Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Hope to Rebound Against Spartans

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Cornhuskers
vs. USC Upstate Spartans
Sunday, November 11, 2018, 11 a.m.
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (10:45 a.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln-B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM
Huskers.com & Huskers App, TuneIn App
Ticket Promotion: Fans with a ticket to the Nebraska-Illinois Football Game at Memorial Stadium (Saturday) can receive one general admission to Sunday's women's basketball game.
Huskers Hope to Rebound Against Spartans Sunday
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team will try to even its record by battling the USC Upstate Spartans on Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Tip time for Nebraska’s second game of 2018-19 is set for a rare 11 a.m. (CT) start with a live video stream by BTN Plus and live audio coverage on the Husker Sports Network (B107.3 FM, Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM, Omaha).
• Nebraska opened the regular season with a hard-fought 83-77 loss to two-time defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Freshman Sam Haiby led the Huskers with 13 points in 20 quality minutes off the bench, while junior returning starters Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely each contributed 10.
• Nebraska adds five newcomers to its group of six returning players in 2018-19. Freshmen Leigha Brown, Sam Haiby, Kayla Mershon and Ashtyn Veerbeek were ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation a year ago by ESPN. The Huskers also added graduate transfer point guard Kristian Hudson from Florida International.
• Nebraska’s five newcomers combined for 40 of 77 points and 16 of NU’s 40 rebounds in 88 total minutes against the Bulldogs, who returned 10 letterwinners including all five starters from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018.
• The Huskers return their top five scorers from their 2018 team that finished with a 21-11 overall record and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Big Red finished 11-5 to tie for third in the Big Ten Conference and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
• Nebraska produced the nation’s top turnaround last season by improving 14 games in the win column over its 7-22 campaign in Coach Amy Williams’ first season at Nebraska in 2016-17.
• Williams, who enters her third season leading her alma mater at Nebraska, was the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year and a semifinalist (1 of 10) for Naismith National Coach-of-the-Year honors.
• Junior Hannah Whitish is expected to be a leader on the court for the Huskers in 2018-19. The 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., earned preseason first-team All-Big Ten honors after claiming second-team all-conference accolades as a sophomore. Whitish led the Huskers in scoring (12.6 ppg), assists (4.7 apg), steals (1.3 spg) and three-pointers made (73) last season. The only Husker to start all 32 games last year, she carried a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as Nebraska’s point guard.
• Kate Cain is expected to play a big role for the Huskers in 2018-19. The 6-5 sophomore from Middletown, N.Y., is one of 20 preseason candidates for the Lisa Leslie National Center-of-the-Year Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association of America. Cain led the Big Ten with 3.1 blocks per game last year and ranked among the top 10 players in the nation with a school-record 100 blocks. She averaged 9.9 points and a team-leading 7.0 rebounds per contest on her way to spots on the Big Ten All-Defensive and Big Ten All-Freshman teams. 
• Lincoln native Maddie Simon is the only fourth-year senior in the Husker program this season. The 6-2 forward was one of the Big Ten’s most improved players last season, averaging 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in her first season as a starter.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 4.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - So. - C - 4.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 10.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 13.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 7.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 6.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Third Season at Nebraska (28-34); 12th Season Overall (221-143)
USC Upstate Spartans (0-2, 0-0 Big South)
32 - Natalia Panufnik - 5-10 - Jr. - F - 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
33 - Michaela Gibbons - 5-11 - So. - F - 5.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
21 - Riley Popplewell - 5-11 - Jr. - C - 3.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
1 - Brianna Lewis - 5-3 - Jr. - G - 18.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg
23 - DeNisha Swain - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Off the Bench
34 - Kathryn Kirkwood - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
20 - Bailey Wensler - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 4.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
10 - Rylie Parkhurst - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.0 rpg
5 - Molly McCutcheon - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
11 - Camilla Kilinc - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
15 - Anda Kuzmina - 5-9 - So. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
30 - Barrett Herring - 6-3 - Fr. - C - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Tammy George (UNC Charlotte, 1993)
14th Season at USC Upstate (176-217); 16th Season Overall (219-238)
Scouting The USC Upstate Spartans
• Coach Tammy George brings her 14th USC Upstate Spartan squad to Lincoln after suffering a 96-69 loss at Omaha on Friday. Upstate opened with a 96-45 loss at Virginia Tech Tuesday. USC Upstate is competing in the Big South Conference in 2018-19 after going 6-8 in the Atlantic Sun and 11-19 overall last season.
