Nov. 28, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Nebraska's combination of guard Dominique Kelley and forward Cory Montgomery proved too much for Butler in the first game of the Holiday Inn & Suites Express Midtown Thanksgiving Tournament Friday night inside The Pit. The Cornhuskers pulled away for a 67-54 victory in game one of the two-day event.
With the win Nebraska improves to a perfect 5-0 on the young season, while Butler drops to 1-3. The Huskers will face the winner of the second game between William and Mary and New Mexico.
Montgomery and Kelley combined to score almost two-thirds of Nebraska's points, with Montgomery leading all scorers with 22 and Kelly adding 21. With the Husker's duo leading the way, Nebraska gradually pulled away from the Bulldogs, extending a two-point halftime lead to 13 by game's end.
Leading 57-52 with just over four minutes to play, Nebraska reeled off 10 of the game's final 12 points to put Butler away.
The first half saw neither team lead by more than four points - that being a 10-14 Butler lead just five minute into the game. Kelly scored 13 and forward Montgomery 11 in the first half, while forward Melanie Thornton paced the Bulldogs with 10. Despite having made only 5-10 free-throws and missing all four three-point attempts, the Huskers took a slim 33-31 lead into halftime.
Nebraska extended that lead to as many eight midway through the second half, thanks in large part to back-to-back buckets, both put-backs, from guard Tay Hester. Butler never got within five points the rest of the way.
Lade Akande led the Bulldogs with 12 points, with Thornton chipping in with 11.
Both teams struggled mightily from behind the three-point line. Nebraska and Butler combined to go 2-28 on three-point attempts, with the Bulldogs' Brittany Bowen (1-3) and Terra Burns (1-2) the only players to make a three-pointer. Nebraska finished 0-9 on three-point attempts.