Husker women’s basketball set to Big Ten battle with Wisconsin

From: Nebraska Athletics

The Nebraska women’s basketball team returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday night hunting for another Big Ten Conference home win when the Huskers take on Wisconsin. Tip-off between the Huskers (12-2, 2-1 Big Ten) and the Badgers (9-5, 1-2 Big Ten) is set for 7:05 p.m. (CT) with tickets on sale now at Tickets can also be purchased at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office beginning 90 minutes before tip-off.

Live statewide television coverage will be provided by NET with Thor Tripp and Jami (Kubik) Hagedorn on the call. The NET production also will be used for the BTN+ video stream.

Live radio coverage for Thursday’s game can be heard on B107.3 FM and 1400 AM KLIN in Lincoln along with ESPN 590 AM in Omaha beginning at 6:45 p.m. (CT). Stations across the state will also carry the broadcast on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network. Free live audio can be found at, the Huskers App and TuneIn.

Nebraska notched its second Big Ten home win with a 72-58 victory over then-No. 24 Minnesota on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

Cain, a Lisa Leslie Award candidate, continued her strong open to Big Ten play with season highs of 19 points and 15 rebounds to go along with six blocked shots. In league play, Cain is averaging 15.0 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.7 blocks. She leads the Big Ten in blocks per game while matching Wisconsin’s Imani Lewis for the conference lead in rebounding during league play. 

Cain claimed her first spot on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Jan. 6) by averaging 14.5 points, 14.5 rebounds and 5.0 blocks last week. She hit 70 percent (14-20) of her shots from the field.

Hannah Whitish played big for the Huskers in the win over Minnesota with a season-high 17 points while matching her season high with five three-pointers. The senior from Barneveld was the 2016 Wisconsin High School Player of the Year. She is the first Husker in history to reach the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,084), 400 assists (416) and 200 three-pointers (223).

Sophomore guard Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.) added 17 points against her home state school and leads Nebraska in scoring in Big Ten play (15.3 ppg). 

Fellow sophomore Leigha Brown leads Nebraska overall in scoring this season at 13.7 points per game off the bench. She is a leading contender for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors, and is the only Big Ten player to rank among the top 30 in the league in scoring without making a start.


Huskers on importance of hitting outside shot: 

Husker women’s basketball looks to keep up overall energy:

Scouting The Wisconsin Badgers
• Head coach Jonathan Tsipis brings his fourth Wisconsin team into Thursday’s game at Nebraska following a 71-65 win over Penn State at the Kohl Center in Madison. The Badgers are 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten. 
• Last season, Wisconsin finished with a 15-18 overall record that included a 4-14 Big Ten mark. The 15 wins for the Badgers were their most since 2010-11 (18-15), which was also their last winning season in women’s basketball.
• Tsipis, who is 42-66 in his four seasons at Wisconsin, has his Badgers taking pride in their defense. Wisconsin is allowing just 60.9 points per game and has not allowed an opponent to score 75 in any game this season. Colorado (74) and Purdue (72) are the only two Badger foes to hit 70.
• Last season, the Badgers defeated Nebraska, 70-69, on a Kelly Karliss buzzer-beating three-pointer in the corner in Madison (Jan. 27, 2019).
• Wisconsin is led by outstanding sophomore Imani Lewis. The 6-1 forward is averaging team bests of 14.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, including 20.0 points and 13.7 boards in Big Ten play. She has taken more than 25 percent of UW’s shots in league play. She had 23 points and 14 rebounds in Saturday’s win over Penn State. She had 17 points and seven boards in last season’s win over Nebraska.
• Senior Abby Laszewski, a 6-3 forward, has added 11.8 points and 7.0 rebounds on the season, including 13.3 points and 7.7 boards in Big Ten play.  Neither Lewis nor Laszewski have attempted a three-pointer for the Badgers this season.
• Freshman Sydney Hilliard has made an immediate impact. The 5-11 guard is averaging 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds on the season and has started all three Big Ten contests. She has also matched senior point guard Kendra Van Leeuwen for the team lead with 16 steals.
• Van Leeuwen has averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and a team-best 4.4 assists. 
• Junior Niya Beverley rounds out Wisconsin’s starting five with 7.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Beverley erupted for 19 points in the win over Penn State after managing just 10 points combined in UW’s Big Ten losses to Rutgers (64-61) and at Purdue (72-61). Beverley ranks third among the Badgers with 11 made three-pointers. Beverley played a huge role in Wisconsin’s win over Nebraska last season with 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals.
• Senior Suzanne Gilreath leads Wisconsin from long range with 23 three-pointers on the year, but she is 0-for-6 from three-point range in Big Ten play early this season. Gilreath is averaging 6.2 points per game off the bench, but has not scored in Big Ten play.
• Freshman Julie Pospisilova has added more pop from long range with 14 threes on the season. Pospisilova started nine non-conference games and is averaging 5.9 points per game on the season. However she has opened Big Ten play just 2-for-15 from the field, including 2-for-9 from three.
• Freshman Tara Stauffacher is the only other Badger to find the scoring column so far in Big Ten play. Stauffacher, a 5-11 forward, is averaging 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds on the season and has scored four total points in three Big Ten games.
• As a team, Wisconsin is averaging 66.1 points per game on the season while shooting 41 percent from the field, including 29.8 percent from three-point range. UW is averaging just 4.9 threes per game. In last season’s win over Nebraska went just 2-for-10 including the game-winner at the buzzer.        • In Big Ten play, Wisconsin is shooting just 36.9 percent from the field, including 22.5 percent (9-40) from three-point range. UW owns a plus-3.5 rebound margin on the season but a minus-0.4 turnover margin. However, the Badgers own a plus-3.0 turnover margin in Big Ten play after forcing 26 turnovers by Penn State (+8) on Saturday.
• For the season, Wisconsin is holding opponents to just 36.8 percent shooting from the field, including 30.2 percent from long range.

