Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Return Home to Battle Boilermakers

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-6, 5-2) vs. Purdue Boilermakers (13-7, 4-2)
Wednesday, Jan. 24, 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 - CD 105.9 FM
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers App
Live Stats

Huskers Return Home to Battle Boilermakers
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team is back home at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday to take on Big Ten rival Purdue. Tip-off between the Big Red (14-6, 5-2 Big Ten) and the Boilermakers (13-7, 4-2 Big Ten) is set for 7 p.m. (CT).

• 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 CD 105.9 FM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App. 

• A live video stream will be provided to BTN Plus subscribers.

• Nebraska, which is a perfect 7-0 in true road games this season including 4-0 in the Big Ten, is coming off a 52-42 win at No. 25 Rutgers on Sunday. The win gave the Huskers back-to-back road wins since beating Michigan State (No. 19, semifinals) and Iowa (No. 23, championship game) in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

• Purdue also posted back-to-back wins over ranked Rutgers (No. 21, Jan. 10) and at Iowa (No. 18, Jan. 13) teams two weeks ago, including a 47-33 win over the Scarlet Knights in West Lafayette, Ind., and a 76-70 win over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.

• Purdue (No. 47) will be Nebraska’s fourth straight top-50 RPI opponent and sixth in the Huskers’ first eight Big Ten games. Both Nebraska and Purdue received votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.

• Nebraska is one of only three teams nationally (through games Jan. 21) that owns a plus-seven or better improvement in the win column over 2016-17. The team that has shown the most improvement is Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are plus-11 in the win column at 17-5 (6-24, 2016-17).

• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 7.1 points per game better offensively (69.9-62.8 ppg) and 12.4 points per game better defensively (63.9-76.3 ppg).

• Sophomore Hannah Whitish is playing at an All-Big Ten level for the Big Red. The 5-9 guard is averaging 15.0 points and 4.9 assists in Big Ten play while shooting 53.7 percent (22-41) from three-point range.

• Junior Maddie Simon and freshman Kate Cain have given the Huskers balance inside. Simon is averaging 11.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in Big Ten play, while Cain has contributed 10.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. Cain, who ranks No. 3 nationally with a Nebraska freshman record 71 blocks, is just seven blocks away from the school season block record (78).

Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-6, 5-2 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Off the Bench
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 10.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg
15 - Bria Stallworth - 5-6 - So. - G - 3.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg
13 - Janay Morton - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - So. - F - 2.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg
43 - Rachel Blackburn - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (21-28)
11th Season Overall (214-137)

Purdue Boilermakers (13-7, 4-2 Big Ten)
32 - Ae’Rianna Harris - 6-1 - So. - F - 12.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg
1 - Karissa McLaughlin - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 8.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
10 - Andreona Keys - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 13.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg
11 - Dominique Oden - 5-8 - So. - G - 11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
40 - Lamina Cooper - 5-9 - So. - G - 9.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Off the Bench
25 - Tamara Farquhar - 6-0 - Fr. - F - 4.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
12 - Nora Kiesler - 6-6 - Jr. - C - 2.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
5 - Miracle Gray - 5-6 - So. - G - 1.4 ppg, 0.9 rpg
Head Coach: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989)
12th Season at Purdue (250-140)
18th Season Overall (367-205)

Scouting The Purdue Boilermakers
• Purdue comes to Lincoln riding a three-game winning streak after a 63-60 win over Northwestern in West Lafayette, Ind., on Thursday, Jan. 18. The Boilermakers have enjoyed five days off since the win over the Wildcats, which followed back-to-back wins at then-No. 18 Iowa (76-70, Jan. 13) and then-No. 21 Rutgers (47-33, Jan. 10) at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette.

• The always tough and hard-nosed Boilermakers are holding opponents to just 59.9 points per game, including an impressive 54.7 points per Big Ten contest.

• Purdue has featured a plus-1.2 turnover margin but a minus-2.3 rebounding margin in conference play, while scoring just 57.8 points per league game.

• The extra rest came at a good time for a thin Purdue roster that has withstood the departure of Tiara Murphy from the program, a season-ending injury to Fatou Diagne and a significant injury to Dani Lawson that has allowed her to play just five games this year.

• The Boilermakers won their last two games without starter Lamina Cooper, who missed both contests with illness. Cooper started Purdue’s first 18 games before being sidelined for the past two contests by illness. She averaged 9.9 points and 4.0 rebounds while leading the Boilermakers with 43 steals.

