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Nebraska WBB vs Rutgers Preview

Can the Huskers pull off the season sweep vs the Scarlet Knights?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-6, 7-5 Big Ten)
at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten)
Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, 1 p.m. (CT)
The RAC - Piscataway, N.J.
Live Video: B1G Network+
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 Scarlet Knights have not played a game since January 3, when they lost to the Huskers in Lincoln. That game started a run of excellent play for Nebraska as they followed it with two wins (out of three games) against ranked opponents.

The Huskers got a boost when sophomore team captain Isabelle Bourne returned to the lineup for the February 11 loss to Penn State. Bourne is s Nebraska’s second-leading scorer (13.5 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (7.5 rpg).

Sam Haiby, a 5-9 junior guard from Moorhead, Minn., leads Nebraska in scoring (17.3 ppg), assists (4.3 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) while ranking second on the team in rebounding (7.6 rpg).

Scouting Rutgers

Rutgers always starts with defense, but the Scarlet Knights feature one of the nation’s elite scorers in redshirt senior Arella Guirantes. One of three Big Ten Preseason Co-Players of the Year, Guirantes leads Rutgers in scoring (22.5 ppg), rebounding (7.1 rpg), assists (5.4 apg) and steals (3.1 spg) while hitting 38.6 percent (17-44) of her three-point attempts and 89.5 percent (51-57) of her free throws. In the loss at Nebraska, the Huskers held Guirantes to a season-low eight points while playing the full 40 minutes. Last season, Guirantes earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after leading the league in scoring (20.6 ppg).

The Scarlet Knights also feature another explosive scorer in true freshman Diamond Johnson. The 5-5 guard is averaging 17.8 points per game, including 19 as a starter in the loss at Nebraska. The No. 6 overall player in the nation by ESPN coming out of high school, Johnson has scored in double figures in each of her first eight college games, including 20.3 points over the last four contests. She had a career-high 23 in Rutgers’ last home game against Manhattan (Dec. 23).

Through seven games, Rutgers was averaging 85.7 points per game while allowing 57.1 points per contest. The Scarlet Knights’ season scoring average dipped to 81.3 points per game after being held to a season-low 50 by the Huskers in Lincoln.

In four home games against non-conference foes, Rutgers surrendered just 154 total points (38.5 ppg), but gave up 91 to No. 7 Maryland in its only Big Ten home contest this season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-6, 7-5 Big Ten)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 6.7 8.0
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 10.1 7.0
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 7.3 2.3
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 17.3 7.6
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 4.7 2.2

Off the Bench
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 13.5 7.5
2 Trinity Brady 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 5.7 3.3
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 4.1 1.5
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G 1.7 0.7
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 0.0 0.0

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (68-68) 14th Season Overall (261-177)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
13 Mael Gilles 6-1 Sr. F 8.1 4.8
22 Tyia Singleton 6-2 RSo.F 5.5 5.6
3 Diamond Johnson 5-5 Fr. G 17.8 3.9
24 Arella Guirantes 5-11 RSr.G 22.5 7.1
31 Tekia Mack 6-1 Sr. F/G 9.0 4.6

Off the Bench
1 Zipporah Broughton 5-7 Jr. G 11.3 2.3
12 Sakima Walker 6-4 Fr. C 4.9 3.0
2 Liz Martino 6-0 Fr. G 3.3 1.3
11 Stephanie Guihon 5-6 RJr. G 2.5 0.3
4 Destiny Marshall 5-10 RJr. G 2.2 1.2
10 Erica Lafayette 6-0 Fr. G/F 1.7 1.7
54 Chyna Cornwell 6-3 Fr. F 0.7 1.0

Head Coach: C. Vivian Stringer (Slippery Rock, 1971) 26th Season at Rutgers (526-289) 50th Season Overall (1,046-424)