Huskers Support Play4Kay, Honor Alumni Sunday
vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Sunday, February 10, 2019, 2 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) - Lincoln, Nebraska
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (1:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln-B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM
Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team will shoot for a season sweep of Purdue while supporting cancer awareness with Play4Kay Day and recognizing former Huskers on Alumni Weekend Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Tip off between Nebraska (10-13, 5-7 Big Ten) and Purdue (16-9, 7-5 Big Ten) is set for 2 p.m. (CT). Live radio coverage (beginning at 1:45 p.m.) can be heard in Lincoln on B107.3 FM, in Omaha on ESPN 590 AM, in Lexington on KRVN 880 AM, and across the state on the Husker Sports Network. Free live audio can be found at Huskers.com, the Huskers App and on TuneIn.
• Live video coverage will be provided to subscribers of BTN Plus.
• Fans are encouraged to wear pink to Sunday’s game with the Boilermakers, and the Huskers will be sporting pink accessories to their white uniforms.
• Nearly 40 former Husker players will be recognized on the court at halftime of Sunday’s game. The alumni will take part in Alumni Weekend festivities on Saturday and Sunday, with participants spanning all decades of Nebraska women’s basketball.
• The Huskers ran to an 84-64 win at Purdue on Jan. 31, with junior Hannah Whitish putting together her best performance of the season. The 5-9 point guard from Barneveld, Wis., erupted for a season-high 28 points while adding a career-high 12 assists for her first career double-double against the Boilermakers. Whitish has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 15 points and 5.3 assists over her last seven contests.
• Although Nebraska is 10-13 overall and 5-7 in the Big Ten, the Huskers have fought hard down to the wire, with a school-record-tying 11 games decided by two possessions or less. Unfortunately, the Huskers are just 2-9 in games decided by six or fewer points, including 1-6 in Big Ten play. Purdue is 4-1 in Big Ten games decided by two possessions. Purdue has not been in a two-possession game since a 57-54 win over rival Indiana on Jan. 20. In that same six-game span, Nebraska has been in five two-possession games.
• Freshmen continue to play major roles for the Huskers. Sam Haiby was the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week (Feb. 5) after averaging 15.0 points and 2.0 assists while hitting 10-of-15 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 three-pointers, and 7-of-8 free throws last week. Haiby hit three shots to beat the buzzer last week, including a half-court runner to end the third period at Purdue. She scored 13 points against the Boilermakers. Ashtyn Veerbeek (7.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) pitched in 14 points and nine rebounds, while Indiana native Leigha Brown (9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg) added seven points and three boards.
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 2.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - So. - C - 7.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 10.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 7.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - So. - G - 9.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 9.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 7.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 7.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg
11(out) - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Third Season at Nebraska (38-46); 12th Season Overall (231-155)
25 - Tamara Farquhar - 6-0 - So. - F - 6.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg
32 - Ae’Rianna Harris - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 13.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg
1 - Karissa McLaughlin - 5-7 - So. - G - 15.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 - Dominique Oden - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg
3 - Lyndsey Whilby - 5-11 - So. - G - 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Off the Bench
23 - Kayana Traylor - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
5 - Cassidy Hardin - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 3.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg
45 - Fatou Diagne - 6-4 - RJr. - C - 2.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
30 - Nyagoa Gony - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Head Coach: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989)
13th Season at Purdue (273-156); 19th Season Overall (390-221)
• Purdue Coach Sharon Versyp brings the Boilermakers into Sunday’s game with Nebraska hoping to lead her team to a series split while staying in the hunt for a top-four seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
• The Boilermakers own a 16-9 overall record including a 7-5 Big Ten mark after running to a 72-50 win over Illinois in West Lafayette, Ind., on Thursday night. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Purdue.
• In conference play, Purdue is 5-1 at Mackey Arena with its lone loss coming in an 84-64 setback to Nebraska on Jan. 31. The Boilermakers are just 2-4 on the road in the league.
• Purdue carries a solid mix of experience and youth with three-year starters in juniors Ae’Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden. None of the 10 players who have seen meaningful action in Big Ten play are seniors, as four freshmen and three sophomores join Harris, Oden and redshirt junior Fatou Diagne as contributors to Purdue’s on-court success in league play.
• Purdue is allowing 62.5 points in Big Ten play, while scoring 63.5 points in the league. The Boilermakers are holding Big Ten foes to 41.1 percent shooting, including 35.7 percent from three-point range. Purdue is plus-1.5 on the boards, but minus-1.8 in turnovers through 12 league games.
