Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Radford Highlanders
Sunday, November 25, 2018, 11 a.m. (CT)
(Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla.)
Live Video: Not Available
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (10:45 a.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln-B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM Huskers.com,
The 1-3 Nebraska women’s basketball team has a difficult non-conference schedule, and it shows right now. The young Huskers have five newcomers on their roster of 11; four freshman and one graduate transfer. Compared to last year, when Nebraska started the season at 3-1 they have demonstrated more offensive firepower and much better free throw shooting.
The Husker offense is averaging 79 points per game so far this season after putting up 68.8 in 2017-18. The stingy defense of last year has taken a big hit, giving up 79 ppg in four games compared to 63.6 all of last season. To be fair, the four teams the Huskers have played are a better group overall (especially offensively) than last year. It won’t get any easier with the top-five ranked Louisville coming up after Radford on the schedule.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 7.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - So. - C - 9.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - So. - G - 10.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 12.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 6.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 5.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 4.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg
44 Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Third Season at Nebraska (29-36); 12th Season Overall (222-145)
Radford Highlanders (3-1, 0-0 Big South)
20 - Lydia Rivers - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 9.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg
35 - Amele Ngwafang - 6-0 - Fr. - F - 3.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg
4 - Khiana Johnson - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 10.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
5 - Jen Falconer - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
10 - Destinee Walker - 5-11 - Sr. - G/F - 12.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Off the Bench
45 (out) - Savannah Felgemacher - 6-1 - Jr. - G/F - 17.7 ppg, 15.7 rpg
12 - Bryonna McClean - 5-9 - So. - G - 6.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
2 - Tina Lindenfeld - 6-1 - So. - F - 5.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
42 - Laney Corbin - 6-0 - So. - F - 1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg
50 - Sydney Nunley - 6-4 - Jr. - C - 0.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
21 - Piper Morningstar - 6-0 - Fr. - G/F - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
14 - Makaila Wilson - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Mike McGuire (Roanoke College, 2000)
Sixth Season at Radford (93-69); Sixth Season Overall (93-69)
Scouting the Radford Highlanders
Radford’s only loss was a 75-58 setback at No. 17 NC State in Raleigh on Nov. 18. The Highlanders went 24-9 last season, including 15-3 in the Big South to finish as the conference runner-up. Radford advanced to the second round of the 2018 Postseason WNIT by defeating Penn State in University Park.
The Highlanders will be without their leading scorer so far this season, junior transfer Savannah Felgemacher. The 6-3 forward spent her first two seasons at James Madison. Through three games this season, after sitting out due to NCAA transfer rules last season, Felgemacher averaged team bests of 17.7 points and 15.7 rebounds, while adding 1.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.7 steals per game.
Senior Destinee Walker returns as the most experienced Highlander. She is averaging 12.8 points and 5.3 rebounds through four games this season, after averaging 11.0 points and 4.3 rebounds a year ago. The 5-11 wing earned honorable-mention All-Big South accolades last season.
An extremely experienced Radford starting five includes 5-7 junior guard Khiana Johnson, who is averaging 10.0 points per game. She was a member of the Big South All-Freshman team in 2016-17 and started 18 games for the Highlanders last season.
Junior Lydia Rivers, a 6-2 forward, ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 9.3 points while ranking second on the team with 7.5 rebounds per contest. Rivers, who averaged 7.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season, was a Big South All-Freshman selection in 2015-16 before suffering a torn ACL as a true sophomore in 2016-17. Rivers is a preseason second-team All-Big South choice in 2018-19.
Point guard Jen Falconer had started 67 straight games for the Highlanders before missing the game with East Tennessee State with an injury. She also missed the loss to NC State. Falconer had four points, six rebounds and two assists in the opener before being injured. She returned to the starting five against Temple and managed two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.
This game will be the first meeting in history between Nebraska and Radford.
• Nebraska is averaging 79.0 points per game through four contests in 2018-19. Last season the Big Red averaged 67.8 points through four games while starting the season 3-1.
• Nebraska is shooting 39.4 percent (37-94) from three-point range through four contests. Last season, the Huskers opened the first four games of the year by shooting 34.6 percent (27-78).
• Nebraska is shooting 76.3 percent (45-59) from the free throw line through four contests in 2018-19, after shooting just 64.1 percent from the line in 2017-18. Through the first four games of 2017-18, the Huskers hit just 59.4 percent (38-64) from the line.
• Overall, Nebraska is shooting 44.7 percent from the field through four games this season after shooting just 41.9 percent from the floor a year ago. Through the first four games of 2017-18, the Huskers were shooting just 41.0 percent.
• The Huskers have hit seven or more three-pointers in eight consecutive games dating back to last season.
• Taylor Kissinger hit eight consecutive three-point attempts from the USC Upstate game (6-for-6) through her first make of the Miami game.
• The Huskers have not won a true road game in November since knocking off UCLA in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, 2014.
• Nicea Eliely leads Nebraska’s active roster with 59 career starts as a Husker. Hannah Whitish (52) is the only other Husker with as many as 50 starts at Nebraska.
• Kristian Hudson leads Nebraska with 88 collegiate starts, including her first start as a Husker against USC Upstate (Nov. 11).
• Senior Maddie Simon has played more games as a Husker than any other player with 82, while fellow senior Kristian Hudson has played in 93 career collegiate games, including four at NU.
Nebraska 68 Miami 82: Recap
Freshman Sam Haiby continued her team-leading scoring as she led Nebraska with 14 points off the bench. Haiby led three Huskers in double figures by going 6-of-12 from the field, while adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 22 minutes of action. Junior guard Hannah Whitish scored all 13 of her points after halftime, knocking down 4-of-6 threes, to help the Huskers turn a 19-point halftime deficit into a 10-point margin early in the fourth quarter.
Junior Nicea Eliely added 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals for the game to keep the Huskers within striking distance. Nebraska slipped to 1-3 on the season with the loss, while Miami improved to 5-1 on the year.
Guard Laura Cornelius led Miami with 23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and a career-high six steals. Cornelius was a major factor in Miami winning the first-half turnover battle 13-2 to race to a 44-25 halftime lead.
Miami took its biggest lead of the game at 22 points less than one minute into the second half, before the Huskers rallied, outscoring the Canes 24-18 in the third quarter to enter the final period down 62-49. Taylor Kissinger, who finished the day with six points on a pair of threes, knocked down her second three to cut the margin to 62-52. But Nebraska could get no closer, as the Hurricanes closed out the win on their home court.
For the game, Nebraska hit 42.4 percent (25-59) of its shots from the field, including 36 percent (9-25) from three-point range. The Huskers also connected on 9-of-13 free throws (.692). Nebraska was out-rebounded, 44-35, and lost the turnover battle, 19-13.
Miami hit 43.7 percent (31-71) of its attempts from the floor, including 9-of-31 threes (.290), while going 11-for-15 (.733) at the line on the afternoon.
Turnovers doomed the Huskers and Miami capitalized by scoring points off of Husker miscues. When playing a ranked team (or any team really), a young Nebraska squad has to be better at taking care of the ball.