Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-4, 5-4 Big Ten) vs. Penn State Lady Lions (9-11, 3-7 Big Ten)
Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, 7 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska
Live TV: BTN (Larry Punteney, Brenda VanLengen)
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, who will be playing their fourth game in eight days, are coming off a hard-fought 50-38 victory over Rutgers in Lincoln on Tuesday. In one of the lowest scoring games in school history, five-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week Alexis Markowski carried Nebraska inside with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to produce her third double-double. Markowski is averaging 18.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals in seven games as a starter in Big Ten play.
The 38 points allowed to Rutgers matched the fewest points the Huskers have ever allowed in a Big Ten game, joining a 67-38 win at Indiana (Jan. 10, 2013).
Returning All-Big Ten guard Sam Haiby added 12 points for her 13th consecutive Big Ten double-figure scoring performance. Haiby knocked down a trio of three-pointers for the second straight game, including a pair of huge fourth-quarter threes against the Scarlet Knights. Haiby is averaging 11.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists on the season.
Penn State comes to Lincoln trying to snap a four-game losing streak dating back to a double-digit setback at Wisconsin (Jan. 23). The Lady Lions also suffered double-digit home losses to Iowa (Jan. 25), Michigan State (Jan. 27) and Maryland (Jan. 30) in a stretch of four games in eight days.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-4, 5-4 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 9.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 12.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg
0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 8.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 12.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 5.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 5.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 3.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 0.5 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Sixth Season at Nebraska (88-79); 15th Season Overall (281-188)
Penn State Lady Lions (9-11, 3-7 Big Ten)
1 - Ali Brigham - 6-4 - So. - F - 10.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
5 - Leilani Kapinus - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 8.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg
20 - Makenna Marisa - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 22.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg
23 - Shay Hagans - 5-6 - Jr. - G - 6.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
25 - Kelly Jekot - 6-0 - Gr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Off the Bench
11 - Anna Camden - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 6.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg
4 - Niya Beverley - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 5.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg
10 - Tova Sabel - 5-10 - So. - G - 5.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg
15 - Maddie Burke - 6-0 - So. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg
12 - Kayla Thomas - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 1.9 ppg, 0.8 rpg
Head Coach: Carolyn Kieger (Marquette, 2006) Third Season at Penn State (25-49); Eighth Season Overall (124-113)
Sam Haiby needs four points to match Brooke Schwartz (1,243) at 18th on NU’s all-time scoring list.
Through games Feb. 1, the Huskers ranked among the top 25 teams nationally in scoring margin (8th, +19.4), scoring offense (10th, 79.6 ppg), assists per game (13th, 17.8 apg), assist-to-turnover ratio (14th, 1.25), defensive rebounds per game (15th, 29.7 rpg), assists (15th, 355), rebounds per game (17th, 43.0 rpg), three-point field goals made (19th, 175), three-point field goals made per game (20th, 8.8 pg) and three-point field goal percentage defense.
Nebraska leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (+19.4 ppg), total rebounds (43.0 rpg), field goal percentage defense (.362) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.261).
Alexis Markowski has hit 63.2 percent (12-19) of her three-point attempts as a starter, despite going 0-for-4 against Rutgers (Feb. 1).
Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley ranks among the top 20 players in the Big Ten in scoring (18th, 12.7 ppg), rebounding (9th, 7.4 rpg), assists (7th, 4.8 apg), blocked shots (4th, 1.3 bpg), steals (6th, 1.8 spg), three-point field goal percentage (7th, .413), three-pointers made per game (11th, 2.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (5th, 2.0).
Scouting Penn State
The Lady Lions are 9-11 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten under third-year coach Carolyn Kieger. Last season, Penn State finished with a 9-15 overall mark that included a 6-13 Big Ten record. Offensively, Penn State is averaging 71.3 points per game.
The Lady Lions are powered by the conference’s second-leading scorer, Makenna Marisa, a 5-11 junior guard averaging 22 points per game. Marissa has hit 48 threes (.375) and is an 81.7 percent free throw shooter. She also leads PSU with 4.2 assists per game.
Ali Brigham, a 6-4 sophomore forward has added 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds while shooting a team-best 57.6 percent from the field. Freshman Leilani Kapinus has added 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. The 5-10 guard also leads PSU with 1.3 blocks per game. Junior guard Shay Hagans (6.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.9 spg) and graduate guard Kelly Jekot (3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg) round out Penn State’s probable starting five.
While Penn State ranks in the middle of the pack offensively in the Big Ten, the Lady Lions rank last in defense, surrendering 73.6 points per game. Opponents are hitting 43.3 percent of their field goal attempts, including a whopping 36.9 percent of their three-pointers. Over the last four games, PSU foes have knocked down 44.2 percent (38-86) of their three-point tries and 51 percent of their overall field goals while averaging 84.3 points per game.
The Lady Lions also have struggled on the glass, ranking 13th in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (-5.7 rpg) including a minus-8.9 margin in conference play (38.4-29.5) and a minus-13.5 margin during their four-game losing streak (38.5-25.0).
PSU owns a plus-0.8 turnover margin in 2021-22, but a minus-1.7 turnover margin in Big Ten play.