Huskers Clash with No. 20 Hawkeyes Tuesday
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena for its third consecutive home game against a top-25 foe when the Huskers take on No. 20 Iowa on Tuesday. Tip-off between the Big Red (12-6, 3-2 Big Ten) and the Hawkeyes (15-3, 3-2 Big Ten) in Lincoln is set for 7 p.m.
• A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch teaming up for their 17th season together on the call. The game will be carried for free on Huskers.com and over the air on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App and the TuneIn App.
• A live video stream will be provided to BTN Plus subscribers as a BTN Student U production.
• Nebraska shoots for its first win over a top-25 team this season when the Huskers face Iowa. The Huskers opened Big Ten play with a 73-61 loss to No. 12 Ohio State (Dec. 28) before taking No. 23 Michigan to overtime in a 69-64 loss to the Wolverines on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• The game with Iowa will be the second of three straight games overall for the Huskers against top-25 opponents. Nebraska wraps up the stretch at No. 25 Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., on Sunday.
• Nebraska is one of only six teams nationally (through games Jan. 14) that owns a plus-five or better improvement in the win column over 2016-17. The team that has shown the most improvement is Rutgers. The No. 25 Scarlet Knights are plus-11 in the win column at 17-3 (6-24, 2016-17).
• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 7.9 points per game better offensively (70.7-62.8 ppg) and 11.2 points per game better defensively (65.1-76.3 ppg).
• Nebraska’s road warriors are riding a seven-game winning streak away from home, including three straight Big Ten wins after an 80-72 victory at Illinois (Jan. 10). The Huskers, who are 7-1 away from home, also own Big Ten road wins at Minnesota (79-74, Dec. 31) and at Northwestern (69-59, Jan. 7).
• Sophomore Hannah Whitish is playing at an All-Big Ten level for the Big Red. The 5-9 guard is averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists in Big Ten play while shooting 53.1 percent (17-32) from three-point range.
• Junior Maddie Simon and freshman Kate Cain have given the Huskers balance inside. Simon is averaging 10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in conference play, while Cain has contributed 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks.
• In Big Ten action, Nicea Eliely (8.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 3.0 apg) and Jasmine Cincore (7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.4 apg) have given even more offensive balance and strong defensive play to the Husker starting five. Scouting The No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes
• Coach Lisa Bluder brings her No. 20 Hawkeyes to Lincoln hoping to stay in the Big Ten title hunt. Her 18th Iowa team opened the season 14-1 after a pair of wins over Wisconsin and Michigan to begin Big Ten play.
• The Hawkeyes, whose only non-conference loss came with a 94-93 setback to a top-15 Florida State team in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Iowa City on Nov. 29, then fell to another top-15 foe at Maryland on Jan. 4. Iowa bounced back with a 13-point win at Illinois (Jan. 7) before Saturday’s 76-70 home loss to Purdue.
• While Iowa’s 15-3 record is impressive, the Hawkeyes’ success might be even more impressive considering the roster challenges they have faced this season.
• In June, wing Bre Cera elected to transfer from the Iowa program, before highly touted freshman Jinaya Houston, another wing, chose to leave the Iowa program in mid-September.
• The Hawkeye backcourt got thinner when fourth-year junior point guard Tania Davis suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Northern Iowa on Dec. 17. Davis averaged 9.7 points per game and was Iowa’s assist leader in the 12 games she played this season. Davis also had last season cut short by injury.
• The Iowa backcourt took another hit with a broken bone in the left (non-shooting) hand of Mackenzie Meyer in practice on Dec. 27, just before the start of Big Ten play. The 5-9 sophomore started each of Iowa’s first 13 games and averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 assists per game, while shooting 41.3 percent (26-63) from three-point range.
• The injuries and transfers have left the Hawkeyes with just eight players through the first five Big Ten games, and freshman guard Zion Sanders does not have a point, a rebound, an assist or a steal in her 16 minutes on the court in league play.
