Coatney's Call: Idaho State Preview
#21 Nebraska vs. Idaho State
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2:05 p.m. (central)
Bob Devaney Sports Center (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Internet Video: HuskersNside (premium subscribers of Huskers.com)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
(B107.3 FM-Lincoln; The Wolf 93.3 FM-Omaha; 94.1 FM-KNEB, Scottsbluff)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
I think it's wise to give credit where credit is due and it's best to tip your cap at a great performance. Thus, I have no problem saying that the world of women's basketball better look out for Maryland as they have the horses to compete for a national title this season. In Wednesday night's 90-71 Nebraska loss to the 11th-ranked Terrapins, NU got blitzed by an All-American performance from 6-2 junior Alyssa Thomas.
Looking back on my 13 years on the Husker radio broadcast, I would put Thomas' performance (25 points 8 assists, 6 steals 5 rebounds) up there as one of the best individual opponent performances I've seen against the Nebraska in the Devaney Center. Other names that come to my mind are Texas' Tiffany Jackson, Baylor's Sophia Young and Britney Griner and now Maryland's Thomas.
Senior point guard Lindsey Moore led Nebraska with 17 points, five assists and five steals. With the loss, the 5-2 Huskers will look to rebound to the winning side of the ledger when they host Idaho State Saturday afternoon at 2:05.
Here's my suggestion on how a great Husker Saturday should go down. Start at the Devaney Center to watch Nebraska battle the defending Big Sky champions, then go out for an early dinner with friends and family, and then find your favorite television to watch the Huskers and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Football Championship. It's the ultimate and perfect way to spend your Saturday.
Donations for the annual U.S. Marines Toys for Tots Drive will be collected. Fans can donate new, unwrapped toys or cash during the games. U.S. Marines will be stationed in the arena to accept donations.
Idaho State is coming off a 24-win season, conference regular season and tournament titles and a first-round NCAA Tournament appearance. They've started the 2012-13 season with a 3-2 record. After losing their season-opening games on the road at Kansas State and Kansas, ISU has won three straight, including a home win over Air Force, a road win at Boise State and Thursday night's 69-45 win at South Dakota. ISU held the Coyotes to 26.4 percent shooting and dominated the game defensively and took good care of the basketball, posting 16 assists on 24 field goals against only nine turnovers. The Bengals lead the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense, and have allowed their five opponents to score only 53.0 points per game.
Junior guard Lindsey Reed had her best offensive performance of the season against South Dakota Thursday. She had a game-high 20 points and four three-pointers against USD. She has started all big one game in her career leads the team in three pointers (10) and averages 12.0 points through five games. Reed and senior forward Ashleigh Vella were both members of last season's Big Sky All-Tournament Teams. Vella competed last summer as a member of the Malta basketball team at the European Championship for Small Countries in Struga, Macdonia. Vella, who holds dual citizenship in Australia and Malta, last week became the 15th Bengal to eclipse the 1,000-point career scoring mark. She had an impressive stat line in Thursday's win over South Dakota, nearly posting a double-double with eight points, 14 rebounds, four assists and a career-high four blocked shots. Vella leads the team in rebounding (9.4 per game) and adds 11.2 points per game.
Junior forward Cydney Horton has a connection to the state of Nebraska as her mother Karen competed in track and field at Hastings College. Cydney Horton started every game last season, but came off the bench the first two games this year before starting the last three games. She leads the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and adds 8.0 rebounds per contest. Horton shared last week's Big Sky Conference Player-of-the-Week honors with Amy Patton of Northern Arizona, who played in the Devaney Center against the Huskers earlier this season. Horton ranks sixth in all-time ISU blocked shots and needs only 20 more to reach 100 for her career. She had 12 points and two blocks against South Dakota Thursday evening.
Senior guard Kaela Oakes was last season's ISU team MVP and a first-team all-conference selection. She had a tough shooting night against South Dakota, going 0-for10, but adds 8.4 points per game. Junior guard Kara Jenkins rounds out Idaho State's probable starting lineup. She averages 4.5 points per game.
Fifth-year ISU Coach Seton Sobolewski (so-bo-LES-ski) led the Bengals to a first-round NCAA Tournament appearance and their third regular season and Big Sky Conference Tournament Championship last year. He has an overall record of 69-55.
Nebraska was an 88-41 winner in 2009 in the only previous meeting between the two schools. Ashleigh Vella and Kaela Oakes were freshmen at the time, with Vella scoring seven points and Oakes four. Five Huskers scored in double figures, with Cory Montgomery leading the way with a double-double 15 point, 10 rebound effort. Current Huskers Lindsey Moore and Meghin Williams played in the game, with Moore posting two assists and a rebound and Williams adding a rebound in limited playing time.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women's basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our broadcast Saturday afternoon begins with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 2:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network, including Lincoln affiliate KBBK 107.3 FM (B107.3),KFFF 93.3 FM (The Wolf 93.3) in Omaha, KNEB 94.1 FM Scottsbluff and available to our entire twenty-five network stations. All Husker women's basketball broadcasts are also available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker women's basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women's Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!