Huskers travel to No. 25 Michigan Thursday
Posted By: Sports
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team plays its final regular-season road game when the Huskers travel to Ann Arbor to take on No. 25 Michigan Thursday. Tip-off between the Huskers (6-20, 2-12 Big Ten) and the Wolverines (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten) at Crisler Arena is set for 6 p.m. (CT).
• A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network. Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will call the action on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and CD 105.9 FM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on Huskers.com and the Huskers App.
• A live premium video stream will be provided for BTN Plus subscribers.
• Nebraska is coming off its second Big Ten win of the season, a 67-64 victory over Indiana at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday. The Hoosiers entered that game at No. 40 in the RPI following a 72-61 win over No. 20 Michigan at Assembly Hall in Bloomington last Thursday. The Wolverines have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season after falling 86-68 to rival Michigan State in Ann Arbor Sunday.
• Hannah Whitish led four Huskers in double figures in the win over Indiana by scoring a career-high 18 points. She tied her career best by hitting four threes on 4-of-6 shooting. She hit 7-of-10 shots overall and added six rebounds, four assists and two steals on her way to Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors on Feb. 20. Whitish is averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in Big Ten play.
• Fellow freshman Nicea Eliely added double figures for the third straight game with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting against the Hoosiers. Eliely set a career high with three threes against Indiana, while tying a career best with six assists. Eliely and Whitish are tied for second among the Huskers in scoring on the season with 8.0 points per game. The last time a pair of Husker freshmen both averaged 7.0 points per game on the season was 1983-84.
• The Huskers are led by 6-4 sophomore forward Jessica Shepard, who is averaging a double-double with 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She owns 22 career double-doubles, including 12 this season. She has six double-doubles in Big Ten play this season.
• Shepard is just the fourth Husker in history to produce double-digit double-doubles in two seasons in her career, joining first-team All-Americans Jordan Hooper (2011-12, 2013-14) and Karen Jennings (1990-91, 1992-93) and four-time All-Big Ten choice Emily Cady (2013-14, 2014-15).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-20, 2-12 Big Ten)
32 – Jessica Shepard – 6-4 – So. – F – 18.4 ppg, 9.7 rpg
22 – Allie Havers – 6-5 – Sr. – C – 6.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 8.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – Fr. – G – 8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – Jr. – G – 6.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Off the Bench
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – So. – G – 3.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – Sr. – G – 2.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg
2 – Rylie Cascio Jensen – 5-10 – Fr. – G – 2.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – So. – F – 2.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Jr. – G – 2.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – Fr. – F/G – 1.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
First Season at Nebraska (6-20); 10th Season Overall (199-129)
No. 25/24 Michigan Wolverines (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten)
11 – Jillian Dunston – 5-11 – Jr. – F – 5.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg
30 – Hallie Thome – 6-5 – So. – F – 15.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg
1 – Kysre Gondrezick – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 14.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg
2 – Siera Thompson – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 8.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
3 – Katelynn Flaherty – 5-7 – Jr. – G – 19.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Off the Bench
10 – Nicole Munger – 5-11 – So. – G – 6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg
5 – Kayla Robbins – 6-1 – Fr. – F – 3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
20 – Danielle Williams – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 1.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg
23 – Maria Backman – 6-1 – Jr. – G/F – 1.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Head Coach: Kim Barnes Arico (Montclair State, 1993)
Fifth Season at Michigan (104-61); 21st Season Overall (374-266)
• Coach Kim Barnes Arico brings her fifth Michigan team into Thursday’s game looking to rebound from its first two-game losing streak of the season. The No. 25 Wolverines dropped a 72-61 decision at Indiana (Feb. 16), before falling 86-68 to rival Michigan State in Ann Arbor on Feb. 19.
• Despite the losses, Michigan sits alone in third place in the Big Ten standings with a 10-4 mark, two full games ahead of the pack with two to play. The Wolverines are 21-7 overall and were No. 36 in the RPI as of Feb. 21.
• Michigan is one of the Big Ten’s most explosive offensive teams, averaging 78.1 points per game on the season. The Wolverines scored more than 100 points in each of the first three games this season (Oakland, Niagara, Howard). Michigan has added a pair of 90-point performances.
