Lincoln - Alexis Markowski and Darian White each scored 14 points to lead a balanced offense with five Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska worked its way to a 68-54 women's basketball win over Purdue on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Natalie Potts added 11 points, six rebounds and a game-high four steals, while Kendall Moriarty matched her career high with 11 points off the bench. Jaz Shelley rounded out the five Huskers in double figures with 10 points, a game-high nine rebounds and four assists to help Nebraska improve to 6-4 in the Big Ten and 14-7 overall. Purdue slipped to 2-8 in the conference and 9-12 on the season.
Markowski, who added seven rebounds and three assists on the night, pushed Nebraska out to a 19-17 lead with 10 first-quarter points to set the tone for the Big Red. She also started the second quarter strong with back-to-back buckets before a spectacular kickout pass to Shelley for a three-pointer in transition, followed by another assist to Potts to help the Huskers take a 10-point lead midway through the second period.
Markowski finished the first half with all 14 of her points on the night, and actually had a hand in 19 of Nebraska's 25 points to close the first quarter and start the second.
Purdue rallied late with seven straight points from Abbey Ellis to end the half and cut Nebraska's lead to 32-29 at the break. Ellis finished with a game-high 15 points to go with six rebounds for Purdue.
After Purdue shifted its focus on shutting down Markowski, White emerged in the second half to score 13 of her 14 points on the night from her guard position. Moriarty and Potts both contributed seven points after halftime, while Shelley scored five points in each half.
Nebraska, which won each quarter, outscored the Boilermakers 22-14 in the third to push its lead to 54-43 heading to the final period. The Huskers then opened the fourth by punishing Purdue on the offensive glass, including a second-chance three-pointer from Shelley and a second-chance jumper by Potts on back-to-back possessions to give Nebraska its biggest lead at 61-45 and force a Purdue timeout with 7:36 left.
The Nebraska defense was solid throughout the night, holding Purdue to 29 points in the first half and just 25 in the second half. The Huskers were plus-13 on the glass in the final 20 minutes, finishing the game with a 44-32 edge on the boards.
For the game, Nebraska hit 42.4 percent (25-59) of its shots, including 7-of-22 three-pointers (.318) and 11-of-17 free throws (.647). The Huskers held Purdue to just 36.1 percent (22-61) from the floor, including 4-for-21 (.190) from long range and 6-of-8 free throws. Purdue did win the turnover battle, 13-12.
Caitlyn Harper, who finished with 10 points, was the only Boilermaker other than Ellis to manage double figures.
Nebraska will take aim at another Big Ten Conference home win on Saturday when the Huskers play host to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Tip-off between the Big Red and Rutgers is set for 2 p.m. (CT) with tickets on sale now at Huskers.com. The game also will be televised statewide by Nebraska Public Media with a live video stream for subscribers of B1G+. The game will be available across the Huskers Radio Network, including free live audio on Huskers.com and the Huskers App.