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Nebraska WBB Opens Season Wednesday Against Alabama A&M

The Huskers women’s basketball tips off the non-conference portion of the schedule against the Bulldogs

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Maryland vs Nebraska Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Alabama A&M Bulldogs
Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, Noon (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln
Live Video: BTN+ [Husker Sports Network Audio]
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (11:45 a.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - 107.3 FM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AM; Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Nebraska opens its 2019-20 regular season against Alabama A&M whose Head Coach Margaret Richards is a former Husker (guard, 2001-2004). She finished her Nebraska career with 915 points, 518 rebounds and 216 assists while playing in 117 games with 69 starts.

The Huskers rolled to a 97-33 win over NCAA Division II Rogers State (Amy Williams’ first head coaching gig) in their exhibition game last Saturday. Kate Cain, Ashtyn Veerbeek and Sam Haiby each scored 12 points while Leigha Brown added 10 points to give Nebraska four players in double figures. Nebraska out-rebounded the Hillcats 73-27 (+46) on the afternoon.

The Huskers return their top seven scorers from a year ago. After the past seasons in which the Huskers were giving up a significant experience deficit to most of their opponents, Amy Williams is finally able to put a veteran team on the floor.

Nebraska’s three-player freshman class of Isabelle Bourne, Trinity Brady and Makenzie Helms each showed some excellent moments in the exhibition game. Bourne showed an ability to diagnose a defense and make passes that were two steps ahead of defenders. Brady showed the toughness mentioned in her scouting reports in being a fearless rebounder and very physical guard. Helms finished a couple of drives with highlight reel moves. They will be a great addition to team that includes a senior class that is extremely experienced, two juniors whose impact is felt on different ends of the floor, and a precocious group of sophomores.

The starting lineup from the exhibition game is below. I suspect the one that takes the floor on Wednesday will be different, but with so many in the “off the bench” list that have starting experience (Cain, Brown, Mershon, Kissinger) there could be multiple combinations Coach Williams could use. Regardless of who walks out there first, we are likely to see significant minutes from everyone (except maybe Kissinger who didn’t dress for the exhibition due to a ‘minor’ injury).

Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 6.9 ppg, 5.5 ppg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 7.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 9.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 3.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fourth Season at Nebraska (42-49); 13th Season Overall (235-158)

Alabama A&M Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 SWAC)
20 - Lazurea Saunders - 6-0 - RFr. - F - 7.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
32 - Elexis Evans - 6-4 - So. - C - 6.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg
4 - Jameica Cobb - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 5.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
5 - Nigeria Jones - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 11.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg
23 - DeShawna Harper - 5-4 - Jr. - G - 7.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg

Off the Bench
24 - Tierra Dark - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 5.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
21 - *Dariauna Lewis - 6-1 - So. - F - 3.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg
2 - Natalie Collins - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg
11 - Je’Naiya Davis - 5-8 - Fr. - G
12 - Kamani Jones - 5-10 - Fr. - F
22 - Jasmine Stanley - 6-1 - Fr. - F
34 - Ariana Powe - 5-10 - Fr. - F
50 - De’Asia Thomas - 5-11 - Fr. - F

*statistics at Missouri State in 2018-19

Head Coach: Margaret Richards (Nebraska, 2003) Fourth Season at Alabama A&M (26-60); Fourth Season Overall: (26-60)

This game should (should) be a business-like “W” for the Huskers but early-season jitters and that process of jelling and figuring out roles could always make it closer than it needs to be.

Here’s to a great start to the season for the ladies! Go Big Red!