• However, Michigan has been held to 75 or fewer points in each of the last five games. The Wolverines defeated Nebraska, 84-51 in the first meeting this season in Lincoln on Jan. 22.
• Other than the recent losses to Indiana and Michigan State, Michigan’s first two Big Ten losses came on the road at current No. 2 Maryland and current No. 12 Ohio State. Two of the Wolverines’ three non-conference losses also came to current top-15 foes No. 8 Florida State and No. 15 UCLA, with both of those games away from Ann Arbor.
• Michigan’s 86-68 loss to Michigan State Sunday was its first home loss of the season. The Wolverines are 13-1 at Crisler Arena this year.
20• Heading into the week (Feb. 20), Michigan ranked fourth nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.394), ninth in field goal percentage (.473), 13th in scoring margin (+17.1 ppg), 16th in scoring offense (78.1 ppg), 19th in three-point field goals made (220) and 19th in assists per game (16.9 apg).
• Junior guard Katelynn Flaherty leads the Wolverines with 19.8 points per game. A premier long-range shooter, the 5-7 Flaherty has knocked down 79 threes on the season (.369), while hitting 88.1 percent (74-84) of her free throws. She also ranks third among the Wolverines in assists (2.9 apg). Flaherty ranks third in the Big Ten and 21st nationally in made three-pointers.
• Kysre Gondrezick, a strong candidate for the Big Ten All-Freshman team, has added 14.3 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. She has started 13 of Michigan’s 14 Big Ten games and is averaging 15.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in conference action. Gondrezick is the daughter of former NBA player Grant Gondrezick. Her mother, Lisa, won a national title at Louisiana Tech, and Kysre’s sister, Kalabrya, plays at Michigan State.
• Gondrezick has hit 63-of-143 threes (.441), which ranks second in the Big Ten (Teniya Page, Penn State, .448) and 14th nationally in three-point percentage.
• Siera Thompson is the lone senior in Michigan’s starting five. The four-year starter is averaging 8.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-best 5.0 assists. Thompson owns a 2.92-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which leads the Big Ten and ranks 11th nationally. However, she is averaging just 5.2 points per game and shooting just 22.2 percent (16-72) from the field, including just 19.4 percent (6-31) from three-point range over the last nine games.
• Thompson has started 128 games as a Wolverine. Nebraska’s active roster owns 195 career starts.
• Thompson owns 1,386 points and 515 assists in her career. She is a career 90 percent free throw shooter, and a career 38.1 percent shooter from three, with 232 career makes. Thompson would rank third in Husker history with her 232 career threes, but she ranks second among active Wolverines behind Flaherty’s 262.
• Sophomore Hallie Thome provides Michigan with a strong inside presence, averaging 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The 6-5 forward is shooting 63 percent from the field and leads Michigan with 57 blocks, which is three more than Nebraska’s entire roster combined (54).
• Junior forward Jillian Dunston rounds out Michigan’s starting five with 5.9 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds per game. Dunston leads the Wolverines with 44 steals.
• Senior guard Danielle Williams has added 1.9 points and 2.8 rebounds after starting Michigan’s first 14 games and the loss at Maryland. She is one of only six Wolverines to play in all 28 games this year.
20• Sophomore guard Nicole Munger (6.2 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and freshman forward Kayla Robbins (3.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg) round out the top eight players in Michigan’s rotation. Munger scored a career-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 20 minutes off the bench in Michigan’s win over Nebraska on Jan. 22..0 3.3
Nebraska vs. Michigan Series History
• Nebraska has dominated the all-time series with Michigan, 11-2, but the Huskers had their five-game series winning streak snapped with Michigan’s 84-51 win in Lincoln on Jan. 22, 2017. Katelynn Flaherty led the Wolverines with 27 points, while Nicole Munger added a career-high 18 points off the bench. Flaherty and Munger combined to go 8-for-13 from three-point range. Hallie Thome added 15 points and eight rebounds, while freshman Kysre Gondrezick pitched in 13 points.
• Allie Havers and Nicea Eliely each scored 10 points to lead the Huskers in this season’s first meeting, but the Wolverines held Jessica Shepard to just four points on 2-of-8 shooting.
