Tip-off between the Huskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten) and Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten) is set for noon (CT) at the Breslin Center. Live television coverage will be provided by the Big Ten Network with Chris Vosters and Vera Jones on the call.
Live radio coverage for Tuesday's New Year's Eve date at Michigan State can be heard on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha beginning at 11:45 a.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 Huskers.com, the Huskers App and TuneIn.
Nebraska opened Big Ten play with a solid 78-69 win over defending Big Ten Tournament champion and NCAA Elite Eight qualifier Iowa on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
Junior Kate Cain led the Huskers by recording her first double-double of the season and eighth of her career with 16 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. The 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., is a Lisa Leslie Award candidate this year and is averaging 10.6 points and team bests of 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.
Nebraska sophomore Leigha Brown leads Nebraska and ranks 12th in the Big Ten in scoring (14.3 ppg). She closed non-conference play with a season-high 25 points against Manhattan (Dec. 22) to earn a spot on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 23). Brown opened Big Ten play with 10 points and six rebounds and is a top contender for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors. She is the only non-starter in the Big Ten averaging more than 12 points per game.
Fellow sophomore Sam Haiby earned spots on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Nov. 11, Dec. 16) after big performances in Husker wins. Haiby, who had 10 points in the win over Iowa (Dec. 28), scored a career-high 28 points in a win over Missouri (Nov. 10) and added 20 points in a win over Oral Roberts (Dec. 14). She ranks second among the Huskers with 10.7 points per game.
Senior leaders Nicea Eliely (12 points, 5 assists) and Hannah Whitish (11 points, 3 assists) completed a group of five Huskers who scored in double figures against Iowa. Whitish is a two-time All-Big Ten pick who is the only Husker in history to reach the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,061), 400 assists (412) and 200 made three-pointers (217).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
at Michigan State Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, Noon (CT)
Breslin Center (14,759) - East Lansing, Mich.
Live TV: BTN (Chris Vosters, Vera Jones)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (11:45 a.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM; Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn
Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 7.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 14.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg
Out for Season
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (53-50); 13th Season Overall (246-159)
Michigan State Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten)
12 - Nia Hollie - 6-0 - Sr. - F - 3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
15 - Victoria Gaines - 6-3 - RSr. - F - 4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg
0 - Shay Colley - 5-9 - RSr. - G - 9.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
4 - Taryn McCutcheon - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
24 - Nia Clouden - 5-8 - So. - G - 15.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Off the Bench
40 - Julia Ayrault - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
1 - Tory Ozment - 6-1 - So. - G/F - 5.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
2 - Mardrekia Cook - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
42 - Kayla Belles - 6-3 - So. - F - 4.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
3 - Alyza Winston - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 4.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
22 - Moira Joiner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 4.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
14 - Taiyier Parks - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 4.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Head Coach: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
13th Season at Michigan State (272-139); 25th Season Overall (473-259)
Scouting the Michigan State Spartans
• In her 13th season at Michigan State, Coach Suzy Merchant had her Spartans in the top 25 throughout the non-conference season until losing back-to-back games to Syracuse (77-63) and West Virginia (63-57) at the Sunshine Challenge before the holiday break. The Spartans suffered their third straight setback with a 79-67 loss at No. 14 Indiana on Saturday.
• MSU's only other losses this season came against LSU at the Junkanoo Jam and unbeaten Florida State in Tallahassee to open a December schedule that so far has seen the Spartans go 1-4 with its only win against Morehead State at home amidst four losses away from the Breslin Center.
• Michigan State is 5-0 at home this season with no games against a Power Five conference foe and an average winning margin of 40.6 points per game. Those five opponents combined to go 15-44 through games Dec. 29. The Spartans are just 2-5 away from East Lansing with all seven contests against Power Five teams and a minus-7.6 scoring margin.
• Michigan State's most explosive and consistent player is sophomore Nia Clouden. The 5-8 guard ranks sixth in the Big Ten in scoring at 15.7 points per game. She also ranks third in the Big Ten with 2.5 steals per game. Clouden, who was a two-time Gatorade High School Player of the Year in Maryland, was one of five newcomers on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2018-19. Clouden has started each of the first 45 games to open her career.
• The only other Spartan to start all 12 games this season and each of the last 45 over the past year-and-a-half is senior Taryn McCutcheon. The 5-5 point guard is the motor that makes the Spartans go and has been for 110 starts in 110 games in her career. McCutcheon is averaging more than 30 minutes per game and played nearly 35 minutes at Indiana. She is averaging 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and nearly three assists per game. McCutcheon had 15 points at Indiana to reach the 1,000-point scoring mark in her career. She has added more than 500 assists and 300 rebounds in her career.
• McCutcheon is the catalyst for one of the oldest starting fives in the Big Ten, which includes fifth-year senior starters Shay Colley and Victoria Gaines.
• Colley, who was a first-team All-Big Ten choice last year and a preseason All-Big Ten selection entering this season, is averaging 9.7 points and 4.2 rebounds despite battling injury early this season. Colley was a transfer from South Carolina/Pittsburgh prior to the 2016-17 season and has helped MSU play up-tempo basketball and pressure defense when she is healthy and at her best. She had eight points and four rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench in the loss at Indiana. She also battled foul trouble against the Hoosiers. Colley has played just six games with four starts so far this year.
• Gaines, a 6-3 forward, is averaging 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds with nine starts in 10 games. Gaines had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the loss at Indiana. Gaines owns 61 career starts in 117 career games. In four career games against Nebraska Gaines has averaged 8.3 points and 4.3 rebounds.
• A fourth senior, Nia Hollie, made her first start of the season and 16th of her career at Indiana. The 6-0 forward is averaging 3.2 points and 2.5 rebounds.
• While the Spartans are experienced, they have not been settled on a starting five because of several factors including injuries. Junior forward Mardrekia Cook (5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg) has made five starts but did not play at Indiana.
• Tory Ozment, a 6-1 sophomore, has made six starts and is averaging 5.2 points and 2.8 rebounds. Ozment also ranks third among the Spartans with 13 three-pointers.
• Fellow sophomore Kayla Belles, a 6-3 forward, has added three starts and is averaging 4.7 points and 3.0 boards.
• Freshman Moira Joiner has made eight starts in her first season. The 5-10 guard has managed 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds.
• Fellow freshmen Alyza Winston (4.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg) and Taiyier Parks (4.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg) have joined Joiner in playing all 12 games. Winston and Parks have both averaged double-digit minutes but neither scored in the Big Ten opener at Indiana.
• As a team, Michigan State is averaging 74.3 while allowing 60.3 points per game (nearly identical to Nebraska's 74.5-60.2). However, the Spartans are shooting just 40.8 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from three-point range. MSU is also shooting just 63.2 percent at the free throw line. MSU owns a plus-4.5 rebound margin and a plus-5.0 turnover margin.