• Purdue is shooting a solid 41.9 percent from the field, including 33.2 percent from three-point range. Purdue has outscored opponents by 47 points (3.9 ppg) at the free throw line in conference play, while attempting 57 more free throws. Purdue is shooting 74.6 percent at the line in the league.
• The Boilermakers rely heavily on their starters in what has been a fairly regular eight-player rotation in league play.
• Sophomore guard Karissa McLaughlin leads Purdue in scoring on the season (15.7 ppg) and in the Big Ten (15.9 ppg), while adding a team-best 4.1 assists on the year. McLaughlin, who leads the Boilers with 64 threes on the year, is playing 38.9 minutes per game in Big Ten play. She has hit 37.6 percent of her threes on the year and 92 percent (69-75) of her free throws. McLaughlin had 15 points and five assists in the first meeting with Nebraska.
• Dominique Oden, a 5-8 junior guard, has added 15.5 ppg on the year, including 15.8 in Big Ten play. She led Purdue with 18 points while adding six rebounds in the first meeting with Nebraska. Oden, who leads Purdue with 40 steals, has hit 34.5 percent (40-116) of her threes and 81.5 percent (75-92) of her free throws, including 17-of-18 dating back to the game with Nebraska. Oden is playing 37.3 minutes per Big Ten game.
• Ae’Rianna Harris, an athletic 6-1 forward, is averaging 13.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game on the season. Harris, who is tied for second among the Boilermakers with 26 steals, is averaging 35.9 minutes per Big Ten game. She had 15 points and eight rebounds in the first meeting with the Huskers.
• Tamara Farquhar, a 6-0 sophomore forward from Quebec, has joined McLaughlin, Oden and Harris in Purdue’s starting lineup for all 12 conference games. Farquhar is averaging 7.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per Big Ten game. For the season, Farquhar has averaged 6.9 points and 7.5 boards. She had four points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals against Nebraska.
• Kayana Traylor has been Purdue’s most consistent fifth starter in Big Ten play, but has missed most of the action since suffering an ankle sprain in the first quarter of the loss to Nebraska. The 5-9 freshman was averaging 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 28.3 minutes per game entering the first meeting with Nebraska. She played just seven minutes before suffering an injury against NU, then did not play at all in the loss at Michigan State (Feb. 3). She returned to play seven minutes off the bench in a win at Illinois Thursday. She hit her only shot against Illinois and dished out an assist.
• Sophomore Lyndsey Whilby stepped up in place of Traylor against Nebraska, scoring nine points and hitting a pair of threes in 17 minutes. Whilby added 10 points and two assists at Michigan State, before earning her first Big Ten start against Illinois Thursday.
• Freshman Cassidy Hardin has been a regular for Purdue off the bench with 2.1 points in 14.9 minutes per Big Ten game. The 5-10 guard has hit 23 threes on the season, including 7-for-28 (.250) in conference action. She had one point in 23 minutes in the loss to Nebraska.
• Redshirt junior Fatou Diagne has made two Big Ten starts, including the loss at Michigan State (Feb. 3) as one of just five Boilermakers to play in all 12 Big Ten games. Diagne is averaging 2.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 9.8 minutes in league play. She had four points in five minutes against Nebraska.
• Lincoln High graduate Nyagoa Gony, a 6-2 freshman forward, has played in nine Big Ten games and 22 overall on the season. Gony has not scored in league play, while managing 1.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.6 minutes per game on the season. She played five minutes against Nebraska.
• Purdue leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 7-5, but the Huskers own back-to-back 20-plus point wins, including an 84-64 win at Purdue (Jan. 31) and a 75-51 win over the Boilermakers at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln (Jan. 24, 2018).
• The last four games in the series have featured double-digit decisions, including an 88-45 Boilermaker win at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette (Jan. 26, 2017).
• Nebraska, which is 3-2 all-time in West Lafayette, escaped with a 62-61 win over the Boilermakers on Jan. 20, 2016. Purdue leads 3-2 in Lincoln and 2-0 in the Big Ten Tournament.
• Although six of the last seven games have been decided by double digits, the first three games in the series were all two-possession thrillers that went a combined six overtimes. In the first-ever meeting between the two schools in Nebraska’s inaugural season in the Big Ten, the Huskers defeated Purdue 93-89 in triple-overtime on Feb. 2, 2012.
• That same season, Nebraska and Purdue battled for the Big Ten Tournament title with the Boilermakers outlasting the Huskers, 74-70 (2OT) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
• In the first meeting between the two teams in Lincoln, Purdue notched a 69-66 overtime win over Nebraska on Jan. 5, 2013.