• Shepard produced one of the best individual performances in school history in last season’s 93-81 win on Jan. 24, 2016 in Ann Arbor. Shepard had 35 points and 20 rebounds, hitting 13-of-22 field goals and 9-of-16 free throws. She had 23 points and 15 boards in the second half alone.
• Michigan has never beaten Nebraska in Ann Arbor. Nebraska was 6-0 against Michigan as non-conference foes from 1980 through 2006, with all six wins by double digits. NU’s average margin of victory in 11 all-time wins against Michigan is 19.2 points per game.
• In the 13 all-time games with Michigan, only one of the games has been decided by single digits, a 76-68 Nebraska win on Feb. 13, 2014, in Ann Arbor.
• Jessica Shepard is the second Husker in history to record 10 or more double-doubles in back-to-back seasons. She owns 12 double-doubles in 2016-17, including 28 points and 10 rebounds against No. 12 Ohio State (Feb. 16).
• Shepard leads the Huskers with averages of 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She has 22 career double-doubles, which is tied for sixth in Husker history.
• Shepard became the 32nd Husker in history to score 1,000 career points (at Wisconsin, Feb. 9) and just the second to achieve the milestone as a sophomore, joining All-American Jordan Hooper (1,078, 2010-11, 2011-12).
• Shepard reached the 1,000-point milestone in fewer games (55) than any Husker in history.
• Shepard owns 13 20-point scoring efforts in 25 games, including season highs of 28 points vs. No. 12 Ohio State (Feb. 16), at No. 15 Ohio State (Jan. 29), at Iowa (Dec. 31) and San Jose State (Dec. 9). She owns 29 career 20-plus scoring games in 57 career contests.
• Shepard ranks second among the Huskers in three-point field goals made (26), 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 leads the Huskers in steals (42), blocks (16) and field goal percentage (.458), while tying for second among the Huskers in scoring (8.0 ppg). Eliely has started all 26 games this season as a true freshman.
• Eliely will become the first freshman to lead the Huskers in steals since 2000-01, and just the third freshman to lead NU in steals since 1990-91.
• Freshman Hannah Whitish is averaging 10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.4 steals in 14 Big Ten games as a starter. Whitish also leads the Huskers with 45 three-pointers on the season to rank fourth among freshmen in Husker history. She needs one more to catch Anna DeForge in third (46, 1994-95).
Huskers Establishing Solid Starting Five
• One of Coach Amy Williams’ primary objectives early in the season was to find a starting five from a relatively inexperienced group of Huskers. Only seven players on Nebraska’s active roster have ever started a game for the Huskers, with five of them starting 35 or fewer contests.
• Although Jessica Shepard is just a sophomore, she owns a team-high 55 career starts, including 29 in 31 games as a freshman.
• A three-year contributor on the court, 6-5 senior Allie Havers adds 47 career starts to Nebraska’s level of experience in 2016-17.
• Only three other returning Huskers had ever started a game for Nebraska before this season, including Jasmine Cincore (32 career), Esther Ramacieri (16) and Maddie Simon (5), while true freshmen Nicea Eliely (26) and Hannah Whitish (14) have made their first career starts this season.
• Overall, Nebraska owns just 195 career starts. Michigan is an experienced Big Ten team with 356 career starts, including 128 from senior guard Siera Thompson alone.
• Nebraska sent nine different starting lineups onto the floor in 2015-16.
• Three times (2003-04, 2006-07, 2011-12) in the last 14 seasons, Nebraska’s starting five has hit the floor for every game together, and five more times the Huskers have only featured six different starters in a season (2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2013-14).
Shepard Leads Big Red on B1G Stage
• Sophomore Jessica Shepard owns 22 career double-doubles, including 12 this season. Her most recent double-double came with a season-high-tying 28 points and 10 rebounds against No. 12 Ohio State (Feb. 16). She also had 28 points and 13 rebounds at No. 15 Ohio State (Jan. 29). She had 20 points and 12 rebounds at Penn State (Jan. 19). She had 22 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Rutgers (Jan. 10), which followed 15 points and 12 rebounds at Michigan State (Jan. 7). She also had 17 points and 15 rebounds against Northwestern (Dec. 28). She had 22 points and 11 rebounds at Creighton (Dec. 18). She had a season-high 28 points and 14 rebounds in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 9). She added 23 points and a season-high 16 rebounds against Drake (Dec. 6). It followed a 25-point, 14-rebound performance in a loss at then-unbeaten Virginia Tech (Dec. 1). She had 24 points and 13 rebounds in Nebraska’s 62-59 win over Colorado State (Nov. 17). She opened the season with 17 points and 15 rebounds in a win over UTRGV (Nov. 12).
