With the victory, Nebraska improved to 8-1 on the season while the Blue Devils slipped to 6-3 overall. The Huskers handed Duke just its third loss in 13 games in the history of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, with two of those losses coming to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
While Kissinger matched her career best with six threes by going 6-for-9 from long range to finish with a team-high 19 points, the junior from Minden, Neb., was far from the only Husker firing. The Big Red got 14 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting night from the field from sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, matched her career high by burying all three of her three-pointers and finished another traditional three-point play for the Huskers.
Senior guard Hannah Whitish added a pair of three-pointers, while going 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the closing minute to help the Huskers seal the four-point win. They were Whitish's first free throw attempts of the season.
Early in the game, Whitish dished out three assists to become the first Husker in history to score 1,000 points, hit 200 threes and distribute 400 assists in a career. She added three more assists to finish the night with 403 in her career, moving past former Husker Stacy Imming (1984-87) into the No. 7 spot on the NU career list. The six assists were also a season high for Whitish.
Junior center Kate Cain added 10 points, five rebounds and five big blocks to go along with a pair of steals. Cain's block total pushed her to 207 in her career to match 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page at No. 3 on the Nebraska career block chart.
The Huskers also got significant contributions from senior Nicea Eliely, sophomore Leigha Brown and freshman Isabelle Bourne. Eliely managed nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Brown pitched in eight points, including crucial free throws down the stretch, five rebounds and two steals including a huge hustle play to dive on the floor and secure a Husker possession in the closing minute.
Bourne added six points, a team-high seven rebounds including four on the offensive end, and two blocks.
As a team, Nebraska hit 48.3 percent (28-58) of its shots from the field, including a scorching 12-of-27 (.444) from three-point range. The Big Red also knocked down 15-of-20 free throws, including 9-of-10 in the fourth quarter to seal the win. The Huskers also dished out a season-high 23 assists, including six from Whitish, five from Sam Haiby, four from Kissinger, three from Brown and three more from Eliely.
The Huskers worked their way to a 21-20 lead at the end of the first quarter, knocking down 4-of-12 threes to overcome 9-of-14 overall shooting by Duke in the quarter. The Huskers outworked the Blue Devils on the boards 12-6 in the opening quarter, including seven offensive rebounds.
The Big Red caught fire two minutes into the second quarter, overcoming a 25-21 Duke lead on a three by Veerbeek and two more by Kissinger to claim a 34-30 edge and force a Duke timeout with 6:05 left in the half. Veerbeek added a jumper to make it 36-30. Later in the quarter, Whitish buried a three to give Nebraska the biggest lead of the game at 47-37 with 3:07 left in the half.
Duke rallied late in the quarter, but the Huskers took a 49-45 lead to the halftime locker room. At the half, Nebraska was winning on the glass, 19-14 and had allowed just three offensive boards to the Blue Devils who had hit a scalding hot 19-of-31 field goals, including 4-of-8 threes.
Duke bolted out of the locker room early in the second half to take a 51-49 lead. The game remained a possession game for the rest of the quarter, but Nebraska got the final three points of the period to take a 65-62 lead to the fourth.
Nebraska never relinquished the lead in the fourth, although Duke pulled within one point on multiple occasions, the last coming at 76-75 with 1:19 left. The Huskers' last seven points came at the free throw line, beginning with one from Eliely before Brown hit a pair and Whitish hit the final four to seal the win.
The Huskers survived despite giving up 16 offensive rebounds in the second half, primarily because of Nebraska's tighter grip on the Blue Devil shooters. Duke went 0-for-9 from three-point range in the second half and just 14-of-37 overall from the field after halftime.
Leaonna Odom finished with game highs of 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Duke, while Miela Goodchild added 15 points. All-America candidate Haley Gorecki managed 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Onome Akinbode-James pitched in 13 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Nebraska will enjoy nine days off from competition before returning to the court to take on Oral Roberts on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip is set for 1 p.m. against the Golden Eagles, with tickets on sale now at Huskers.com.
Cheatham paced the Huskers with 14 points and 11 rebounds, the first double-figure rebounding game of his career. Cam Mack, Jervay Green and Thorir Thorbjarnarson all added 11 points for Nebraska, but the Huskers shot just 32 percent from the field – including 25 percent in the second half – and were 8-of-18 from the free throw line. Nebraska (4-4) also committed a season-high 18 turnovers which led to 18 Yellow Jacket points.
Devoe, the ACC's leading scorer, put up 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Georgia Tech (4-2), reaching the 20-point plateau for the fifth time in six games. Moses Wright added 18 points and nine rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, who trailed by four late in the first half before outscoring Nebraska 21-6 over the final four minutes of the opening period and the first four minutes of the second half to pull away for the win.
