The Nebraska women’s basketball team will complete its non-conference home schedule by taking on Manhattan at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22.
The Huskers’ first-ever meeting with Manhattan will cap Nebraska’s 11-game regular-season non-conference schedule, which will include eight home games. The battle with the Jaspers will be part of a two-year home-and-home series, as the Huskers will travel to Manhattan in 2020-21. Next year’s meeting in Manhattan will be a homecoming for Husker center Kate Cain, who is from Middletown, N.Y., and played at Pine Bush High School. Cain’s father, Tim, graduated as Manhattan’s all-time leading scorer with 1,872 points and was a two-time honorable-mention All-American by The Sporting News after averaging 17.3 points per game during his career. Tim Cain, who is the only player in Jasper history to be a four-time All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference choice, was also recently selected for induction into the MAAC Honor Roll. He will be recognized at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sept. 14.
A two-year starter for the Huskers entering her junior season, Kate Cain is on track to shatter Nebraska’s career blocked shot record. The 6-5 center set the school season record with 100 blocks as a true freshman in 2017-18, before adding a sophomore school record with 79 in 2018-19. Her 179 blocks in two seasons rank as the No. 4 career total in school history, and Cain needs just 60 blocks to set Nebraska’s all-time record, which is currently held by Janet Smith (238, 1979-82).
Cain, who was a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams in 2017-18 while helping the Huskers to the NCAA Tournament, has averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 54.8 percent from the field over her first two seasons at Nebraska.
Manhattan closed 2018-19 with a 12-19 record that included a 9-9 MAAC mark. Coach Heather Vulin enters her fourth season at the helm for Manhattan with an experienced team after guiding a young Jasper squad that featured five sophomores and three freshmen in the regular rotation throughout last season. This 2019-20 Jaspers will feature five seniors and five more juniors, including the return of 2019 Preseason All-MAAC guard Gabby Cajou, who missed all but seven games last season after suffering a season-ending injury. Cajou was the 2018 MAAC Sixth Player of the Year. Overall, Manhattan returns seven players who each started at least 10 games a year ago.
Before the Huskers face Manhattan in Lincoln, they will take on Oral Roberts at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, Dec. 14. Coach Misti Cussen and the Golden Eagles went 18-13 last season, including a 10-6 Summit League mark. ORU returns three starters and a pair of double-figure scorers from last year’s team, led by juniors Maya Mayberry (14.1 ppg) and Keni Jo Lippe (13.3 ppg).
The games with Oral Roberts and Manhattan will be Nebraska’s final tune-ups before the start of Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers’ 18-game conference schedule will include home games with Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin and Illinois, to complete a 17-game regular-season home schedule for the Big Red.