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Fresno State women fall to 0-7 in NCAA tournament with 74-55 loss to Nebraska

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LOS ANGELES — Fresno State is still in search of its first victory in the NCAA women's tournament.

The Bulldogs fell to 0-7 in program history with a 74-55 loss to fourth-seeded Nebraska on Saturday.

"It's tourney time and you got to play your strengths," Fresno State coach Raegan Pebley said. "We just maybe didn't."

Fresno State came into UCLA's Pauley Pavilion full of confidence thanks to an eight-game winning streak and its second straight Mountain West tournament title.

The Bulldogs got as close as four points in the second half before Nebraska fired up its 3-point shooting and cruised to victory.

Taylor Thompson was the only player in double figures with 14 points for the 13th-seeded Bulldogs (22-11). Their bench outscored Nebraska's reserves, 20-7.

"You have your good shooting days and your not good shooting days," she said. "We got good looks; they just weren't falling for us. It's how it goes sometimes."

Bulldogs guard Alex Furr gave herself and her teammates a big scare when she went down howling and clutching her left knee with 9:26 left in the game. The junior, who has torn her left ACL twice in recent years, returned later to score a basket.

PHOTO: Fresno State's Alex Furr (11) drives to the basket past Nebraska's Tear'a Laudermill (1) during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament on Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Fresno State's Alex Furr (11) drives to the basket past Nebraska's Tear'a Laudermill (1) during the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament on Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

"My heart instantly sunk and I wanted to get to her so fast," Pebley said. "I probably should have gotten a technical because I came on the floor. She's OK, it seems like. It seems like everything is intact."

The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 15-9 run to close to 38-34, getting four points each from three different players.

"We didn't get good looks at the rim and when we did, we didn't convert," Pebley said. "They stayed patient in finding the right shooters."

Jordan Hooper had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Emily Cady added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Cornhuskers (26-6), the Big Ten tournament champions who have won 13 of 14 games.

The Huskers advanced to play either No. 5 seed North Carolina State or 12th-seeded BYU in Monday's second round at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

Tear'a Laudermill added 13 points, and Rachel Theriot had 10 points and 12 assists for the Huskers, who controlled the boards, 46-35.

The Huskers answered by outscoring Fresno State 14-7, including two 3-pointers each from Hooper and Laundermill, to go up 52-41. From there, the Huskers cruised to the finish.

The Huskers pulled away to a 29-19 halftime lead on a 17-7 run, including six points by Hooper and five from Cady.

The game's first 10 minutes were a messy affair, with four ties and six lead changes to go with a slew of turnovers and poor shooting by both teams. Fresno State shot 26 percent and had 11 turnovers; while the Huskers shot 35 percent and had seven miscues.

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