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Nebraska Women’s Basketball Preview: Illinois

Nebraska looks to bounce back against Illinois on Aussie Night

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 04 Women’s Nebraska at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nebraska’s last game against the Hoosiers did not go the way the Huskers wanted. After an incredible pregame ceremony honoring Husker legend Jordan Hooper with a jersey retirement, the energy in PBA was electric, and it felt like everything would line up for a Husker win. Indiana’s Sydney Parrish had other plans though and would connect four of four from deep in just the first quarter, she went six of seven in the game. Nebraska would go on to lose 91-69 and drop to 11-4 (3-1 Big Ten)

The Huskers hope to get back on track Thursday night when the Fighting Illini come to Lincoln. Last time the Huskers and Illini met in Lincoln, Illinois won 72-64. (Shauna Green and I became real acquainted this game and because of that I might have caused us to lose, so I’m sorry Husker fans, I’ll be better.) Nebraska got revenge though on February 22, 2023, with a 90-57 win in Champaign.

Nebraska will recognize Jaz Shelley and Jessica Petrie for Australian night before the game.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-4, 3-1 Big Ten) vs Illinois Fighting Illini (6-7, 0-3 Big Ten)

Thursday, January 11, 2024 7:00 pm (CST)

Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska

TV: BTN (Fox Sports App)

Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (6:30 pm) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) B107.3 FM (Lincoln), 590 AM (Omaha), Huskers.com, Huskers App

Live Stats: Huskers.com

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-4, 3-1 Big Ten - NCAA NET 29)

22 - Natalie Potts - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 11.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg

40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Jr. - C/F - 17.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg

0 - Darian White - 5-6 - Gr. - G - 8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg

1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 12.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg

42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Off the Bench

14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - So. - G - 7.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg

2 - Logan Nissley - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 6.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg

12 - Jessica Petrie - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 4.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg

21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 4.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg

32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 2.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg

15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 2.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams Eighth Season at Nebraska (125-103); 17th Season Overall (318-212)

Illinois Fighting Illini (6-7, 0-3 Big Ten - NCAA NET 71)

23 - Brynn Shoup-Hill - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 4.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg

44 - Kendall Bostic - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 12.6 ppg, 8.9 rpg

1 - Genesis Bryant - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 14.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg

3 - Makira Cook - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 14.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg

24 - Adalia McKenzie - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 10.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Off the Bench

41 - Camille Hobby - 6-3 - 5th - C - 7.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg

11 - Jada Peebles - 5-10 - 5th - G - 4.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg

5 - Gretchen Dolan - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg

22 - Shay Bollin - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg

4 - Kam’Ren Rhodes - 5-6 - So. - G - 1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg

Head Coach: Shauna Green Second Season at Illinois (28-17); 10th Season Overall (184-92)

Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois makes the trip to Lincoln carrying a two-game losing streak; a loss to Indiana (77-71) and Wisconsin (67-61). This is Shauna Green’s second year as head coach for Illinois, the Illini went 22-10 overall and 11-7 in the Big Ten last season after falling to Mississippi State 70-56 in the NCAA First Four.

The Illini return all of their starters from a year ago along with top player of the bench, Jada Peebles. As a group, last season, they were 20-6 in Illinois first 26 games under Green after a 72-64 win against the Huskers (February 9, 2023). Since then, the Illini are 8-11 with seven losses by double digits and 3-7 record against the Big Ten.

Makira Cook, who spent two seasons at Dayton, was a first-team All-Big Ten pick last year after ranking fourth in the league with 18.3 points per game. Cook had 22 points in the win against the Huskers last season. This season, she has a second team best among the Illini with 14.2 points and 3.4 assists a game.

Genesis Bryant and Kendall Bostic, returning second-team All-Big Ten players, add another level of dangerous scoring. Bryant, a transfer from NC State, is Illinois’ top threat from long range shooting 42.9 percent. She also leads the team in assists (3.5) and steals (1.7).

Bostic, a 6’2 forward, is one of the Big Ten’s best rebounders, grabbing 8.9 boards a game, while hitting 64.5 percent from the field. Last season, in the two games against Nebraska, Bostic combined for 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Adalia McKenzie has contributed 10.5 points and 4.9 rebounds a game in her 13 starts this season. McKenzie was in double figures both games against the Huskers last season, including a 16 point performance in Lincoln.

Brynn Shoup-Hill, another Dayton transfer, completes the starting five. Shoup-Hill averages 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds a game, while hitting 25 percent from three-point range.

Illinois is averaging 73.7 points per game, while holding their opponents to 64.0 points. The Fighting Illini are shooting 45.2 points per game, adding 36.3 rebounds and 13.3 assists per game, they allow opponents 41.8 percent from the field including 21.7.3 from long range.

Husker Report

Nebraska dropped a tough one to #14 Indiana (91-69), but are hopeful to turn this car around and head back in the right direction. Nebraska is averaging 77.9 points per game while only allowing 62.5 points. The Huskers are shooting 45.2 percent from the field including 33.5 from long range, while allowing opponent shooting at 38.7 percent from the field. Nebraska averages 42.1 rebounds (+10.2) and 17.4 assists a game, but the Huskers commit 14.1 turnovers a game.

Natalie Potts earned her fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award. Potts averaged 12.5, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals for the Huskers last week.

Jaz Shelley is 12 rebounds from 500 in her career.

Darian White is 15 rebounds from 700 in her career.

Alexis Markowski is 18 rebounds from 750 in her career, which would put her in a tie for 10th on the Nebraska career rebounds list.