LINCOLN, NEB. – It was Jessica Shepherd’s night for a possible milestone on alumni weekend at Pinnacle Bank Arena. But Carlie Wagner invaded the party.
The junior guard scored 28 points, including a fastbreak layup to set the tone in overtime, leading the Gophers to a 79-69 victory over Nebraska, their first road victory of the Big Ten season.
The Cornhuskers’ Emily Wood had a good look for three at the fourth-quarter buzzer but the shot missed, sending the game to extra time. That was the last chance Nebraska would have to grab the win, as Minnesota outscored the Cornhuskers 13-3 in the extra session. Nebraska shot 1-for-12 from the floor in overtime.
Wagner made four of 11 three-point attempts in the game, and her second three moved her past Emily Fox into ninth place on the Gophers all-time scoring list. After Saturday, she sits at 1,452 points.
Wagner (20 points per game) and Kenisha Bell (16.6) are the Big Ten’s top scoring duo, and though Bell fell short of her average with 13 points Saturday, the two made their plays count in the clutch.
Wagner’s acrobatic, lefthanded layup through traffic with 18 seconds left gave the Gophers (12-11, 3-7 Big Ten) life after Nebraska, which trailed by 11 in the first half, went on a late regulation run.
Bell contributed in other ways, coming up with key rebounds and a big fourth-quarter block. Jessie Edwards added 12 points off the bench, and Taiye Bello had eight points and seven rebounds in her second consecutive start for the Gophers.
Shepherd entered the game 18 points shy of 1,000 for her career, but she was kept in check. Last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year had only four points at halftime, and finished shooting a paltry 7-for-21 for 14 points.
Allie Havers led Nebraska (5-18, 1-0) with a season-high 18 points.