• While limited numbers have been a major story for the Hawkeyes, the biggest story has been 6-3 junior center Megan Gustafson who is contending for Big Ten Player-of-the-Year and All-America honors. Gustafson is averaging 26.8 points and 13.6 rebounds in Big Ten play, while adding 3.8 blocks per contest. She is shooting 68.1 percent from the field and 97.6 percent (40-41) at the free throw line in Big Ten action.
• Sophomore point guard Kathleen Doyle has added 12.6 points and 9.6 assists per game in Big Ten play to compensate for the loss of Davis and Meyer. Doyle has hit 34.8 percent (8-of-23) of her three-pointers in conference play but went just 1-for-6 in the loss to Purdue.
• Redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian has also stepped into a starring role in Big Ten play, averaging 11.4 points per game. Sevillian went just 1-for-9 from long range against Purdue, as the Hawkeyes hit just 3-of-16 three-point attempts in the loss to the Boilermakers.
• Senior Chase Coley, a 6-3 forward with lots of experience for the Hawkeyes, has started every game this season alongside Gustafson inside. Coley is averaging 9.6 points and 5.4 boards in Big Ten play.
• Amanda Ollinger, a 6-1 sophomore forward, has filled the starting five in place of Meyer in Big Ten play. She is managing 1.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in league play.
• Freshman guard Hannah Stewart (5.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and junior forward Carly Mohns (3.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) also have stepped up their production in league play to help the Hawkeyes.
• For the season, Iowa is averaging 79.8 points while surrendering just 65.7 points per game. In Big Ten play, the short-handed Hawkeyes have managed 71.2 points while allowing 69.0 points per game.
• In conference play, the Hawkeyes have controlled the boards (+7.4 rpg) but have struggled with a minus-5.4 turnover margin playing without a pair of their starting guards.
• Iowa is a tremendous free throw shooting team (.838) in league play, and the Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten overall this season in field goal percentage defense (.357).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-6, 3-2 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 10.3 ppg, 5.9 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Fr. – C – 11.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – So. – G – 13.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – So. – G – 8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – Sr. – F – 7.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Off the Bench
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – Fr. – G – 11.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 5.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg
15 – Bria Stallworth – 5-6 – So. – G – 3.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – F – 3.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
13 – Janay Morton – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 2.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (19-28)
11th Season Overall (212-137)
#20 Iowa Hawkeyes (15-3, 3-2 Big Ten)
4 – Chase Coley – 6-3 – Sr. – F – 8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
43 – Amanda Ollinger – 6-1 – So. – F – 2.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg
10 – Megan Gustafson – 6-3 – Jr. – C – 23.5 ppg, 12.7 rpg
5 – Alexis Sevillian – 5-5 – RFr. – G – 11.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
22 – Kathleen Doyle – 5-9 – So. – G – 10.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Off the Bench
21 – Hannah Stewart – 5-10 – Fr. – G – 7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
34 – Carly Mohns – 6-1 – Jr. – F – 2.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
24 – Zion Sanders – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 0.4 ppg, 0.2 rpg
31 – Paula Valino Ramos – 6-3 – Fr. – F/C – 1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg
3 – Mackenzie Meyer – 5-10 – So. – G – 11.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg
11 – Tania Davis – 5-4 – Jr. – G – 9.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Head Coach: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983)
18th Season at Iowa (358-205)
34th Season Overall (714-347)
Nebraska vs. Iowa Series History
• Nebraska’s series with Iowa is tied at 12 games apiece, but the Hawkeyes carry a five-game series winning streak with them to Lincoln.
• Tuesday’s game will be the first of two games in 12 days against the Hawkeyes, as 2017-18 will be the first time the Huskers and Hawkeyes have played a two-game regular-season series since 2014-15.
• Each of the last six meetings between the two teams has been decided by single digits, including a 75-72 Iowa win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Dec. 31, 2016.
• Exactly one year earlier, the Hawkeyes escaped from Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 74-68 victory on Dec. 31, 2015. That meeting was the fourth between Nebraska and Iowa in the 2015 calendar year, including a 74-65 Iowa win over the Huskers in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament (March 6).
• The Hawkeyes have won two straight games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, including a 69-61 win over Nebraska on Feb. 12, 2015. Iowa also has won two straight against the Huskers in Iowa City, including a 78-72 overtime win on Jan. 26, 2015.