Nebraska trailed by four, 32-28, at the half. The Huskers, who entered the game averaging 11.9 turnovers per game, survived a first half in which they turned the ball over 11 times. Fueled by the turnovers, Georgia Tech used runs of 8-0 and 10-0 to take the four-point lead into the locker room. Cheatham put up eight points and six rebounds to keep the Huskers close, and Thorbjarnarson provided a spark with six points in seven minutes off the bench en route to his career-high 11 points.
Dachon Burke hit 3-pointer on Nebraska's opening possession, but the Huskers missed seven of their next eight shots as Georgia Tech built an 8-5 lead. Nebraska responded with an 8-1 run to grab a 13-9 advantage, but the Huskers then went scoreless for more than five minutes as Georgia Tech scored eight straight points to pull in front 17-13 at the midway mark of the half.
Thorbjarnarson ended a scoreless drought of more than four minutes with a basket, and he sparked Nebraska with six points and drew a pair of charges during a 13-5 run that put the Huskers in front 26-22 with four minutes remaining in the half. But after back-to-back Thorbjarnarson baskets gave the Huskers their biggest lead, Georgia Tech scored 10 straight points to take a six-point lead, before Cheatham ended another four-minute scoring drought for the Huskers with a layup just before the first-half buzzer.
After Georgia Tech closed the first half on a 10-2 run, the Yellow Jackets opened the second half on an 11-4 spurt as the Huskers struggled to score. Green knocked down a 3-pointer to begin the half, but Nebraska missed its next 10 shots and converted only 4-of-10 free throws as Georgia Tech built its first double-digit lead at 43-32 four minutes into the half.
A quick 5-0 spurt pulled Nebraska to within six, but Georgia Tech answered that run with a pair of 5-0 runs of its own over the next four minutes to grab a 13-point lead midway through the period. Nebraska cut the lead to double digits twice over the next five minutes but could get no closer than nine before Georgia Tech put the game away by scoring seven straight points to build a 67-51 lead with 2:26 remaining.
Nebraska continues its three-game road trip on Saturday, when the Huskers travel to Omaha to take on the Creighton Bluejays. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m. at the CHI Health Center, with television coverage on FS1 and radio coverage on the Husker Sports Network.
Stivrins was a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten First Team. The 2018 AVCA First-Team All-American collected her second career all-conference honor after 2.57 kills per set, 1.06 blocks per set and a team-best .383 hitting percentage during the regular season. Stivrins' .412 hitting percentage in conference play was third-best in the Big Ten, and the junior middle blocker guided a Husker defense that had a league-best .156 opponent hitting percentage in Big Ten play.
Sun earned her first career All-Big Ten honor, but her second career all-conference honor as she was an All-Big 12 first teamer at Texas in 2017. The junior outside hitter led the Huskers with 3.57 kills per set with 2.42 digs per set and a team-high 24 aces during the regular season. Sun posted double-digit kills in 18 of 20 Big Ten matches, and her 3.53 kills per set in Big Ten play ranked eighth.
Hames collected her first All-Big Ten award after averaging 10.92 assists and 2.90 digs per set during the regular season. One of the best defensive setters in the nation, Hames recorded a team-high 15 double-doubles and also served 21 aces. Her 11.37 assists per set in Big Ten play ranked third in the conference.
Kubik earned Nebraska's first Big Ten Freshman of the Year honor and first conference freshman of the year since Hannah Werth won the award in 2009 in the Big 12. Kubik averaged 2.73 kills and 2.52 digs per set in her first year as a Husker. She ranked fourth among Big Ten freshmen in kills (2.73 per set) and digs (2.52 per set) in conference play. The outside hitter was also named to the All-Big Ten Second Team and the All-Freshman Team. Kubik is the first Husker freshman to be named to an All-Big Ten team since Kadie Rolfzen in 2013.
Knuckles earned All-Freshman Team accolades after leading the Huskers with 3.71 digs per set in her first year as the Huskers' libero. Knuckles served 20 aces and was a Big Ten Freshman of the Week and Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week during the season, helping the Huskers lead all Big Ten teams with a .156 opponent hitting percentage in conference play.
Sophomore opposite hitter Anezka Szabo received Nebraska's Sportsmanship Award.
Wisconsin's Dana Rettke was the Big Ten Player of the Year. Wisconsin coach Kelly Sheffield was chosen Coach of the Year by the media, while Penn State's Russ Rose was voted Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches.
