Huskers to Battle Bulldogs Saturday
Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-3) at Drake Bulldogs (5-4)
Saturday, Dec. 9, 2 p.m. (CT)
Knapp Center (Des Moines, Iowa)
Live Video: ESPN3
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM or WOW 105.3 FM
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers App
Huskers Battle Bulldogs in Des Moines Saturday
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team travels to the Knapp Center in Des Moines for the first time since 2001 to face Drake Saturday. Tip-off between the Big Red (6-3) and Bulldogs (5-4) is set for 2 p.m.
• A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch teaming up for their 17th season together on the call. The game will be carried live for free on Huskers.com and over the air on either B107.3 FM or WOW 105.3 FM in Lincoln. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App. The game may not be carried in Omaha because of conflicts with men’s basketball and potentially an NCAA Tournament Regional Final volleyball match. If the Husker volleyball team does not advance to the regional final, the women’s basketball game will be on CD 105.9 in Omaha.
• A live video stream will be available on ESPN3 and the Watch ESPN App.
• Nebraska is coming off arguably its best performance of the season with a 66-49 road win at Kansas Wednesday night. The Huskers dominated their former Big 12 Conference brethren 39-13 in the second after trailing by 13 late in the second quarter.
• The Husker win snapped a 14-game losing streak in true road games for the Big Red while also ending KU’s seven-game home winning streak to start the season. The Jayhawks entered the game 7-0 overall.
• Sophomore Hannah Whitish scored 25 of her career-high 29 points in the second half while going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field after halftime. She also set career bests by going 11-for-14 at the foul line, including eight straight free throws in the final 1:29 to seal the win. Whitish outscored Kansas 25-13 in the second half. It was Whitish’s second career 20-point performance and first of the season.
• Nebraska features one of the youngest lineups in the Big Ten with freshmen Taylor Kissinger (14.0 ppg) and Kate Cain (10.0 ppg) averaging double figures alongside Whitish (10.9 ppg). Sophomore Nicea Eliely (7.5 ppg) and junior Maddie Simon (7.2 ppg) round out Nebraska’s top five scorers.
• Drake enters the game with a 5-4 record. The Bulldogs have scored 100 or more points in back-to-back games, including a 108-100 loss to Creighton in four overtimes in Des Moines on Sunday. Drake is averaging 85.2 points per game on the young season.
• The Bulldogs won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles before advancing to the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2017. They finished with a 28-5 record.
• Nebraska boosters sold out a bus trip to Drake to support the Huskers on Saturday.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 7.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 6.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Off the Bench
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 14.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
15 - Bria Stallworth - 5-6 - So. - G - 5.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - So. - F - 3.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg
13 - Janay Morton - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 3.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
43 - Rachel Blackburn - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (13-25)
11th Season Overall (206-134)
Drake Bulldogs (5-4, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
50 - Sara Rhine - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 18.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg
35 - Becca Jonas - 6-2 - Jr. - F/C - 4.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg
2 - Maddie Monahan - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg
5 - Becca Hittner - 6-0 - So. - G - 14.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
21 - Sammie Bachrodt - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 12.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Off the Bench
20 - Maddy Dean - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 7.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
12 - Brenni Rose - 6-0 - So. - G/F - 7.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
24 - Nicole Miller - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg
30 - Katie Van Scyoc - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 5.5 ppg, 1.3 rpg
15 - Paige Greiner - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 3.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
22 - Hannah Fuller - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Head Coach: Jennie Baranczyk (Iowa, 2004)
Sixth Season at Drake (104-65)
Sixth Season Overall (104-65)
Scouting The Drake Bulldogs
• Coach Jennie Baranczyk leads her sixth Drake team into Saturday’s game at Des Moines with a 5-4 record. Last season, Drake won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles to advance to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Drake finished with a 28-5 overall record that included a perfect 18-0 regular-season mark in the Valley.
• Drake graduated All-American and 2017 MVC Player-of-the-Year Lizzy Wendell and the Valley all-time assist leader Caitlin Ingle from last year’s championship team.
• Drake defeated Nebraska, 84-70, at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Dec. 6, 2016. The Huskers own a 10-9 all-time lead in the series with the Bulldogs that dates back to 1980. Wendell had team highs with 18 points, six rebounds and five steals last year against Nebraska, while Ingle produced a double-double with 13 points and 13 assists.
• Nebraska has not played at the Knapp Center since an 88-74 loss on Dec. 16, 2001. The Huskers own a 4-3 all-time record against Drake in Des Moines.