• Through 26 games, Shepard is averaging team bests of 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She also ranks second on the team with 26 three-pointers, 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.
• 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. She 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.
Nebraska Ranks Near Top in Attendance
• Nebraska closed the 2015-16 season ranked No. 9 nationally in total attendance (102,682) and No. 12 in NCAA Division I in average home attendance (5,404). It marked the third consecutive season inside Pinnacle Bank Arena that the Big Red have ranked among the top 12 nationally in both categories.
• In 67 all-time home games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers own a 49-18 record (.731 winning percentage) while averaging 5,593 fans per game (374,727 total fans/67 games).
• Nebraska attracted a non-conference school-record crowd of 9,750 to open its stay in the building with a win over UCLA on Nov. 8, 2013.
Big Red Battling One of Nation’s Best Schedules
• Nebraska is facing 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 strength of schedule has ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation throughout the season, coming in at No. 19 through games Feb. 20. Each of Nebraska’s final two regular-season games will come against teams currently in the top 50 in the RPI, including No. 36 Michigan and No. 41 Michigan State.
• Through games Feb. 20, NU’s 25 opponents owned a combined record of 418-258 (.618 winning percentage), including current top-25 opponents No. 1 UConn (26-0), No. 2 Maryland (26-2), No. 12 Ohio State (24-5), No. 21 Drake (22-4), No. 24 Missouri (19-9) and No. 25 Michigan (21-7). Colorado State (20-6) and Creighton (20-6) are among the top teams receiving votes in the AP Poll this week, while Penn State (18-8), Michigan State (18-9), Northwestern (18-9), Indiana (18-9) and Virginia (18-9) all own 18 wins. California (17-11), Purdue (17-11), Virginia Tech (16-11), UTRGV (16-11) and Iowa (16-11) give Nebraska 18 opponents (19 games) with 16 or more victories in 2016-17.
• Minnesota (14-13), Omaha (13-14), Washington State (10-17), San Jose State (10-16), Illinois (8-19), Wisconsin (7-20) and Rutgers (6-21) are the only Husker opponents with fewer than 15 wins this season.
• Nebraska’s game Thursday at Michigan will be the Huskers’ 20th game this season against a top 100 RPI opponent and its 14th against a Top 50-RPI foe.
• Nebraska’s non-conference Strength of Schedule was ranked No. 8 by the NCAA (Jan. 1). NU’s non-conference schedule strength trailed only Minnesota in the Big Ten. Nebraska, Minnesota and Rutgers were the only three Big Ten teams to enter conference play with a top-25 strength of schedule. Six Big Ten teams entered league play with strength of schedules below 100, including Purdue (204), Maryland (203), Indiana (176), Northwestern (167), Ohio State (155) and Wisconsin (114).
• 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.
Freshmen Eliely, Whitish Give Huskers Hope
• Nebraska freshmen Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish have helped solidify the Huskers’ starting five, while providing hope for the future for a young Husker roster.
• Eliely, a 6-1 guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., has started all 26 games and is tied for second on the team in scoring with 8.0 points per game. She also leads the Huskers in steals (42), blocked shots (16) and field goal percentage (.458). She ranks second in minutes per game (26.8).
• Eliely has produced seven double-figure scoring efforts, including each of the last three games. She had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including a career-best three three-pointers, in Nebraska’s win over Indiana (Feb. 19). She also tied her career high with six assists without a committing a turnover, and she led the Huskers with three steals against the Hoosiers. Eliely also had 13 points against No. 12 Ohio State (Feb. 16), 12 points at Wisconsin (Feb. 9) and 10 points along with a career-high-tying four steals against Michigan (Jan. 22). She had a career-high 19 points against California (Dec. 4).
