NEB WBB: Huskers Head to Vegas for South Point Shootout - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

NEB WBB: Huskers Head to Vegas for South Point Shootout

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Courtesy: UNL Media Relations

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1) vs. Washington State Cougars (3-1)
Friday, Nov. 25, 8 p.m. (CT)
South Point Arena (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (Lincoln - B107.3 FM)
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers App
Live Video Stream: Not Available

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1) vs. Virginia Cavaliers (4-0)
Saturday, Nov. 26, 8 p.m. (CT)
South Point Arena (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Lincoln - 1400 AM, Omaha - CD105.9 FM
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers App
Live Video Stream: Not Available

Huskers Head to Vegas for South Point Shootout
The Nebraska women’s basketball team (3-1) opens a three-game road swing by playing a pair of games this weekend at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas.

Nebraska’s appearance at South Point Arena begins with the Huskers taking on Pac-12 foe Washington State (3-1) on Friday at 8 p.m. (CT). The Big Red concludes the two-game tournament by facing ACC opponent Virginia (4-0) on Saturday at 8 p.m. (CT).

Both games can be heard live on the Husker Sports Network, including a free live audio stream on Huskers.com. Friday’s game can be heard in Lincoln on B107.3 FM, while Saturday’s game will be carried live in Lincoln on 1400 AM KLIN and on CD 105.9 FM in Omaha.

No live video stream of either game is available.

The Huskers closed their four-game season-opening home stand with a 66-58 victory over Omaha on Tuesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Sophomore Jessica Shepard led a balanced Big Red attack with 17 points and nine rebounds. The 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year leads the Huskers in scoring and rebounding with 17.5 points and 11.5 boards per game. The 6-4 forward from Fremont, Neb., also leads Nebraska with 7-of-13 shooting (.538) from three-point range.

Freshmen Nicea Eliely (8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.3 spg) and Hannah Whitish (6.8 ppg, 2.3 apg) also played major roles in Nebraska’s success during the home stand.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
32 - Jessica Shepard - 6-4 - So. - F - 17.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Sr. - C - 5.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 6.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Off the Bench
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 6.8 ppg, 0.8 rpg
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - So. - G - 4.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
2 - Rylie Cascio Jensen - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.8 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - So. - F - 1.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 1.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
First Season at Nebraska (3-1); 10th Season Overall (196-110)

Washington State Cougars (3-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
45 - Borislava Hristova - 6-0 - So. - F - 16.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg
4 - Louise Brown - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 10.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg
15 - Ivana Kmetovska - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 8.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg
11 - Chanelle Molina - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg
1 - Caila Hailey - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 6.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Off the Bench
23 - Alexys Swedlund - 5-11 - So. - G - 8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
5 - Kayla Washington - 6-0 - Fr. - F - 6.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
20 - Maria Kostourkova - 6-4 - So. - C - 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
22 - Pinelopi Pavlopoulou - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
21 - Nike McClure - 6-3 - So. - F - 3.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
10 - Johanna Muzet - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
2 - Krystle McKenzie - 5-8 - So. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978)
10th Season at Washington State (107-178); 28th Season Overall (420-392)

Scouting Washington State
Nebraska opens play in the South Point Shootout by taking on a familiar non-conference foe in Washington State. The Huskers and Cougars will be meeting for the seventh time in 14 seasons, but it will be the first-ever meeting for the two teams on a neutral court.

Nebraska leads the all-time series with Washington State 5-1, including an 82-61 win in the last meeting between the two schools on Nov. 19, 2014 in Pullman. The Cougars handed the Huskers their only loss in the series with a 76-72 decision on Nov. 30, 2013. It was also the first home loss for Nebraska in Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska is 3-0 against WSU in Pullman and 2-1 against the Cougars in Lincoln.

Washington State heads to Las Vegas with a 3-1 mark that includes lopsided wins over Loyola Marymount (92-45, Nov. 11) and San Francisco (73-35, Nov. 18) sandwiched around a solid victory over Saint Mary’s (85-69, Nov. 13). The Cougars are coming off a 79-72 overtime loss to Oklahoma State on Nov. 20.