• The Husker bench outscored opponent benches in each of NU’s first 22 games this year, before being outscored 37-20 in a 67-61 loss at Michigan on Thursday. The Husker bench has produced double-digit advantages 17 times, including a 40-14 edge at Purdue (Jan. 31).
• In the second half at Purdue (Jan. 31), Nebraska’s bench outscored the Boilermaker bench, 27-5, before outscoring the Indiana bench, 26-6 in the second half (Feb. 3).
• Overall, Nebraska’s bench has outscored opposition benches 725-372 (31.5-16.2 ppg) for a plus-15.3 margin.
• Nebraska’s bench outscored the opposition 149-53 over the final four non-conference games, including a season-high 45 points at Arkansas. NU’s bench posted a season-best scoring differential (+37) in its last non-conference home game by outscoring Denver’s bench, 40-3.
• Nebraska’s bench has scored 40 or more points six times, including 45 at Arkansas, 42 points against San Jose State, 41 points against Drake, 40 against Denver, 40 at Illinois (1/17) and most recently 40 at Purdue (1/31).
• In Nebraska’s Big Ten-opening win over Michigan (Dec. 28), the Husker bench outscored the Wolverine bench 28-10, including 14-0 in the fourth quarter.
• In Big Ten play, NU’s bench has outscored opponent benches 368-212 (30.7-17.7, +13.0 ppg), including a 40-14 edge (+26) in a win at Purdue (Jan. 31) and a 34-9 margin (+25) in a win over No. 23 Minnesota (Jan. 20).
• Nebraska’s bench has scored at least 15 points in each of its 12 Big Ten games, including 40 at Illinois (Jan. 17) and Purdue (Jan. 31), 36 against Indiana (Feb. 3) and 35 at Ohio State (Dec. 31).
• Against ranked Big Ten teams (Minnesota, 34-9, +25; Iowa, 28-11, +17; Rutgers 34-17, +17; Maryland 28-14, +14), Nebraska’s bench has outscored opponent benches 124-51.
• Sophomore Kate Cain owns the longest streak of consecutive starts by a Husker with 54.
• Junior Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska’s second-longest streak of starts with 49.
• Junior Hannah Whitish has scored in double figures seven straight games for Nebraska - the longest streak of the season for any Husker.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 335 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 214 consecutive games.
• (2) Taylor Kissinger is two three-pointers away from 100 in her career.
• (2) Hannah Whitish is two threes away from moving up to No. 3 on Nebraska’s all-time three-point list (183, Yvonne Turner, 2007-10).
• (3) Whitish is three assists away from 100 on the season.
• (3) Kate Cain is just three blocks away from 60 on the season, which would make her just the third Husker in history with a pair of 60-block seasons, joining Danielle Page (2007, 2008) and Catheryn Redmon (2009, 2010, 2011).
• (4) Nicea Eliely is four rebounds away from 100 on the season.
• (10) Whitish is 10 assists away from No. 9 on Nebraska’s career assist list (342, Ami Beiriger, 1979-83).
• (50) Nicea Eliely is expected to make her 50th consecutive start for the Huskers on Sunday.
• Nebraska has received production early and often from its 2018-19 freshman class. The four-player class, which was ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation by ESPN last season, features Sam Haiby (9.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 apg), Leigha Brown (9.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 apg), Ashtyn Veerbeek (7.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg) and Kayla Mershon (2.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg).
• Haiby, a 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., ranks second among the Huskers with 9.9 points per game off the bench. Haiby, who was the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week (Feb. 4), has led Nebraska in scoring in seven games, including 17 points against Indiana (Feb. 3). She also had 13 points in a road win at Purdue (Jan. 13). Haiby added 16 in a win over No. 23 Minnesota (Jan. 20). She scored a season-high 20 points at Washington State (Nov. 16), while also leading the Huskers with 16 at Arkansas (Dec. 18). She put up a 17-point effort at Creighton (Dec. 2), 14 at Miami (Nov. 23) and 13 against Drake (Nov. 7).
• Haiby owns 10 double-figure scoring efforts overall, including 12 points at No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 29) and 12 more in a Big Ten-opening win over Michigan (Dec. 28).
• Haiby also ranks second among the Huskers in assists (2.7 apg).
