked shots. She committed just one turnover. Her 10th assist of the game came with a pitch to Annika Stewart for a three-pointer near the top of the key with 8:27 left in the game. It came less than a minute after Shelley nailed a three of her own, and was part of four consecutive possessions with three-pointers for the Big Red to open the final period. Ashley Scoggin, who hit the other two threes in the stretch and finished with a game and career-high 19 points, capped a string of four straight Husker threes in the first 1:40 of the fourth quarter. Scoggin’s final three-pointer put Nebraska up 98-40 with 8:20 left, before she put the Huskers over the century mark with her layup with 6:07 remaining.
Nebraska’s 113 points tied for the fourth-highest point total in school history, while the 59 first-half points scored by the Big Red tied the second-most in the opening 20 minutes of a game. The Huskers finished 14-of-28 from three-point range, with the 14 threes tying for third-best total in school history, trailing only 17 against Vermont (Nov. 13, 2010) and 16 against Penn State (Feb. 24, 2014). Scoggin finished 4-of-8 from long range, while Stewart went 2-for-3 to match her career high with 15 points in just over 12 minutes off the bench. Scoggin, Stewart and Shelley led five Huskers in double figures that also included Isabelle Bourne (13 points) and Kendall Coley, who added career highs with 11 points and seven rebounds. Perhaps just as amazing as any other statistic was that true freshman point guard Allison Weidner threatened a triple-double of her own with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists with no turnovers in just under 18 minutes of action off the bench.
All 12 Huskers who played in the game scored at least two points and grabbed at least one rebound, including eight points and seven rebounds from Bella Cravens, and eight more points and five boards from true freshman Alexis Markowski. Nebraska also produced its 55-point winning margin without the services of Sam Haiby. The returning All-Big Ten guard sat out with a minor lower leg injury and is expected to be available when the Huskers return to action at the Dana on Mission Bay Holiday Tournament in San Diego the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Huskers produced a cumulative 228-point margin of victory over their first five games, which surpassed the previous program record for any five-game stretch (178 points) by 40 points. The previous mark came in December of 1978 and included three games against non-Division I opponents.
Nebraska left no doubt about the outcome on Saturday, racing to a 22-3 lead in the game’s first seven minutes. The Big Red led 26-9 after the first quarter, then pushed the lead to 40 points at 59-19 at halftime. The margin grew to 50 (86-36) at the end of the third. Nebraska built the lead to 61 points (113-52) on Whitney Brown’s three-pointer with 1:42 left before going scoreless the rest of the way. Nebraska finished 41-of-76 from the field, marking the fourth time in five games that the Huskers made better than 50 percent of their field goal attempts. NU also connected on 17-of-23 free throws (.739), while out-rebounding North Carolina Central, 58-32.
The Huskers’ ball movement was exceptional, dishing out a season-high 28 assists against 13 turnovers, despite various versions of full-court pressure from the Eagles throughout the day. Nebraska held NCCU to just 26.9 percent (18-67), including 5-of-24 (.208) from three-point range. The Eagles matched the Huskers at the free throw line (17-23). Necole Hope led the Eagles with 18 points, while Tianna Carter added 15 points and seven rebounds in a strong effort. Nebraska will make its first road trip of the season by traveling to San Diego next weekend. The Huskers open by battling 2021 NCAA Tournament qualifier Drexel on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT). The Dragons improved to 3-1 with a 65-60 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday afternoon. Last season, Drexel finished 14-9 and won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament title with a victory over Delaware before falling to Georgia (63-57) in the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio (March 22).
The Dana on Mission Bay Holiday Tournament, which is hosted by the University of San Diego at Jenny Craig Pavilion, also includes the Toreros and Fresno State. San Diego is coached by former Nebraska assistant coach Cindy Fisher.