• Purdue has had only five players compete in all 20 games this season, and they’ve had just seven players compete in all six Big Ten games.

• The Boilermakers have received quality production from senior guard Andreona Keys, who is averaging a team-best 13.6 points to go along with 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists on the year. She is averaging 14.7 points in Big Ten play. Keys erupted for a career-high 34 points in the win at Iowa.

• Sophomore guard Dominique Oden has added 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in Big Ten action, while contributing 11.1 points per game on the year. Oden has hit a team-high 38 threes (.413) on the season.

• Fellow sophomore Ae’Rianna Harris, a 6-1 forward, ranks second on the team in scoring with 12.4 points while leading the team in rebounding (8.6 rpg) and blocked shots (64) on the year.

• Freshman guard Karissa McLaughlin has contributed 8.7 points and a team-best 3.3 assists while knocking down 36 threes (.346).

• Freshman Tamara Farquhar stepped in for Cooper to average 4.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in a pair of wins, including eight points and six rebounds against Northwestern. For the season, Farquhar is averaging 4.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

• Nora Kiesler (3.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg) and Miracle Gray (0.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg) are the only other Boilermakers who have seen regular playing time in Big Ten action.

• Purdue has struggled offensively in the Big Ten, shooting just 38.9 percent from the field, including 32.2 percent from three-point range. However, two of Purdue’s first six games came against Rutgers.

• Against Iowa, Purdue hit 50.9 percent (29-57) of its shots from the field, including 52.9 percent (9-17) of its threes. The Boilermakers hit 9-of-10 free throws against Iowa and are shooting a stellar 81.1 percent at the line in conference play.

Nebraska vs. Purdue Series History
• Purdue leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 7-3. The series dates to the start of Nebraska joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12.

• The series has featured some of the most thrilling games in school history, beginning with Nebraska’s 93-89 triple-overtime win at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind., on Feb. 2, 2012.

• Later the same season, the two teams met in the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, with Purdue escaping with a 74-70 double-overtime victory.

• The following season, Purdue won for the first time in Lincoln, stealing a 69-66 overtime thriller on Jan. 5, 2013. In 2014, the two teams met again at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and the Boilermakers escaped again with a 77-75 win in regulation.

• Nebraska defeated Purdue in Lincoln for the first time on Feb. 19, 2015, with a 69-59 win. The Big Red added a 62-61 win in West Lafayette on Jan. 20, 2016

• The Boilermakers have won the last two games against the Huskers by wide margins, including an 88-45 win at Mackey Arena on Jan. 26, 2017.

Husker Nuggets
• A win for Nebraska against Purdue would be the Huskers’ 15th victory of the season, more than doubling their win total from 2016-17 (7).

• A win would be Nebraska’s third straight win overall and their third straight over a top-50 RPI team after defeating then-RPI 25 Iowa (74-65) in Lincoln on Jan. 16 and then-RPI 11 Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., on Sunday.

• Kate Cain has climbed to third on Nebraska’s season block list with 71. Cain needs six blocks to match Catheryn Redmon (77, 2010-11) in second on that list. The Nebraska school record is 78 by Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (78, 2007-08). Cain has at least one blocked shot in all 20 games this season.

• Cain’s 71 blocks rank No. 3 in the nation while her 3.6 blocks per game rank fifth in the country through games Jan. 21. 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.

• Wednesday’s game with Purdue features the Big Ten’s top two shot blockers in Nebraska’s Kate Cain (71) and Purdue’s Ae’Rianna Harris, who ranks second in the Big Ten and sixth nationally with 64 blocks this season.

• Nebraska freshman Taylor Kissinger has come off the bench for the Huskers in their first seven Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard from Minden, Neb., is tied for second on the team with 10.9 points per game on the year. Kissinger averaged a team-best 14.0 points per game over the first seven games this season as a starter before missing Nebraska’s final six non-conference contests with a knee injury.

• Junior Maddie Simon (+6.5 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 10.6 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. Simon has scored in double figures in eight of the last 11 games. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.

Nebraska Streaks 
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (37) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 19 games by freshman Kate Cain. 

• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 20 games this season.

• Whitish has posted at least one assist in 22 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 19 games this season, including 16 straight.

• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 17 consecutive games.

• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 20 games of her career. She has 18 games with two or more blocks.

• Cain has at least two rebounds every game this season.

• Maddie Simon has at least three rebounds in all 16 of her games this season.

• Simon has at least one assist in 15 straight games.

• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 300 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.

• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 179 consecutive games.

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