• Overall, the Spartans return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team.  
• USC Upstate was led in its opener by junior Brianna Lewis, who produced team highs with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists. The 5-3 guard from Chicago by way of Eastern Florida State College added 20 points and five assists while playing the full 40 minutes at UNO.
• Senior guard DeNisha Swain (5-7) contributed 6.5 points and 2.8 boards last year, and erupted for a career-high 22 points to go with four rebounds and four steals in Friday’s loss at Omaha. Swain hit 8-of-11 shots, including all four of her three-point attempts against the Mavs. Swain managed three points, three rebounds and a game-high four steals in the opener against the Hokies.
• USC Upstate does not feature a starter who is 6-feet or taller, and only two players on its 13-player roster reach 6-0. Those two posts were 6-3 freshman center Barrett Herring from Birmingham, Ala., and 6-2 freshman forward Kathryn Kirkwood from Milwaukee, Wis. Kirkwood has been productive early, scoring six points in each game. She has 12 points and four rebounds in just 15 total minutes so far this season off the bench. Herring has not found any points or rebounds yet in seven total minutes through two games.
• Sophomore guard Anda Kuzmina (5-9) is USC Upstate’s top returning scorer after averaging 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds. She started 29 games and averaged 27.0 minutes per contest last season, but played just eight minutes off the bench against the Hokies and did not score. She was also scoreless in 17 minutes off the bench at Omaha on Friday.
• Junior center Riley Popplewell (5-11) averaged 7.4 points and 5.0 rebounds while starting 23 contests last season. She managed two points and five boards at Virginia Tech., before putting together four points and five rebounds at Omaha.
• Sophomore forward Michaela Gibbons (5-11) added six points and three rebounds in the opener before getting five points and three boards at UNO. 
• Natalia Panufnik, 5-10 junior transfer from Wolomin, Poland by way of Casper College, added five points and four boards at Virginia Tech before getting six points as a starter against Omaha.
• Rylie Parkhurst, who is averaging 1.5 points off the bench through two games, started 15 games for USC Upstate last season, while averaging 5.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per contest. 
• Senior Bailey Wensler (5-7) from Stillwater, Okla., added six points in 11 minutes off the bench in the opener and had three more points at UNO. She scored just 12 points all of last season.
• USC Upstate features three international players on its 13-player roster, including Panufnik (Poland), Camilla Kilinc (Helsingborg, Sweden) and Anda Kuzmina (Riga, Latvia). Kilinc and Kuzmina are both 5-9 guards.
Nebraska vs. USC Upstate Series History
• Sunday’s game will be the first meeting between Nebraska and USC Upstate.
• The last meeting between the Huskers and a Big South Conference opponent came on Dec. 20, 2014, when Nebraska cruised to an 83-57 win over High Point at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Nebraska is 2-0 all time against current members of the Big South, including a 72-54 win over Hampton on Nov. 27, 2004 at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
• This weekend’s game with USC Upstate will be the first of two meetings against Big South teams this season, joining a Nov. 25 date with Radford at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic in Coral Gables.
• The Big South includes 11 women’s basketball programs (USC Upstate, Radford, Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Hampton, High Point, Longwood, Presbyterian, UNC Asheville and Winthrop).
Husker Nuggets
• Nebraska has never started a season 0-2 at home. On the two previous occasions the Huskers lost a home season opener, they bounced back in big ways. 
• After NU’s first-ever season-opening home loss to Kansas on Nov. 21, 1980, the Huskers responded with a 118-92 win over Michigan seven days later in the highest scoring game in school history. Following an opening-night loss to South Dakota State on Nov. 19, 2005, the Big Red responded with an 84-50 pounding of Creighton two days later. 
• In both previous seasons in which the Huskers dropped their home opener, they finished with at least 18 victories on the year.
Nebraska Streaks
• Junior guard Hannah Whitish (50) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 32 games by sophomore Kate Cain.