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 9-7, including a 51-48 win over the Badgers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 11, 2018. All nine of Nebraska’s victories over the Badgers have come as Big Ten foes. 
• The Badgers have won back-to-back games against the Huskers in Madison, including the 70-69 win over the Huskers at the Kohl Center on Jan. 27, 2019. Nicea Eliely hit a driving layup with 0.7 seconds left to give the Huskers a 69-67 lead, before Kelly Karliss answered with a three-pointer in front of the Wisconsin bench as time expired. Taylor Kissinger led Nebraska with 15 points, while Kate Cain added 14 points and seven rebounds. Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely each had 12 points. Marsha Howard led Wisconsin with 18 points and seven boards.
• Wisconsin rolled to an 82-56 win over the Huskers in Madison on Feb. 9, 2017, for the largest margin of victory in the series. Despite the back-to-back wins for the Badgers in Madison, the Huskers have won nine of the last 11 meetings in the series.
• Nebraska meets Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. (CT) in a game televised by BTN.
• The Huskers are 9-2 against the Badgers as Big Ten Conference opponents, including 5-0 in Lincoln and 3-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska is 4-2 against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center. Nebraska’s first three wins at the Kohl Center were by a combined nine points, including a 71-70 OT win on Feb. 5, 2014, a 55-53 win on Feb. 28, 2013, and a 75-69 win on Jan. 12, 2012 – the first meeting between the schools as Big Ten foes.
• Wisconsin won the first five meetings between the two school as non-conference opponents, including a pair of overtime victories at the Devaney Center in Lincoln and three wins in Madison. All five of the non-conference meetings between the schools were decided by 10 or fewer points.
• Overall, 12 of the 16 all-time meetings have been decided by 10 or fewer points, including three overtime contests.

Nebraska Streaks
• Kate Cain owns Nebraska’s longest streak of consecutive starts (75).
• Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska’s second-longest streak of starts (70).
• Kate Cain has recorded at least one block in all 14 games this season, and has blocked a shot in 16 straight games dating back to last season.
• As a team, Nebraska has blocked at least one shot in 83 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has produced double-figure points in six consecutive games, the longest active double-digit scoring streak among the Huskers. Cain has produced double figures in eight of the last nine games.
• Kate Cain has produced a double-double in three consecutive games.
• Kate Cain, Nicea Eliely and Leigha Brown are the only Huskers to score points in each of Nebraska’s first 14 games this season.
• Kate Cain, Nicea Eliely and Isabelle Bourne are the only Huskers to record at least one rebound for the Huskers in all 14 games this season.
• Eliely was the only Husker to score in all 30 games last season, and the only Husker to score in all of Nebraska’s games against Big Ten Conference foes. She has scored in 48 consecutive games overall. She did not score in a win over Penn State on Feb. 22, 2018, the only time in the past three seasons (including 2019-20, 71 games) that Eliely was shut out.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 356 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 235 consecutive games.

Numbers to Watch 
(2) Kate Cain needs two points to reach 700 in her career.
(3) Kristian Hudson needs three assists to reach 400 in her career (383 at FIU).
(7) Kristian Hudson needs seven rebounds to reach 400 in her career (372 at FIU).
(15) Kate Cain is 15 blocked shots away from matching the Nebraska career block record held by Janet Smith (238, 1979-82).
(16) Hannah Whitish is 16 points away from 1,100 in her career.
(21) Leigha Brown is 21 points away from 500 in her career.
(100) Nicea Eliely is expected to make her team-leading 100th career start on Thursday.

Husker Nuggets
• Nebraska’s 12-2 start is its best 14-game start under Coach Amy Williams and NU’s best start since also opening 15-1, including 3-0 in the Big Ten during a 16-game conference season in 2011-12 – Nebraska’s first season in the league.
• Nebraska ranks No. 13 nationally in total home attendance (42,647).
• Entering games Jan. 6, Nebraska was one of just 27 teams nationally (4 Big Ten) with 12 or more wins.
• Nebraska is No. 34 in the Massey Ratings (Jan. 7). Other Big Ten teams in the top 55 included: Indiana (10), Maryland (18), Northwestern (21), Iowa (23), Rutgers (24), Michigan (30), Purdue (38), Minnesota (41), Ohio State (45) and Michigan State (54).
• Through 14 games, Nebraska is allowing an average of 61.3 points per game (including 59.3 ppg in regulation), after allowing 70.1 points per game last season. NU’s 2018 NCAA Tournament team allowed 63.6.
• Opponents are shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 28.5 percent from three-point range against NU. Last year, Husker foes hit 41.1 percent, including 33.4 percent from three. In 2017-18, Nebraska led the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (.371) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.299).
• Nebraska has held seven opponents to 55 points or less this season. Last year, NU held only two foes (Radford-39, Kansas-52) to 55 or less. NU held 11 opponents to 55 or less in 2017-18.
• NU’s bench has outscored opponent reserves in 13 of the first 14 games (not Michigan State) in 2019-20. The Husker bench has outscored opposing benches in 41 of the last 44 games overall, including double-digit edges in 30 of the last 44 games.
• This season, NU’s bench has outscored opposing benches 364-204 (26.0-14.6 ppg).

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports