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Nebraska WBB vs Rutgers Preview

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The Huskers head to the east coast to take on the Scarlet Knights with both teams tied for second in conference standings

NCAA Womens Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, 1 p.m. (CT)

The RAC (8,000) - Piscataway, N.J.

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

The Husker women are slowly gaining more national respect as they have moved up to #54 in RPI and are receiving votes in the AP poll. Rutgers is also receiving votes and would be #27/#29 in the AP and coach’s polls respectively. The Scarlet Knights play a high-pressure defense and are coached by a Hall-of-Famer in C. Vivian Stringer. Playing at the RAC will be a tall order for this Husker team.

The balanced nature of the Husker offensive attack should help Nebraska as they can change up the offense in different ways and hopefully find the seams against the stifling Scarlet Knights. Rutgers only Big Ten loss is against conference leader Indiana. Ball handling will be important and so look for the Huskers to want Hannah Whitish and Sam Haiby to have the ball in pressure situations.

Rutgers always starts with defense and the Scarlet Knights are allowing just 52.1 points while holding opponents to 31.9 percent shooting through 15 games. Rutgers owns a plus-6.7 rebound margin and a plus-1.7 turnover margin. So far this season, Rutgers has also featured a consistent offensive punch from a group of five regular starters. As a team, Rutgers is averaging 69.9 points per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, including 32.8 percent (84-256) from three-point range. RU is shooting 69.4 percent at the free throw line.

The much-improved Husker defense will likely need to apply some heat of its own to stick with Rutgers in their house. Senior Nicea Eliely and junior Kate Cain have been the glue on that side of the court for Nebraska. Rutgers gets most of its offensive production from the starters, guard Arella Guirantes rarely comes off the floor. If Nebraska can get any of their starters in foul trouble or can push the pace (unlikely) they could have an advantage due to depth.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-2, 3-1 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 8.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 13.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 4.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.3 ppg, 0.5 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 (55-51); 13th Season Overall (248-160)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (13-2, 3-1 Big Ten)
13 - Mael Gilles - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
44 - Jordan Wallace - 6-3 - Sr. - C - 6.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
31 - Tekia Mack - 6-1 - Jr. - F/G - 13.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg
12 - Khadaiza Sanders - 5-7 - Gr. - G - 10.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
24 - Arella Guirantes - 5-11 - RJr. - G - 19.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg

Off the Bench
15 - Maori Davenport - 6-4 - Fr. - C - 4.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
1 - Zipporah Broughton - 5-7 - So. - G - 3.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
20 - Joiya Maddox - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.7 ppg, 0.9 rpg
5 - Danielle Migliore - 5-7 - Gr. - G - 2.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
22 - Tyia Singleton - 6-2 - RFr. - F - 2.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
0 - Alexis Morris - 5-6 - RSo. - G - 0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Head Coach: C. Vivian Stringer (Slippery Rock, 1971)25th Season at Rutgers (512-279); 49th Season Overall (1,032-414)