Duke overcomes Nebraska 53-45 to reach elite 8

Mar. 31, 2013 @ 06:10 PM

Tricia Liston scored 17 points and Duke shook off a slow start to beat Nebraska 53-45 Sunday in the semifinals of the Norfolk Regional of the women's NCAA tournament.

Alexis Jones added 14 points for the Blue Devils (33-2), who also struggled last weekend at home. They advanced to Tuesday night's game against top-seeded Notre Dame with a berth in the Final Four on the line.

The Cornhuskers (25-9), in the round of 16 for just the second time in school history, struggled from the field. They shot 30.3 percent and hit just 3 of 24 3-point tries. Nebraska entered the game averaging 6.4 3-pointers and made eight last week in stunning Texas A&M on its home floor.

Lindsey Moore led the Cornhuskers with 11 points, but on 5 of 18 shooting. Their leading scorer, Jordan Hooper, who averages 18.2 points, left with an apparent knee injury with 8 minutes left and scored just six points.

Hooper, who missed all eight shots in the first half, hit a foul-line jumper 30 seconds into the second half, sparking an 8-4 run that got them within 27-26, but Duke responded with a 13-4 run.

Liston started it with a 3-pointer, and Haley Peters and Richa Jackson each scored four in the run.

Moore's basket got the Cornhuskers within 44-38 with 3:53 to play, but Jones and Peters converted Nebraska turnovers with inside baskets. After Katie Simon scored for Nebraska, two free throws each by Liston and Jones extended the lead to 51-40 with 1:04 left and it was all but over.

Duke's Elizabeth Williams, a native of Virginia Beach, finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks, but missed 10 of her 15 shots. Duke finished with 32.8 percent shooting (21 of 64).

Duke, which trailed Oklahoma State by 13 on its home floor last weekend before rallying to win by nine, made just four of its first 20 shots and trailed Nebraska 18-11 before turning it around. The Blue Devils outscored the Cornhuskers 12-0 the last 5:46 of the half, with Jones scoring seven.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.