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*Update* Nebraska WBB vs Rutgers Postponed

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Health and safety protocols within the Husker program has led to a pause in play for the women

Scott Bruhn

UPDATE

This game will not be played as scheduled due to “health and safety protocols within the Husker program.”

From the athletic department:

The Nebraska women’s basketball game with Rutgers originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. (CT), at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln has been postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Husker program.

Per the amended Big Ten Conference 2021-22 Forfeiture Guidelines, this game will be postponed and the Conference office will coordinate the rescheduling process.

If the game is not able to be rescheduled, it would count as a “no contest” for both teams. Tickets previously purchased would be refunded to ticket holders after the conclusion of the season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 2-4 Big Ten) vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-12, 0-7 Big Ten)

Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, 7 p.m. (CT)

Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska

Live TV: Nebraska Public Media (Brenda VanLengen, Jami Hagedorn)

Live Video: B1G+

Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (6:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App

The Huskers are on a three game losing streak, although they were competitive in all those losses to top 25 Iowa (2 losses) and #6 Indiana. Rutgers is looking for their first conference win of the season. Despite their dismal conference record, no one should ever overlook the Scarlet Knights and their ferocious defense. Nebraska may be shorthanded again as Sam Haiby is unlikely to be back, Jaz Shelley may not be cleared from COVID protocols and Bella Cravens is still on the mend (although will probably be available).

Freshman Alexis Markowski has stepped up big in place of the injured Cravens (ankle) over the past four games. The four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals as a starter. She is coming off a career-high 27 points that included a career-best six three-pointers at Iowa. She also had 20 points in NU’s win over No. 8 Michigan (Jan. 4).

Allison Weidner, a Husker freshman from Humphrey, Neb., replaced Haiby in the starting five at Iowa and played solid basketball. The 5-10 guard finished with eight points and a team-high five assists and is averaging 5.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists on the season.

Isabelle Bourne, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago, has added 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, while Ashley Scoggin has pitched in 9.0 points as one of the Big Ten’s best knock-down shooters. Bourne and Scoggin are the only Huskers to start all 17 games this season.

Nebraska’s minus-21 foul disparity (28-7) at Iowa (Jan. 16) marked the largest foul differential in program history for either team in 1,448 games over 48 seasons. It marked the first time in history that a Husker team held a negative foul differential of greater than 17. Prior to the game, NU held a positive foul differential of 2.1 through 16 games this season.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 2-4 Big Ten)

40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 11.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 10.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 9.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 5.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg

Off the Bench

1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg
14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 3.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Sixth Season at Nebraska (85-79); 15th Season Overall (278-188)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-12, 0-7 Big Ten)

22 - Tyia Singleton - 6-2 - RJr. - F - 5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
32 - Osh Brown - 6-1 - Gr. - F - 9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg
0 - Lasha Petree - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
3 - Shug Dickson - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg
35 - Sayawni Lassiter - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg

Off the Bench

12 - Sakima Walker - 6-5 - So. - C - 4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
5 - Victoria Morris - 5-8 - Gr. - G - 4.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg
15 - Awa Sidibe - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg
20 - Joiya Maddox - 6-0 - RSo. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
54 - Chyna Cornwell - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg
14 - Jailyn Mason - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
1 - Destiny Marshall - 6-0 - RSr. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
24 - Kierra Sanderlin - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg
2 - Liz Martino - 6-0 - So. - G - 2.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
11 - Stephanie Guihon - 5-6 - RSr. - G - 2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
10 - Erica Lafayette - 6-0 - So. - G - 0.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg

Acting Head Coach: Tim Eatman 7th Season as a Rutgers Coach; 31st Season Overall in College Coaching

Rutgers was a 2021 NCAA tournament team, but the roster has seen considerable turnover. They are struggling on offense and have eight out of 19 games this season that Rutgers has been held to fewer than 50 points.

The Scarlet Knights are led by acting head coach Tim Eatman, who has been on Hall of Fame Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer’s staff at Rutgers for the past seven seasons. Stringer has taken a leave of absence from coaching this season for personal reasons.

First-year Scarlet Knight Osh Brown leads Rutgers in scoring and rebounding at 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Brown, a 6-1 graduate transfer from Ball State, is the NCAA Division active leader in total rebounds and double-doubles. Brown will be playing her 135th career game on Thursday. She owns 1,658 points and 1,269 rebounds with 55 career double-doubles, including six this season. Brown is the only Scarlet Knights to start every game this season.

Graduate Shug Dickson has added 9.0 points per game in the Rutgers backcourt. Dickson spent two-plus seasons at Tulsa before transferring to Texas Tech. She never played in Lubbock and transferred to Missouri in 2020-21. She has played 12 games with nine starts this season.

Another graduate transfer, Sayawni Lassiter, came to Rutgers from Florida State. The 5-10 guard is averaging 2.8 points per game. Lassiter has played in all 19 games with 10 starts.

Overall, the Scarlet Knights feature eight first-year transfers into the program, including 2019-20 NJCAA National Player of the Year Awa Sidibe, who was a teammate of Nebraska’s Ashley Scoggin at Salt Lake City CC. Sidibe (3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg) has appeared in 18 games with three starts.

Tyia Singleton (5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Sakima Walker (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg) are the top two returning players from last year’s Rutgers team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament before finishing with a 14-5 overall record that included a 10-3 Big Ten mark. Singleton has played in all 19 games with 17 starts, while Walker has appeared in 17 games with two starts.

Overall, 13 Scarlet Knights have started at least one game. Rutgers is shooting 39.8 percent from the field, including 27.2 percent from three-point range. The Scarlet Knights are averaging just 3.9 threes per game, while hitting just 65.1 percent of their free throws. Rutgers has managed just 56.0 points per game, but has held the opposition to just 57.1 points per contest. The Scarlet Knights have out-rebounded opponents (36.8-29.8, +7.0 rpg) but carry a minus-2.5 turnover margin.

Overall

Rutgers leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 6-4, including a 78-62 win over the Huskers in Piscataway Feb. 7, 2021 in the last meeting between the two teams. Six of the 10 meetings have been decided by two possession (6 points) or less. Rutgers also became the first team in the series to reach 70 points in a game.

The Husker bench has outscored opponent reserves 490-230 (+15.3 ppg) through 17 games, including a 349-166 edge (+18.3 ppg) in 10 games at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

No Husker ranks among the top 25 players in the conference in minutes per game. Jaz Shelley leads Nebraska with 28.9 minutes per game, while Courtney Shaw from Northwestern ranks 25th in the conference (30.4 mpg).

Nebraska leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (+19.4 ppg), total rebounds (43.0 rpg), defensive rebounds (30.1 rpg) and FG percentage defense (.366). The Huskers rank among the top three teams in the Big Ten in 15 statistical categories. Nebraska ranks among the top 25 teams in the nation in 16 statistical categories.

Nebraska has hit 10 or more threes nine times in the last 24 games, including six times in 17 games in 2021-22.