Huskers

Nebraska's Mi'Cole Cayton drives the ball towards the basket.

LINCOLN — Nebraska forward Annika Stewart was ready for anything.

Guard Mi’Cole Cayton rocketed the ball Stewart’s way. From the top of the key, the freshman drained it with all the confidence in the world.

Stewart pointed to the bench as her teammates erupted.

Nebraska hit its offensive stride, with five players scoring in double digits, in defeating Wisconsin 84-68 Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Huskers (9-5, 7-4 Big Ten) hadn’t previously beaten a conference team by more than seven points this season.

After a season of defensive wins, Nebraska came away with a strong offensive performance that could potentially breed more. Nebraska shot 54% from the floor on the night.

Point guard Sam Haiby jogged to the locker room with 18 points at the half, 11 coming in the first quarter. She finished with 24, scoring more than 20 points for the third game in a row.

“She’s playing with a lot of confidence right now,” NU coach Amy Williams said. “She is becoming pretty difficult to defend."

Nebraska, a team that averages 14.6 turnovers per contest, had nine Thursday.

“It’s the five assists and no turnover for me tonight,” Williams said of what she liked most from Haiby in the win.

Wisconsin (3-11, 0-11) didn’t score for roughly four minutes in the first quarter, trailing 20-11 at the end of the quarter.

The Huskers’ newest addition, freshman Kendall Coley, checked in with less than a minute remaining in the first half. She took a wide-open shot behind the arc within seconds. It bounced away, but the confidence was there.

All of Nebraska’s players glowed with the confidence only a thorough beating can provide. NU downed the Badgers by their second-largest margin this season. The first came in its opener against Oral Roberts (90-61).

NU’s largest lead came after a Stewart jumper made it 74-48. Stewart scored 13 points and earned five boards in her 19 minutes.

The Huskers struggled to take rebounds away from Wisconsin early on, until Bella Cravens took it upon herself to change that.

“Somebody has got to get the boards and why not me,” Cravens said.

The 6-2 forward recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Bella had a monster block today and it was insane,” said center Kate Cain, who added a double-double of her own with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Ruby Porter completed two layups within 30 seconds in the second quarter and finished with 12 points. Whitney Brown, who averages 17 minutes a game, made two of her three 3s in the third quarter.

While Cayton didn’t score in her second game this season, she had four assists, wrestled for a couple of jump balls and played strong defense.

Imani Lewis led Wisconsin with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Sydney Hilliard had 16 points and six rebounds.

Nebraska, which is sixth in the Big Ten standings, next travels to play Penn State on Feb. 4.

In other news

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sam Haiby had 19 points and eight rebounds, Kate Cain added 16 points and six rebounds, and Nebraska used a 22-10 second quarter to break away from short-handed Minnesota 72-61 on Wednesday in the second round of the Big Ten Conference tournament.

IOWA CITY — Nebraska women's basketball forward Isabelle Bourne was determined to keep the Huskers within reach of Iowa. She scored six points in the last 2:30 of the third quarter to give the Huskers a 60-58 lead heading into the fourth.

MINNEAPOLIS — In a true Sam Haiby fashion, she drove to the basket from the far corner, split two defenders, bounced the ball off the glass and drew the foul. Haiby’s three-point play tied the game 62-62 with less than four minutes to play.

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Kate Cain matched a career-high with 22 points, Isabelle Bourne had 21 points and a career-best 17 rebounds, and Nebraska pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat No. 24 Northwestern 71-64 on Wednesday night.