Huskers Return Home to Battle No. 23 Michigan
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. #23 Michigan Wolverines
Saturday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AM
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers App/TuneIn App
Promotion: Superhero Night (1,000 free capes distributed to fans)
Huskers Return Home to Battle No. 23 Michigan
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team returns home after its second straight perfect three-game road trip to take on No. 23 Michigan Saturday. Tip-off between the Huskers (12-5, 3-1 Big Ten) and the Wolverines (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten) at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln is set for 7 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 for free on Huskers.com and over the air on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App and the TuneIn App.
• A live video stream will be provided to BTN Plus subscribers as a BTN Student U production.
• Nebraska shoots for its first win over a top-25 team this season when the Huskers face Michigan. The Huskers have played just one top-25 team - No. 12 Ohio State - in a 73-61 loss in the Big Ten opener. • The game with Michigan starts a stretch of three straight games against top-25 opponents. Six of Nebraska’s final 12 conference games will come against teams currently ranked in the top 25.
• Nebraska is one of only four teams nationally (through games Jan. 10) that owns a plus-five or better improvement in the win column over 2016-17. The only team in the country that has shown more improvement is Rutgers. The No. 21 Scarlet Knights are plus-10 in the win column at 16-3 (6-24, 2016-17).
• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 8.3 points per game better offensively (71.1-62.8 ppg) and 11.5 points per game better defensively (76.3-64.8 ppg).
• Nebraska’s road warriors are riding a seven-game winning streak away from home, including three straight Big Ten wins after an 80-72 victory at Illinois Wednesday. The Huskers, who are 7-1 away from home, also own Big Ten road wins at Minnesota (79-74, Dec. 31) and at Northwestern (69-59, Jan. 7).
• Sophomore point guard Hannah Whitish has been outstanding in Big Ten play, averaging 15.5 points per game while shooting 53.8 percent (14-26) from three-point range.
• Junior forward Maddie Simon is proving herself as one of the conference’s most improved players, averaging 13.3 points (+9.4 ppg), 5.5 rebounds (+3.4 rpg) and 3.5 assists (+2.4 apg) in Big Ten play, compared to the 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists she averaged in league action a year ago.
• Four-time Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week Kate Cain is averaging 10.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game. She owns the Nebraska freshman season block record (60), while leading the Big Ten and ranking No. 3 nationally with 3.6 blocks per game.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-5, 3-1 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 6.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Off the Bench
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 12.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 5.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
15 - Bria Stallworth - 5-6 - So. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - So. - F - 3.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg
13 - Janay Morton - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg
43 - Rachel Blackburn - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (19-27)
11th Season Overall (212-136)
#23 Michigan Wolverines (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten)
11 - Jillian Dunston - 5-11 - Sr. - F - 3.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg
15 - Hailey Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 8.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg
30 - Hallie Thome - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 16.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg
3 - Katelynn Flaherty - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 22.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg
10 - Nicole Munger - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 10.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Off the Bench
20 - Deja Church - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 7.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg
5 - Kayla Robbins - 6-1 - So. - G/F - 3.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg
14 - Akienreh Johnson - 6-0 - So. - G - 2.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg
22 - KeAsja Peace - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg
2 - Priscilla Smeenge - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
21 - Samantha Trammel - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 0.0 ppg, 0.2 rpg
Head Coach: Kim Barnes Arico (Montclair State, 1993)
Sixth Season at Michigan (125-67)
22nd Season Overall (395-272)
Scouting The No. 23 Michigan Wolverines
• Coach Kim Barnes Arico brings her sixth Michigan team to Lincoln ranked in the top 25 with a 14-4 overall record that includes a 3-2 Big Ten mark after an 84-79 home win over Indiana on Wednesday night.
• All four of Michigan’s losses have come to ranked opponents, including a 78-71 overtime loss to No. 10 Ohio State last Sunday in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines also suffered an 82-72 road loss at then-No. 23 Iowa on New Year’s Eve. Michigan took an 83-63 setback to then-No. 3 Notre Dame (Nov. 29) and a 74-49 loss to then-No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 16).
• Against unranked teams Michigan is 14-0 while winning by an average of nearly 25 points per game (1,123-777) 80.2-55.5.
