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Nebraska WBB vs Indiana Preview

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The Huskers travel to Bloomington to face the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten title

Scott Bruhn

The short-handed Huskers will need a scrappy performance to stick with an experienced and talented Hoosier squad. Nebraska suffered yet another injury when guard Ruby Porter went down vs Creighton with an ankle injury. She did not return to the game, but was on the sidelines in a boot. Trinity Brady continues to rehab an ankle injury and is considered ‘day-to-day’. If either of those players is available I would not expect either to be able to contribute many minutes.

Sophomore Nailah Dillard underwent season-ending surgery a few days ago while MiCole Cayton’s timeline is still uncertain. That could leave the Huskers with only seven available players. Coach Williams might need to dust off her old Husker uniform and have it ready.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) at 15/15 Indiana Hoosiers (2-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, 3 p.m. (CT)

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall - Bloomington, Ind.

Live TV: BTN (Lisa Byington, Christy Winters-Scott)

Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (2:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (ESPN 590 AM); Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Sunday’s game at Indiana will mark the third time in the last 12 contests overall that the Huskers have squared off with the Hoosiers. IU swept a pair of games from the Big Red last season. It will be the only time Nebraska is scheduled to play Indiana during the regular season in 2020-21.

Nebraska opened the season 3-0 including a 78-72 Big Ten-opening win over Illinois (Dec. 10), before suffering a 78-62 loss at Creighton on Monday night (Dec. 14).

Indiana, the preseason pick to win the Big Ten regular-season title, opened with a pair of 40-plus point wins over Eastern Kentucky and Samford, before suffering a 72-68 loss to then-No. 11 Kentucky and a 66-58 loss to Tennessee on Thursday in Bloomington.

Sam Haiby enters the Indiana game as Nebraska’s season leader in scoring (17.8 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and assists (4.3 apg). The 5-9 junior guard from Moorhead, Minn., erupted for a career-high 33 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists in the win over Illinois (Dec. 10) to earn a spot on the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 14).

Sophomore Isabelle Bourne continues to build on her strong opening to her first season as a starter by averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds. The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia scored a career-high 21 points while adding eight rebounds in the win over Illinois.

Lisa Leslie Award candidate Kate Cain anchors the Husker starting five inside. The 6-5 senior center from Middletown, N.Y., is Nebraska’s career block leader (292) and is poised to become just the sixth player in Big Ten history with 300 career blocked shots. Cain is averaging 10.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks through Nebraska’s first four games of 2020-21.

Scouting The Indiana Hoosiers

The preseason pick of the conference coaches and media to win the Big Ten title in 2021, Indiana enters Sunday’s game with a 2-2 record overall after falling 66-58 to Tennessee on Thursday.

In her seventh season at the helm of the Hoosiers, Teri Moren has her best team on paper, including three outstanding guards with heaps of experience.

The Hoosiers, who are ranked No. 15 nationally in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Top 25, feature senior point guard Ali Patberg. A first-team All-Big Ten choice in 2020, Patberg is a preseason candidate for the Wade, Naismith and Wooden national player-of-the-year awards along with the Nancy Lieberman Award after closing 2020 as one of 10 finalists for the nation’s top award for point guards. Last season, Patberg averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists.

Grace Berger returns after joining Patberg as a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019-20. The 6-0 guard is a candidate for the Cheryl Miller Award after averaging 13.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a sophomore. Berger opened 2020-21 with a triple-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Eastern Kentucky. She is averaging 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.5 assists through four games.

The Hoosiers are averaging 74.3 points per game, while allowing just 53.8 points. Indiana is shooting 44.4 percent from the field but just 22.6 percent (19-84) from three-point range after going 2-for-27 against the Volunteers. IU has hit 62.5 percent (40-64) at the free throw line. The Hoosiers are plus-3.5 rebounds per game despite getting out-rebounded 51-38 by Tennessee. IU also owns a plus-5.8 turnover margin per game.

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (3-1, 1-0 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 4.5 4.0
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 14.7 6.7
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 8.7 6.3
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 7.0 2.3
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 17.7 9.3

Off the Bench
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 10.3 4.0
2 Trinity Brady 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.3 1.3
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 2.7 2.7
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G DNP
24 Nailah Dillard 5-9 So. G (Out for the season)

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (62-62) 14th Season Overall (255-171)

15/15 INDIANA HOOSIERS (2-2, 0-0 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
10 Aleksa Gulbe 6-3 Jr. F 8.5 7.8
54 Mackenzie Holmes6-3 So. F 15.3 6.5
13 Jaelynn Penn 5-10 Sr. G 9.8 6.8
14 Ali Patberg 5-11 Sr. G 13.5 2.0
34 Grace Berger 6-0 Jr. G 15.0 7.3

Off the Bench
33 Danielle Patterson 6-2 RJr. G/F 4.8 3.0
11 Chanel Wilson 5-6 RSo. G 3.0 1.0
22 Chloe Moore-McNeil 5-11 Fr. G 2.3 1.8
51 Hannah Noveroske6-5 So. C 2.0 3.0
25 Arielle Wisne 6-5 RFr.C 2.0 2.0
2 Keyanna Warthen 5-10 Sr. G 1.7 0.3
23 Kiandra Brown 6-2 Fr. G 1.5 1.0
3 Grace Waggoner 6-0 So. G 1.0 2.5
4 Nicole Cardano-Hilary 5-6 RJr. G 0.0 0.0

Head Coach: Teri Moren (Purdue, 1992) Seventh Season at Indiana (129-76) 18th Season Overall (328-206)