• Against Power Five teams, MSU has a minus-4.9 rebound margin and plus-3.0 turnover margin.
• At home against non-Power Five teams, the Spartans are shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from three-point range but just 61.4 percent at the line. Away from home against Power Five teams, MSU has hit just 35.6 percent of its shots, including just 28.2 percent of its threes. The Spartans have hit 64.2 percent of their free throws away from home.
Nebraska vs. Michigan State Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan State 8-3 with all 11 meetings as Big Ten Conference foes, including a 79-69 win over the Spartans in East Lansing on Feb. 14, 2018. The Huskers are 2-3 against Michigan State all-time at the Breslin Center.
• The Huskers are 5-0 against the Spartans in Lincoln, including an 82-71 win over then-No. 24 Michigan State at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Feb. 17, 2019.
• Four of Nebraska's eight wins have been by 10 or more points, while NU's most lopsided win in the series came with an 86-58 victory over the Spartans in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on March 8, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
• Michigan State's three series wins have all been by double digits in East Lansing, including a 73-53 victory in the first-ever meeting on Feb. 23, 2012. Two years later, the Spartans worked their way to a 70-57 win on Jan. 9, 2014, before rolling to a 93-73 victory over the Huskers on Jan. 7, 2017.
• In four career games against Michigan State, Hannah Whitish has averaged 17.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals.
• In two games against NU, Shay Colley has averaged 16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
• Kate Cain owns Nebraska's longest streak of consecutive starts (73).
• Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska's second-longest streak of starts (68).
• Kate Cain has recorded at least one block in all 12 games this season, and has blocked a shot in 14 straight games dating back to last season.
• As a team, Nebraska has blocked at least one shot in 81 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has produced double-figure points in four consecutive games, the longest active double-digit scoring streak among the Huskers. Cain has produced double figures in six of the last seven games.
• Kate Cain, Nicea Eliely, Leigha Brown and Isabelle Bourne are the only Huskers to score points in each of Nebraska's first 12 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 12 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 46 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 354 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 233 consecutive games.
Numbers to Watch
(3) Kate Cain needs three blocks to match Catheryn Redmon (216, 2008-11) at No. 2 on Nebraska's career blocked shot list. Cain would also match Casey Leonhardt (37, 1999-00) at No. 4 on the Husker junior single-season block list.
(3) Kristian Hudson needs three assists to reach 400 in her career (383 at FIU).
(5) Nicea Eliely needs five rebounds to reach 400 in her career. When she achieves that milestone she will become just the 12th player in Nebraska history to reach the combined career milestones of 800 points, 400 rebounds and 200 assists.
(7) Kristian Hudson needs seven rebounds to reach 400 in her career (372 at FIU).
(19) Kate Cain needs 19 rebounds to reach 500 in her career.
(98) Nicea Eliely is expected to make her team-leading 98th career start on Tuesday.
• Nebraska's 11-1 start is its best under Coach Amy Williams and NU's best start since also opening 11-1 in its first season in the Big Ten in 2011-12. The Huskers opened 15-1, including 3-0 in the Big Ten during a 16-game conference season in 2011-12.
• Entering the week, Nebraska was one of 27 teams nationally (5 Big Ten) with 11 or more wins. The Huskers were one of 30 teams with one loss or less (4 Big Ten). Only nine unbeatens remain among the 344 NCAA Division I teams.
• Nebraska is No. 34 in the Massey Ratings (Dec. 30). Other Big Ten teams in the top 40 included: Indiana (11), Maryland (15), Northwestern (20), Minnesota (22), Rutgers (24), Purdue (31), Iowa (33), Nebraska (34) and Michigan (39).
• Through 12 games, Nebraska is allowing an average of 60.2 points per game, 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 28.1 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 all 12 games in 2019-20, and 40 of the last 42 games overall. The Husker bench has outscored opponent benches by double digits in 30 of the last 42 games.
• This season, NU's bench has outscored opposing benches 340-166 (28.3-13.8 ppg).
Cheatham, who went over 1,000 career points on Sunday, helped set the tone early, scoring seven of 11 first-half points in a 22-4 NU run that helped the Huskers take control.
The Huskers, who improved to 6-7 on the season, held the Islanders to one field goal over a span of nearly 11 minutes in building an early 18-point.
NU, which shot just 33 percent in the first half, took advantage of opportunities when the shots weren't fall, going 13-of-19 in the first half, including 5-of-5 from Cheatham in that stretch. The Huskers also
clamped down defensively, holding the Islanders to 25 percent shooting, including 3-of-14 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
In addition to Cheatham, Ouedraogo finished with career bests in both points (11) and rebounds (14) to become the first Husker freshman since Shavon Shields in 2013 to record a double-double, while Cam Mack and Matej Kavas added 10 points apiece for the winners.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi chipped away early in the second half, pulling to within 10 points in the opening minutes of the second half and pull to within 49-37 after a pair of Jordan Hairston baskets with 8:55 left before the Huskers put the game away.
The Huskers used an 11-0 run over the next 1:50, to stretch the lead back to 23 after a Kavas 3-pointer. Ouedraogo and Jervay Green had four point each in the surge, and NU would be in control the rest of the way.
Nebraska returns to action this Friday, Jan. 3, as the Huskers return to Big Ten action by hosting Rutgers at 7 p.m. A limited number of Holiday break tickets are available for Friday's game by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets.
Cain, a junior center from Middletown, N.Y., hit 6-of-11 shots from the field and helped the Huskers seal the win in their Big Ten Conference opener by hitting four straight free throws in the fourth quarter as Nebraska improved to 11-1 on the season. Iowa slipped to 9-3 on the season and 0-1 in the Big Ten.
Senior Nicea Eliely added a strong game with 12 points, four rebounds and a game-high five assists without a turnover to help the Huskers. Fellow senior Hannah Whitish contributed 11 points, three rebounds and three assists without a turnover, as Nebraska won the turnover battle 18-13 while outscoring the Hawkeyes 24-9 off those turnovers.
Sophomores Sam Haiby and Leigha Brown each pitched in 10 points for the Big Red, while freshman Isabelle Bourne added a huge lift off the bench with career highs of eight points and seven assists. All of Bourne's eight points came in a 1:20 span late in the second quarter for the Huskers, as she helped Nebraska take its biggest lead of the first half at 35-27. Bourne's eight points capped a stretch of 14 consecutive points by the NU bench, which started with a three by senior point guard Kristian Hudson to give Nebraska a 27-25 lead, before the first three-pointer of freshman Trinity Brady's career pushed Nebraska's edge to 30-27 with 4:33 left.
