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Nebraska WBB vs Minnesota Preview

The Huskers visit the Gophers on a cold, snowy weekend

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 01 Women’s Nebraska at Indiana Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Nebraska women’s basketball team shoots for its best six-game start to the Big Ten season since joining the conference in 2011-12 when the Huskers travel to Minnesota on Sunday. The Huskers improved to 4-1 in the conference with a 56-48 win over Illinois Thursday in Lincoln.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-4, 4-1 Big Ten) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten)
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, 2 p.m. (CT)
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Live Video: B1G+
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (1:30 p.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) B107.3 FM (Lincoln), 590 AM (Omaha), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Live Stats: Huskers.com

Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-4, 4-1 Big Ten - NCAA NET 31)

22 - Natalie Potts - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 11.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg

40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Jr. - C/F - 17.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg

0 - Darian White - 5-6 - Gr. - G - 8.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg

1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg

42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 3.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg

Off the Bench

14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - So. - G - 7.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg

2 - Logan Nissley - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 6.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg

12 - Jessica Petrie - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg

21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 3.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg

32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 2.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg

15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Eighth Season at Nebraska (126-103); 17th Season Overall (319-212)

Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten - NCAA NET 37)

24 - Mallory Heyer - 6-1 - So. - F - 9.9 ppg, 8.1 rpg

52 - Sophie Hart - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg

3 - Amaya Battle - 5-11 - So. - G - 10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg

10 - Mara Braun - 6-0 - So. - G - 19.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg

25 - Grace Grocholski - 5-10 - Fr. - G/F - 11.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg

Off the Bench

30 - Janay Sanders - 5-11 - Gr. - G - 5.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg

41 - Niamya Holloway - 6-0 - RFr. - F - 4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

5 - Maggie Czinano - 6-0 - Jr. - G - 3.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg

1 - Ayianna Johnson - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 3.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg

12 - Ajok Madol - 6-2 - Fr. - G/F - 2.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Head Coach: Dawn Plitzuweit (Michigan Tech, 1995) First Season at Minnesota (12-3); 17th Season Overall (377-144)

Scouting the Minnesota Golden Gophers

Dawn Plitzuweit guides an improving group of Gophers in her first season as Minnesota’s head coach. Plitzuweit spent six seasons as the head coach at South Dakota following Amy Williams’ departure from Vermillion to take the Nebraska job in 2016-17. Plitzuweit, who previously coached at Grand Valley State and Northern Kentucky, led USD to the 2022 NCAA Sweet Sixteen before taking the head coaching job at West Virginia for the 2022-23 season. She left the Mountaineers after one season to take the top job at Minnesota on March 18, 2023.

The Gophers enter Sunday’s game with a 12-3 record that includes a 2-2 Big Ten mark following an 82-66 win at Michigan (Jan. 9). Minnesota’s only losses have come to UConn, Iowa and Maryland.

Mara Braun, a 6-0 guard from Wayzata, Minn., ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten in scoring with 19.7 points while adding 4.3 rebounds per game. Another Minnesota high school star, Amaya Battle is averaging 10.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and a team-best 5.7 assists. A third Minnesota high school standout, Mallory Heyer was the nation’s No. 55 recruit by ESPN coming out of Chaska High School in 2022. The 6-1 forward is averaging 9.9 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds while hitting 39.5 percent (30-76) of her three-pointers as a stretch-four for the Gophers.

Newcomer Sophie Hart, a 6-5 junior transfer from Farmington, Minn., by way of NC State, has solidified the Gophers inside with 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Freshman Grace Grocholski (North Prairie, Wis.) has also made a major impact in a balanced Minnesota starting five. The 5-10 wing ranks second among Big Ten freshmen in scoring (11.1 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.7 rpg), while hitting 35.7 percent (35-98) of her three-point attempts.

Nebraska vs. Minnesota Series History

Nebraska leads the all-time series with Minnesota 17-13, but the Golden Gophers notched a 95-92 win over the Huskers at Williams Arena in Minneapolis (Feb. 15, 2023). Jaz Shelley led Nebraska with a career-high 37 points on 7-of-13 three-pointers, but Mara Braun led five Gophers in double figures with 28 points.