Nebraska women’s basketball defeated Florida Atlantic 77-53 on Wednesday, improving to 5-2 on the season.
As has been somewhat of a trend in recent games, the Huskers started slow, missing their first seven shots from the field. Still, they trailed just 3-2 three minutes in, and ended the opening quarter with a nine-point advantage. Nebraska maintained a single-digit at halftime, but the Huskers finally broke away after that.
Potts, Markowski Secure Double-Doubles
Nebraska’s top scorers on the night were Alexis Markowski and Natalie Potts, who contributed 18 and 12 points, respectively. They both also pulled down double-digit rebounds, marking Potts’ first career double-double.
Both were impressive in their own ways, helping guide the team through an up-and-down offensive night. Late in the first quarter, they both pulled down an offensive rebound that eventually found its way to a guard for a made 3. Nebraska had 17 offensive boards in the game, and the starting frontcourt accounted for 10 of them.
Potts shot 3-for-9, but went a perfect 6-for-6 on free throws.
“She just keeps finding ways to impact the game,” Coach Amy Williams said postgame. “It might be with some steals or deflections. Tonight I thought it was really with offensive rebounds and getting herself to the free-throw line.”
Meanwhile, Markowski continued her strong start to the season. She scored in a variety of ways, dribbling through defenders or utilizing a variety of post moves. She’s averaging 17.4 points on 51.8% shooting so far this season, and Williams praised the versatility she showed against Florida Atlantic. She wasn’t particularly efficient for most of the game, but closed out the win by scoring nine points on 4-for-4 shooting in the fourth quarter.
“I thought my teammates found me in really good spots and put me in great positions,” Markowski said. “I was pretty confident that I wasn’t going to shoot at the percentage I did in the first 20 minutes.”
Maddie Krull Helps Lead Defensive Effort
Nebraska played a pretty strong defensive game, forcing 18 turnovers and just barely allowing its opponent to crack 50 points.
Outside of a second-quarter stretch where the Owls went on a 12-3 run — most of it coming against a Husker lineup featuring no starters — it was a pretty consistent showing on that end, too. Jaz Shelley statistically stood out with three steals, while Maddie Krull also deserves props for her defense. She drew multiple charges and deflected a pass to stop a Florida Atlantic fast-break opportunity.
Aniya Hubbard, the Owls’ leading scorer on the year, recorded five turnovers in 14 minutes. Four fouls caused her to spend most of her time on the bench, with three of those infractions being offensive.
Nebraska entered the night having allowed a season-worst 88 points in its last game against TCU. This contest didn’t feature the same caliber of opponent, but it was still good to see the Huskers play better on that end.
Look-Ahead to Saturday
Next, Nebraska hosts a power conference opponent on Saturday.
Georgia Tech will enter Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 5-2 record, identical to the Huskers’. The Yellow Jackets have dropped two of their last three games, putting up good fights against solid Creighton and Florida teams before eventually losing by 11 and 10 points, respectively. Nebraska might appear as the slightly better team going into the game, but there’s a real possibility the ACC squad challenges the home team.
Both teams will go into Saturday looking to avoid a third loss and build up their resume in nonconference play. December features some big matchups for Nebraska, and it’d surely like to start the month strong.