• Whitish was the only Husker to start all 32 games in 2017-18.
• Nebraska featured the same starting lineup for each of the final 24 games of 2017-18. That changed in the 2018-19 opener because of the graduation of guard Jasmine Cincore. 
• Cain has at least two rebounds in every game of her Nebraska career (33).
• Whitish has hit multiple three-pointers in five consecutive games dating to last season.
• Whitish has hit seven straight free throws, dating back to a miss vs. Penn State (Feb. 22).
• Maddie Simon has hit seven straight free throws, dating to a miss against Penn State (Feb. 22).
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 313 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 192 consecutive games.
Big Red Return Young, Hungry Huskers in 2018-19
• Although Nebraska loses three key seniors (Jasmine Cincore, Janay Morton, Emily Wood) from the 2017-18 campaign, the 2018-19 version of the Huskers will feature several experienced weapons.
• In fact, Nebraska will return each of its top five scorers from 2017-18, led by second-team All-Big Ten point guard Hannah Whitish (12.6 ppg). Forward Maddie Simon (10.1 ppg), guard/forward Taylor Kissinger (10.0 ppg), center Kate Cain (9.9 ppg) and guard/forward Nicea Eliely (8.2 ppg) all return for the Huskers in 2018-19.
• Overall, the Huskers are scheduled to return more than 70 percent of their scoring (70.4%) and rebounding (70.2%), and nearly 65 percent (64.7%) of their assists from the 2017-18 roster. Nebraska also returns 147 of its school-record 163 blocks from 2017-18.  The previous schoolrecord was 147.
• In 2018-19, Nebraska returns 160 of its school-record 250 three-pointers (64%) from 2017-18, including 73 from Hannah Whitish and 50 from Taylor Kissinger. It will mark the first time in school history that Nebraska returns two players from the previous season who each hit 50 or more threes.
• Nebraska posted a plus-2.4 rebound margin in 2017-18. The Huskers are scheduled to return five of the six players who averaged 4.0 or more rebounds in 2017-18.
• Nebraska’s 2018-19 freshman class was ranked No. 20 in the nation by the ESPN, giving the Huskers back-to-back top 20 classes.
• Ashtyn Veerbeek, a 6-2 forward out of Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa, was ranked as the No. 55 player in the nation by Blue Star, No. 66 by Prospects Nation and No. 68 by ESPN, which also ranked Veerbeek as the No. 9 forward in the Class of 2018. As a senior, Veerbeek was named one of the 50 greatest girls players in Iowa history by the Des Moines Register. She led the state in rebounding (14.4 rpg) while ranking third in scoring (25.8 ppg) and eighth in blocks (86). She finished with 1,871 points, 1,041 rebounds, 227 blocks and 203 assists.
• Leigha Brown, a 6-1 forward out of DeKalb High School in Indiana, averaged 28.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior in 2017-18 to finish her career with 1,798 points, 810 rebounds, 325 assists, 161 steals and 86 blocks. Brown was ranked as the No. 21 forward nationally by ESPN.
• Sam Haiby was ranked as the No. 122 player in the country by Prospects Nation, No. 125 by Blue Star and as the No. 28 guard nationally by ESPN. The 5-9 guard at Class 4A Moorhead High School scored well over 2,000 points in her high school career while averaging 25.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game for the Spuds despite being limited by injury as a senior.
• A North Tartan club teammate of Haiby’s, Kayla Mershon comes to Lincoln as one of the top players in Minnesota. The 6-3 forward from Chanhassen, Minn., was ranked as the No. 132 overall player in the country by Prospects Nation and the No. 14 wing nationally by ESPN. As a senior at Minnetonka High School, Mershon averaged 12.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
Cain Named to Lisa Leslie Award Watch List
• Nebraska’s Kate Cain claimed one of 20 spots on the preseason watch list for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on Oct. 26.
• The Lisa Leslie Award is in its second season of recognizing the top centers in NCAA Division I women’s college basketball. It is named after the three-time All-American and 1994 National Player of the Year. The award will be announced by ESPN at the 2019 NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa.
