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Jaz Shelley scores 30, leads Nebraska women past Maryland and into Big Ten title game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jaz Shelley scored a season-high 30 points and added nine assists, leading Nebraska to a 78-68 victory over Maryland on Saturday in a semifinal of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament at Target Center.

Fifth-seeded Nebraska (22-10) advances to the championship game on Sunday and will play the winner of the later semifinal between Michigan and Iowa. Eighth-seeded Maryland (19-13) bowed out after a surprising run that included an 82-61 quarterfinal victory over No. 1 seed Ohio State.

This will be the Cornhuskers’ third appearance in the championship game. They lost to Purdue in 2012 and defeated Iowa in 2014.

After trailing by 13 points in the first half, Maryland kept creeping closer in the third quarter and tied it at 51 on a layup by Bri McDaniel. Nebraska did not give up the lead, however, and took a 60-59 advantage into the fourth.

Shelley's sixth 3-pointer of the game gave the Cornhuskers a 65-59 lead near the eight-minute mark. The Cornhuskers stretched their lead to 11 with 4 1/2 minutes left and a jumper by Shelley stopped a brief rally by the Terrapins, giving Nebraska a 74-66 lead with 1:25 remaining. She scored 11 of Nebraska's 18 points in the fourth quarter, including a 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line in the final minute.

Shelley made 10 of 16 shots, including 6 of 12 from 3. Alexis Markowski grabbed 13 rebounds.

Shyanne Sellers scored 15 points, Faith Masonius 14, Allie Kubek 11, Brinae Alexander 10 and McDaniel 10 for Maryland.

Shelley was 5 for 8 from 3 in the first half. She scored the last 11 points of the first quarter on a layup and three 3s in succession and Nebraska led 25-12 after the first.

Maryland cut the gap to 32-27 before Shelley hit two 3s and Jessica Petrie added one to give the Cornhuskers a 12-point lead halfway through the second. The Terrapins hit 10 of 13 shots in the period and closed to within 47-40 at halftime.

The Cornhuskers made 10 of 18 3-pointers in the first half, while Maryland made 1 of 2. Nebraska finished 13 of 28 from deep and Maryland went 4 for 13.

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