Senior center Kate Cain currently sits at 998 points in her Husker career. It seems likely that she will join the 1000 point club in this game. She is such a defensive presence that it is sometimes hard to appreciate how much work she has put into her offensive skills. Her free throw shooting is noticeably improved and she has increased her range considerably since her freshman year.
The Husker women are in a tailspin after losing four straight games, two of them to the top offenses in the nation (#1 Maryland and #2 Iowa). Earlier this season, the Huskers had a remarkable run with wins over three ranked/receiving votes teams in four attempts (a two-point loss being the fourth). After that stretch, the Huskers were among teams receiving votes in both polls.
Which team are we going to get on Wednesday vs the Wildcats?
The first game vs Northwestern is the one that kicked off the stretch of lockdown defense, upset-minded basketball by the Huskers. Maybe round two will help the team find that core again.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-9, 7-8 Big Ten) at 24/22 Northwestern Wildcats (11-4, 9-4 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, 6 p.m. (CT)
Welsh-Ryan Arena - Evanston, Illinois
Live Video: B1G Network+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (5:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM); Omaha (CD 105.9 FM); Huskers.com; Huskers App
Northwestern will be Nebraska’s seventh top-25 opponent of the season, and the Huskers are 3-3 against the top-25, including a 65-63 New Year’s Eve win over the Wildcats in Lincoln. Only Wisconsin has played more top-25 foes than Nebraska among Big Ten teams, and the Badgers are set to face No. 24 Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats are 1-2 against the top-25 at game time. No other Big Ten team has more wins against AP top-25 opponents at game time than Nebraska.
Northwestern is coming off a COVID-19 postponement at Ohio State Sunday, making the Wildcats Nebraska’s third opponent in the last four games to enter the game with a week’s rest, joining No. 9 Maryland and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights had 36 days off between games vs. Nebraska.
Scouting The No. 24 Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern enters Wednesday’s game seeking to avenge a last-second 65-63 loss to the Huskers in Lincoln on New Year’s Eve. Since Northwestern’s loss in Lincoln, the Wildcats have gone 7-3, highlighted by a 69-57 win over No. 11 Ohio State at Welsh-Ryan Arena (Feb. 1). The Cats also swept Iowa and notched a win over Michigan State. NU’s other Big Ten losses have come to top-20 Michigan and Indiana teams in Evanston and most recently the Cats took a 70-54 loss to Rutgers at Welsh-Ryan (Feb. 11).
The Wildcats have been great on the road at 5-1, with their lone loss coming to the Huskers in Lincoln. The Cats are 6-3 in Evanston, including 4-3 in Big Ten games at Welsh-Ryan.
Last season, Northwestern put together the best season in school history with a 26-4 record that included a 16-2 Big Ten mark to share the regular-season title with Maryland. The Wildcats lost both of their top post players from last season, Abi Scheid (6-2, 11.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Abbie Wolf (6-4, 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg). Scheid was a first-team All-Big Ten choice after hitting 47.7 percent (73-153) of her three-point attempts as one of the Big Ten’s best stretch fours. Wolf was honorable-mention All-Big Ten as one of the conference’s most improved players in her final year.
Despite those two big losses, the Wildcats return first-team All-Big Ten guard Lindsey Pulliam. The 5-10 senior is averaging 16.0 points and 5.1 rebounds after averaging a team-best 18.8 points last season. Pulliam enters Wednesday’s game with 1,877 career points to rank fourth on NU’s all-time scoring list. She has started all 113 games for the Cats and has averaged 16.6 points per game over her career.
Veronica Burton also returns after earning second-team All-Big Ten accolades last season. The 5-9 junior point guard has been outstanding this season, averaging team bests with 17.1 points, 4.8 assists and 4.1 steals per game. She also owns a 4.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Burton averaged 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game in 2019-20.
While Pulliam and Burton were both preseason first-team All-Big Ten choices, junior Sydney Wood has emerged as a force as well. The 5-11 guard/forward is averaging 13.1 points per game and has scored at least eight points in all 15 games, including 13 games in double figures. She had 12 points and nine rebounds in the first meeting with the Big Red.
As a team, Northwestern is averaging 71.9 points per game while holding opponents to 61.9 points per contest. They are being out-shot by the opposition in all three areas (FG, .428-.430; 3FG, .282-.333; FT, .641-.677) and out-rebounded 35.5-35.0 per game. Where the Wildcats win is in turnover margin, carrying the No. 2 margin in the nation at plus-9.1 while forcing 21.1 turnovers per game. As a team, Northwestern has 182 steals while committing just 180 turnovers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-9, 7-8 BIG TEN)
No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 6.5 7.6
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 9.9 6.3
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 7.2 2.1
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 17.4 7.1
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 13.4 7.4
Off the Bench
2 Trinity Brady 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 5.9 3.2
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 5.0 2.1
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.8 1.4
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G 2.7 0.8
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 0.5 0.5
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (68-71) 14th Season Overall (261-180)
24 Northwester Wildcats (11-4, 9-4 BIG TEN)
No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
3 Sydney Wood 5-11 Jr. G/F 13.1 5.5
20 Paige Mott 6-1 Fr. F 2.9 3.7
24 Jordan Hamilton 5-8 Sr. G 9.6 3.0
10 Lindsey Pulliam 5-10 Sr. G 16.0 5.1
12 Veronica Burton 5-9 Jr. G 17.1 4.8
Off the Bench
15 Courtney Shaw 6-0 Jr. F 7.6 7.1
42 Anna Morris 6-3 Fr. F 2.3 1.3
2 Lauryn Satterwhite 5-7 RJr. G 2.2 1.1
33 Laya Hartman 5-11 So. G 2.1 1.2
1 Kaylah Rainey 5-6 So. G 1.6 0.4
23 Jasmine McWilliams 5-11 Fr. G 1.8 1.3
11 Brooke Pikiell 5-10 Sr. G 0.0 0.0
Head Coach: Joe McKeown (Kent State, 1979) 12th Season at Northwestern (219-181)35th Season Overall (728-355)