• Cain, a 6-5 sophomore from Middletown, N.Y., made an instant impact as a freshman for the Nebraska women’s basketball team in 2017-18. She was one of five players across the conference to capture first-team Big Ten All-Freshman honors, while being the only freshman or sophomore named to the five-player Big Ten All-Defensive Team. 
• Cain shattered the Nebraska single-season blocked shot record with 100 on the season, while leading the Big Ten in blocks per game. She ranked among the top 10 players nationally in blocked shots. Cain also smashed Nebraska’s single-game block record with 11 against Florida Atlantic on Dec. 17, 2017, when she became the first Husker in history to produce a triple-double in points (22), rebounds (14) and blocks (11).
• Cain’s growth on the court helped the Huskers produce one of the nation’s top turnarounds, improving 14 games in the win column to capture a bid to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Cain finished the season by averaging 9.9 points and team bests of 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game.
• Cain is one of five Big Ten Conference centers who make up a combined one quarter of the preseason national watch list for the Lisa Leslie Award. Cain is the youngest Big Ten center on the list, joining Iowa senior Megan Gustafson, Michigan senior Hallie Thome, Illinois senior Alex Wittinger and Purdue junior Ae’Rianna Harris in representing the conference.
• Cain is scheduled to go head-to-head against those Big Ten centers seven times during the 2018-19 conference season, including twice each against Gustafson, Thome and Harris, who will all play the Huskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season. Cain is also set to face another center on the list - Louisville’s Sam Fuehring in the ACC/B1G Challenge in Kentucky on Nov. 29.
• Overall, Cain is one of just four sophomores on the Lisa Leslie Award watch list, joining North Carolina’s Janelle Bailey, Duke’s Jade Williams and IUPUI’s Macee Williams. No freshmen start the season on the award watch list, but centers can play their way onto the list at any point in the season.
• The inaugural winner of the Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award was A’ja Wilson from South Carolina in 2018.
• The selection committee for the Lisa Leslie Award is composed of media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers. In mid-February, the watch list will be narrowed to a list of 10 centers. In March, five finalists for the award will be announced. Fans will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite finalist at www.hoophallawards.com.
• The Lisa Leslie Center of the Year Award is part of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Starting Five awards, which include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award and the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award. The WBCA also presents the annual Wade Trophy, which honors the overall national player of the year. In 1993, Nebraska’s Karen Jennings won the Wade Trophy.
Whitish Earns Preseason All-Big Ten Honors
• Nebraska’s Hannah Whitish was named to the 12-player All-Big Ten Team by the conference coaches when the annual preseason honors were announced on Oct. 22.
• The announcement of the preseason teams marked the tip-off of Big Ten Women’s Basketball Media Week (@B1GWBBall) on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 
• Whitish, a 5-9 junior guard from Barneveld, Wis., led Nebraska in scoring (12.6 ppg) and assists (4.7 apg) as a sophomore in 2017-18. She owned a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio as Nebraska’s point guard while also ranking among the Big Ten’s best three-point shooters. Whitish played a major role in lifting Nebraska to the nation’s top turnaround in the win column last season, as the Huskers recorded 14 more victories (21) in 2017-18 than in 2016-17 (7). She captured second-team All-Big Ten accolades at the end of last season while helping Nebraska to the NCAA Tournament.
• Whitish was the lone Husker honored by the league in preseason voting of the conference coaches.
• The Big Ten Conference does not rank its team’s No. 1 through No. 14 in preseason voting, instead the coaches and select media members each choose their projected top-three teams in the league. Maryland is the preseason pick of the coaches and the media to win the Big Ten, while Iowa was picked No. 2 by both the coaches and media. The league coaches chose Michigan in the No. 3 spot, while the conference media selected Minnesota. Iowa senior center Megan Gustafson, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, was chosen by the coaches to repeat that honor. Gustafson, Maryland’s Kaila Charles, Michigan’s Hallie Thome and Minnesota’s Kenisha Bell were all unanimous preseason all-conference selections by the coaches.
Big Picture Look at the Big Red
• Nebraska Coach Amy Williams completed her second season rebuilding the Husker program, and a year after the Big Red experienced the worst overall record in school history (7-22), Nebraska jumped ahead of schedule by making the 14th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.
