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Originally published Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 5:33 PM

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Nebraska tops Chattanooga in NCAA women's tourney

Jordan Hooper scored 18 of her 21 points in the second half, helping Nebraska rally from nine points down to beat Chattanooga 73-59 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

AP Sports Writer

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas —

Jordan Hooper scored 18 of her 21 points in the second half, helping Nebraska rally from nine points down to beat Chattanooga 73-59 in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday night.

The sixth-seeded Cornhuskers (24-8) will play third-seeded Texas A&M (25-9) on Monday night. The Aggies advanced with a 71-45 victory over No. 14 seed Wichita State.

Hooper also grabbed 12 rebounds and Lindsey Moore added 13 points for Nebraska, which won for the 12th time in 14 games.

Taylor Hall scored 13 and Alex Black added 12 to lead the 11th-seeded Lady Mocs (29-4), who had won 19 in a row.

The Cornhuskers led the Big Ten in made 3-pointers during the regular season, but Chattanooga was the team connecting from long range for most of the game.

The Lady Mocs sank six 3s in the first half, nearly matching their per-game average, and Black added two more in the first five minutes after the break. Chattanooga opened the second half with a 15-6 run to go up 47-38.

The Cornhuskers attacked inside to slowly cut into the deficit. Emily Cady spun around a defender for a layup, drew a foul and sank the free throw to trim the gap to 47-44 with 13 minutes to go. Hall flipped in a bank shot over her shoulder before Rachel Theriot hit another 3 to pull Nebraska within two.

Then Hooper took over.

Nebraska's career leader in 3-pointers, she hit her first of the game with 10:28 left to lift the Huskers to a 50-49 advantage. The lead changed hands five times over the next four minutes as the pace quickened and both teams started generating easy baskets.

Moore intercepted a pass and raced in for a breakaway layup and Hooper swished a 3 from the corner as Nebraska finally started to pull away. The 3-pointers dried up for Chattanooga and Hooper swished her third 3 with 3:28 left to put the Cornhuskers up 68-59 with 3:28 left.

Hooper got a friendly bounce on another 3 from the top of the key a minute later and held her pose as the ball fell through the hoop and the Nebraska bench erupted. The Cornhuskers closed the game with a 15-2 run.

Chattanooga finished 10 for 28 from beyond the arc, but made only four after halftime. The Lady Mocs started 4 for 6 from 3-point range to take the early lead. Hall sank three 3-pointers in the first 5 1/2 minutes, with her third giving the Lady Mocs a 16-12 lead.

The Cornhuskers gave away five turnovers in the first eight minutes and Black sank another 3 for a 21-17 Chattanooga lead. Moore turned a steal into a breakaway layup, but turnovers and bad shots continued to plague Nebraska.

Ashlen Dewart fended off a double-team and scored inside with 6:24 left to put Chattanooga up 28-24.

The Cornhuskers kept it close by generating fouls near the basket and going 9 for 10 from the free-throw line through the first 16 minutes. They missed 12 of their first 20 shots from the field. Nebraska went more than five minutes without a field goal until Theriot's wing jumper with 2:08 left in the half tied it at 30.

Chattanooga has lost six consecutive NCAA tournament games since a 74-69 win over Rutgers in the first round in 2004.

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