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Nebraska WBB vs Penn State (Part Two) Preview

Can the Huskers avenge a double digit loss to the Lady Lions?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-9, 8-8 Big Ten) vs. Penn State Lady Lions (8-10, 5-9 Big Ten)
Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, 2 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska
Live Video: B1G Network+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (1:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Nebraska had lost four straight games before a road win vs a ranked Northwestern team earlier this week. The Huskers learned that they can win even when the other team puts a lot of effort into stopping Sam Haiby. In the win vs the Wildcats, Kate Cain came up big (pun intended) as she had a perfect night from the field and free throw line (22 points) and scored the 1000th point in her Husker career.

The Huskers lost earlier this season 85-74 to the Lady Lions and are looking to even up the season series. Penn State has lost three straight games but still features an offense that can put points on the board in a hurry.

I suspect this game will be won/lost in the paint. If Bella Cravens is able to play (she did not play in the win vs Northwestern) she will likely have a big role. Issie Bourne has proven to be a matchup nightmare as the 6-2 forward has shown she can play a guard (wing) role this season as well as post. Sam Haiby has shown she can do a little (okay, a lot) of everything for Nebraska from scoring, rebounding, and assists. If she can make her patented drives to the rim, the Huskers will have a good day. This is a very winnable game for Nebraska. The only question is, will they?

Scouting the Penn State Lady Lions

Penn State comes into Sunday’s game trying to snap a three-game losing streak that began with a 90-65 loss at No. 15 Indiana (Feb. 10). The Lady Lions added a 78-65 loss at Michigan State (Feb. 13), before falling 96-78 on the road at Iowa on Thursday, in a game PSU led 52-41 at the half.

The Lions have an explosive post player in Johnasia Cash. In Nebraska’s 85-74 loss at Penn State (Feb. 3), Cash came off the bench with 27 points and 19 rebounds in just 24 minutes, before adding 18 points and four steals in just 16 minutes as a starter in a 98-74 win at Wisconsin (Feb. 7). Cash was named the Big Ten Player of the Week (Feb. 8) following those two performances.

Sophomore guard Makenna Marisa has added 13.8 points per game, 4.8 rebounds and a team-leading 4.6 assists as the only PSU player to start all 18 games. Senior Niya Beverley stepped into the starting five in late January. The 5-7 guard is a lockdown defender who has added 7.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Lady Lions over the last 14 games with nine starts.

As a team, Penn State has averaged a strong 75.6 points per game while shooting 42.6 percent from the field, including 34.1 percent from three-point range. Penn State hit 14-of-38 threes at Iowa. The Lady Lions have hit 69.5 percent of their free throws. PSU carries a minus-0.7 rebound margin but a plus-0.2 turnover margin, while allowing 76.3 points per contest.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-9, 8-8 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 13.9 8.0
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 10.5 6.4
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 7.3 2.3
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 16.8 7.1
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 5.2 2.2

Off the Bench
2 Trinity Brady 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 6.5 7.6
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 5.8 3.2
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.6 1.3
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G 2.3 0.9
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 0.4 0.6

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (69-71) 14th Season Overall (262-180)

Penn State Lady Lions (8-10, 5-9 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
15 Maddie Burke 6-0 Fr. F 8.7 3.5
11 Anna Camden 6-3 So. G/F 8.6 3.3
1 Niya Beverley 5-7 Sr. G 7.6 2.9
20 Makenna Marisa 5-11 So. G 13.8 4.8
23 Shay Hagans 5-6 So. G 7.0 3.0

Off the Bench
25 Kelly Jekot (Out) 6-0 Gr/Sr.G 15.9 6.8
33 Johnasia Cash 6-2 Sr. F 14.6 9.1
10 Tova Sabel 5-10 Fr. G 5.5 2.5
0 Nyam Thornton 5-7 Fr. G 2.7 2.3
4 Constance Thomas5-9 Fr. G 2.0 1.2
3 Nia Staples 5-8 Gr/Sr.G 1.8 0.3
24 Nan Garcia 6-0 Fr. G 1.8 1.6
22 Kaci Donovan 6-1 Fr. G 0.7 0.5

Head Coach: Carolyn Kieger (Marquette, 2006) Second Season at Penn State (15-33) Seventh Season Overall (114-97)