LINCOLN — For a second straight year, Nebraska forward Jordan Hooper struggled to score against Creighton. She was hounded by Creighton forward Sarah Nelson all over the floor, and double-teamed when she reached the post. She made 1 of 7 shots and scored five points.
But Hooper’s low scoring output didn’t affect the rest of her game. She grabbed 15 rebounds — leading all players — and did some hounding of her own on Nelson, who finished with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting. Nelson had only four rebounds.
“Sarah’s a really good player,” Nebraska coach Connie Yori said. “She does a really good job of moving without the ball. She’s super versatile. She can face up and score and she’s also good on the low block. They didn’t go to her as much on the low block as we might have thought, but Jordan was given a challenge: ‘You gotta stay down, you gotta bend your knees, you gotta move your feet,’ and she did that.”
Jeffery gives lift off bench
Since NU guard Brandi Jeffery has moved out of the starting lineup to the bench, her mindset when she enters the game is always the same: Do something.
Saturday, Jeffery did, with an impressive stat line of 11 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
“She caught a couple transition baskets,” Yori said. “She just was very aggressive. She didn’t play in our (Creighton) game last year, so it was good she was able to contribute in that way.”
Yori said Jeffery has embraced the role of being the first player off the bench, Further, she’s playing better in that spot. Junior guard T’eara Laudermill replaced Jeffery in the starting lineup.
Yori said she was pleased with NU’s bench play Saturday. Besides Jeffery, freshman Allie Havers scored five points, grabbed a rebound and had a block, while freshman guard Hannah Tvrdy and sophomore guard Sadie Murren each had a rebound.
Creighton center Alyssa Kamphaus had one of her best games of the season Saturday with eight points and seven rebounds. That’s 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds above her season averages.
The Nebraska game was also a high school reunion of sorts for Kamphaus, who played at Seward. Tvrdy and junior forward Emily Cady played at Seward, too. Kamphaus said she’s known Cady since elementary school and played years of basketball with her.
“I’m very close with her. And Hannah, her dad (Tom Tvrdy) was my coach in high school, so obviously I know her family as well,” Kamphaus said. “It’s kind of fun to play against (Cady) and see her at this level being very successful. I’m very proud of her.”