NEB WBB: Huskers Set for Showdown with Mavs - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

NEB WBB: Huskers Set for Showdown with Mavs

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Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-1) vs. Omaha Mavericks (1-2)
Tuesday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m.
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Lincoln - B107.3 FM, Omaha - CD105.9 FM

Free Live Audio: App
Live Video Stream: BTN Plus

Huskers Shoot for Third Win Against Mavs
The Nebraska women’s basketball team (2-1) closes its four-game season-opening home stand by playing host to Omaha (1-2) on Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

Tip-off between the Huskers and Mavericks is set for 7 p.m., and fans can purchase tickets in advance at or by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED. Tickets are also available in person at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office across the street from Memorial Stadium during regular business hours, and at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Fans can also follow the action live on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and CD 105.9 FM in Omaha and on select stations across the Husker Sports Network. Free live audio of Tuesday’s game will be available on and through the Huskers App.

A live video stream will be available for BTN Plus subscribers with the radio call of Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch accompanying the action.

The Huskers head into the in-state showdown with the Mavs after battling to a 62-59 win over defending Mountain West Conference champion Colorado State in their final game of the 2016 Preseason WNIT on Nov. 17. All-Big Ten sophomore forward Jessica Shepard led the Big Red with 24 points, including the game-clinching three-pointer with a minute left. Shepard added 13 rebounds for her 12th career double-double to move her into the No. 12 spot on Nebraska’s career list.

Freshmen Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish also played major roles for the Huskers in the win over the Rams. Whitish, a 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., produced the first double-figure scoring effort of her career with 10 points on a career-high three three-pointers.

Eliely, a 6-1 guard from Colorado Springs who has started the first three games for the Huskers, produced six points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals while helping to frustrate and foul out CSU’s reigning Mountain West Player of the Year Ellen Nystrom.

Nystrom settled for 13 points and one assist against the Huskers, after going off for 22 points and six assists in Colorado State’s season-opening 69-42 win over Omaha in Fort Collins, Colo., on Nov. 11. Omaha completed its appearance in the Preseason WNIT with an 85-57 win over North Texas in Abilene Saturday. The Mavs suffered a tight 73-66 loss at defending Southland champ Abilene Christian on Friday.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
32 - Jessica Shepard - 6-4 - So. - F - 17.7 ppg, 12.3 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Sr. - C - 4.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 7.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 6.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Off the Bench
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - So. - G - 5.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 2.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - So. - F - 1.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 1.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg
2 - Rylie Cascio Jensen - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
First Season at Nebraska (2-1); 10th Season Overall (195-110)

Omaha Mavericks (1-2, 0-0 Summit League)
22 - Mikaela Shaw - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 14.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg
44 - Michaela Dapprich - 5-10 - RSr. - G/F - 13.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
10 - Courtney Vaccher - 6-2 - So. - C - 6.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg
5 - Amber Vidal - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 4.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg
33 - Remy Davenport - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 8.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg

Off the Bench
14 - Marissa Preston - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 7.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg
20 - Alexa Fisher - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
34 - Ellie Brecht - 5-11 - So. - G - 4.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg
40 - Jay Bridgeman - 6-1 - RFr. - F - 2.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
43 - Moriah Dapprich - 6-0 - Jr. - G/F - 1.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
21 - Abi Lujan - 5-11 - Sr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg

Head Coach: Brittany Lange (Iowa State, 2010)
Fourth Season at Iowa State (38-51); Fourth Season Overall (38-51)

