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Sports >  Gonzaga women

Gonzaga women’s defense shuts down high-powered Nebraska in first round of NCAA Tournament

UPDATED: Fri., March 18, 2022

Nebraska guard Allison Weidner (3) tries to get past Gonzaga forward Eliza Hollingsworth (12) during the second half of their women's NCAA Tournament college basketball first round game in Louisville, Ky., Friday, March 18, 2022. Gonzaga won 68-55.   (Associated Press)
Nebraska guard Allison Weidner (3) tries to get past Gonzaga forward Eliza Hollingsworth (12) during the second half of their women's NCAA Tournament college basketball first round game in Louisville, Ky., Friday, March 18, 2022. Gonzaga won 68-55.  (Associated Press)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – That’s the dilemma when you take on the Gonzaga women in a big game: You’re going to get stung, but by who?

For the Nebraska women on Friday night, the answer was almost everyone.

As they did against BYU last week in the West Coast Conference Tournament championship game, the Zags got double-digit scoring from four players and feisty defense from the entire team.

Nebraska came into the game with one of the most potent offenses in the country but was held to its second-lowest scoring output of the season in the 69-55 defeat in a first-round NCAA Tournament game .

“They’re a great offensive team,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said. “I don’t know if I think of us as being an overly talented defensive team, but I know we focus on it.”

In a game of eighth and ninth seeds that could have gone either way, the Zags tilted the scales with a defense that extended the length of the court.

Nebraska guard Sam Haiby said GU’s press “set us off the most and slowed us down.”

“We like to play with a lot of pace,” Haiby said. “I think they did a really good job of slowing us down just enough to be able to take us out of rhythm and take us out of the shots we wanted to get in the paint.”

In the halfcourt game, GU gave up six 3-point shots in the first half, but tightened up on the perimeter and allowed just one in the third quarter.

“I thought they were incredibly physical, and the game got very physical,” Nebraska coach Amy Williams said. “I thought then for a little while we were kind of just rushing shots, expecting to get fouled, and not just kind of slowing down and taking our time and finishing shots that we normally finish.”

As the game wore on, Nebraska’s offense slowly wore down. The Cornhuskers had 16 points in the first quarter, 14 in the second, 13 in the third and 12 in the fourth as GU pulled away.

In the critical third quarter, Nebraska made just 4 of 16 shots.

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