LINCOLN, Neb. —Nebraska junior guard Sam Haiby scored on a put-back shot as time expired, lifting the Cornhuskers to a dramatic 65-63 victory against No. 15-ranked Northwestern on Thursday, Dec. 31, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Big Ten Conference women's basketball.
"I pursued my rebound, looked backwards, threw it at the rim and it went in so I'm going to thank the basketball Gods for that one, too," Haiby said in her postgame press conference.
Haiby rebounded her own miss to set up the game-winning shot. The Moorhead High School graduate finished with 19 points to lead Nebraska to victory, handing the Wildcats (4-1, 2-1 Big Ten) their first loss this season.
"That's definitely a shot that everyone dreams of making as a little kid so that was pretty cool to experience her at Nebraska with my teammates," Haiby said.
After she grabbed her own rebound in the closing seconds, Haiby scooped the ball off the glass and in as she was falling toward the baseline on the winning shot. Haiby then ran toward the bench and celebrated with her teammates after the final buzzer had sounded.
"I didn't see a whole lot," Haiby said of the final play. "There wasn't really any openings, just trying to kind of make a play there."
Haiby played a key role in the closing minutes, also scoring a layup that gave her team a 63-61 lead with 1 minute, 33 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.
The 5-foot-9 Haiby grabbed eight rebounds and added five assists to go along with her team-high point total. Nebraska improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.
"She's a warrior and we feel like she just keeps getting better and keeps getting better," Nebraska head coach Amy Williams said in her postgame remarks.
Haiby said she didn't have any family in the stands for the Northwestern game.
"But everyone was watching on TV for sure," said Haiby, who scored more than 2,000 points during her high school career with the Spuds.
Before Thursday, the Huskers hadn't defeated a top-15 ranked team since December of 2014.
Haiby is averaging 16.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists through seven games this season.
"She can really help our team by rebounding," Williams said. "She can help our team by handling the ball and controlling tempo and things like that. I'm really proud of her."