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Nebraska WBB vs Purdue: Preview and Game Thread

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Can the Huskers stop the losing streak at two?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten)

at Purdue Boilermakers (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten)

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, 1 p.m. (CT)

Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Ind.

Live TV: BTN (Lisa Byington, Meghan McKeown)

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 Huskers opened the season with three wins, but have suffered two straight losses as they get ready to face Purdue.

Issie Bourne is averaging 13.8 points and 6.8 rebounds, including 18.5 points and 7.0 boards in Big Ten play. Sam Haiby enters the Purdue game as Nebraska’s season leader in scoring (15.6 ppg), rebounding (8.4 rpg) and assists (3.6 apg).

Junior Bella Cravens has been a major contributor as a starter in her first two Big Ten games. The 6-3 forward from Laie, Hawaii, is averaging 7.5 points and 9.0 rebounds, including a career-high-tying 16 rebounds in the win over Illinois and a Nebraska career-high 12 points at Indiana.

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 (295) and is poised to become just the sixth player in Big Ten history with 300 career blocked shots. Cain is averaging 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks through Nebraska’s first five games of 2020-21.

Nebraska began September with a 13-player roster but had just seven players available for the game at Indiana (Dec. 20). Fourth-year guard Taylor Kissinger closed her career because of chronic pain (hip), which followed surgery that cut short her 2019-20 season. Transfer Nailah Dillard underwent hip surgery (Dec. 15) and is out for the season. Trinity Brady (Idaho State, Dec. 6) and Ruby Porter (Creighton, Dec. 14) are both listed as day-to-day with lower leg injuries, and transfer MiCole Cayton has not yet been cleared to fully participate but continues to make progress (leg injury).

Scouting The Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue enters Wednesday’s game with a 4-2 overall record after running to its first Big Ten win with a 91-87 victory at Penn State on Sunday afternoon.

The Boilermakers are led by junior guard Kayana Traylor, who is averaging 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and a team-best 4.3 assists per game. Junior Brooke Moore has also stepped into the starting five in place of recovering All-Big Ten guard Karissa McLaughlin. Moore is averaging 13.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while leading the Boilermakers with 10 three-pointers and a 41.7 percent success rate from beyond the arc.

McLaughlin was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2019 and an honorable-mention choice as a junior in 2020. She spent nearly every minute on the floor during her first three years at Purdue before undergoing ankle surgery in July of 2020. McLaughlin was expected to miss the entire season but played five minutes off the bench on Sunday in the win over Penn State.

Senior Tamara Farquhar gives Purdue three starters averaging in double figures with 10.8 points and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds per game.

As a team, Purdue is averaging 72.2 points, while surrendering 70.2 per game. The Boilers own a plus-4.8 team rebounding margin but carry a minus-4.7 team turnover margin. Purdue committed 27 turnovers in a Big Ten-opening loss to Northwestern (Dec. 17).

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (3-2, 1-1 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 5.6 6.0
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 13.8 6.8
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 8.4 5.8
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 5.4 2.0
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 15.6 8.4

Off the Bench
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 8.8 4.8
2 Trinity Brady 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.2 1.6
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 2.0 2.0
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G DNP

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (62-64) 14th Season Overall (255-173)

PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (4-2, 1-1 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
25 Tamara Farquhar 6-0 Sr. F 10.8 9.0
45 Fatou Diagne 6-4 RSr. C 8.8 6.2
23 Kayana Traylor 5-9 Jr. G 16.5 4.3
00 Brooke Moore 5-7 Jr. G 13.3 2.2
33 Madison Layden 6-1 Fr. G 5.7 3.2

Off the Bench
24 Ra Shaya Kyle 6-6 Fr. C 6.8 4.3
5 Cassidy Hardin 5-10 Jr. G 4.0 1.6
22 Jenelle Grant 6-0 RSr. G/F 3.3 2.3
4 Rokia Doumbia 5-9 Jr. G 2.0 2.0
13 Ajah Stallings 5-8 Jr. G 1.8 1.8
35 Rickie Woltman 6-3 So. F 1.5 0.5
30 Nyagoa Gony 6-2 Jr. F 0.7 0.3
1 Karissa McLaughlin 5-7 Sr. G 0.0 0.0

Head Coach: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989) 15th Season at Purdue (298-178) 21st Season Overall (415-243)