The Ohio State Buckeyes own a five game winning streak vs the Huskers - all by double digits. The Buckeyes have been hit hard by graduation. Can Nebraska, which took a big step forward vs Michigan maintain their momentum?
Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-6, 1-0 Big Ten) at Ohio State Buckeyes (4-6, 0-1 Big Ten)
Monday, December 31, 2018, Noon (CT)
Value City Arena (19,049) - Columbus, Ohio
Television: BTN (Chris Vosters - Play-by-Play; Christy Winters Scott - Analyst)
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
The Buckeyes are the defending Big Ten champions, but lost all five starters, including All-American Kelsey Mitchell. Three of Ohio State’s starters are graduate transfers from other Division I schools, along with senior returner Makayla Waterman. The Buckeyes also feature one of the Big Ten’s best freshmen in Dorka Juhasz, who is averaging team bests of 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Nebraska’s Sam Haiby, who has not started a game, and Ohio State’s Juhasz, who has started all 10 contests for OSU, are the only freshmen in the Big Ten leading their teams in scoring on the season.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-6, 1-0 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 8.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - So. - C - 8.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 8.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - So. - G - 10.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 11.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 8.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 8.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
11(out) - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998); Third Season at Nebraska (34-39); 12th Season Overall (227-148)
Ohio State Buckeyes (4-6, 0-1 Big Ten)
14 - Dorka Juhasz - 6-4 - Fr. - F - 11.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg
24 - Makayla Waterman - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg
10 - Carly Santoro - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 9.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
1 - Carmen Grande - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 6.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg
15 - Adreana Miller - 5-11 - Sr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Off the Bench
32 - Aaliyah Patty - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
33 - Jensen Caretti - 6-1 - So. - G - 4.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg
23 - Najah Queenland - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
3 - Janai Crooms - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Head Coach: Kevin McGuff (St. Joseph’s College, 1992); Sixth Season at Ohio State (127-57); 17th Season Overall (382-156)
The Bench Mob Is Too Busy Scoring Points to Come Up With Cool Cheers
Nebraska’s bench is comprised of the fabulous four freshman, Haiby, Verbeek, Brown, and Mershon plus junior Grace Mitchell (currently day to day with a foot injury) and graduate transfer Kristian Hudson (who is out for the season with a foot injury).
- Nebraska’s bench outscored the opposition 149-53 over the final four non-conference games, including a season-high 45 points at Arkansas. NU’s bench posted a season-best bench scoring differential (+37) in its last non-conference home game by outscoring Denver, 40-3.
- The Husker bench has outscored opponents in each of NU’s 12 games this year, including double-digit advantages in nine games.
- Nebraska’s bench has scored 40 or more points four times, including 45 at Arkansas, 42 points against San Jose State, 41 points against Drake and 40 against Denver.
- Overall, Nebraska’s bench has outscored opposition benches 394-170 (32.8-14.2 ppg) for a plus-18.6 margin.
Scouting the Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State enters Monday’s game on a three-game losing streak after suffering a 60-42 loss at Purdue in the Big Ten opener on Friday afternoon.
Carmen Grande, a graduate transfer point guard from Ball State is averaging 6.7 points and 5.0 assists in a team-high 32.5 minutes per game. Grande is shooting just 24.7 percent (21-85) from the field, including 10-for-29 (.345) from three-point range. She is just 11-for-56 (.196) on two-point shots this season. She has knocked down 88.2 percent (15-17) of her free throws. Grande is the only Buckeye with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (50-34) this season.
The only relatively significant returning piece to Ohio State’s Big Ten championship team from a year ago, senior Makayla Waterman has produced 7.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. The 6-2 forward also leads the Buckeyes with 1.7 blocks per game, but is shooting just 34.7 percent (26-75) from the field, including just 2-for-14 (.143) from three-point range.
Dorka Juhasz is one of three freshmen on the Ohio State roster. A 6-4 forward from Pecs, Hungary, Juhasz leads Ohio State with 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as one of the Big Ten’s most productive freshmen. Juhasz is shooting 41.9 percent (44-105) from the field, but is just 4-for-25 (.160) from three-point range while hitting 65.6 percent (21-32) of her free throws.
Carly Santoro, a 5-10 graduate transfer guard from Bowling Green, ranks second on the team in scoring with 9.5 points and third in rebounding with 5.5 boards per contest. She also ranks second on the squad in assists (2.0) and steals (1.2). Santoro is shooting just 37.8 percent (31-82) from the field, including 11-for-41 (.268) from three, while hitting just 22-of-41 free throws (.537).
Adreana Miller, a 5-11 graduate transfer guard from LaSalle, rounds out OSU’s probable starting five. Miller is averaging 5.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game. She is shooting just 25.9 percent (15-58) from the field, but has been OSU’s most productive three-point shooter by knocking down 11-of-30 long-range attempts (.367). She is just 4-for-28 (.143) this season on two-point attempts.
For the season, Ohio State is shooting a dismal 37 percent from the field, including just 27.6 percent (50-181) from three-point range. The Buckeyes have also hit just 60.8 percent of their free throws. They do own a plus-2.2 rebound margin, but a minus-1.5 team turnover margin.
Based on this scouting report, Ohio State is a team that doesn’t do anything particularly well. Still, this is a Husker team that is young and trying to find their identity. After an impressive defensive performance against Michigan, the Huskers are beginning to resemble the kind of team Amy Williams seems to want. Can they keep moving forward or will a young team take some steps back?