Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Creighton Bluejays (1-3, 1-0 BIG EAST)
Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, 5 p.m. (CT)
D.J. Sokol Arena (1,500) - Omaha, Neb.
Live TV: NET (Larry Punteney, Brenda VanLengen)
Nebraska improved to 3-0 on the season by opening Big Ten play with a 78-72 victory over Illinois at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday night. Junior guard Sam Haiby led the Huskers with a career-high 33 points, including 21 in the second half, to fuel a Nebraska rally from a five-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter. She added nine rebounds and four assists in the game, while scoring six points during a decisive 13-0 Husker run over a three-minute span in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Isabelle Bourne continued to build on her strong start to the season by producing the first 20-point performance of her career against the Fighting Illini. The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia, poured in a career-high 21 points while adding eight rebounds against Illinois and enters the Creighton game averaging 14.7 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Junior transfer Bella Cravens added a career high of her own against the Illini by pulling down 16 rebounds in her first Nebraska start. The 6-3 forward from Laie, Hawaii, grabbed 12 boards in the second half to help the Huskers post a plus-12 rebound margin against Illinois on the night. Cravens is averaging 4.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks through her first three games as a Husker.
Redshirt sophomore Ashley Scoggin has started all three games to open her Husker career, including a career-high 16 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting in a 64-51 win over Idaho State. Two days later, the Bengals ran to a 65-50 win at Kansas State (Dec. 8). The Wildcats went on to defeat No. 22 South Dakota State 62-53 (Dec. 10). The Jacks beat Creighton 66-47 (Nov. 30).
Kate Cain anchors the Husker starting five. The 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., is Nebraska’s career block leader (291) and is poised to become just the sixth player in Big Ten history with 300 career blocked shots.
Coach Jim Flanery brings Creighton into Monday’s game against Nebraska with a 1-3 record after running to an 88-41 win at Butler in CU’s BIG EAST opener on Dec. 6.
As a team, Creighton continues to love the three, connecting on an average of 9-of-25 threes per game early this season (36-110, .327). In the win over Butler, CU buried 15-of-34 long-range attempts, outscoring Butler 45-9 from beyond the arc.
Overall, the Jays are shooting just 35.3 percent (84-238) from the field. CU is outstanding at the stripe, connecting on 81.8 percent (45-55) of its free throws. Despite being a bit undersized, Creighton has held its own on the glass (35.0-37.5). The Jays own a plus-2.3 turnover margin.
Nebraska vs. Creighton Series History
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Creighton 30-15, but the Jays have won the last four meetings against the Huskers.
Last season, Creighton escaped from Lincoln with a 79-74 thanks to 26 points and 13 rebounds from departed senior Jaylyn Agnew, who hit 5-of-11 three-pointers. TAs a team, Creighton connected on 14-of-32 three-pointers in the win, while Nebraska went just 3-of-16 from long range. Kate Cain led the Big Red with 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocks, while Sam Haiby added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Isabelle Bourne is the only other current Husker who played in last season’s game, adding seven points and three rebounds.
During Creighton’s four-game winning streak in the series, the Jays are 45-of-118 (.381) from three-point range, while Nebraska is just 12-of-66 (.182). CU is averaging 11.3 made threes per game during the streak, while NU is averaging 3.0.
Nebraska’s lack of success from long range against Creighton is not limited to the last four games. In fact, Nebraska has not made more than five threes in a game against Creighton since a 75-67 Husker win in Omaha on Nov. 17, 2008 when the Big Red went 9-for-21. On the flip side, Creighton has made at least five threes against Nebraska since going 4-for-13 at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha on Dec. 3, 2000. Creighton won that game, 66-57, despite NU hitting 5-of-10 threes.