Nebraska maintained a lead the rest of the way. Iowa narrowed the margin to 38-34 at halftime, before trimming it to 42-41 after a three-pointer from Kathleen Doyle with 7:20 left in the third quarter. Iowa's senior point guard finished with a game-high 19 points, including 17 in the second half, but went just 4-for-15 from the field.
The Huskers pushed the lead to 57-52 at the end of three quarters and Iowa never got closer, as the Huskers built a 10-point lead on two occasions in the final period.
Monika Czinano added a double-double for Iowa with 16 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, while McKenna Warnock pitched in a career-high 14 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Hawkeyes.
Nebraska's defense was stellar throughout, holding the nation's No. 11 field goal percentage team to just 36.8 percent (21-57) shooting from the field. The Hawkeyes hit just 6-of-20 threes despite Warnock going a career-best 3-for-3 in the contest off the bench for Iowa. The Hawkeyes hit just 3-of-15 field goals in the fourth period, with all three coming from Czinano, but hung around by hitting 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.
The Huskers hit 43.5 percent (27-62) of their field goals, including 7-of-19 threes (.368), while knocking down 17-of-24 free throws (.708), including 11-for-16 in the fourth quarter.
Nebraska improved to 15-14 all-time in the series with Iowa and the two teams will meet again at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Feb. 6.
Nebraska makes its first Big Ten Conference road trip on New Year's Eve by traveling to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The Huskers and Spartans are scheduled to tip-off at noon (CT) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network and on radio by the Leafield IMG College Husker Sports Network.
GAME 13: Nebraska vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Date: Sun., Dec. 29
Time: 1:03 p.m.
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Arena: Pinnacle Bank Arena
2019-20 Record: 5-7 (1-1 Big Ten)
Head coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 5-7 (1st year)
Career NCAA Record: 120-63 (6th year)
TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI ISLANDERS
2019-20 Record: 4-8
Head coach: Willis Wilson
Record at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: 128-139 (9th year)
Career Record: 346-386 (26th year)
Play-by-play: Chris Vosters
Analyst: Nick Bahe
Online Broadcast: Fox Sports App
Radio: Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network, including 590 AM (Omaha), 1400 AM (Lincoln) and 880 AM (Lexington)
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Analyst: Jake Muhleisen
Online Radio: Available on Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn.com/Huskers and TuneIn App.
SiriusXM (Internet): Ch. 372 XM: Ch. 372
Huskers Take on Islanders Sunday Afternoon
Lincoln -- The Nebraska men's basketball team hits the court for the final time in 2019 on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers take on Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Tipoff at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 1 p.m. and a limited number of tickets are available for purchase by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office beginning 90 minutes prior to tipoff.
The Kids Zone on the North Concourse will open 90 minutes prior to tipoff and will be open until 12:45 p.m. Sunday's game will also feature a halftime performance from the legendary Red Panda.
Sunday's matchup will be carried nationally on BTN with Chris Vosters and Nick Bahe on the call. The game can also be streamed via the web, smartphones, tablets and connected devices through the Fox Sports app.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, the Huskers app and TuneIn radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff.
Nebraska (5-7) looks to bounce back from a disappointing 75-74 loss to North Dakota on Dec. 21. In that game, the Huskers rallied from an eight-point deficit to take a 71-69 lead after a Matej Kavas 3-pointer, but could not hold on for the win. De'Sean Allen-Eikens free throw with 7.3 seconds left broke a 74-all tie, while Dachon Burke missed a potential game winner at the buzzer for NU. Cam Mack led four Huskers in double figures with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Kavas came off the bench for a season-high 12 points, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
Mack runs a balanced Husker offense, as the sophomore is averaging 13.0 points and 6.7 assists per game, piloting an attack that has eight players averaging at least 5.8 points per game.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-8) comes to Lincoln looking to snap a three-game losing streak after a 71-67 setback at Central Arkansas on Dec. 21. In that game, Islander guard Myles Smith put on a show with a 31-point effort, including 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range, but Texas A&M-CC could not hold on, as Central Arkansas rallied in the final four minutes for the win. Smith leads the Islanders at 16.7 points per game.
Cam Mack is one of 11 players in Division I - and two in the Big Ten - with three double-figure assists performances in 2019-20. Mack is 13th nationally with 6.6 assists per game through the Huskers' first 12 contests.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1.20-to-1 - Nebraska's assist-to-turnover ratio for the season, but since the loss to Georgia Tech on Dec. 4, it is 1.49-to-1, while averaging 16.0 assists per game in that stretch.
.455 - Thorir Thorbjarnarson is tied for seventh in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage entering the weekend. He is 15-of-33 from long range this season after going a combined 6-of-28 behind the 3-point stripe in his first two years.
8 - Nebraska has had eight of its nine eligible scholarship players reach double figures this season. The Huskers have three players currently averaging double figures.
17.6 - Points per game for junior guard Dachon Burke over the last three games, as he is shooting 51 percent from the floor, including 47 percent from 3-point range, during that stretch.
5.8 - Rebounds per game for freshman Yvan Ouedraogo, which is fourth among all Big Ten freshmen. His rebounds per game is on track to be the highest by a Husker freshman since Aleks Maric grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game in 2005-06.
50- Returning point total from last season, all by Thorir Thorbjarnarson. That is the lowest by any power conference team since the 2009-10 season.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi comes to Lincoln with a 4-8 mark after dropping a 71-67 decision to Central Arkansas on Dec. 21. In that game, Myles Smith led the Islanders with a career-high 31-point effort, including six 3-pointers, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds while no other player reached double figures. TAMU-CC led 40-29 at the break but was outscored 42-27 in the final 20 minutes in dropping its third straight game. Nebraska will be the third power conference team the Islanders have faced in 2019-20 after losing at Vanderbilt (71-66) and at Texas A&M (63-60). In all, six of the 12 games the Islanders have played have been decided by six points or less.
Willis Wilson is in his ninth year as head coach at the school and has guided the Islanders to a trio of 20-win seasons and four postseason appearances, including the CIT title game in 2017. Prior to taking the TAMU-CC program, he spent 16 seasons at Rice, finishing his tenure as the school's winningest coach.
Smith, a 6-foot junior guard, paces the Islanders in scoring at 16.7 points per game, while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range. One of two returning starters, he also pulls down 5.6 rebounds per game and is third on the team in both assists and steals. Jashawn Talton also averages double figures, as he scores 12.7 points per game and hauls in a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest. In all, TAMU-CC has five players averaging at least seven points per game, and the team allows just 65.3 points per game.
Series History: The matchup is the first between Nebraska and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, while Nebraska is 10-2 all-time against current Southland Conference members.
LAST TIME OUT
De'Sean Allen Eikens' free throw with 7.3 seconds broke a 74-all tie, as North Dakota withstood Nebraska's final attempt to hold on for a one-point victory at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Dec. 21.