• Drake enters Saturday’s game following a 102-25 win over NCAA Division III Iowa Wesleyan on Tuesday. The win over the Tigers followed a 108-100 quadruple overtime loss to Creighton at the Knapp Center on Dec. 3. The two teams were tied at 71 at the end of regulation.
• Junior forward Sara Rhine led the Bulldogs with 25 points and eight rebounds against the Bluejays. Rhine, who was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week (Dec. 4) after also going for 24 points and six rebounds in an 83-80 win over in-state rival Iowa State (Nov. 30), is Drake’s leading scorer at 18.1 points per game. She also ranks second on the squad with 5.6 boards per contest and is shooting 59.2 percent from the field. Rhine ranks second in the Valley in scoring, after missing all but eight games last season with an injury. In 2015-16, Rhine was the MVC Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year.
• Sophomore guard Becca Hittner, a preseason first-team All-MVC selection, ranks second on the team with 14.6 points per game, while adding 4.3 rebounds per contest. Hittner, who has 20 assists, is one of seven Bulldogs averaging more than 2.0 assists per game this season. The Bulldogs have 203 assists on 277 made baskets (.733), making them an exceptional passing team.
• Junior guard Sammie Bachrodt, who joined Hittner on the preseason first-team All-MVC squad, gives the Bulldogs three players averaging double figures with 12.2 points per game. She has added 3.4 rebounds while tying for the team lead with 4.0 assists per game. Bachrodt also leads Drake with 1.9 steals and 28.9 minutes per game. Bachrodt played a team-high 50 minutes in the loss to Creighton.
• Freshman Maddie Monahan rounds out Drake’s starting backcourt with 6.1 points and 4.0 assists per game. Monahan, who is shooting a team-best 64.5 percent from the field, including 6-of-14 from three-point range (.429), played 47 minutes against Creighton.
• Junior forward/center Becca Jonas joins Sara Rhine inside for the Bulldogs. Jonas averages 4.1 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game. She has added 2.3 assists per game.
• Drake has gone 11-deep in its rotation throughout the season with all 11 players on its roster competing in at least eight games this season. Maddy Dean, a 5-9 junior guard, has contributed 7.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while also making a pair of starts. Sophomore wing Brenni Rose has pitched in 7.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists while adding a trio of starts. Junior guard Nicole Miller has contributed 5.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists while also starting one game for the Bulldogs. Paige Greiner is the only senior on Drake’s roster, contributing 3.2 points and 1.3 boards.
• Drake is the highest scoring team Nebraska has faced this season, averaging 85.2 points per game. The Bulldogs are shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 33.5 percent from three-point range (9.2 3FG per game) and 73 percent from the line. Drake has scored 96 or more points four times this season.
• Drake is surrendering 76.2 points per game and allowing 9.1 threes per game, while opponents are shooting nearly 41 percent. The Bulldogs carry a minus-0.8 rebound margin and a plus-1.8 turnover margin. Against Iowa Wesleyan, Drake was plus-17 on the boards and plus-23 in turnover margin (30-7).
• Nebraska held back-to-back road foes (Coastal Carolina - 47 points, San Juan Shootout, Daytona Beach, Fla., Nov. 24; at Kansas - 49 points, Dec. 6) to fewer than 50 points. It marked the first time in school history that Nebraska had limited back-to-back Division road opponents to less than 50. In fact, it marked the first time since 2009-10 that Nebraska had held two opponents to less than 50 points on the road in the same season.
• Sophomore Hannah Whitish erupted for a career-high 29 points in the win at Kansas Wednesday. In the second half, Whitish was 6-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-3 from long range, while knocking down 10-of-12 free throws. She outscored Kansas 25-13 in the half. Whitish averaged 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in 16 Big Ten games as a starter in 2016-17. She also led the Huskers with 57 three-pointers during 2016-17 to rank second among freshmen in Husker history. Her 40.7 three-point percentage was the best ever by a Husker freshman.
• Freshman guard Taylor Kissinger leads the Huskers with 14.0 points per game and 21 made three-pointers. The 6-1 Kissinger has added 4.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Big Red. She has missed the last two games with a minor knee injury.
• Center Kate Cain, the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, leads the Huskers with 30 blocked shots through nine games, the fifth-best season total by a freshman in school history. She is averaging 3.3 blocks per game. The last time the Huskers had a player average 1.0 block per game in a season was Catheryn Redmon in 2010-11.