• Against top-25 teams, Michigan is 0-4 while losing by an average of 15.5 points per game (79.3-63.8).
• The Wolverines feature one of the nation’s most explosive shooters in senior Katelynn Flaherty. The 5-7 senior guard is averaging 22.9 points per game while hitting 52-of-148 (.351) of her three-pointers. She has added a team-best 4.0 assists per game.
• Junior Hallie Thome gives the Wolverines a potent inside presence, averaging 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The 6-5 center is shooting 64.3 percent from the field and 76.9 percent (60-78) at the line. She has added a team-best 25 blocked shots
. • Junior Nicole Munger gives Michigan three starters averaging in double figures with 10.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting a team-best 42.4 percent (42-99) from three-point range.
• Senior Jillian Dunston, a 5-11 forward, pitches in 3.4 points and team bests of 9.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals while ranking second on the team with 3.8 assists per game.
• Those four starters were key pieces for a Michigan team that finished 28-9 overall and 11-5 in the Big Ten last year but somehow were snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee. The Wolverines went on to win the 2017 Postseason WNIT.
• Flaherty and Thome were both first-team All-Big Ten selections last season and they demonstrated their skills in a pair of lopsided wins over the Huskers a year ago. Flaherty averaged 26.0 points on 20-of-34 (.588) shooting, including 9-of-17 threes (.529) last year against the Huskers.
• Thome average 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while going 9-for-13 (.692) from the field and 17-of-22 (.773) from the free throw line. • Munger added a then-career-high 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-6 from three-point range, in Lincoln. She went scoreless in the Wolverines’ win in Ann Arbor.
• Freshman Hailey Brown joins an experienced Michigan starting five and has contributed 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. The 6-1 forward is coming off the best game of her career with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting including 3-for-3 from three-point range, to go along with eight rebounds in the win over Indiana on Wednesday. Prior to hitting all three of her threes against the Hoosiers, Brown was 2-for-13 from three-point range on the season.
• Fellow freshman Deja Church has been Michigan’s top contributor off the bench with 7.7 points and 2.4 rebounds, while sophomore Kayla Robbins has pitched in 3.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore Akienreh Johnson (2.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg) also has been a regular in Michigan’s eight-player rotation.
Nebraska vs. Michigan Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan 11-3, but the Wolverines posted a pair of double-digit wins last season, including an 84-51 victory over the Big Red at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Jan. 22). Michigan added an 88-60 win over the Huskers in Ann Arbor (Feb. 23).
• Prior to last year’s Michigan win in Lincoln, the Huskers had won five straight games against the Wolverines, inclulding four by double figures. The average margin of victory in those five games was 17.2 points per game.
• Nebraska is 5-2 all-time against Michigan in Lincoln, dating back to a 118-92 win over the Wolverines on Nov. 28, 1980. The 210 combined points mark the highest-scoring game in Husker history. • Nebraska was 6-0 against Michigan as non-conference foes from 1980 through 2006, with all six wins by double digits. NU’s average margin of victory in 11 all-time wins against Michigan is 19.2 points per game. • Michigan’s average margin of victory in its three wins against the Huskers is 24.0 points per game, including a 63-52 victory over Nebraska in Lincoln under Coach Kevin Borseth on Feb. 9, 2012.
• The Huskers are 6-1 all-time against the Wolverines in Michigan with the only loss coming last season.
• In the 14 all-time games with Michigan, only one of the games has been decided by single digits, a 76-68 Nebraska win on Feb. 13, 2014, in Ann Arbor.
• A win for Nebraska over Michigan would be the Huskers’ 13th victory of the season, giving them six more than they totaled last season (7).
• A win would be Nebraska’s first over a top-25 team this season. The Huskers are 0-1 against ranked foes, a 73-61 loss to then-No. 12 Ohio State in their last game at Pinnacle Bank Arena (Dec. 28). Saturday’s game against Michigan will mark the first of three straight games against top-25 foes for the Big Red.
• Kate Cain has moved into a tie for sixth on Nebraska’s season block list with 60, tying Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (60, 2006-07). Three blocks will pull Cain into a tie for fifth on that list with Catherine Redmon (63, 2009-10). Cain has blocked at least five shots in four games this season and owns at least one block in all 17 games this year.