• Whitish, the 2016 Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year at Barneveld High School, is tied with Eliely for second on the team in scoring (8.0 ppg), including 10.1 points per game in Big Ten play. Whitish leads the Huskers with 45 threes, which ranks as the fourth-best total by a freshman in school history. Whitish also leads the Huskers in assists (71) and ranks third in steals (25).
• In Big Ten play, Whitish leads the Huskers in assists (54) and three-pointers (30), while ranking second on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg), steals (19) and three-point percentage (.395). She has produced double figures eight times in Big Ten play and 10 times overall this season. She had career highs of 18 points and four three-pointers while adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals in Nebraska’s win over Indiana (Feb. 19). For her performance against the Hoosiers, Whitish earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors.
• Whitish had 16 points and tied her career best with four threes at Illinois (Jan. 15). She added 13 points and hit four more threes at Wisconsin (Feb. 9).
• Eliely and Whitish have a chance to become the first pair of Husker freshmen since 1983-84 to both average better than 7.0 points per game. The last two Husker freshmen to each average better than 7.0 points per game were Angie Miller (14.6 ppg) and Stacy Imming (9.9 ppg) in 1983-84.
• Since 2010, Nebraska has had five freshmen earn spots on conference all-freshman teams, including Lindsey Moore (Big 12, 2010), Jordan Hooper (Big 12, 2011), Emily Cady (Big Ten, 2012), Rachel Theriot (Big Ten, 2013) and Jessica Shepard (Big Ten, 2016).
Freshmen Leading Huskers at Free Throw Line
• Traditionally one of the Big Ten’s best free throw shooting teams, Nebraska has struggled this season at the line. However, NU’s free throw numbers are on the way up thanks to solid shooting by the Husker freshmen.
• Nebraska’s freshmen are 51-of-65 (.785) at the free throw line in Big Ten play, while the Huskers as a team are shooting 64.7 percent.
• Rylie Cascio Jensen has hit 11 consecutive free throws, including 9-for-9 in Big Ten play and 7-for-7 at Penn State (Jan. 19).
• Nicea Eliely had hit 14 consecutive free throws, dating back to a miss against Maryland on Jan. 4, before missing a pair late against Minnesota. She hit four free throws in the final 37 seconds in the win over Rutgers (Jan. 10).
• Nebraska senior Allie Havers has competed in 122 consecutive games since the first game of her freshman season in 2013-14. The Huskers own a 71-51 record in those contests over the last four years.
• Junior Jasmine Cincore owns the longest streak of consecutive starts among the Huskers with 31. Havers has made 29 straight starts, while freshman Nicea Eliely and sophomore Jessica Shepard have each started 26 straight games this season. Hannah Whitish has made 14 straight starts.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 277 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 156 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.
Pump Up the Program
• Nebraska earned its fifth straight postseason tournament bid with a trip to the 2016 WNIT. The Huskers were one of only 21 Division I teams to earn four consecutive NCAA Tournament bids from 2012 through 2015.
• The Huskers have produced seven 20-win seasons in the last 10 years. Nebraska owns 16 20-win seasons in program history.
• Nebraska is the only team in the Big Ten to post a .500 or better conference mark in each of the last five years. Minnesota is the only other Big Ten team to do it each of the last three seasons.
• The Huskers, who joined the Big Ten in 2011-12, have averaged 10.6 conference wins per season since joining the conference. The Big Red have added eight Big Ten Tournament wins for 61 total victories over Big Ten foes during the past five years (12.2 wins per season).
• Nebraska has ranked among the top 12 schools nationally in average home attendance in each of the Huskers’ first three seasons at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Big Red have ranked among the top 10 nationally in total home attendance in each of the first three seasons at the arena, including 102,682 fans in 2015-16.
• Nebraska set a season ticket sales record with 4,032 season tickets sold as of Jan. 31, 2016. It marked the first time in school history the Huskers sold 4,000 season tickets. Nebraska’s season ticket number for 2016-17 was 3,980 as of Dec. 21, 2016.
• Nebraska featured six first-team academic All-Big Ten selections in 2015-16, including returning Huskers Jasmine Cincore, Allie Havers and Emily Wood.
