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No. 6 Nebraska blows lead but holds on to beat No. 11 Texas A&M

Texas A&M Nebraska Endyia Rogers (1) Logan Nissley - The Canadian Press

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- — Alexis Markowski had 16 points and six rebounds and sixth-seeded Nebraska won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2014 by barely holding off No. 11 Texas A&M 61-59 on Friday night.

Nebraska (23-22) will play third-seeded Oregon State on Sunday. The Beavers (25-7) overcame a slow start to defeat No. 14 Eastern Washington 73-51 in the earlier game Friday night. The winner Sunday heads to the Sweet Sixteen in Albany, New York.

Logan Nissley also had 16 points for Nebraska. Senior Jaz Shelley, who averaged 13.7 points and 5.6 assists this season, had five points while adding five rebounds and six assists.

Aicha Coulibaly had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Texas A&M (19-12), which finished fifth in the SEC and earned an at-large bid in this year’s women's tournament.

The Huskers led by as many as 17 points, but Coulibaly's short jumper got Texas A&M within 56-54 with 4:34 left. Endyia Rogers made a pair of free throws to tie it at 66.

Markowski's layup under the basket put Nebraska in front before Coulibaly's layup and free throw gave the Aggies the lead with 17.7 seconds to go.

The Huskers regained the lead on Nissley's free throws. Shelley made the first of a pair with 1.7 seconds to make it 61-59.

Rogers' 3-point attempt for the win was off and the Huskers advanced.

Nebraska finished fifth in the Big Ten this season, but advanced to the conference tournament final before falling to Iowa and Caitlin Clark.

It was Texas A&M’s first trip to the tournament since 2021, when the team advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.

Texas A&M vastly improved since last season, when the team won just nine games in coach Joni Taylor’s first year.

The Aggies were ranked 15th in the nation in rebounding, with a collective average of 42.3 total rebounds a game. They had 38 against the Huskers.

Nebraska held a 14-12 lead after the first quarter and began to pull away in the second, going ahead 24-17 on Nissley's 3-pointer.

The Huskers led 27-20 at halftime and extended their advantage to 36-22 on Kendall Moriarty's 3-pointer in the third quarter.

The Aggies closed the gap to 48-40 early in the fourth quarter on Coulibaly's layup.