LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Penn State coach Coquese Washington called her team's defensive performance against Nebraska the worst of the season.
She also acknowledged she doesn't know if there was anything the No. 8 Lady Lions could have done to cool off the No. 16 Cornhuskers' incredible shooting in a 94-74 loss Monday night.
"They were just clicking on all cylinders tonight, and when you meet up a team that's having one of those nights where everybody is having a good night, it's tough to beat them," Washington said.
Ariel Edwards led Penn State with 24 points, Maggie Lucas had all 17 of her points in the second half, and Dara Taylor had 10.
Tear'a Laudermill scored 22 of her career-high 27 points and made six of her school record-tying seven 3-pointers in the first half for the Huskers (21-5, 11-3). Nebraska extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games and pulled within a half-game of the two-time defending champion Lady Lions (21-6, 12-3) in the Big Ten.
The surprisingly easy win came after a 3-point shooting performance that was best in Division I this season, according to STATS. The Huskers finished 16 of 22 from beyond the arc, a 72.7-percent clip. The school record for 3s is 17.
The Huskers made 11 of 14 3-pointers in the first half. The 78.6-percent accuracy was best by a major-conference team in a half this season and No. 2 in Division I behind Alabama State's 81.8 percent (9 of 11) against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The 94 points were the most points allowed by Penn State in a non-overtime game since a 96-81 loss to Iowa in February 2002.
"It's easily our worst defensive performance of the year, and I thought Nebraska played extremely well," Washington said. "They capitalized on opportunities when they had open shots. They pulled on the energy from the crowd. That was a strong component for them."
Jordan Hooper added 19 points for the Huskers, Rachel Theriot had 17 and Emily Cady had 14.
The Huskers held Lucas scoreless until the second half. The Big Ten's second-leading scorer had averaged better than 23 points in four previous games against Nebraska. Hailie Sample and Laudermill shadowed Lucas everywhere, and the conference preseason player of the year missed her first eight shots before making her first field goal with 14:16 left.