• Cain’s six blocks against Clemson tied the Nebraska single-game freshman record and were the most blocks by a Husker freshman since NU career leader Janet Smith had six against Oklahoma State on Jan. 12, 1979. Cain added five blocks at Kansas (Dec. 6).
Whitish Working to Shine as Sophomore
• Nebraska’s growth in the backcourt is expected to start with sophomore Hannah Whitish. The 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., is the Big Red’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.0 points per game a year ago. Whitish, who started every Big Ten game for Nebraska, averaged 11.1 points in conference play, while shooting a sizzling 41.8 percent (38-91) from three-point range. She was also Nebraska’s top playmaker, averaging 3.7 assists in Big Ten action.
• Whitish’s play blossomed throughout the season, as she produced double figures in each of Nebraska’s last four games including a season-high 24-point performance in an overtime upset of NCAA Tournament-bound Michigan State on Feb. 26, 2017. Whitish knocked down 5-of-8 three-pointers against the Spartans while adding five rebounds and five assists in 44 minutes of work.
• In 2017-18, Whitish is the only Husker to start all nine games, while averaging 10.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, a team-high 4.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. She has tied her career high with three steals in each of the last three games. She has dished out 44 assists while committing 18 turnovers (2.4-to-1).
• She erupted for a career-high 29 points, including 25 in the second half, to carry Nebraska offensively in a road win at Kansas (Dec. 6). Whitish outscored the previously unbeaten Jayhawks 25-13 after halftime to help the Huskers rally from a 13-point late-second-quarter deficit to a 17-point victory. • Whitish hit a season-high four three-pointers at Kansas (Dec. 6).
• She scored 15 points on three threes against Buffalo (Nov. 23).
• Whitish scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting against Creighton (Nov. 19).
• She tied a career high with nine assists while adding eight points and five rebounds in a win over UMKC (Nov. 14).
Cain Claims Second Big Ten Freshman Honor
• Kate Cain claimed the second Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week award of her young career when the conference announced its weekly honors on Monday.
• The 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., averaged 13.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots in a pair of starts for the Big Red last week. In Saturday’s win over Arkansas Pine Bluff, Cain notched her second double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds while adding three blocks. Cain helped the Huskers hold UAPB to an opponent-record-low four first-quarter points, while also limiting the Lady Lions to an opponent-record-tying-low of 12 first-half points. In the first half, Cain had 10 points and six rebounds to help NU take a 37-12 halftime lead. She hit 7-of-10 shots from the field for the game.
• On Thursday, Cain produced 11 points, eight rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots against Clemson. Cain’s six blocks tied the Nebraska freshman single-game record that was last achieved by Husker career block leader Janet Smith in January of 1979.
• Through nine games with eight starts, Cain is averaging 3.3 blocks per game. The last time a Husker averaged 1.0 or more blocks per game was Catheryn Redmon in 2010-11. Cain’s 30 total blocks on the season already rank as the fifth-best total by a Husker freshman in history.
• Cain ranks third among the Huskers in scoring (10.0 ppg) and second in rebounding (6.6 rpg) while leading the Big Red in field goal percentage (.588).
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (26) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is eight games by freshman Kate Cain (8).
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all nine games this season.
• Nebraska is 4-0 with Maddie Simon as a starter and 5-0 in games played by Maddie Simon.
• Nebraska has held back-to-back NCAA Division I road foes to fewer than 50 points (Coastal Carolina, 47; Kansas, 49) for the first time in school history.
• Nebraska snapped its 19-game road losing streak with its 55-47 win over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24) in Daytona Beach, Fla.
• The Big Red snapped a 14-game losing streak in true away games with a 66-49 win at Kansas (Dec. 6). The Huskers trailed by 13 with three minutes left in the second quarter.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first nine games of her career. She has eight games with two or more blocks.
• Jasmine Cincore has notched at least one assist in 18 consecutive games dating back to a game at Purdue on Jan. 26, 2017. She went without an assist against Michigan (Jan. 22, 2017).
• Hannah Whitish has posted at least one assist in 11 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in eight games this season, including five straight
• Taylor Kissinger has knocked down at least one three-pointer in six consecutive games.
• Kissinger has at least three rebounds in each of her seven games this season.
• Whitish has a steal in seven consecutive games - the longest active streak by a Husker. She has three steals in three consecutive games.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in six consecutive games.
• Emily Wood has scored at least three points in eight consecutive games this season - the longest streak by any Husker.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 289 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 168 consecutive games.