Eikens hit the first free throw, but missed the second and Dachon Burke Jr. grabbed the rebound and raced down the court for Nebraska's final attempt, but his baseline jumper was off the mark to give UND the upset.
Nebraska, which trailed by as many as eight points with just over eight minutes remaining, rallied behind the shooting of Matej Kavas, who had nine of his season-high 12 points in the final eight minutes. His 3-pointer started an 8-0 run that tied the score at 61- all with 5:49 left. UND would regain the lead at 64-61 on a 3-point play from Marlon Stewart. Nebraska trailed 69-66 before a Burke basket and Kavas' fourth 3-pointer of the night with 1:42 left gave Nebraska its first lead since the opening minutes, but Allen-Eikens' conventional 3-point play with 1:25 left put the visitors up one.
The Huskers trailed 74-71 before Mack tied the game at 74 with 34.3 seconds remaining in regulation, setting up the final sequence.
DID YOU KNOW
• Texas A&M Corpus-Christi is third first-time opponent on the Huskers' non-conference schedule.
• The Huskers have already played three overtime games in the first 12 games of 2018-19, posting a 1-2 record. NU's single-season record is four, set five times, most recently in 2007-08. As of Dec. 27, Nebraska has played in three of the Big Ten's seven overtime games, while the Huskers' three overtime games is third nationally and leads all power conference teams.
• Despite the longer 3-point line this season, Nebraska's two returnees are shooting significantly better from beyond the arc than at any point of their career. Both players are averaging more than a 3-pointer per game, which are the highest rates of their career.
Huskers' 3-Point Improvement
Career 3-Pct. Entering 2019-20
19-20 3Pt Pct.
• One of the biggest points of emphasis for Hoiberg and his staff has been to shoot better from 3-point range, and that work has paid off. Over the last nine games dating back to Nov. 22, NU is shooting 38 percent from 3-point range and averaging 9.3 3-pointers per game after shooting just 23 percent in the first three games of the season.
Huskers' 3-Point Improvement
Before Nov. 22
Since Nov. 22
3 Pt. Pct.
• With three players averaging double figures, Nebraska has relied on its balance. In its first 12 games, NU has put at least four players in double figures nine times. The Huskers put five players in double figures against Washington State on Nov. 25 and at Creighton on Dec. 7.
• It is not surprising that Nebraska has relied on its 3-point shooting, as Hoiberg's Iowa State teams led the Big 12 in 3-pointers in four of his five seasons at the school. The Huskers are on pace to average 8.5 3-pointers per game, a total which would rank second in school history and be the most since the 2001-02 campaign.
Most 3-Pointers/Game in School History
• Nebraska enters Sunday's game third in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +2.3 per game. The Huskers have forced an average of 14.3 turnovers per game to rank third in the Big Ten while averaging 12.0 turnovers per game to rank fourth. During his tenure at Iowa State, Hoiberg's teams ranked in the top three in the Big 12 in fewest turnovers per game in four of his five seasons at the school.
• Nebraska has 10 double-figure scoring runs this season and at least one double-digit run in four of the last six games following the North Dakota game.
• Nebraska's 14 first-year players on the roster matches TCU for the most in the nation in research done by the Utah SID John Vu. Only four teams (TCU-14, Nebraska-14, East Carolina-13 and Utah-12) have at least 12 newcomers on their 2019-20 rosters. Nebraska returns a national-low 1.9 percent of its scoring from last season and the 50 returning points is the lowest by any power conference team since 2009 according to noted statistician Ken Pomeroy.
Fewest Returning PPG from 2018-19
Pct. of Scoring
South Dakota St.
Courtesy: Virginia Tech SID office
• Cam Mack's triple-double against Purdue was the first by a Husker in school history and the first by a Big Ten player this season. As of Dec. 26, only 11 players have had a triple-double this season.
•- Cam Mack is the only Husker in the last 30 years to have multiple points-assist double-doubles in the same season as he had one against Southern Utah on Nov. 9 and at Indiana on Dec. 13 in addition to his triple double. In fact, it is only the seventh time in the last 30 years that a Husker has had a points-assists double-double. His consecutive points-assists double-double was the first since Brian Carr in December of 1985 (vs. UC-Irvine and Creighton).
Husker Points/Assists Double-Doubles (Last 30 years)
vs. Purdue, 12/13/19
at Indiana, 12/13/19
vs. Southern Utah, 11/11/19
Glynn Watson Jr.
vs. Cal State Fullerton, 12/20/18
vs. Kansas, 2/5/11
at Kansas State, 2/7/10
at TCU, 11/21/09
vs. Appalachian State, 12/31/94
THE CHASE FOR 1,000
Despite having only 50 points returning from last season, a pair of Huskers are quickly closing in on 1,000 career points at the collegiate level.
Senior Haanif Cheatham enters the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi contest with 995 points during his career and is five points away from 1,000 for his career. Cheatham, who previously played at Marquette and Florida Gulf Coast, is averaging 12.8 points and shooting a career-best 53.7 percent from the field.
Junior guard Dachon Burke Jr. comes into Sunday's game with 974 points following his 10-point effort against North Dakota. Counting his two seasons at Robert Morris, he needs 26 points to reach that plateau. Burke's season high is 25 points at Indiana on Dec. 13. On the year, he leads NU in scoring at 13.4 ppg, while shooting 43 percent from the floor, including 38 percent from 3-point range.
They will join Matej Kavas, who went over 1,000 career points on Nov. 22. Kavas now has 1,045 career points between his time at Seattle and Nebraska.
SETTING A FAST PACE
Not only are the Huskers adjusting to a whole new roster, but playing at a significantly faster pace than in previous years. The Huskers are 15th nationally in offensive tempo, as their average possession is 15.1 seconds per possession through the North Dakota game.
• In his five seasons as a college coach, Hoiberg's teams have ranked in the top 20 in offensive tempo four times, including top-10 rankings in both 2014 and 2015.
• Hoiberg's first Iowa State team in 2010-11 jumped from 67th to 20th nationally in offensive pace and ranked in the top 40 nationally in adjusted tempo in four of his five seasons in Ames, including top-15 nationally in his last two campaigns.
• In the KenPom era (1997-present), only one Husker team has ranked among the top 100 nationally in adjusted tempo - the 1999-2000 Huskers under Danny Nee. The Huskers' quickest offensive tempo in the last decade was in 2017-18 when the
Huskers were 140th in offensive tempo.
JUCO STANDOUTS MACK AND GREEN STEP INTO LINEUP
Two of the cornerstones of the Huskers' recruiting class were junior college transfers Cam Mack and Jervay Green. Mack (third) and Green (eighth) were both ranked in the top 10 nationally by JUCORecruiting.com in the 2019 recruiting class and have played a crucial role for the Huskers early in 2019-20.