Last season, Coach June Daugherty led WSU to a 14-16 overall record that included a 5-13 mark in the Pac-12 Conference.

The Cougars carry a mix of size and experience along with talent and depth up and down their roster. Sophomore Borislava Hristova, a 6-0 forward from Varna, Bulgaria, leads WSU with 16.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Louise Brown, a 6-3 junior forward from Melbourne, Australia, has added 10.0 points and a team-leading 8.8 rebounds per game.

Ivana Kmetovska, a 6-3 senior forward from Skopje, Macedonia, completes an all-international starting front line by averaging 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Freshman guard Chanelle Molina (Kailua Kona, Hawaii, 8.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg) and junior guard Caila Hailey (Inglewood, Calif., 6.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg) add some American flavor to the Washington State starting lineup.

WSU’s starting five has been supported by seven Cougars off the bench in each of the first four games. Alexys Swedlund, a 5-11 sophomore guard from Rapid City, S.D., is tied for third on the team in scoring with 8.5 points per game, while ranking second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per contest.

Kayla Washington, a 6-0 freshman forward from San Bernardino, Calif., has added solid numbers with 6.3 points and 5.5 rebounds despite playing just 11.5 minutes per contest. Washington averages nearly four fouls per game and committed five fouls in just eight minutes in the win over Saint Mary’s.

The only player from the state of Washington on the Cougar squad is 6-3 sophomore forward Nike McClure, who is averaging 3.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game.

Four more international players round out the rest of WSU’s regular contributors. Maria Kostourkova, a 6-4 sophomore center from Lisbon, Portugal, is averaging 4.5 points and 3.0 rebounds, while 5-8 junior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou (Athens, Greece) has pitched in 3.8 points and a team-high 3.3 assists per game. Johanna Muzet, a 6-0 freshman guard from Lyon, France has managed 2.8 points and 1.8 boards, while 5-8 sophomore guard Krystle McKenzie (Gold Coast, Australia) has pitched in 2.0 points and 1.0 rebound in just under 10 minutes per game.

As a team, Washington State is averaging 80.5 points through four contests, while holding opponents to just 57.0 points per game. The Cougars have been plus-7.8 (50.8-43.0) on the boards and own a whopping plus-9.3 team turnover margin. WSU is shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 33 percent (29-88) from three-point range while hitting just 60.2 percent of its free throws.

Virginia Cavaliers (4-0, 0-0 ACC)
21 - Lauren Moses - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 14.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg
13 - Jocelyn Willoughby - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 11.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
23 - Aliyah Huland El - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 11.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
12 - Breyana Mason - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
4 - Dominique Toussaint - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 8.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Off the Bench
30 - Felicia Aiyeotan - 6-9 - Fr. - C - 7.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
10 - J’Kyra Brown - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 6.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
14 - Lisa Jablonowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 2.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
2 - Jae’Lisa Allen - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Joanne Boyle (Duke, 1984)
Sixth Season at Virginia (95-71); 15th Season Overall (299-164)

Scouting Virginia
While Nebraska and Washington State have met frequently on the hardwood in recent years, the Huskers will be facing the Virginia Cavaliers for the first time in school history on Saturday. Nebraska did play a first-round NCAA Tournament game on the Cavaliers’ home court in Charlottesville, Va., against Boston College. The Eagles defeated the Huskers 93-76 on St. Patrick’s Day of 2000.

Virginia brings a spotless 4-0 record to Las Vegas, following a 62-54 win over Rutgers in Charlottesville on Nov. 20. The Cavaliers also own home wins over Middle Tennessee (63-51) and Coppin State (103-40) along with a road win at Richmond (63-56).

Virginia’s nine-player rotation features just one senior in 5-8 guard Breyana Mason, who is averaging 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while leading the Cavaliers with 2.3 steals per game.