• Prior to Iowa’s winning streak, Nebraska dominated the series in its first years in the Big Ten. From 2011-12 through 2013-14 (three seasons), the Huskers went 8-0 against the Hawkeyes, culminating with a 72-65 victory in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (March 9).
• Nebraska is 4-5 all-time against Iowa in Lincoln, dating back to a 67-66 win over the Hawkeyes at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Dec. 22, 1979.
• The Huskers are 3-5 all-time against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City with four of the last five games being decided by two possessions or less, including one overtime battle.
• Nebraska is 5-2 all-time against Iowa on neutral courts dating back to the first meeting in series history between the two teams, a 71-63 Husker win at the Jennies’ Classic in Warrensburg, Mo., on Jan. 13, 1978.
• A win for Nebraska over Iowa would be the Huskers’ 13th victory of the season, giving them six more than they totaled last season (7).
• A win would be Nebraska’s first over a top-25 team this season. The Huskers are 0-2 against ranked foes, a 73-61 loss to then-No. 12 Ohio State and a 69-64 overtime loss to No. 23 Michigan in their last two games at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Dec. 28). Tuesday’s game against Iowa is the second of three straight games against top-25 foes for the Big Red.
• Kate Cain has moved into a tie for fifth on Nebraska’s season block list with 63, tying Catheryn Redmon (63, 2009-10). Cain needs four blocks to match Redmon’s fourth-place total (67) from 2008-09. Cain has blocked at least five shots in four games this season and owns at least one block in all 18 games this year.
• Kate Cain’s 3.5 blocks per game rank No. 5 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten through games Jan. 14. No Nebraska individual has ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a career, and only two Huskers (Danielle Page, 2.4 bpg, 2007-08; Catheryn Redmon, 2.5 bpg, 2010-11) have ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a single season.
• Nebraska freshman Taylor Kissinger has come off the bench for the Huskers in their first five Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard has averaged 8.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.6 minutes in Big Ten play, after averaging a team-best 14.0 points as a starter through seven games. She missed Nebraska’s final six non-conference contests with a knee injury and was limited by illness against No. 23 Michigan.
• Junior Maddie Simon (+6.2 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 10.3 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. Simon has scored in double figures in seven of the last nine games. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (35) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 17 games by freshman Kate Cain.
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 18 games this season.
• Whitish has scored in double figures in seven straight games and nine of Nebraska’s last 10 contests.
• Whitish has posted at least one assist in 20 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 17 games this season, including 14 straight.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 15 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 18 games of her career. She has 16 games with two or more blocks.
• Cain has at least two rebounds every game this season and four or more boards in 12 straight contests.
• Taylor Kissinger has knocked down at least one three-pointer in 11 consecutive games. • Nicea Eliely has at least two assists in seven straight games, including three in each Big Ten game.
• Simon has at least three rebounds in all 14 of her games this season.
• Simon has at least one assist in 13 straight games, including at least two assists in each Big Ten game.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 298 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 177 consecutive games.
Boosters Sponsor Second Bus Trip
• The Nebraska women’s basketball booster club is sponsoring its second bus trip of the 2017-18 season, when the Huskers travel to Iowa City to take on Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 28. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the Iowa campus.
• The cost per person is $50 and it includes a ticket to the game.
• A chartered booster bus will leave Lincoln (Walmart at 3400 N. 85th St.) at 8 a.m., and will make a planned stop near Omaha/Gretna (Walmart, I-80 & Hwy 370) at 8:45 a.m. to pick up additional passengers.
• Fans can pay by check to Doug Fry, 2912 Wagon Dr., Lincoln, NE 68507. The deadline to sign-up for the trip is Tuesday, Jan. 16.
• Details and more information about the trip will be available in the main entrance at Pinnacle Bank Arena prior to Nebraska’s home games with Michigan (Jan. 13) and Iowa (Jan. 16).
• The boosters sold out their first bus trip this season and cheered the Huskers to an 89-84 double-overtime win at defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake in Des Moines on Dec. 9.