• The Huskers, who returned just 52.6 percent of their offense from 2016-17, are expected to return their top five scorers for 2018-19 - junior guard Hannah Whitish (12.6 ppg), senior forward Maddie Simon (10.1 ppg), sophomore guard/forward Taylor Kissinger (10.0 ppg), sophomore center Kate Cain (9.9 ppg) and junior guard Nicea Eliely (8.2 ppg).
• Nebraska went 20-8 with Maddie Simon on the court in 2017-18. Simon missed four games (Creighton, Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Clemson) with a significant ankle sprain suffered in warm-ups before the game with Creighton (Nov. 19). Simon missed the rest of NU’s games in November and the Huskers went 1-3.
• Taylor Kissinger missed Nebraska’s final six non-conference games with a knee injury suffered late in the game with Clemson (Nov. 30). Kissinger averaged a team-best 14.0 points through the first seven contests in 2017-18. She also suffered an upper body injury (SC Joint sprain) in the first quarter of Nebraska’s regular-season finale at Maryland (Feb. 25). She played just four minutes before the injury in the two-point loss at Maryland, and missed Nebraska’s Big Ten Tournament win over Michigan (March 2) and played just two minutes in the Big Ten Tournament loss to Maryland (March 3). She returned to score 15 points in 21 minutes against Arizona State (March 17) in the NCAA Tournament.
• Nicea Eliely missed Nebraska’s first three games in 2017-18 with a foot/ankle injury that kept her off the court for the last two weeks of October and the first two weeks of November.
Simon Shoots for Strong Senior Season
• With depth and experience creating a positive for the Nebraska backcourt, Maddie Simon changed her focus to the power forward position in 2017-18.
• The 6-2 Lincoln Pius X High School grad was a significant contributor in the NU backcourt her first two years, including a starting role late in the regular season of 2015-16.
• Through two seasons, she averaged 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game. She made five starts for the Huskers as a freshman, before coming off the bench in all 29 games in 2016-17.
• With the loss of Nebraska’s starting frontcourt, and inexperience and injuries challenging the inside game, Simon ran into a more prominent role at power forward in 2017-18.
• In 28 games with 27 starts at power forward, Simon was one of the most improved players in the Big Ten by averaging 10.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in 2017-18. The Huskers went 20-8 with Simon on the court with their only losses to No. 11/13/17 Maryland (3), No. 12 Ohio State, No. 23 Michigan, Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament, at WNIT Champion Indiana, and Washington State.
• Statistically, Simon was one of the Big Ten’s most improved players, increasing her scoring (+6.0 ppg) and rebounding averages (+3.0 rpg) from 2016-17. She more than doubled her points (282-118), rebounds (147-67) and assists (55-24) and nearly doubled her steals (23-12) from 2016-17.
• Simon produced double figures 14 times in 2017-18. She entered the season with five career double-figure scoring efforts in 50 games.
• She had the best game of her career with 18 points, eight rebounds, a career-high five assists and a career-high-tying three steals in a win at Minnesota (Dec. 31). Simon scored 16 of her team-high 18 points in the second half, including the go-ahead shot in the lane with 29.8 seconds left, before grabbing a defensive rebound, getting fouled and making two free throws with 12.9 seconds left to help seal a 79-74 win in which Nebraska trailed by eight points late in the third quarter on the road. 
• Simon erupted for a team-high 19 points including a season-best 3-for-4 three-point shooting in a win over No. 20 Iowa (Jan. 16). She added 19 more points and a team-best eight rebounds to complete a season sweep of the Hawkeyes at Iowa (Jan. 28).
• Simon scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting at San Jose State (Dec. 17). Her 20 points at San Jose State came in just 24 minutes.
• Her effort at San Jose State followed a then-career-high 17 points to go along with six boards, four assists and two steals in a win at Drake (Dec. 9). She added 13 points against Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19).
• The Big Red opened the season 3-0 with Simon in the starting lineup. She averaged 6.7 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds through three games. She had 11 points and eight rebounds in a win over UMKC (Nov. 14), before managing five points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a win over Arkansas (Nov. 16).
  • She suffered an ankle sprain in pregame warmups prior to Nebraska’s game with Creighton (Nov. 19) and did not play against the Bluejays. Simon missed four straight games with the injury.
