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Nebraska WBB vs Gonzaga Preview

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The Huskers and Bulldogs meet in an 8/9 matchup in the first round of the NCAA tournament

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 05 Big Ten Women’s Tournament - Iowa v Nebraska Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (24-8, 11-7 Big Ten) vs. No. 9 Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-6, 15-2 WCC)
Friday, March 18, 2022, 2:30 p.m. (CT)
NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
KFC Yum! Center - Louisville, Kentucky
Live Television: ESPN News (John Brickley-PBP; Meghan McKeown)
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (2:15 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App

Nebraska will be making its 15th NCAA Tournament appearance and its ninth since 2007 (last 15 tournaments). The Huskers own eight all-time NCAA Tournament wins with their last coming in the first round over Fresno State at UCLA in 2014. The Huskers advanced to NCAA Sweet Sixteens in 2010 and 2013. Nebraska is 2-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament in 8/9 games, with all three losses by four points or less.

Most recently, the Huskers dropped a 72-69 decision as the No. 9 seed to No. 8 Syracuse in Columbia, S.C., in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers have advanced to the NCAA Second Round on six occasions.

The 2021-22 Huskers have put themselves in position to chase history by recording 24 wins. Another victory by Nebraska would move the Huskers into a tie for the third-most single-season victories (25) in school history. The last time Nebraska notched more than 21 wins came with a 26-7 season in 2013-14, when the Huskers won the Big Ten Conference Tournament championship in Indianapolis.

No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (24-8, 11-7 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 11.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 12.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 7.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 10.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Off the Bench
14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 6.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 5.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 2.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 0.9 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.6 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 1.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)Sixth Season at Nebraska (96-83); 15th Season Overall (289-192)

No. 9 Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-6, 15-2 Big Ten)
1 - Anamaria Virjoghe - 6-5 - RSr. - F - 3.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
23 - Melody Kempton - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 10.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg
4 - Abby O’Connor - 6-0 - Sr. - G/F - 6.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg
11 - Kayleigh Truong - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 10.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg
13 - Cierra Walker - 5-8 - RSr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Off the Bench
14 - Kaylynne Truong - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 10.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
15 - Yvonne Ejim - 6-1 - So. - F - 10.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg
12 - Eliza Hollingsworth - 6-3 - RSo. - F - 3.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
35 - Bree Salenbien - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg
24 - McKayla Williams - 6-1 - So. - G - 1.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg
5 - Maud Huijbens - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 1.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg
0 - Esther Little - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 0.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg

Head Coach: Lisa Fortier (CSU Monterey Bay, 2004) Eighth Season at Gonzaga (204-53); Eighth Season Overall (204-53)

Scouting Gonzaga

Gonzaga enters its sixth NCAA Tournament under eighth-year Head Coach Lisa Fortier after a 71-59 victory over WCC regular-season champion BYU at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas (March 8). The Zags have won five straight games - all by double digits - heading into the NCAA Tournament, with their last loss coming at BYU (63-39) on Feb. 19.

Like Nebraska, Gonzaga features a balanced lineup, led by WCC Tournament MVP Melody Kempton. The 6-1 senior forward from Post Falls, Idaho, is averaging team bests with 10.9 points and 6.3 rebounds. She scored 15 points in the WCC championship game win over BYU.

Twins Kayleigh and Kaylynne Truong provide nearly identical numbers in the Bulldog backcourt. The guards from Houston, Texas, both average 10.8 points. Kayleigh leads the Zags with 111 assists while making 26 starts, while Kaylynne has added 108 assists in seven starts. Both have 30 steals on the year.