Nebraska coach Connie Yori knows her team will have to put together a full game as the opponents get tougher.
Jordan Hooper scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 23 minutes as No. 10 Nebraska routed UMass Lowell 77-42 on Wednesday night.
"Great start, not a great finish," Yori said. "That's kind of been the story of these types of games. Some our opponents we've been able to jump out on, we just don't seem to want to put anybody away. We're not getting that much production from our bench, that's a concern. We didn't play our starters very many minutes."
Hooper was happier with the game than was Yori.
"I thought we played pretty well," Hooper said. "On defense we went with a different game plan than we did the last couple games. I thought we executed pretty well. The first 15 minutes, like Coach said, was really good. Then we kind of dropped off a little bit here and there."
Nebraska (6-0) scored the first seven points before UMass Lowell (0-6) made its first basket with 15:40 left in the half. The River Hawks didn't score again for 10 minutes. UMass Lowell missed 25 of its first 26 shots.
"The shots didn't fall, a lot of them," said UMass Lowell coach Sarah Behn. "That's been happening to us too much lately."
The Huskers, who started 2 of 10, warmed up, hitting four straight shots to start a 27-0 run. Nebraska went up 20 on Hooper's three-point play with 10:12 left and took a 34-2 lead on Tear'a Laudermill's 3-pointer with 6:23 remaining in the half. UMass Lowell outscored Nebraska 14-6 to cut the Husker halftime lead to 24.
Nebraska outscored UMass Lowell 20-2 to open the second half, going up 60-18 on Hooper's 3-pointer with 14:39 remaining.
The River Hawks scored 24 points in the final 14 minutes, playing against Nebraska's reserves.
That late game surge was a positive for UMass Lowell, Behn said.
"We were so nervous early," she said. "At least in the second half, we executed a few things and settled down. As I told them in the locker room, if we can do that against the 10th ranked team in the country, hopefully, we can do the same thing against teams in our conference."
UMass Lowell, which is in its first season as a transitional Division I program, made just 17 of 70 shots, 24 percent against a defense Nebraska implemented for the game.
"We switched a lot tonight, we ran a switching defense and we really had not done that in previous games," Yori said. "We did that because of their style. When go to that the next time around, we can look at that and see where we made mistakes and where we did good things. So there will be learning. It may not connect with the next opponent. Then again, it might."
UMass Lowell fell to its second ranked opponent in as many days, having lost to No. 19 Oklahoma State 103-52 Tuesday. But Behn said the trip to the Plains was a good for the River Hawks.
"It was an incredible experience culturally, athletically and educationally," she said. "We're really glad we did it. With our recent elevation to Division 1, we knew we would be outmatched athletically. But just getting to come out here, the stadiums, the atmosphere is very different from East Coast basketball, except for UConn. It was a big thrill for our kids and our staff."