• The 2015 Nebraska High School Player of the Year, Simon was a two-time first-team Super-State selection while leading Lincoln Pius X to the 2015 Class B state championship. She was the No. 149 player in the nation according to Blue Star and the No. 22 guard by ESPN in 2015. A tremendous all-around athlete, Simon won the Class A 100- and 300-meter hurdles championships at the 2015 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships. 
• Simon earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the second time in 2018.
• Her mother, Nicole Ali Simon, was a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a member of Coach Gary Pepin’s national champion Huskers in 1983 and 1984.
Big Red Locked Down on Defense in 2017-18
  • Nebraska showed drastic improvement on defense in 2017-18. In 2016-17, 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.
• In 2017-18, Nebraska allowed 63.6 points per game.
• Over the last 14 games, the Huskers allowed just 61.7 points per game, despite playing 11 games against postseason teams, including seven against NCAA Tournament teams.
• Nebraska led the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (.371) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.299). NU’s Big Ten field goal percentage defense was a school record, while the Huskers held opponents to under 30 percent three-point shooting for the fourth time in history.
• In 2016-17, Nebraska allowed 82.8 points per game to go 0-13 away from home. In 2017-18, the Huskers allowed 66.3 points per game while going 11-5 away from Pinnacle Bank Arena. Ten of NU’s 16 road games came against postseason qualifiers, including eight against NCAA Tournament teams.
• Compared to 2016-17, Nebraska was 6.0 points per game better offensively (68.8-62.8 ppg) and 12.7 points per game better defensively (63.6-76.3 ppg).
• Nebraska allowed just 42 points at No. 25 Rutgers, the lowest total by an opponent in Coach Amy Williams’ two seasons at NU and the fewest points surrendered by the Huskers since holding Creighton to 38 on Dec. 14, 2013. It was also the fewest points allowed by the Huskers in a road game since holding Michigan to 39 points on Feb. 21, 2013, in Ann Arbor.
• Nebraska held 11 foes to 55 points or less, including 42 at No. 25 Rutgers, 47 to Illinois (Feb. 1) and Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), 48 to Wisconsin (Feb. 11), 49 at Kansas (Dec. 6), 51 to Purdue (Jan. 24) and Penn State (Feb. 22), 52 to Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 2), 53 to SIUE (Nov. 11), 54 to No. 24 Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament and 55 at San Jose State (Dec. 17).
• In 2016-17, the Huskers held just two foes to 55 or less.
• The Huskers held two opponents (Illinois, 2nd, 0-12, Feb. 1; at Kansas, 4th, 0-14, Dec. 6) without a field goal in a quarter in 2017-18. They are the only two times Nebraska has held an opponent without a field goal since the advent of the quarter system. 
• Nebraska held Illinois (Feb. 1) to just 10 points in the first half - the lowest total by an opponent in a first half in school history. Illinois managed just one point in the second quarter.
• Nebraska held Kansas (Dec. 6) to just 13 points in the second half, the fewest points ever scored in a half by a Husker road opponent on their homecourt.
• The Huskers limited a potent Michigan offense to just 14 second-half points (4 field goals), including five points in the third quarter, to take the No. 23 Wolverines to overtime (Jan. 13).
• Since accomplishing it the first time in the first quarter (8 points) against Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), Nebraska held opponents to single digits in a quarter a total of 13 times, including seven times in Big Ten Conference games. The Huskers held Michigan (3rd, 4th), Rutgers (1st, 4th) and Illinois (1st, 2nd) to single digits twice in the same game.
• The Huskers held each of the Big Ten’s top five scoring offenses to double digits less (in regulation) than their regular-season averages, including Ohio State (85.0 ppg - 73, Lincoln, Dec. 28), Minnesota (84.9 ppg - 74, Minneapolis, Dec. 31), Maryland (79.6 ppg - 64, Lincoln, Feb. 4; 66, Indianapolis, March 3), Iowa (78.7 ppg, 65, Lincoln, Jan. 13) and Michigan (74.9 ppg - 62, Lincoln, Jan. 13; 54, Indianapolis, March 2). 
