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Nebraska WBB vs Purdue Preview

The Huskers and Boilermakers have played some thrillers as Big Ten opponents. What do we see happening in this one?

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

Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, 7 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln, Neb.
Tickets: Huskers.comLive Video: BTN+ (Student U)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (6:45 p.m.)Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln - B107.3 FM, 1400 AM KLIN; Omaha - ESPN 590 AMHuskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Purdue vs Nebraska in women’s basketball has mostly been “must watch” TV since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. In the first-ever meeting between the two schools in Nebraska’s inaugural season in the Big Ten, the Huskers defeated Purdue 93-89 in triple-overtime on Feb. 2, 2012. In the first meeting between the two teams in Lincoln, Purdue notched a 69-66 overtime win over Nebraska on Jan. 5, 2013. Each of the last two meetings have been decided by two possessions, but the four previous games were all decided by double digits. The first three games in the series were all two-possession thrillers that went a combined six overtimes. Purdue leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 8-6, including a 75-71 win over the Huskers at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis (March 7, 2019) to end Nebraska’s 2018-19 season.

Purdue has lost four of their past five, with those losses coming mostly against some of the top teams in the B1G. They are a better team than their recent results suggest and always seem to play blow-for-blow with the Huskers.

If you like blocked shots, get out the popcorn for this one as two of the top shot-blockers in the nation will face off. Nebraska’s 6-5 center Kate Cain is second the conference with 50 blocks on the year. Guess who is first? Purdue’s 6-1 forward Ae’Rianna Harris tops the B1G with 62 blocks! (the third-place player has 33 - Cain and Harris are clearly head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to rim protection)

The Boilermakers are not a high-scoring offense (averaging 62.1 pts/game in conference play) and allow 62.3 pts/game. They have recently lost junior guard Tamara Farquhar to a knee injury. She was contributing 7.3 points and 7.5 rebounds/game.

The Boilermakers have to be hoping that Nebraska used up all their three-point mojo in the past two games and I don’t think Purdue has the offensive firepower to hang with the Huskers in a shootout. If long-range goes cold for Nebraska (and Purdue is pretty good at defending the three), look for Amy Williams to lean heavily on Kate Cain and Ashtyn Verbeek (and likely Izzy Bourne) to get some work done in the paint.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-4, 4-3 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 9.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 9.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 9.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg

Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 13.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.3 ppg, 0.8 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 (56-53); 13th Season Overall (249-162)

Purdue Boilermakers (12-7, 3-4 Big Ten)
22 - Jenelle Grant - 6-0 - RJr. - F - 4.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
32 - Ae’Rianna Harris - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 12.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg
1 - Karissa McLaughlin - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 12.6 ppg, 2.2 rpg
23 - Kayana Traylor - 5-9 - So. - G - 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
11 - Dominique Oden - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 11.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg

Off the Bench
3 - Lyndsey Whilby - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
5 - Cassidy Hardin - 5-10 - So. - G - 3.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg
45 - Fatou Diagne - 6-4 - RJr. - C - 1.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
12 - Roxane Makolo - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 1.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg
35 - Rickie Woltman - 6-4 - Fr. - F - 0.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg
30 - Nyagoa Gony - 6-2 - So. - F - 0.3 ppg, 0.1 rpg

Out for Season
25 - Tamara Farquhar - 6-0 - Jr. - G - 7.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg

Head Coach: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989) 14th Season at Purdue (289-168); 20th Season Overall (405-234)