Mack, who was listed as the top JC point guard recruit in the country, enters the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi game averaging 13.0 points per game while leading the Huskers in assists (6.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2-to-1). He is also second on squad in rebounding (4.8 rpg) and steals (1.4 spg).
• Mack ranks third in the Big Ten in assists and sixth in steals and is one of only three Big Ten players - Mack, Maryland's Anthony Cowan and Rutgers' Geo Baker - rank in the top-10 in both categories as of Dec. 26.
• His 6.7 assists per game is on pace to rank third in school history, trailing only Brian Carr, who averaged 7.9 assists per game in 1984-85 and 6.7 assists per game in 1985-86.
• He recorded the first triple-double in program history against Purdue on Dec. 15 with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, setting season bests in both rebounds and assists in NU's 70-54 win.
• Mack is one of only five players nationally - and two in the Big Ten - to have at least three points-assists double-doubles this season. He is tied with Zavier Simpson of Michigan for second nationally. He also had 13 points and 11 assists against Southern Utah on Nov. 9 and 15 points and 10 assists at Indiana on Dec. 13.
• He's reached double figures 10 times, including a season-high 24-point performance against South Dakota State on Nov. 15.
• Last season at Salt Lake CC, Mack averaged 19.1 points, 7.6 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game, ranking fifth nationally in assists per game. He totaled nine double-doubles and three triple doubles as a freshman and dished out 10-or-more assists nine times.
Green was rated as the No. 2 combo guard nationally after a stint at Western Nebraska CC, has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Big Red, averaging 9.6 points along with 4.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. He ranks on the top three on the squad in rebounding, assists, steals (1.0 spg) and blocks (0.5 bpg). Green returned to action against North Dakota after missing the previous two games for a violation of team rules.
• He has been in double figure five times, including a season-high 22 points in an overtime win over Southern on Nov. 22. His two 3-pointers helped key a 10-0 spurt in overtime to seal the win.
• Green nearly posted a double-double against Washington State on Nov. 25 with 16 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes.
• He nearly had a double-double against Southern Utah on Nov. 9 with 18 points and a team-high eight rebounds, as he sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
• Green garnered NJCAA All-America honors at WNCC in 2019, averaging 23.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He was eighth nationally in scoring and had six 30-point games, including a school-record 51-point outburst.
CHEATHAM MAKES IMPACT ON BOTH ENDS
Fifth-year senior Haanif Cheatham has been one of the leaders for a young Husker team. The guard from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is NU's most experienced player, as he played in 80 games between Marquette and Florida Gulf Coast before coming to Nebraska for his final year.
Cheatham has played some of the best basketball of his career over the last month. Over Nebraska's last eight games, he's averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while typically guarding the opponent's top scoring threat.
• Cheatham has reached double figures in seven of the Huskers' last eight games, including a 21-point, six-rebound performance at Indiana on Dec. 13. He had six straight double-figure efforts from Nov. 25-Dec. 13, the second-longest streak of his collegiate career.
• Cheatham posted his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds at Georgia Tech on Dec. 4.
• He was in double figures all three games of the Cayman Islands Classic, averaging 19.0 ppg including a career-best 26-point effort against South Florida to garner all-tournament honors.
A former top-100 recruit out of high school, he was named Marquette's top defensive performer in each of his two full seasons at Marquette.
BURKE SHOWS SCORING TOUCH
The other returnee from the 2018-19 season, Dachon Burke Jr. waited in the wings after transferring from Robert Morris. A 6-foot-4 guard, Burke has quickly shown the skills to flourish in Fred Hoiberg's attack, averaging a team-high 13.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Burke has reached double figures eight times, including a 25-point effort against Indiana on Dec. 13 and a 21-point performance against South Florida on Nov. 27. Burke leads the Huskers in 3-pointers (19) and is shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range.
Two years ago, Burke was one of the best players in the Northeast Conference, averaging 17.6 points per game while adding 5.8 rebounds and a conference-best 2.1 steals per contest.
OUEDRAOGO ADDS NAME TO SHORT LIST OF TRUE FROSH
Freshman Yvan Ouedraogo became the first true freshman to start a season opener at Nebraska since 2013 when he started against UC Riverside on Nov. 5.
• He is one of the youngest players in the country, as he won't turn 18 until after the 2020 Big Ten Tournament.
• Ouedraogo has started all 12 games for the Huskers, averaging 5.8 points and a team-high 5.8 rebounds per game in just over 20 minutes per game.
• He could become just the third freshman to lead NU in rebounding in a season, joining Aleks Maric (2005-06) and John Turek (2001-02).
• Ouedraogo has played some of his best basketball recently, averaging 8.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over the Huskers' last three contests.
• Ouedraogo has grabbed five or more rebounds in five of the Huskers' last six games dating back to Nov. 27.
• His 10 rebounds against Indiana marked the second-highest rebounding total for a Husker freshman in his first conference game, trailing only Dave Hoppen in 1983.
• He enjoyed his offensive effort of the season with 11 points, including six in overtime, and four rebounds against Southern on Nov. 22. He snared a team-high 12 rebounds against South Dakota State on Nov. 15.
• He is just the 11th true freshman and 13th freshman overall to start a season opener in the last 25 years at Nebraska, joining a group which includes 1,000-point scorers Tai Webster, Ryan Anderson, Cookie Belcher and Tyronn Lue.
Ouedraogo played for the French U-18 squad at the 2019 European Championships in July, as France went 6-1 and finished fifth in the competition.
CROSS LIFTS BENCH PRODUCTION
Freshman Kevin Cross has been a key contributor for the Huskers. The 6-foot-8 freshman from Little Rock, Ark., has been the first Husker off the bench in all 12 games and ranks fifth on the team in scoring at 7.3 points per game while chipping in 4.3 rebounds per game.
• Cross is seventh among Big Ten true freshmen in scoring and fourth in rebounding as of Dec. 26.
• He comes off a nine-point, five-rebound effort against North Dakota on Dec. 21, marking the third straight game he has grabbed at least five rebounds. He has five-or-more rebounds seven times this season.
• Cross has been in double figures four times off the bench, including a season-high 19 points against Southern Utah. He became the first freshman in 73 games to pace the Huskers in scoring, while his 19-point effort was the highest by a Husker rookie since Shavon Shields in 2013.
• He played a complete game in the win over Washington State, scoring 14 points, grabbing a season-high eight rebounds and blocking two shots in 27 minutes
• Cross played a big role in NU's comeback against Southern, scoring all eight of his points in the second half as the Huskers overcame an eight-point deficit.
• He was efficient against South Dakota State, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and two blocked shots.
