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Nebraska WBB vs Illinois Preview

The Huskers visit the Illini for their third road game in a row

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (17-6, 6-6 Big Ten) at Illinois Fighting Illini (6-13, 1-7 Big Ten)

Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, 2 p.m. (CT)

State Farm Center - Champaign, Illinoi

Live Video: B1G+ (subscription required)

Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (1:45 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM),, Huskers App

Today’s game is one of the postponed ones being made up by Nebraska from their 10 day COVID pause. The Huskers are on a two-game losing streak (both by double digits to ranked opponents on the road). The Illini are sitting near the bottom of the conference in the standings but the Huskers cannot overlook anyone at this point if they are playing for an NCAA tournament bid.

Four Huskers are currently averaging double digit scoring on the season, led by freshman Alexis Markowski with 12.8 ppg who is making a strong argument that she should be the B1G freshman of the year. The others are Jaz Shelley (11.9), Sam Haiby (10.2) and Issie Bourne (10.0).

Shelley started the season red hot, but has cooled a bit of late. That isn’t a bad thing as the team has become more balanced and depth has developed - basically Shelley doesn’t have to carry the scoring load. She ranks in the top 25 in the conference in scoring, assists and steals. That isn’t unusual for a points guard. What is unusual is that she is also ranks #2 in blocked shots (1.3 per game) and #9 in rebounding (7.4 per game).


No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 10.0 4.7
40 Alexis Markowski 6-3 Fr. F/C 12.8 7.4
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 8.7 1.6
1 Jaz Shelley 5-9 So. G 11.9 7.3
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 10.2 4.0

Off the Bench

3 Allison Weidner 5-10 Fr. G 6.3 3.5
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 5.9 5.6
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 5.6 2.4
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 2.8 0.9
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 2.7 2.0
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 2.1 0.7
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr. G 2.0 0.9
15 Kendall Moriarty 6-1 Fr. G 1.7 0.5

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Sixth Season at Nebraska (89-81) 15th Season Overall (282-190)


No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
44 Kendall Bostic 6-2 So. F 6.7 11.7
0 Sara Anastasieska 5-11 Gr. G 5.8 1.8
11 Jada Peebles 5-10 Jr. G 7.6 1.6
12 Jayla Oden 5-9 Fr. G 7.1 2.4
32 Aaliyah Nye 5-11 So. G 11.1 3.4

Off the Bench
5 De’Myla Brown 5-7 Jr. G 9.5 1.8
24 Adalia McKenzie 5-10 Fr. G 8.9 4.4
14 Geovana Lopes 6-3 Sr. F/C 3.7 3.1
22 Eva Rubin 6-5 RSr.C 2.8 1.8
20 Erika Porter 6-3 So. F 2.8 2.1
3 Solape Amusan 6-1 Jr. F 1.5 0.8
2 Lyric Robins 5-11 RSr. F 1.1 1.3
15 Keanna Rembert 6-2 Fr. F 0.0 0.0

Head Coach: Nancy Fahey (Wisconsin, 1981) Fifth Season at Illinois (41-92) 36th Season Overall (778-225)

The Fighting Illini have not registered a win since Jan. 9, suffering five straight Big Ten losses. Illinois also did not play a game from Jan. 24 through Feb. 5 because of health and safety protocols. Saturday’s game will be the Illini’s third since returning to action with a 70-62 loss at Wisconsin (Feb. 6). Illinois defeated the Badgers 68-47 in the first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 9 at the State Farm Center.

Sophomore Aaliyah Nye leads Illinois as its only double-figure scorer, averaging 11.1 points per game. Nye, a 5-11 guard, has hit 36.5 percent (46-126) of her three-point attempts.

Jada Peebles has joined Nye in the starting five for 17 of the Illini’s 19 games and is averaging 7.6 points, while hitting 37.5 percent of her threes (21-56). Kendall Bostic, a 6-2 forward, is the only Illini player to start all 19 games. She is averaging 6.7 points and a team-best 11.7 rebounds. Bostic is 0-for-18 from three-point range but did hit six three-pointers for Michigan State last season.

Sara Anastasieska (5.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg) and Jayla Oden (7.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg) round out the Illinois probable starting five. Illinois also features a productive bench, led by guards De’Myla Brown (9.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg) and Adalia McKenzie (8.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg). McKenzie led the Illini with 14 points off the bench in the loss to the Hoosiers Wednesday.

Overall Thoughts

This is a game the Huskers should win, but nothing can be taken for granted. Nebraska’s offense has looked sluggish and uncertain as of late - almost like they are waiting for someone to step upand take control of the game the way Shelley did early in the season. The defense has been solid and the Huskers depth has allowed them to weather any foul trouble by an individual player without missing a beat.

Illinois is struggling right now, but they have talented players and will be one their home floor. They’ve also got some good three points shooters which will help them keep the floor spaced and reduce opportunities for the Husker help defense to arrive if someone misjudges a steal or gets out of position.