Four juniors and four freshmen have made up the core of the Cavaliers this season. Lauren Moses, a 6-2 junior forward leads Virginia in scoring and rebounding with 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Fellow junior starter Aliyah Huland El has added 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and a team-best 3.8 assists. She also leads the Cavaliers with seven three-pointers.

Jocelyn Willoughby, a 6-0 freshman guard ranks second on the team in scoring and rebounding with 11.5 points and 6.0 boards per conetst, while fellow freshman Dominique Toussaint rounds out the starting five with 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Off the bench, 6-9 freshman center Felicia Aiyeotan is averaging 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting better than 70 percent from the field. Fellow freshman reserve Lisa Jablonowski has contributed 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Junior J’Kyra Brown has added 6.3 points and 2.5 rebounds, while junior Jae’Lisa Allen rounds out Virginia’s contributors with 1.7 points and 1.0 rebound per game.

As a team, Virginia is averaging 72.8 points per game while surrendering just 50.2 points per contest. The Cavaliers have shot the ball extremely well early in the season, knocking down 41.5 percent (27-65) of their three-point attempts and 76.1 percent (54-71) of their free throws. They also own a plus-5.0 rebounding margin and a plus-4.5 team turnover margin.

Last season, Coach Joanne Boyle and the Cavaliers finished with an 18-16 overall record that included a 6-10 ACC mark. Virginia advanced to the 2016 Postseason WNIT.
Virginia will open tournament play at the South Point Shootout on Friday by facing St. John’s.

Husker Nuggets
• Jessica Shepard continues to average a double-double for the Huskers with team-leading averages of 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. She 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 of the year, 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 (7) and three-point field goal percentage (.538), 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.
• Nebraska freshman Nicea Eliely ranks second on the team in scoring (8.0 ppg), third in rebounding (5.5 rpg), first in assists (3.5 apg) and first in steals (2.3 spg) through the first four games of her collegiate career.
• Freshman guard Hannah Whitish produced double digits off the bench for the second straight game with 10 points in NU’s win over Omaha on Nov. 22.

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 her second double-double of the season, joining a 17-point, 15-rebound effort in NU’s season-opening win over UTRGV on Nov. 12.
• Through four games, Shepard is averaging a double-double with 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. She is also a team-best 7-for-13 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 will be playing in its first regular-season neutral site tournament since participating in the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas, Dec. 18-20, 2010.
• Nebraska has not won a regular-season neutral site game since defeating Saint Mary’s at the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif., on Nov. 28, 2009.
• Nebraska senior Allie Havers competed in her 100th consecutive game when the Huskers defeated Omaha on Nov. 22. Havers has appeared in every game of her Nebraska career and the Huskers own a 68-32 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 255 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 134 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 Contributing Early
Rylie Cascio Jensen, 5-10, Guard, Fremont, Neb.
• Nebraska’s four-player freshman class of Rylie Cascio Jensen, Nicea Eliely, Grace Mitchell and Hannah Whitish have been 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.
• She is averaging 1.5 points in 10 minutes per game after scoring six points in the win over Omaha Nov. 22.

Nicea Eliely, 6-1, Guard, Colorado Springs, Colo.
• Eliely, a 6-1 guard out of Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, has started all four games and is averaging 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
• She 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 a career-high six assists to go along with three steals. She also helped frustrate and foul out 2016 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Ellen Nystrom.
• Eliely added nine points, six rebounds, two assists and a career-high four steals in Nebraska’s win over Omaha on Nov. 22.
• 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.

Hannah Whitish, 5-9, Guard, Barneveld, Wis.
• 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.
• Whitish has been Nebraska’s top contributor off the bench through four games with 6.8 points and 1.8 assists in 20 minutes per contest.
• 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.
• Whitish added her second straight double-figure scoring performance with 10 points and career highs of five assists and two steals in Nebraska’s win over Omaha on Nov. 22.

Grace Mitchell, 6-2, Forward/Guard, Wellington, Kan.
• 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.

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