Shepard Shoots for More as Sophomore
• Jessica Shepard is averaging 18.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She has produced 12 double-doubles, including six in Big Ten play after her 28-point, 10-rebound effort against No. 12 Ohio State (Feb. 16). She also had a 28-point, 13-rebound performance at No. 15 Ohio State (Jan. 29). She had 20 points and 12 rebounds at Penn State (Jan. 19), after going for 22 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and a season-high three steals in a win over Rutgers (Jan. 10). That followed 15 points and 12 rebounds at Michigan State (Jan. 7). She had 17 points and 15 rebounds in Nebraska’s Big Ten opener against Northwestern (Dec. 28). She had 22 points and 11 rebounds against Creighton (Dec. 18). That followed a season-high 28 points and 14 rebounds against San Jose State (Dec. 9), 23 points and a season-high 16 rebounds against Drake (Dec. 6), 25 points and 14 rebounds at Virginia Tech (Dec. 1), 24 points and 13 rebounds in a win over Colorado State (Nov. 17), and 17 points and 15 boards in a win over UTRGV (Nov. 12).
• Shepard owns 22 career double-doubles to tie for sixth on Nebraska’s career chart in that category.
• She heads into the Michigan game with 1,052 points and 518 rebounds in her career. She needs 26 points to match All-American Jordan Hooper for the most points by a Husker in history at the end of a sophomore season.
• Shepard has 13 20-point efforts this season, including season highs of 28 points against San Jose State (Dec. 9), at Iowa (Dec. 31) and twice against top-15 Ohio State (Jan. 29, Feb. 16). She had 25 points at Illinois (Jan. 15), at Virginia Tech (Dec. 1) and against Washington State (Nov. 25). She scored 24 points against Colorado State (Nov. 17), before going for 23 points, including 22 in the second half, against Drake (Dec. 6). She had 21 points and Purdue (Jan. 26) and 20 points at Penn State (Jan. 19). Shepard owns 29 career 20-point games in her first 57 games as a Husker.
• Shepard ranks second among the Huskers with 26 three-pointers on the season, including a game-clinching three in the win over Colorado State and a buzzer-beating 60-footer to close the first half in the win over UTRGV. She also hit a first-half buzzer-beater at Creighton. Shepard did not hit a three-pointer as a freshman.
• Nebraska’s first Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Shepard became the first Husker in history to earn first-team all-conference honors as a freshman in 2015-16. During the season, she set a conference record by winning 10 Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week awards. She was also a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 25).
• Shepard was one of 28 players nationally named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale National Player of the Year Midseason Watch List by the USBWA on Jan. 24, 2017.
• One of only two freshmen on the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 in 2015-16 (joining Cal’s Kristine Anigwe), Shepard was the USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 22, 2015; Jan. 26, 2016). Shepard was the espnW and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week (Jan. 25).
• Shepard finished 10th overall in the Big Ten in scoring (18.5 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (8.6 rpg), including fourth on the offensive glass (3.1 rpg) and 10th on the defensive boards (5.5 rpg). She ranked 13th in conference field goal percentage (.510).
• The 6-4 forward from Fremont, Neb., finished with Nebraska freshman record averages of 18.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Her 574 total points were a Nebraska freshman record, while her 266 rebounds ranked second among freshmen in Husker history.
• She amassed 16 games with 20 or more points as a freshman, including 11 in Big Ten play. She produced the first of two 35-point performances against Northern Arizona Dec. 19, 2015. She added 35 points at Michigan, Jan. 24. She scored in double figures 25 times.
• Shepard averaged just 4.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 20 minutes per game over the final two games of 2015-16 as she battled a stress reaction in her foot. She did not practice March 1-17.
• Shepard was not cleared for her first full practice until Oct. 27, 2015, after suffering an ACL tear as a high school senior on Dec. 29, 2014. On Nov. 1, she had 29 points and 12 rebounds against Nebraska-Kearney in NU’s exhibition opener. She added 42 points and 12 rebounds in just 25 minutes in a second exhibition against Winona State on Nov. 8.
• She was the top recruit in Nebraska history, as the No. 1 post and No. 3 overall recruit in the nation by ESPN. A first-team Parade All-American as a high school senior despite missing nearly all of her final year (ACL tear, Dec. 29, 2014), Shepard was the 2013 and 2014 Nebraska High School Player of the Year. Shepard averaged 12.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while helping the USA Basketball U18 Team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship.