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Nebraska WBB vs Minnesota (Part Two) Preview

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Can the Huskers even up the season series with the Golden Gophers?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-9, 9-8 Big Ten) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-11, 6-10 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, 6 p.m. (CT)
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Live Video: B1G Network+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (5:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM & 1400 AM KLIN), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

When the Golden Gophers travelled to Lincoln on January 19, they were struggling, to put it lightly. They left Lincoln with a win and have gone .500 since then. They still won’t be mistaken for one of the conference’s top teams, Minnesota has worked their way near the middle of the conference standings, right behind Nebraska.

The Huskers have regained some momentum and are on a two game winning streak, including a win over a ranked Northwestern team and another over Penn State to even that season series. Isabelle Bourne is playing the best basketball of her Husker career and Sam Haiby continues to fill up multiple stat columns every game.

Look for Nebraska to try and use their size advantage inside and work the ball in to Kate Cain and Isabelle Bourne. If either Ashley Scoggin or Ruby Porter, who have been streaky scorers, can heat up from long range, they will force Minnesota to cover the entire floor on defense and give Sam Haiby opportunities to drive to the basket.

For the season, the Huskers are shooting 42.2% from the field while only allowing 37.6% shooting by opponents. Unfortunately, the Huskers are shooting fewer shots and score an average of one point less than their opponents per game. The Huskers are averaging .5 fewer rebounds per game than their opponents. Nebraska commits 4.4 more turnovers per game than their opponents. However, the Huskers are averaging over six blocked shots per game while only getting blocked 2.8 times and are fouling slightly less (-1.5 fouls/game) than their opponents.

Scouting Minnesota

Jasmine Powell and Kadi Sissoko are the only Gophers to start all 18 games. Powell, a 5-6 sophomore from Detroit, is averaging 14.9 points and team bests with 5.4 assists and 1.4 steals. She was a 2020 Big Ten All-Freshman and an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection. Sissoko, a redshirt sophomore from Paris, France who transferred from Syracuse, is averaging 12.9 points and a team-best 6.7 rebounds. She had eight points, nine boards and three assists in the first meeting with the Big Red.

Former Husker Kayla Mershon has started four straight games in place of Klarke Sconiers at center. Mershon, a 6-3 junior scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench in the win over Nebraska.

As a team, Minnesota is averaging 69.2 points while allowing 80.3 points per game. The Gophers carry a minus-1.5 rebound margin and a minus-2.5 turnover margin, while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 32.6 percent from three-point range. Opponents are shooting 46.9 percent, including 37.7 percent against the Gophers. The opposition also has hit 78.1 percent of its free throws.

Trivia

Nebraska is 11-4 all-time against Minnesota in Lincoln. The Huskers are 2-7 against Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-9, 9-8 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 14.4 8.2
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 10.6 6.4
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 7.9 2.4
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 16.9 7.2
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 4.9 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 6.1 3.1
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.5 1.3
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G 2.5 0.8
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 0.8 0.8

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (70-71) 14th Season Overall (263-180)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-11, 6-10 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
30 Kadi Sissoko 6-0 RSo.F 12.9 6.7
15 Kayla Mershon 6-3 Jr. F 3.9 3.6
4 Jasmine Powell 5-6 So. G 14.5 4.6
14 Sara Scalia 5-10 So. G 14.9 3.2
24 Gadiva Hubbard 5-9 RSr.G 10.8 3.5

Off the Bench
12 Laura Bagwell Katalinich 6-0 Gr. F 5.9 3.2
25 Klarke Sconiers 6-2 So. C 5.7 4.4
1 Alexia Smith 5-8 Fr. G 4.3 2.3
21 Caroline Strande 5-11 Fr. G 4.3 2.1
23 Katie Borowicz 5-7 Fr. G 3.4 1.3
43 Grace Cumming 6-3 RFr. F 1.8 2.4
10 Erin Hedman 6-3 Fr. F 0.7 1.5
24 Justice Ross 6-0 RFr. F 0.7 1.3

Head Coach: Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota, 2004) Third Season at Minnesota (44-37) Third Season Overall (44-37)