Husker Nuggets
• Jessica Shepard produced her 12th career double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds in Nebraska’s win over Colorado State Nov. 17. It was her second double-double in three games this season, joining a 17-point, 15-rebound effort in a win over UTRGV on Nov. 12. Shepard, who has eight career games with 13 or more rebounds, will move into a tie for 10th on Nebraska’s career double-double list with her next double-double.
• Shepard leads Nebraska in three-point field goals made (5) and three-point field goal percentage (.556), including a game-clinching three with one minute left in the win over Colorado State on Nov. 14, and a 60-foot heave at the first-half buzzer in the win over UTRGV on Nov. 12.
• One of Nebraska’s biggest concerns entering the season was finding consistent three-point shooting, after losing 144 of its 178 made threes from its roster a year ago. In addition to Shepard, who did not hit a three last season, Hannah Whitish (4-9), Nicea Eliely (2-4) and Allie Havers (1-7) have hit their first career threes for the Huskers this season. Esther Ramacieri (3-10) has matched her previous career total for made threes. As a team, Nebraska is averaging 7.3 threes per game (22-69, .319).
• Hannah Whitish produced her first career double-digit scoring performance with 10 points and a career-high three three-pointers off the bench in Nebraska’s 62-59 win over Colorado State Nov. 17.
• Nebraska freshman Nicea Eliely ranks second on the team in scoring (7.7 ppg), third in rebounding (5.3 rpg), first in assists (4.0 apg) and first in steals (1.7 spg) through the first three games of her collegiate career.
• Nebraska will meet Omaha for the first time since running to an 80-44 win on Nov. 26, 2010. It will be just the second regular-season meeting between the Huskers and Mavericks since UNO posted a 76-74 win over NU in Omaha on Dec. 20, 1986. Nebraska leads the all-time series with Omaha, 15-9.

Scouting Omaha
Omaha comes to Lincoln for the first time since November of 2010 to take on the Huskers in women’s basketball. The Mavs, under the direction of fourth-year head coach Brittany Lange, have battled to a 1-2 start that includes a 69-42 season-opening loss at Colorado State in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT on Nov. 11, and a 73-63 loss at defending Southland champ Abilene Christian on Friday. The Mavs got on the winning track with an 85-57 win over North Texas to close their WNIT trip on Saturday.

All-Summit League forward Mikaela Shaw leads the Mavs with 14.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. She went 10-for-17 from the field in Texas over the weekend, after opening 5-for-17 in the loss to CSU. As a team, Omaha hit just 15-of-47 field goals, including just 3-of-14 threes in the loss to Colorado State. The Mavs were also outrebounded 39-29 by the Rams and lost the turnover battle 16-9.

Shaw, a 6-0 senior forward out of Sandy Creek High School (Deweese, Neb.), averaged 18.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game last year for Omaha. She is one of four returning starters for the Mavs this season, joining 5-8 junior guard Remy Davenport (10.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2015-16), 5-6 sophomore guard Amber Vidal (5.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2015-16) and 5-11 senior guard Abi Lujan (4.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2015-16).

Lujan has given way to Wichita State transfer Michaela Dapprich in Omaha’s starting five. Dapprich, a 5-10 senior guard/forward managed just two points and two rebounds before fouling out in 20 minutes in the loss to Colorado State. However, she bounced back in a big way with 26 points and seven rebounds in the win over North Texas and is averaging 13.0 points and 5.0 boards this season.

Dapprich was an honorable-mention All-Missouri Valley Conference selection as a junior at Wichita State in 2014-15. She averaged 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a junior. A three-year starter, she helped the Shockers to a trio of conference titles and NCAA Tournament berths (2013, 2014, 2015) before transferring to Omaha along with her sister Moriah.

Another Division I transfer, sophomore Coutney Vaccher rounds out Omaha’s probable starting five. The 6-2 center from Yorba Linda, Calif., by way of Texas Tech, is averaging 6.0 points and ranks second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game. She also leads Omaha with five steals.

Last season, Omaha battled its way to a 15-15 overall record that included a 7-9 Summit League mark. The Mavs averaged 63.7 points per game while hitting 41.8 percent of their shots from the field including 32.7 percent of their three-pointers. They were also a solid free throw shooting team at 72.2 percent. However, the Mavs were outrebounded 37.1-35.7 per game a year ago, while suffering with a minus-3.47 team turnover margin. Omaha forced an average of just 11.5 turnovers per game in 2015-16.

Nebraska vs. Omaha Series History
Nebraska will meet Omaha for the first time on the hard wood since the Huskers ran to an 80-44 victory over the Mavs at the Devaney Center on Nov. 26, 2010.

Prior to that meeting the Huskers had not faced UNO in a regular-season game since Dec. 20, 1986, when the Mavericks defeated Nebraska, 76-74 in Omaha.

The Huskers have won three straight home games in the series with the Mavs, including an 84-60 win over Dec. 20, 1985, and a 74-64 win on Dec. 19, 1980. Overall, Nebraska leads the all-time series with Omaha, 15-9.