• In a season sweep of Iowa, the Huskers held the high-scoring Hawkeyes to just 1-for-19 from three-point range combined. In the first meeting, Iowa went 0-for-7 with multiple air balls and had two attempts blocked by Huskers. 
Nebraska’s History of Home Success
• Nebraska had its streak of 12 consecutive season-opening wins snapped with an 83-77 loss to two-time defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake on Nov. 7. However, the Huskers still have an outstanding history of success at home. 
• The Huskers were 10-6 at home in 2017-18, winning five of their final six home games.
• The Huskers went 15-4 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2015-16 after going 12-3 (13-3 at home) in 2014-15. The Huskers are 60-25 (.706) all-time at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the building opened for the 2013-14 campaign. The Big Red went 16-2 at home in 2013-14, suffering their only Big Ten loss to Purdue, 77-75, on Jan. 19, 2014. NU’s 16 home wins in 2013-14 tied the school record for single-season home victories.
• The Huskers played the first regular-season game in the history of the arena against USA Today No. 25 UCLA (Nov. 8, 2013) and rolled to a 77-49 win over the Bruins. NU’s first win over an AP Top 25 team came with a 76-56 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Feb. 8, 2014. The Huskers added their first-ever win over an AP Top 10 team at the arena with a 94-74 victory over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24, 2014.
• NU won its first-ever Big Ten home game at Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 66-65 thriller over Northwestern Jan. 2, 2014, before an 88-85 win over Minnesota on Jan. 16, 2014, marked the first overtime game. 
• NU suffered its first loss at the arena to Washington State (76-72) on Nov. 30, 2013.  
• The Huskers are 449-155 (.743) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 185-59 (.758) over the last 16 seasons (including 2018-19), posting double-figure home victory totals 14 times.
• Nebraska played in the Devaney Center from 1976-77 through 2012-13, and added one appearance at Devaney against Utah on Nov. 23, 2014. The Huskers own a 389-130 record at the Devaney Center, including 146-88 (.624) mark in conference play.
Nebraska Ranks Near Top in Attendance
• Nebraska ranked No. 20 nationally with an average home attendance of 4,380 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2017-18. It marked the eighth consecutive year that the Huskers have ranked in the top 25 nationally in average home attendance.
• Nebraska has ranked among the top 20 nationally in average home attendance in each of its first five seasons inside Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• In 85 all-time home games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers own a 60-25 record (.706 winning percentage) while averaging 5,332 fans per game (453,182 total fans/85 games).
• Nebraska attracted a Pinnacle Bank Arena non-conference record crowd of 9,750 to open its stay in the arena with a win over UCLA on Nov. 8, 2013. 
• Nebraska set its all-time single-game record with a sellout crowd of 13,595 fans against Missouri at the Devaney Center on Feb. 27, 2010. NU drew 10 straight crowds of more than 10,000 fans at the Devaney Center in 2009-10.
• Nebraska produced its top attendance season in school history by ranking No. 7 nationally with a record 7,390 fans per game at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2009-10. The Huskers went 16-0 at the Devaney Center on their way to a perfect 29-0 record, a Big 12 title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Husker Sports Network Covers World
• The Husker Sports Network enters its 25th season producing and marketing the live broadcasts of Nebraska women’s basketball in 2018-19. Women’s basketball play-by-play announcer Matt Coatney and color commentator Jeff Griesch will team up for their 18th season together as the Husker broadcast team.
• The Husker Sports Network and Nebraska women’s basketball have teamed up for well over a decade to take every game, home and away, around the world for free on Huskers.com.
• In addition to carrying every women’s basketball game free on Huskers.com, the Husker Sports Network flagship stations B107.3 FM-KBBK (Lincoln) and ESPN 590 AM-KXSP (Omaha) provide strong signals for Husker women’s basketball. When a network conflict occurs in Omaha, the Huskers also could be heard on CD105.9 FM-KKCD. 880-AM-KRVN (Lexington) also provides a huge AM signal statewide in central Nebraska, while more than 20 stations carry the Husker Sports Network’s women’s basketball coverage across the state and the Midwest.
• Inside Pinnacle Bank Arena, fans can access the direct radio call of the game at 87.7 FM.

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