KAVAS IS ONE OF NATION'S TOP SHOOTERS
Senior transfer Matej Kavas comes to Nebraska with a reputation as one of the nation's top 3-point shooters. The 6-foot-8 guard is a career 44 percent shooter from 3-point range, and shot 40 percent or better in all three of his seasons at Seattle. Kavas' .435 career percentage ranks 11th among active Division I players.
• To put Kavas' shooting in perspective, Nebraska's career mark for career 3-point percentage is .432 by Brian Conklin (2001-04) and only five players in school history have shot 40 percent in their Husker career with a minimum of 100 3-pointers.
• Kavas comes off his best performance of the year, hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers against North Dakota on Dec. 21. It was the 18th time in his career he had 4-or-more 3-pointers in a game.
• As a sophomore at Seattle, Kavas led the WAC in both 3-point percentage (.464) and 3-pointers per game (2.8).
• Kavas' 186 career 3-pointers would ranks third on NU's career list while his 91 3-pointers as a sophomore would top NU's single-season mark (Cary Cochran, 89, 2001-02).
A live video stream will be provided to subscribers of BTN+, featuring the Husker Sports Network radio call.
Saturday's game between the Huskers and Hawkeyes features a pair of Big Ten teams receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll (Dec. 23). Both teams have had strong non-conference seasons to prepare for league play. The all-time series between Nebraska and Iowa is knotted at 14 wins apiece.
Nebraska sophomore Leigha Brown leads Nebraska and ranks 11th in the Big Ten in scoring (14.7 ppg) after her season-high 25-point effort against Manhattan (Dec. 22). Brown added five rebounds and four assists against the Jaspers to earn a spot on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 23). Brown is a top contender for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors. She is the only non-starter in the Big Ten averaging more than 12 points per game.
Fellow sophomore Sam Haiby earned spots on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Nov. 11, Dec. 16) after big performances in Husker wins. Haiby, who had 10 points and six assists in the win over Manhattan (Dec. 22), earned her second honor roll spot with 20 points in a win over Oral Roberts (Dec. 14). She claimed her first weekly honor with a career-high 28 points in a win at Missouri (Nov. 10). Haiby ranks second among the Huskers with 10.7 points per game.
Junior Kate Cain has scored in double figures in five of Nebraska's last six games. She ranks third among the Huskers in scoring (10.1 ppg), second in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and leads the Huskers and ranks second in the Big Ten in blocks (3.0 bpg). The Lisa Leslie Award candidate needs four blocks on Saturday to catch Catheryn Redmon (216, 2008-11) at No. 2 on Nebraska's career block list.
Sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek (Sioux Center, Iowa) is averaging 9.3 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds for the Huskers. She missed the win over Manhattan with an ankle sprain suffered vs. ORU.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-1) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (9-2)
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, 1 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln, Neb.
Live Video: BTN+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (12:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM
Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn
Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 7.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 8.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 14.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 4.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.0 rpg, 4.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg
Out for Season
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (52-50); 13th Season Overall (245-159)
Iowa Hawkeyes (9-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
43 - Amanda Ollinger - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 6.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg
25 - Monika Czinano - 6-3 - So. - F/C - 15.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
3 - Makenzie Meyer - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 15.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
5 - Alexis Sevillian - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 6.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
22 - Kathleen Doyle - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 15.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Off the Bench
24 - Gabbie Marshall - 5-6 - Fr. - G - 7.0 ppg, 0.9 rpg
14 - McKenna Warnock - 6-1 - Fr. - G/F - 6.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
20 - Kate Martin - 6-0 - So. - G - 3.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg
1 - Tomi Taiwo - 5-10 - So. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg
23 - Logan Cook - 6-1 - So. - F - 2.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg
11 - Megan Meyer - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.3 ppg, 0.3 rpg
21 - Zion Sanders - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 0.7 ppg, 0.3 rpg
31 - Paula Valiño Ramos - 6-3 - Jr. - F/C - 0.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Head Coach: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983)
20th Season at Iowa (405-219); 36th Season Overall (761-361)
• Iowa comes to Lincoln to open Big Ten Conference play with a four-game winning streak that includes wins over in-state rivals Iowa State (75-69, Dec. 11) and Drake (79-67, Dec. 21), and a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game victory over Clemson (76-60, Dec. 4).
• Like the Huskers, the Hawkeyes are unbeaten in December, suffering their last loss to Washington (70-63, Nov. 30) at the Puerto Rico Clasico. The only other loss for the Hawkeyes came in an 88-68 setback at Northern Iowa (88-66, Nov. 17).
• Iowa has found early season success despite the losses of National Player of the Year Megan Gustafson, forward Hannah Stewart and guard Tania Davis from last year's team that won the Big Ten Tournament title before advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight.
• Gustafson scored 1,001 points and grabbed 481 rebounds last year alone, finishing her career with 2,804 points and 1,460 rebounds as one of the most productive players in NCAA history. Davis added more than 1,000 points and more than 400 assists in her career, while Stewart pitched in more than 800 points and nearly 500 rebounds in her career.
• Senior point guard Kathleen Doyle (15.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 6.5 apg) is the motor that drives the Hawkeyes in 2019-20. Doyle owns 1,164 points, 588 assists and 200 steals in her career.
• Fellow senior guard Makenzie Meyer is Iowa's leading scorer. She is averaging 15.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game this season. Meyer, who is in her fourth year as a starter, joined Nebraska's Leigha Brown on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 23), after producing 24 points, four rebounds and five assists in the win over Drake (Dec. 21). Meyer also reached the 1,000-point scoring mark in her career in the win over the Bulldogs.
• Junior guard Alexis Sevillian gives the Hawkeyes a very experienced backcourt. Sevillian who is averaging 6.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game, has started more than 40 games in her career.
• Inside, senior Amanda Ollinger (6.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg) and sophomore Monika Czinano (15.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg) have replaced Megan Gustafson (27.8 ppg, 13.4 rpg) and Hannah Stewart (11.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg).
• Czinano is averaging 18.8 points per game during Iowa's current four-game winning streak and shooting 72.3 percent from the field this season.
• Ollinger pulled down 20 rebounds in the win over Iowa State and is averaging 11.3 rebounds during Iowa's four-game winning streak. Ollinger needs just one more rebound to match her season total (97) in 36 games a year ago.
• Iowa has received strong contributions from freshman guard Gabbie Marshall (7.0 ppg) and freshman wing McKenna Warnock (6.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg). Marshall ranks second among the Hawkeyes with 20 threes (20-50, .400). She made her first career start in a win over North Alabama in place of Alexis Sevillian. Marshall scored a career-high 13 points against North Alabama.
• Redshirt freshman Kate Martin (3.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and sophomore guard Tomi Taiwo (2.8 ppg) have also provided sparks. Taiwo, who has four threes on the season and eight in her career, went a career-best 3-for-3 from three-point range to propel the Hawkeyes to a six-point win at Iowa State.