• Kate Cain’s 3.5 blocks per game and 60 total blocks ranked No. 3 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten through games Jan. 10. No Nebraska individual has ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a career, and only two Huskers (Danielle Page, 2.4 bpg, 2007-08; Catheryn Redmon, 2.5 bpg, 2010-11) have ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a single season.
• Nebraska freshman Taylor Kissinger has come off the bench for the Huskers in their first four Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard has averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 18.8 minutes in Big Ten play, after averaging a team-best 14.0 points as a starter through seven games. She missed Nebraska’s final six non-conference contests with a knee injury.
• Junior Maddie Simon (+6.9 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 11.0 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. The last eight games, Simon is averaging 13.4 points with seven double-figure scoring efforts. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.
• Senior Janay Morton had season highs of 10 points and four rebounds at Illinois Wednesday. Morton played her first three seasons at Eastern Michigan.
Young Huskers Ready to Rise, Compete on Defense
• Nebraska is putting one of the least-experienced lineups in the Big Ten on the court this season. Senior Jasmine Cincore leads the Huskers with 51 career starts, while true sophomore Nicea Eliely’s 40 starts rank second and Hannah Whitish’s 34 starts rank third. Those three Huskers have combined for 125 of Nebraska’s 183 combined career starts in Husker uniforms. Junior Maddie Simon and sophomore Rachel Blackburn were the only other current Huskers who had ever started a game for Nebraska prior to this season, and neither one of them made a start last season.
• Freshman Taylor Kissinger and junior Darrien Washington earned their first career starts against SIUE (Nov. 11), while freshman Kate Cain made her first career start against UMKC (Nov. 14). Sophomore Grace Mitchell notched her first career start against Creighton (Nov. 19) in place of an injured Maddie Simon. Senior Emily Wood made the first two starts of her career at the San Juan Shootout (Nov. 23-24).
• The Huskers are confident they can be drastically improved on defense in 2017-18. Last season, Nebraska ranked 14th in the Big Ten by allowing 76.3 points, including 80.4 points per game in league play. Prior to 2015-16, the Huskers had not allowed 65 points per game since 2004-05.
• Through 17 games, Nebraska is allowing 64.8 points per game
. • Last season, Nebraska allowed 82.8 points per game to go 0-13 away from home. This year, Nebraska is allowing just 65.2 points per game while going 7-1 away from Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (34) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 16 games by freshman Kate Cain.
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 17 games this season.
• Whitish has scored in double figures in six straight games and eight of Nebraska’s last nine contests.
• Whitish has posted at least one assist in 19 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 16 games this season, including 13 straight.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 14 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 17 games of her career. She has 15 games with two or more blocks.
• Cain has at least two rebounds in every game this season and four or more rebounds in 11 straight contests.
• Taylor Kissinger has knocked down at least one three-pointer in 10 consecutive games.
• Nicea Eliely has at least two assists in six straight games, including three assists in each of Nebraska’s four Big Ten games.
• Eliely has blocked at least one shot in eight consecutive games. • Maddie Simon has scored in double figures in four straight games and seven of the last eight contests.
• Simon has at least three rebounds in all 13 of her games this season.
• Simon has at least one assist in 12 straight games, including at least two assists in all four Big Ten contests.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 297 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 176 consecutive games.
Boosters Sponsor Second Bus Trip
• The Nebraska women’s basketball booster club is sponsoring its second bus trip of the 2017-18 season, when the Huskers travel to Iowa City to take on Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 28. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the Iowa campus.
• The cost per person is $50 and it includes a ticket to the game.
• A chartered booster bus will leave Lincoln (Walmart at 3400 N. 85th St.) at 8 a.m., and will make a planned stop near Omaha/Gretna (Walmart, I-80 & Hwy 370) at 8:45 a.m. to pick up additional passengers.
• Fans can pay by check to Doug Fry, 2912 Wagon Dr., Lincoln, NE 68507. The deadline to sign-up for the trip is Tuesday, Jan. 16.
• Details and more information about the trip will be available in the main entrance at Pinnacle Bank Arena prior to Nebraska’s home games with Michigan (Jan. 13) and Iowa (Jan. 16).
• The boosters sold out their first bus trip this season and cheered the Huskers to an 89-84 double-overtime win at defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake in Des Moines on Dec. 9.