Nebraska’s series with Omaha is one of the oldest in school history. In fact, Nebraska faced UNO in the second meeting in school history, a 47-41 loss on Dec. 4, 1974. The two teams then met again in Nebraska’s next game that season - a 48-47 loss at Omaha on Jan. 17, 2015.

The Huskers got revenge later that season with a 71-54 win on March 19, 1976, before defeating UNO three times in 1975-76. The two teams met a staggering six times in 1976-77, with Nebraska going 4-2.

Overall 15 of Nebraska’s first 112 games in program history came against UNO.

Connecting with Omaha
Nebraska Coach Amy Williams went 7-1 against Omaha in her four seasons as the head coach at South Dakota. She is 5-1 head-to-head against Omaha Coach Brittany Lange. Last season at Vermillion, USD survived with an 82-76 win on Jan. 9, before rolling to a 70-55 win in Omaha on Feb. 7.

While Nebraska’s roster has the last three Nebraska Gatorade High School Players of the Year (Jessica Shepard-2013, 2014; Maddie Simon-2015; Rylie Cascio Jensen-2016), Omaha has just two Nebraskans on its roster, including All-Summit League forward Mikaela Shaw (Sandy Creek High School, Deweese, Neb.) and redshirt freshman forward Jay Bridgeman from Omaha Westside.

Omaha Director of Operations Sadie Murren earned a letter on Nebraska’s 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 team and played in 43 games before transferring to Wayne State to complete her college career. Murren, a native of Wahoo, scored 92 points, grabbed 42 rebounds and dished out 12 assists as a Husker. She replaced another former Husker (Cory Montgomery) in the director of operations position at UNO, prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.

Shepard Leads Big Red on B1G Stage
• Sophomore Jessica Shepard led the Huskers with her 12th career double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds in Nebraska’s 62-59 win over Colorado State on Nov. 17. It was Shepard’s 12th career double-double and second of the season, joining her 17-point, 15-rebound effort in Nebraska’s season-opening win over UTRGV on Nov. 12.
• Through three games, Shepard is averaging a double-double with 17.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. She is also a team-best 5-for-9 from three-point range, including a game-clinching three with one minute left against Colorado State and a 60-footer at the first-half buzzer in the win over UTRGV. The 6-4 sophomore forward had not hit a collegiate three-pointer prior to this season.
• Shepard earned Preseason All-Big Ten honors when the conference announced its preseason awards on Oct. 24. Shepard was one of two sophomores on the coaches preseason all-conference team, joining Penn State guard Teniya Page. Shepard was the lone sophomore honored by the media on its 10-player preseason team.
• Shepard became the first freshman in Nebraska history to earn first-team all-conference honors. Shepard produced school freshman-record averages of 18.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 2015-16.
• Shepard became the first Husker in history to earn conference freshman-of-the-year accolades. The 6-4 forward from Fremont, Neb., joined Emily Cady (2012) and Rachel Theriot (2013) as Huskers who earned spots on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in Nebraska’s first five seasons in the conference.
• Shepard set a conference record by winning 10 Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week awards.

Big Red To Battle one of Nation’s Best Schedules
• Nebraska will likely face the toughest overall schedule in school history in 2016-17. The Huskers will play 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams and 11 more regular-season games against Postseason WNIT teams in 2016-17.
• Nebraska’s appearance in the 2016 Preseason WNIT to open the year featured three games against postseason foes, including NCAA Tournament teams Missouri and Colorado State.
• Virginia, Virginia Tech, Drake and Creighton all competed in the 2016 WNIT and the Huskers will play three of those games on the road. Nebraska closes non-conference play at home against UConn, which has won four consecutive NCAA titles.
• A total of 13 of Nebraska’s 16 Big Ten Conference games will come against postseason foes, including seven games against NCAA qualifiers and six more against WNIT teams from a year ago.
• Nebraska’s 16-game regular-season home schedule will feature 13 games against postseason teams, including all eight Big Ten Conference home games.

