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Nebraska WBB vs North Carolina Central: Preview

After a big win vs Creighton, can the Huskers stay focused and finish the home stand with a win?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. North Carolina Central Eagles (0-3, 0-0 MEAC)

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, Noon (CT) Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska

Live Video: B1G+ (subscription required)

Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (11:45 a.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM), Omaha (CD 105.9 FM), Huskers.com, Huskers App

Nebraska has opened its season with a 4-0 record, including a 67-62 win over in-state rival Creighton at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday night. All-Big Ten guard Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.) helped the Big Red close out the win with 13 of her team-high 15 points in the second half. She added five rebounds, five assists and three steals, while sinking the game-clinching free throws with 5.4 seconds left.

All-Big Ten forward Isabelle Bourne (Canberra, Australia) has led the Huskers in scoring through four games, averaging 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Fellow Australian Jaz Shelley (Moe, Australia) has added double-digit production with 10.5 points while leading the Huskers with 8.3 rebounds per game. The 5-9 point guard is also tied for the team lead with five blocks and has matched Haiby for the team lead with seven steals.

Alexis Markowski, the 2021 Nebraska High School Player of the Year out of Lincoln Pius X, has played big for the Big Red. The 6-3 freshman is averaging 10.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in less than 15 minutes per game off the bench.

The Huskers lead the Big Ten in scoring margin (43.3 ppg), thanks in part to a solid defense that has held opponents to just 29 percent shooting from the field. NU’s field goal percentage defense also leads the Big Ten. The Big Red also leads the conference in total rebounds (48.5 rpg), while ranking second in scoring (91.3 ppg), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.83) and blocked shots (6.0 bpg).

Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten)

14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 9.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg

34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 9.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg

1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg

4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 9.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Off the Bench

40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 10.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg

3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 6.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg

32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg

11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 4.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg

10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 4.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg

15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 3.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg

5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Sixth Season at Nebraska (76-75); 15th Season Overall (269-184)

North Carolina Central Eagles (0-3, 0-0 MEAC)

22 - Tianna Carter - 6-1 - RSo. - F - 8.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg

44 - Ashlyn Lockard - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg

0 - Paris McBride - 5-6 - So. - G - 3.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg

4 - Necole Hope - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 8.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg

12 - Kira Lowery - 5-8 - RJr. - G - 3.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Off the Bench

1 - Diamond Thomas - 5-4 - Fr. - G - 6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg

5 - Nia Ford - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 4.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg

3 - Morgan Callahan - 6-1 - So. - F - 4.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

11 - Madalyn Anderson - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg

2 - Taylor Williams - 5-9 - RSo. - G/F - 3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg

32 - Simone Edmundson - 6-0 - Jr. - C - 2.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg

21 - Breonna Mayfield - 6-5 - Sr. - C - 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Head Coach: Trisha Stafford-Odom (California, 1992) Fifth Season at NC Central (35-75); Eighth Season Overall (72-120)

As a team, North Carolina Central is averaging 53 points per contest while shooting 28.7 percent from the floor. The Eagles are also hitting just 18.0 percent (9-50) of their three-point shots.

In an abbreviated 2020-21 season, North Carolina Central struggled to a 4-12 overall record. It came after the Eagles posted an NCCU NCAA Division I-best 13 victories in 2019-20. NC Central also went 9-7 in the MEAC, its best conference mark since rejoining the league in 2011-12.