• Leigha Brown, who earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week honors (Jan. 7), ranks third among all Huskers with 9.3 points per game, including 9.9 points per Big Ten game. She erupted for a career-high 20 points at No. 19 Iowa (Jan. 3). It was her second straight game leading the Huskers, after scoring a then-career-high 19 points at Ohio State (Dec. 31). She added 18 points and a career-high six rebounds in a narrow loss to nationally ranked Rutgers (Jan. 13). She also had 18 points in the win over San Jose State (Dec. 8), before adding 17 points and a career-high five assists in the win over Denver (Dec. 15).
• Brown, a 6-1 wing from Auburn, Indiana owns eight double-figure scoring efforts and has led the Big Red in scoring five times this season, including three Big Ten games.
• Ashtyn Veerbeek ranks third among the Husker freshmen in scoring with 7.7 points per game, while leading the freshmen and ranking second on the team with 5.7 rebounds. Veerbeek erupted for a career-high 19 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds in the win at Illinois (Jan. 17). She produced her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). Veerbeek just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds in a road win at Purdue (Jan. 31). She had 14 points in 14 minutes in a win over Denver (Dec. 15) and added 14 points for the third straight game at Arkansas (Dec. 18). She owns six double-digit scoring efforts on the year. She also ranks second among the Huskers with 23 blocks.
• Kayla Mershon has pitched in 2.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. She has made seven consecutive starts heading into Sunday’s game with Purdue. Mershon scored a career-high eight points against No. 9 Maryland (Jan. 8), before adding seven points against nationally ranked Rutgers (Jan. 13). She had a career-high seven rebounds in a win over Kansas (Dec. 5) and matched that total against Northwestern (Jan. 24). The 6-3 forward from Chanhassen, Minn., also has dished out 18 assists and committed a team-best eight turnovers through 23 games.
• The freshmen have combined for 40.8 percent (685-of-1,680) of Nebraska’s points in just 36 percent of the team’s total minutes (1,672-of-4,650) on the season. They also have accounted for just 30 percent (105-of-349) of Nebraska’s turnovers.
• Nebraska’s four freshmen are combining to average 29.8 points and 14 rebounds per game.
• Preseason All-Big Ten guard Hannah Whitish is catching fire in conference action and has taken over the team’s scoring lead after a season-high 28-point performance at Purdue (Jan. 31). Whitish added a career-high 12 assists to notch her first career double-double. She also tied a career high with six threes in the win over the Boilermakers.
• Whitish’s 12 assists tied for the ninth-best total by a Husker in school history. Only three players in Nebraska history [Rachel Theriot (4), Kathy Hawkins (3), Stacy Imming (1)] have had more than 12 assists in a game.
• Whitish’s 28 points at Purdue were the most by a Husker in any game this season. Her career highs of 29 points came last season in back-to-back non-conference wins at Kansas and Drake.
• Whitish owns a team-best 46 career double-figure scoring efforts, including a team-high 15 in 2018-19 and 18 in 2017-18. She owns five career 20-point performances, including three in 2017-18.
• Whitish is averaging a team-best 10.3 points per game on the season, including a team-high 12.3 points per conference contest.
• She has climbed to No. 4 on the Nebraska career three-point list with 181, and needs two more to catch Yvonne Turner (2007-10) in third on that chart with 183.
• Whitish leads the Huskers with 51 three-pointers on the season. Whitish has hit 20 threes over the last five games.
• Whitish has scored in double figures in seven straight games, averaging 15 points per game during that stretch. She is shooting 43.6 percent (24-55) from three-point range during that stretch. She is also averaging 5.3 assists over the past seven games.
• Whitish has climbed to No. 10 on the Nebraska career assist list with 332, and she needs 10 more assists to move into a tie for No. 9 (342, Ami Beiriger, 1979-83).
• Nebraska’s growth in the backcourt in 2017-18 started with Whitish, who earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore in her first full season as a starter. The 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., led the Huskers in scoring (12.6 ppg), assists (4.7 apg), steals (1.3 spg) and three-pointers (2.3 pg), as the only Husker to start all 32 games in 2017-18.
• She scored in double figures a team-leading 18 times in 2017-18 for a balanced Big Red attack.
• Whitish helped power Nebraska to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals by scoring 17 points while pulling down a team-high seven rebounds in a win over Michigan in the quarterfinals (March 2).
• In her first NCAA Tournament appearance, Whitish scored 12 points and hit a pair of three-pointers against Arizona State (March 17) in Austin, Texas.
• Whitish tied a career high with eight rebounds while adding nine points and a game-high five assists in the win over Penn State (Feb. 22, 2018)