2019 Big Ten Volleyball All-Big Ten Honorees
Jacqueline Quade, Sr., Illinois
Katie Myers, So., Maryland
Paige Jones, So., Michigan*
Mackenzi Welsh, Sr., Michigan
CC McGraw, So., Minnesota
Regan Pittman, Jr., Minnesota*
Stephanie Samedy, Jr., Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, So., Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, Jr., Nebraska*
Lexi Sun, Jr., Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, So., Penn State*
Jonni Parker, So., Penn State*
Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
Grace Cleveland, So., Purdue*
Blake Mohler, Sr., Purdue
Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin*
Grace Loberg, Jr., Wisconsin
Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin*
* denotes unanimous selection
Ashlyn Fleming, Sr., Illinois
Breana Edwards, So., Indiana
Cori Crocker, Sr., Michigan
Alexis Hart, Sr., Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Sr., Minnesota
Madi Kubik, Fr., Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Fr., Northwestern
Kylie Murr, Fr., Ohio State
Gabby Blossom, So., Penn State
Caitlyn Newton, Jr., Purdue
Madison Duello, Sr., Wisconsin
Molly Haggerty, Jr., Wisconsin
Danielle Hart, So., Wisconsin
Diana Brown, Illinois
May Pertofsky, Michigan
Jessica Robinson, Michigan
Kenzie Knuckles, Nebraska
Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Temi Thomas-Ailara, Northwestern
Jenaisya Moore, Ohio State
Kylie Murr, Ohio State
Player of the Year: Dana Rettke, Jr., Wisconsin
Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall White, Sr., Penn State
Setter of the Year: Sydney Hilley, Jr., Wisconsin
Freshman of the Year: Madi Kubik, Nebraska
Coach of the Year (Coaches): Russ Rose, Penn State
Coach of the Year (Media): Kelly Sheffield, Wisconsin
Beth Prince, Sr., OH, Illinois
Meaghan Koors, Sr., DS, Indiana
Brie Orr, Jr., S, Iowa
Taylor Smith, Sr., S, Maryland
Sydney Wetterstrom, Sr., OH, Michigan
Sam McLean, Sr., DS/L, Michigan State
Lauren Litzau, Sr., DS/L, Minnesota
Anezka Szabo, So., OH, Nebraska
Emily Ehman, Sr., L, Northwestern
Bia Rodrigues-Franklin, Sr., OH, Ohio State
Emily Sciorra, Sr., DS, Penn State
Jael Johnson, So., MB, Purdue
Jasmine Stackhouse, Sr., MB, Rutgers
M.E. Dodge, Sr., DS/L, Wisconsin
Nebraska senior cornerback Lamar Jackson was one of seven Husker defensive players to be honored by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday, as the league office announced its all-conference defensive teams.
Jackson earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from both the Big Ten Coaches and Big Ten Media. The 6-3, 215-pound Jackson ranked among the Big Ten and national leaders with 12 pass breakups and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Jackson also tallied 40 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack, while forcing two fumbles and recovering another.
Defensive lineman Khalil Davis earned third-team all-conference honors from the league coaches after his standout senior season. The 6-2, 315-pound Davis led Nebraska with 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks. His sack total was the highest by a Husker player since 2015, while his TFL total was the best by a Blackshirt since the 2014 campaign. Davis was also recognized as an honorable-mention All-Big Ten pick by the media panel.
Four other Huskers earned honorable-mention recognition on Tuesday. Nose tackle Darrion Daniels was recognized by the league coaches. Daniels anchored the defensive line and tallied 34 tackles and four tackles for loss. Linebacker Mohamed Barry was an honorable-mention choice by the league’s media panel. He led Nebraska with 89 tackles, including four tackles for loss. This marked the second straight year Barry received conference honors, after being a third-team pick in 2018.
A pair of versatile defensive backs also earned honorable-mention accolades from the Big Ten Media. Junior Dicaprio Bootle started the first eight games at cornerback before moving to safety and finished the season with 31 tackles and six breakups. It marked the second straight year Bootle has received league honors after being a third-team choice in 2018.
Sophomore Cam Taylor-Britt also divided time between cornerback and safety in 2019. Taylor-Britt finished the year with 49 tackles, including four tackles for loss. He tied for the team lead with three interceptions and one fumble recovered. He also forced four fumbles, tying the most by a Husker since 1999.
Junior defensive end Ben Stille was also recognized on Tuesday as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. Earlier this season, Stille was named an Academic All-District VII selection.
The Big Ten Conference will announce offensive honorees and award winners on Wednesday.
All-Big Ten Defensive Honorees
Lamar Jackson, Sr., CB—Second Team (Media and Coaches)
Khalil Davis, Sr., DL—Third Team (Coaches), Honorable Mention (Media)
Darrion Daniels, Sr. NT—Honorable Mention (Coaches)
Dicaprio Bootle, Jr., DB—Honorable Mention (Media)
Mohamed Barry, Sr., LB—Honorable Mention (Media)
Cam Taylor-Britt, Soph., DB—Honorable Mention (Media)
Ben Stille-Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honoree