Nebraska Streaks
• Nebraska senior Allie Havers is ready to compete in her 100th consecutive game when the Huskers take the floor against Omaha. Havers has appeared in every game of her Nebraska career and the Huskers own a 67-32 record in those contests over the last four years.
• Nebraska has won 11 consecutive regular-season home openers dating back to a 68-49 loss to South Dakota State on Nov. 19, 2005.
• Nebraska is 4-0 in home openers since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena for the start of the 2013-14 season. NU’s average margin of victory in its regular-season home openers at Pinnacle Bank Arena is 29.8 points per contest.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 254 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 133 consecutive games.
• Nebraska has had at least two players earn first- or second-team All-Big Ten honors in each of its first five seasons in the Big Ten.
• Nebraska has won 31 consecutive exhibition games dating back to an 81-58 loss to the Australian Institute of Sport on Nov. 12, 2000.
• Nebraska finished with a 9-9 Big Ten record to mark the fifth consecutive season the Huskers have posted a .500 or better Big Ten record. Nebraska is the only Big Ten team with a .500 or better record in each of the last five seasons. In fact, no other Big Ten team has had four straight .500 marks. The only other team with three straight .500 or better Big Ten seasons is Minnesota, which went 11-7 in both 2015 and 2016 after going 8-8 in 2014.

Freshmen Need to Contribute Early
• Nebraska’s four-player freshman class of Rylie Cascio Jensen, Nicea Eliely, Grace Mitchell and Hannah Whitish will be looked to for immediate contributions on the Huskers’ 11-player active roster.
• Cascio Jensen, a 5-10 guard from Fremont High School, was the 2016 Nebraska High School Player of the Year. She averaged 22.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals per game for the Tigers.
• Eliely, a 6-1 guard out of Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, earned her first career start in Nebraska’s season-opening win over UTRGV on Nov. 12. Eliely performed well with nine points, two rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Vaqueros, while also drawing the primary defensive assignment on 2016 WAC Player-of-the-Year Shawnte’ Goff.
• Eliely played Nebraska’s best all-around game in the loss to No. 25 Missouri on Nov. 14. She finished with eight points, eight rebounds, two assists and a steal against the Tigers. She also hit her first career three-pointer against the Tigers.
• She was even better in Nebraska’s win over Colorado State, contributing six points, six rebounds and career highs of six assists and three steals, while helping to frustrate and foul out 2016 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Ellen Nystrom.
• Eliely was a Colorado Class 5A performer as a senior in 2015-16. Ranked as the No. 25 guard in the nation by ESPN and the No. 143 player in the nation by Blue Star, Eliely averaged 21.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.4 steals and 2.0 blocks per game as a senior for the Rams.
• Whitish, a 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., was the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 24.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.5 steals as a senior. The five-time first-team All-Wisconsin selection led Barneveld High School to four consecutive state championship game appearances including a pair of state titles. She led her team to a 110-4 record in her career, while ranking among the top 10 in Wisconsin High School history in career points with well over 2,000.
• In her Husker debut, Whitish scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting with a three-pointer, while adding two assists, one steal and no turnovers in the win over UTRGV on Nov. 12.
• After struggling against Missouri, Whitish played a huge role in Nebraska’s win over Colorado State, finishing with her first career double-figure scoring performance. Her 10-point effort in the win over the Rams included a career-high three three-pointers with the final triple coming on a cast from the deep left wing with one second on the shot clock to give Nebraska a 58-55 lead with 1:48 left. She added a free throw with 18 seconds left to seal the 62-59 win.
• Mitchell, a 6-2 forward/guard, was the Kansas Player of the Year as selected by USA Today High School Sports. She averaged 21.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks as a senior at Wellington High School. She also hit 48 percent of her three-pointers while setting a single-season school record with 533 points on her way to Kansas Class 4A Player-of-the-Year honors. She was ranked as the No. 51 wing in the nation by ESPN. She scored two points and grabbed two rebounds off the bench in her Husker debut against UTRGV, and added an important putback in Nebraska’s 62-59 win over Colorado State on Nov. 17.

Nebraska Posts 12th Straight Perfect GSR
In the eyes of the NCAA’s Division I Graduation Success Rate (GSR), the Husker women’s basketball program has been perfect for 12 consecutive years. Nebraska is the only program among the 14 Big Ten Conference schools to accomplish the perfect score for 12 straight years.

The NCAA announced the release of its annual Graduation Success Rate report on Nov. 15, 2016, and Nebraska was a national leader in women’s basketball for the 12th straight season (2004-05).
The Nebraska women’s basketball program joins the Husker women’s tennis and volleyball programs as Husker teams that have produced perfect 100 percent rates each of the last 12 years.

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