24-7, 10-6 Conf
30-1, 16-0 Conf

Griffin's foul trouble helps end Nebraska's attempt at unbeaten season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nebraska's unbeaten run finally came to an end. Now the Cornhuskers will try and regroup for the NCAA tournament.

Danielle Adams scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half and 11th-ranked Texas A&M handed No. 3 Nebraska its first loss of the season with an 80-70 upset in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament on Saturday.

"They definitely beat us in all facets of the game today," said Nebraska coach Connie Yori, who will still hope for a No. 1 seed for the Huskers (30-1) when the NCAA field is announced on Monday.

Nebraska had been the first team to run through the Big 12 regular season unbeaten and was bidding to become just the 12th team to make it to the NCAA tournament undefeated. But instead the Aggies advanced to the Big 12 title game for the third year in a row.

"If you would have told me we would have been 30-1 at this point of the year, I would have said you're crazy," said leading scorer Kelsey Griffin, who was saddled by foul trouble and scored only 15 points in the loss . "I'm still extremely excited with what we've been able to accomplish, and I know the most exciting part of our year is just going to be starting on Monday. A&M is a great basketball team."

Nebraska's loss made top-ranked UConn (33-0) the only unbeaten team heading to the NCAA tournament.

Griffin, the Big 12 player of the year, had three fouls at halftime and picked up her fourth early in the second half. A&M also held a 46-32 rebounding edge while shooting 53 percent and holding the Huskers to 37 percent.

"I don't know if we really stopped Griffin," said Texas A&M coach Gary Blair. "She was 7 of 13. Four fouls stopped Griffin."

With the 6-foot-2 Griffin sitting long-faced on the bench, the Huskers could not stop a team they beat by 11 last month from bringing their school-record winning streak to an inglorious halt.

"When you get in foul trouble, it's hard to get into a flow," said Griffin. Her 15 points in 26 minutes were five below her average and nine fewer than she totaled in Friday's win over Kansas State.

Nebraska's 71-60 victory over the Aggies (24-7) actually inspired the bulky 6-1 Adams, who has a deft touch underneath.

"We knew we could beat them from the first time we played them," said Adams. "The first time that we played them I was pretty dominant down in Nebraska. I knew I had to be even more dominate down in the low post today."

With Griffin hamstrung, the Aggies quickly put the game out of reach in the second half, going up 65-47 when Adaora Elonu stole a Husker pass and Adams converted it into a layup.

Elonu had 18 points and Tyra White had 13 for the Aggies, who finished second behind Nebraska in the Big 12 regular season in scoring and scoring margin. Dominique Kelley led Nebraska with 18 points while Yvonne Turner had 14 for the team that had steamrolled most of its opponents during the greatest season in school history.

With neither team hardly missing a shot, the lead changed hands on nine consecutive possessions in the early going before Elonu banked in a short jumper and ignited a 10-2 run for the Aggies.

Sydney Colson and Sydney Carter each hit 3-pointers in the spree and a moment later Carter connected from atop the key for a 28-18 A&M lead.

The Aggies led by as many as 13 -- the biggest deficit the Huskers had faced all season -- before taking a 39-28 lead into intermission. It was just the third time the Huskers had trailed at halftime and was by far their largest halftime deficit.