Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-6, 4-2 Big Ten) vs. #25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17-4, 5-2 Big Ten) Sunday, Jan. 21, 5 p.m. (CT)
The RAC (Piscataway, New Jersey)
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• Nebraska, which is a perfect 6-0 in true road games this season including 3-0 in the Big Ten, shoots for its first-ever win at the RAC. In their two previous trips to Piscataway, the Huskers have totaled just 99 points. They face a Rutgers team allowing just 55.6 points per game to rank 16th nationally in 2017-18.
• The Huskers are in search of their second straight win over a top-25 foe in their third consecutive game against a ranked opponent. Nebraska notched a 74-65 win over No. 20 Iowa in Lincoln on Tuesday.
• Nebraska will be looking for its first true road win over a top-25 team since the No. 24 Huskers defeated No. 9 Texas A&M (74-63) at Reed Arena in College Station in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
• Nebraska is one of only six teams nationally (through games Jan. 18) that owns a plus-six 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 17-4 (6-24, 2016-17).
• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 8.1 points per game better offensively (70.9-62.8 ppg) and 11.2 points per game better defensively (65.1-76.3 ppg).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-6, 4-2 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 14.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
#25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (17-4, 5-2 Big Ten)
35 - Stasha Carey - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 7.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg
40 - Victoria Harris - 6-3 - Jr. - C/F - 4.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
3 - Tyler Scaife - 5-9 - RSr. - G - 20.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg
11 - Nigia Greene - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 5.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
12 - Khadaizha Sanders - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Scouting The Rutgers Scarlet Knights
• Naismith Hall of Fame Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer brings her resurgent Rutgers program into Sunday’s game against Nebraska at the top of the Big Ten standings and ranked in the top 25.
• Stringer, who is closing in on 1,000 career victories after picking up win No. 994 last Saturday against Minnesota, is leading the nation’s most drastic turnaround this season after a 6-24 season in 2016-17.
• The 17-4 Scarlet Knights are 5-2 in the Big Ten after a 70-67 loss at Penn State on Thursday night. Rutgers, which was listed as the No. 15 seed in the first release of NCAA Tournament projected seeds earlier Thursday, also suffered a Big Ten loss at Purdue (47-33) on Jan. 10.
• Although Rutgers has lost back-to-back Big Ten road games and is 5-4 away from home this season, the Scarlet Knights are a perfect 12-0 at the RAC in Piscataway.
• The biggest reason for the Rutgers revival is the return of senior Tyler Scaife. The 5-9 guard is averaging 20.5 points per game after redshirting last season to undergo heart surgery to repair a congenital defect.
• With Scaife anchoring the offense, the Scarlet Knights are averaging 68.3 points per game compared to the 50.5 points they averaged when they ranked 342nd in the nation in that category in 2016-17.
• Defensively, Rutgers has improved significantly, surrendering 55.6 points per game to rank 16th nationally in scoring defense. Last year, Rutgers allowed 61.6 points per game.
• In 2016-17, Rutgers averaged 9.1 steals per game. This year the Scarlet Knights rank No. 2 in the nation with 265 steals while ranking No. 8 with 12.6 steals per game to help create a plus-6.0 turnover margin, which ranks 19th in the country. Last year, Rutgers was minus-0.2 per game in turnover margin.
• When teams do get a shot off against Rutgers, it is highly contested and often blocked. The Scarlet Knights rank No. 7 nationally with 116 blocks and 25th in field goal percentage defense (.358). • Stasha Carey, a 6-2 junior transfer from Pittsburgh, ranks second on the team in scoring with 7.3 points per game while adding 7.7 rebounds per contest. The athletic Carey owns 37 steals and 24 blocks.