LINCOLN – The freshman got hot and the Nebraska women’s basketball team finally got over the hump.
Husker forward Leigha Brown scored a career-high 30 points in NU’s 67-61 come-from-behind win over Purdue Sunday afternoon. With the victory, Nebraska also swept the season series from the Boilermakers.
NU (11-13 overall and 6-7 in the Big Ten) overcame an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit largely thanks to Brown, who scored 13 points in the final ten minutes. She scored Nebraska’s first seven points of the quarter then, after back-to-back baskets from center Kate Cain put the Huskers ahead 59-58, Brown swept behind a screen, received a pass from Hannah Whitish and splashed a 3-pointer with one minute left. Pinnacle Bank Arena erupted. Brown hit three free throws down the stretch to help ice the victory.
Purdue (16-10 and 7-6) was led by Karissa McLaughlin and Ae’Rianna Harris, who both had 13 points. The Boilermakers’ Dominique Oden, one of the Big Ten’s best players, struggled, finishing with ten points and five fouls.
A back-and-forth first quarter tipped Purdue’s way with a 9-0 run over the final three minutes of it to forge a 20-14 lead. Purdue extended that lead to 26-19 before four straight points from Eliely – who scored nine in the first half – cut the lead to 26-23. The Boilermakers led 28-23 at halftime after NU’s final possession of the second quarter ended in a shot clock violation.
PU guard Kayana Traylor then opened the second half by making a wide-open 3-pointer. The Boilermakers maintained their lead throughout the third quarter.
In the fourth, forward Ae’Rianna Harris scored Purdue’s first six points, but Brown scored NU’s first seven as the Boilermakers’ defense failed to adjust.