• Iowa features an explosive offense that ranks second in the Big Ten at 79.6 points per game. The Hawkeyes also ranked third in the conference with a 47.5 field goal percentage, while also ranking third in the league with a 37.7 three-point percentage. Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten with 8.5 threes per game and second in the conference with a 72.4 free throw percentage.
• The Hawkeyes rank 13th in the Big Ten in scoring defense (67.8 ppg), 13th in field goal percentage defense (.391) and 12th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.312).
• Iowa owns a plus-one rebound margin and a plus-one turnover margin.
Nebraska vs. Iowa Series History
• Nebraska and Iowa are tied in the all-time series, 14-14. Iowa swept the season series last season, including a 74-58 win at Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Huskers' home finale on Feb. 25, 2019. Nebraska dropped a 77-71 decision in Iowa City on Jan. 3, 2019.
• Leigha Brown led Nebraska with 20 points at Iowa, while Hannah Whitish added 14 for the Huskers.
• The Huskers are 5-6 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.
• Nebraska defeated then-No. 20 Iowa 74-65 at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 16, 2018. The Huskers snapped Iowa's five-game series winning streak despite 29 points and 18 rebounds from Hawkeye All-American Megan Gustafson in that game.
• The Huskers completed a 2018 Big Ten sweep of Iowa with a 92-74 win on Jan. 28, 2018, after the Huskers built a 36-point lead midway through the third quarter. Nebraska led 56-26 at the half, and the 56 points were the most ever allowed by the Hawkeyes in a first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
• The Huskers are 4-6 all-time against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City with five of the last seven games being decided by two possessions or less, including one overtime finish (Iowa 78, Nebraska 72, Jan. 26, 2015).
• Nebraska is 5-2 all-time against Iowa on neutral courts dating back to the first meeting in the series, a 71-63 Husker win at the Jennies' Classic in Warrensburg, Mo., on Jan. 13, 1978.
• The Huskers dominated the series in their 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.
• Nebraska's 10-1 start is its best under Coach Amy Williams and NU's best start since also opening 10-1 in 2014-15. The Huskers dropped their first two Big Ten games in 2014-15. The 2011-12 Huskers opened 15-1 in their first season in the Big Ten, including 3-0 in the conference.
• Entering the week, Nebraska was one of 34 teams nationally with 10 or more wins. The Huskers were one of 33 teams with one loss or less (four Big Ten teams). Only nine unbeatens remain among the 344 NCAA Division I teams.
• Nebraska is No. 44 in the Massey Ratings (Dec. 26). Other Big Ten teams in the top 45 included: Indiana (12), Maryland (17), Northwestern (21), Minnesota (22), Rutgers (24), Iowa (28), Michigan (34), Purdue (37) and Ohio State (42).
• Through 11 games, Nebraska is allowing an average of 59.4 points per game, after allowing 70.1 points per game last season. NU's 2018 NCAA Tournament team allowed 63.6.
• Opponents are shooting 34.4 percent from the field and 28 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 all 11 games in 2019-20, and 39 of the last 41 games overall. The Husker bench has outscored opponent benches by double digits in 30 of the last 41 games.
• This season, NU's bench has outscored opposing benches 316-147 (28.7-13.4 ppg).
Lincoln – The Big Ten Conference and BTN announced Sunday evening that the Nebraska men’s basketball game against Texas A&M Corpus-Christi next Sunday, Dec. 29, will tipoff at 1 p.m. and will be carried nationally on BTN. The game was listed as either a 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. start, but the final start time was not determined until the NFL games that day were set. Sunday’s game will also be carried on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network.
A limited number of tickets for Sunday’s game, which includes a halftime performance from the legendary Red Panda, are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets.
Brown, who tied a career high with four three-pointers including three in the second quarter, helped Nebraska close non-conference play with a 10-1 record. Brown pitched in five rebounds and four assists, while fellow sophomore Sam Haiby added 10 points and six assists. Junior center Kate Cain contributed 13 points and a season-high-tying eight rebounds to help Nebraska produce a commanding 47-32 edge on the boards against the Jaspers..
Nebraska led 21-19 after one quarter despite five three-pointers from Manhattan. Freshman Emily LaPointe led the Jaspers with 11 points in the opening period for Manhattan, which slipped to 3-7 on the season.
Haiby opened the second quarter with a basket, before Brown hit back-to-back threes and added a free throw to cap a 9-0 run and give Nebraska its first double-digit lead at 30-19 with 6:34 left in the half. Brown added another three and a jumper with two minutes left in the half to give the Big Red its biggest lead at 37-23.
Nebraska took a 37-25 lead to the locker room at the half, after hitting 51.7 percent (15-29) of its shots, including 5-of-11 (.455) of its three-pointers.
The Huskers started the second half strong with a 7-0 run to push their margin to 19 points at 44-25 less than four minutes into the third quarter, but Manhattan responded with three straight three-pointers, including LaPointe's fourth triple of the game and two threes from Sydney Watkins to trim the margin back to 12 at 48-36. The Huskers still won the quarter and took a 50-37 lead to the final period.
Again, Nebraska opened the period with a run, using a 9-0 burst in the first 2:37 to take a 59-37 lead. The Huskers built their biggest margin of the day at 25 (67-42) on a three-pointer from senior forward Grace Mitchell with 3:48 left. Mitchell finished with five points.
Nebraska, which was without the services of sophomore starting forward Ashtyn Veerbeek who sat out with an ankle sprain suffered in the second half of a win over Oral Roberts (Dec. 14), got strong inside contributions from Kayla Mershon and Isabelle Bourne. Mershon had four points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in her first start of the season, while Bourne pitched in six points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The Huskers also got significant contributions from freshman Trinity Brady, who made her first career regular-season appearance. Brady, who missed Nebraska's first 10 games this season as part of the concussion protocol, had two points, four rebounds, an assist and a block in 16 minutes in her debut.
As a team, Nebraska hit 47.4 percent (27-57) of its shots from the field, including 6-of-20 threes (.300), while going 11-for-16 (.688) at the free throw line. The Huskers held Manhattan to 30.2 percent (19-63) from the field, including 9-of-29 (.310) from three-point range. The Jaspers went just 4-for-6 at the free throw line as Nebraska committed a season-low six personal fouls in the game. Manhattan did win the turnover battle, 14-12.
