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Nebraska WBB vs Minnesota Preview

The Golden Gophers are a very different team than the one the Huskers met earlier this season after losing their best player to the transfer portal

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 14 Women’s Nebraska at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, 7 p.m. (CT)
Williams Arena (14,625) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Live Video: BTN+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (6:45 p.m.)Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln - B107.3 FM & KLIN 1400 AM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AMHuskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Nebraska is 15-5 overall and 5-4 in the Big Ten while Minnesota is 12-8 overall and 2-7 in the Big Ten. In the first meeting between these teams, the Huskers dispatched a ranked (#24) Gopher team by 14 points in Lincoln.

Minnesota is reeling after their best player (Destiny Pitts) left the team and entered the transfer portal after an (admittedly weird) suspension for “body language”. The Gophers have lost six of their past seven games and look to be a team headed for the bottom of the conference standings.

But wait...Minnesota’s lone victory of late came against a team that beat Nebraska (Purdue) and they appear to be replacing Pitts’ 16 points per game with other players stepping up their roles. Four of their recent losses are by one possession. And, this game is in Minnesota.

Nebraska has had a habit of late to get behind by double digits late in a game only to come storming back (sometimes successfully and sometimes not). Keeping up those habits on the road is not...ideal, especially against a team that is starting to gel after losing a key player.

Can the Huskers avoid their late-game slump and keep the Gophers at arm’s length for an entire game? Will Minnesota take another step forward?

Three-point defense will be key for Nebraska as the Gophers shoot well from long range. Minnesota also features an athletic post player (those have given Nebraska some trouble recently). If the Huskers can get Kate Cain (or any of the other post players) established in the paint and continue their hot hand from beyond the arc, they have a great chance to get another road win.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-5, 5-4 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 9.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 8.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 9.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 13.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.5 ppg, 2.1 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 (57-54); 13th Season Overall (250-163)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-8, 2-7 Big Ten)
5 - Taiye Bello - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 12.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg
4 - Jasmine Powell - 5-6 - Fr. - G - 9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
14 - Sara Scalia - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 11.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
21 - Jasmine Brunson - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 9.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg
24 - Gadiva Hubbard - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Off the Bench
25 - Klarke Sconiers - 6-2 - Fr. - C - 3.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
23 - Masha Adashchyk - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 3.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg
2 - Barbora Tomancova - 6-2 - So. - F/C - 1.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg
20 - Kehinde Bello - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg

Head Coach: Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota, 2004)Second Season at Minnesota (33-19); Second Season Overall (33-19)

Go Big Red!