COLUMBUS, Ohio – Nebraska coach Connie Yori likes the way her team plays. She just wishes it were a little older and wiser.
"We played really hard," she said after her 10th-ranked Cornhuskers lost at No. 10 Ohio State 82-68 on Thursday night. "Our intelligence is not where it needs to be."
Emily Cady scored a career-high 24 points, Jordan Hooper had 19 points and matched a career best with 14 rebounds and Lindsey Moore contributed 13 points for Nebraska (15-3, 4-2 Big Ten), which lost its second in a row.
It was another painful but perhaps instructive lesson for Yori's team.
"As a very young team, we make a lot of mistakes," she said. "We played 10 kids today and six of them are freshmen. So we're probably the youngest team in the Big Ten, maybe one of the younger teams in a BCS league. We just make too many errors and our shot selection is more than questionable at times and our poise isn't where it needs to be."
Tayler Hill had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Samantha Prahalis added 19 points and nine assists for the Buckeyes (18-1, 5-1). The game featured four of the top six scorers in the conference in Hill (first at 21.4 points per game) and Prahalis (fourth at 18.3), along with Hooper (third at 19.8) and Moore (sixth at 16.6).
Prahalis, the lone senior for the Buckeyes, said she loved the way the Cornhuskers play.
"They were a solid team. They liked to run and I like that kind of game, definitely," she said. "They're another team that likes to open it up and not wrestle."
Ohio State coach Jim Foster also had words of praise for Nebraska, and Yori in particular.
"They're good, they're a good basketball team. And she's a very good coach. She's had good teams in the past. She's a hard worker," he said. "She's in a state that has, I think, 1.8 million people. You'd better go find some players (because) your state is not going to give you your roster."
Nebraska's only lead came with the first basket of the game. But the Cornhuskers stuck around. Ohio State scored six of the last eight points in the first half to forge a 41-35 lead, then broke the game open with a 10-2 run in the second half.
The Cornhuskers managed just 34 percent shooting from the field (25 of 74), which negated a 43-29 edge on the boards.
With Hooper hitting a 3 and Cady and Brandi Jeffery each hitting two 3-pointers, they were 7 of 29 behind the arc, along with 11 of 12 at the line.
But Ohio State was unmatched in transition, outscoring Nebraska 20-2 in fast-break points.
"Ohio State's really good, period, but they're really good in this building," Yori said. "They're good when they can get their transition game going and they scored 20 points unguarded — they either stole it from us or they leaked out and got an easy basket. So transition offense was really critical."
She added that the tandem of Hill and Prahalis give the Buckeyes something almost no teams have.
"They've got as good a guard play with the two of those guys as anybody in the country," she said.
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