LaPointe finished with 17 points on the game to lead Manhattan, while Gabby Cajou pitched in 14 points, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Nebraska opens Big Ten Conference play on Saturday, Dec. 28, when the Huskers take on defending Big Ten Tournament champion Iowa. Tip-off between the Hawkeyes (9-2) and Huskers (10-1) is set for 1 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena with tickets on sale now at Huskers.com.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=
Adams Central 65, Fillmore Central 41
Ainsworth 68, Cozad 62
Alliance 63, Sidney 34
Alma 61, Red Cloud 42
Arlington 56, Tekamah-Herman 38
Battle Creek 59, West Holt 39
Beatrice 69, Omaha Roncalli 58
Bellevue West 58, Kearney 56
Bennington 79, Omaha Northwest 55
Burke, S.D. 40, Stuart 30
Burwell 60, Twin Loup 27
Centura 41, Ord 32
Colome, S.D. 58, Cody-Kilgore 47
Columbus Lakeview 60, David City 40
Crete 39, Columbus Scotus 31
Cross County 66, Hampton 21
Doniphan-Trumbull 72, Central City 45
Douglas County West 74, Omaha Christian Academy 30
Dundy County-Stratton 68, Perkins County 35
Elgin Public/Pope John 51, Boyd County 42
Elkhorn Valley 45, Plainview 44
Elmwood-Murdock 61, Weeping Water 38
Gering 63, Chadron 47
Gibbon 56, Wood River 35
Gordon/Rushville 45, Mullen 41
Gregory, S.D. 78, North Central 63
Harvard 54, Heartland Lutheran 33
Hastings 72, York 56
Hemingford 78, Leyton 37
Howells/Dodge 77, Clarkson/Leigh 61
Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 51, Southern 35
Humphrey St. Francis 67, Fullerton 66
Kimball 59, Bayard 44
Lexington 49, North Platte 34
Lincoln Christian 64, Archbishop Bergan 39
Lincoln Lutheran 50, Aquinas 41
Lincoln Pius X 66, Omaha Westside 54
Lincoln Southeast 65, Bellevue East 60
Lincoln Southwest 62, Millard South 53
Loomis 86, Brady 47
Malcolm 54, Raymond Central 51
McCook 70, Holdrege 55
Mead 55, East Butler 45
Meskwaki Settlement School, Iowa 77, Walthill 58
Milford 48, Ashland-Greenwood 44, OT
Millard North 78, Lincoln East 36
Millard West 57, Gretna 53
Mitchell 70, Morrill 28
Oakland-Craig 91, Madison 58
Ogallala 56, Hershey 49
Omaha Benson 100, Fremont 66
Omaha Brownell-Talbot 55, Louisville 39
Omaha Bryan 64, Elkhorn South 63
Omaha Burke 65, Omaha North 64
Omaha Central 67, Grand Island 58
Omaha Creighton Prep 83, Lincoln North Star 76
Omaha Skutt Catholic 47, Elkhorn 32
Omaha South 78, Lincoln Northeast 45
Papillion-LaVista 83, Lincoln High 57
Papillion-LaVista South 58, Norfolk 46
Pender 27, Stanton 24
Pleasanton 62, Wilcox-Hildreth 26
Potter-Dix 69, Arthur County 52
Ralston 67, Omaha Concordia 63
Randolph 40, Wynot 31
Scottsbluff 54, Casper Natrona, Wyo. 45
St. Paul 63, Broken Bow 26
Waverly 66, Nebraska City 23
Wayne 66, O'Neill 38
Wilber-Clatonia 42, Sandy Creek 29
Blair 57, Omaha Gross Catholic 22
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL=
Adams Central 50, Fillmore Central 41
Ainsworth 50, Cozad 36
Alma 58, Red Cloud 27
Arlington 39, Tekamah-Herman 35
Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur 75, Boys Town 18
Battle Creek 53, West Holt 31
Beatrice 59, Omaha Roncalli 40
Bellevue East 48, Lincoln Southeast 30
Bellevue West 48, Kearney 41
Bennington 78, Ralston 34
Boyd County 54, Elgin Public/Pope John 38
Burwell 44, Twin Loup 27
Casper Natrona, Wyo. 59, Scottsbluff 52
Chadron 65, Gering 32
Clarkson/Leigh 53, Howells/Dodge 36
Cody-Kilgore 47, Colome, S.D. 44
Columbus Lakeview 29, David City 24
Crete 53, Columbus Scotus 35
Cross County 56, Hampton 32
Doniphan-Trumbull 55, Central City 37
Douglas County West 56, Omaha Christian Academy 15
Dundy County-Stratton 45, Perkins County 25
Elkhorn 59, Omaha Skutt Catholic 28
Elkhorn South 67, Omaha Bryan 24
Elkhorn Valley 56, Plainview 25
Falls City Sacred Heart 56, St. Joseph Le Blond, Mo. 30
Guardian Angels 50, Norfolk Catholic 44
Harvard 40, Heartland Lutheran 35
Humphrey St. Francis 70, Fullerton 41
Kimball 51, Bayard 46
Leyton 56, Hemingford 34
Lincoln Christian 47, Archbishop Bergan 40
Lincoln East 55, Millard North 48
Lincoln Lutheran 42, Aquinas 25
Lincoln Northeast 78, Omaha South 23
Loomis 39, Brady 35
Malcolm 64, Raymond Central 33
McCook 43, Holdrege 39
Mead 45, East Butler 38
Meskwaki Settlement School, Iowa 70, Walthill 39
Millard South 64, Lincoln Southwest 36
Millard West 56, Gretna 47
Mitchell 39, Morrill 22
Mullen 57, Gordon/Rushville 21
Niobrara/Verdigre 38, Creighton 35
Norfolk 52, Papillion-LaVista South 40
North Platte 69, Lexington 39
O'Neill 58, Wayne 51
Oakland-Craig 66, Madison 21
Ogallala 50, Hershey 49
Omaha Burke 82, Omaha North 40
Omaha Central 67, Grand Island 36
Omaha Marian 64, Lincoln North Star 56
Omaha Mercy 46, Yutan 44
Ord 47, Centura 42
Papillion-LaVista 75, Lincoln High 54
Pender 46, Stanton 14
Pleasanton 67, Wilcox-Hildreth 20
Sidney 54, Alliance 26
Siouxland Christian, Iowa 59, Cornerstone Christian 21
Southern 38, Humboldt/Table Rock-Steinauer 32
St. Paul 57, Broken Bow 34
Stuart 52, Burke, S.D. 36
Wauneta-Palisade 59, Hyannis 42
Waverly 55, Nebraska City 31
Weeping Water 63, Elmwood-Murdock 43
Wilber-Clatonia 46, Sandy Creek 29
Wood River 48, Gibbon 33
York 51, Hastings 21
Omaha Gross Catholic 51, Platteview 40
Blair 73, Omaha Duchesne Academy 39
Omaha Westside 53, Columbine, Colo. 43
Omaha Northwest 49, Morgan, Utah 39
Cathedral Catholic, Calif. 60, Fremont 53
SEM Pre-Holiday Tournament=
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 39, Hi-Line 25