No. 4 Nebraska 88, No. 10 Oklahoma St. 67

Even as she’s put up career offensive numbers this season,

Yvonne Turner always says her game begins with defense.

She was true to those words Wednesday night, holding down

national scoring leader Andrea Riley on one end of the floor and

turning in another sharp performance on the other in fourth-ranked

Nebraska’s 88-67 victory over No. 10 Oklahoma State.

“Playing against the top guard in the nation,” Turner said,

“it sends fuel to my fire.”

Turner made four 3-pointers and scored 17 points to lead the

Cornhuskers (20-0, 7-0 Big 12) to their 10th win by 20 points or

more.

Kelsey Griffin had 19 points in 19 minutes, and three other

Huskers scored in double figures.

Nebraska led by double digits five minutes into the game. The

advantage grew to 25 on Turner’s four-point play, and the Huskers

were up 51-27 at half. They led by as many as 36 points in the

second half.

“You don’t draw it up that way,” Huskers coach Connie Yori

said, “but you hope you play well. I see this in our practice

setting, and you hope it carries over.”

Oklahoma State (18-4, 6-2), coming off a road win against

then-No. 8 Texas A&M, flopped in its first game ever as a Top

10 team. The Cowgirls missed 10 of 11 shots to start and committed

seven turnovers in the first 9 minutes.

Riley missed seven shots in a row before making her first basket

12 minutes into the game. Riley sat out most of the second half

with four fouls and finished with a season-low 15 points, 11 under

her average.

Turner so frustrated Riley that when she stole the ball from her

early in the second half, Riley drew a foul for punching at the

ball and glancing Turner.

On Nebraska’s ensuing possession, Turner’s 3-point shot from the

top of the key bounced straight up off the back iron, as high as

the backboard shot clock, and dropped straight down through the

hoop.

“I guess that’s a shooter’s touch,” Turner said. “I was

really lucky for that ball to fly that high and just bounce back

in. I had an angel on the ball.”

A couple minutes later, Turner swatted Riley’s 3-point shot,

picked up the ball and took it all the way for a layup.

When Turner needed a rest, Nicole Neals drew Riley and was

equally effective.

“We were able to keep the heat on her,” Yori said. “We did a

good job in transition defense to not let her get to the basket.

It’s easier when you score. Those two things go hand in hand. Vonny

did a great job on her.”

Dominique Kelley scored 13 points, Lindsey Moore 11 and Cory

Montgomery 10 for the Huskers.

Turner flustered Riley all game, fighting through screens to

stay with OSU’s big scorer and holding her to 4-of-15 shooting.

Toni Young had 14 points and Lindsey Keller and Precious

Robinson 12 apiece for the Cowgirls. Tegan Cunningham, averaging

17.8 points, was guarded by Kelley and scored just four.

Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, whose team incurred its most

lopsided loss of the season, was all smiles afterward. He said the

blowout wasn’t so much a result of his team not showing up as it

was Nebraska having a dominant team.

“I’m really truly happy for Connie,” Budke said. “She’s paid

her dues. She has this special team that just doesn’t come every

year unless you’re in Hartford, Conn. I told her after the game

that I understand it’s hard to take a breath, but enjoy this team

because you have something going.”

The Huskers and top-ranked Connecticut remain the nation’s only

unbeaten teams. Like UConn, the Huskers are winning in convincing

fashion. Nebraska’s average margin is 25 points a game, and it is

playing in the strongest league in the nation.

Even so, the Huskers are ranked behind Stanford and Notre Dame

teams that each have one loss.

Yori, who makes a habit of pooh-poohing the ratings, wasn’t

about to get sucked into a debate over whether it’s right that the

Huskers are ranked behind anyone other than Connecticut.

“I don’t care where we’re ranked,” she said. “We need to do

our thing. I appreciate people asking about it and wanting to know

about it. We started out unranked, we moved our way up, and if we

continue to play good basketball we’ll see where it takes us.”