Coatney's Call: Wisconsin Preview
#25 Nebraska (10-3) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 7:05 p.m. (central)
Bob Devaney Sports Center (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Internet Video: BTN.com (premium subscribers)
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; 1400 AM-KCOW, Alliance)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
I can't believe how quickly the non-conference season has flown by! Nebraska wrapped up the 2012 portion of this year's schedule with an 84-39 win over Grambling State last Saturday night. Connie Yori picked up her 200th win as NU coach, and the Huskers finished non-conference play with a 10-3 record. Jordan Hooper led three Nebraska players in double figures with 18 points, while Emily Cady added 17 and Rachel Theriot chipped in a career-high 12. NU turns its attention to Big Ten Conference play when it hosts the Wisconsin Badgers Wednesday night.
Wisconsin is 8-5 and needs just one victory to match last year's win total. Seven newcomers began with the team during fall practice, but the Badgers have seen their roster depleted as the season has evolved. Freshman guard Makailah Dyer and sophomore guard Lindsay Smith both announced their intention to transfer not long after the season began. Sophomore guard AnnMarie Brown has missed the last three games due to a knee injury and is expected to undergo knee surgery on Friday.
Perhaps the player that is the biggest loss for Wisconsin is Taylor Wurtz, last season's top scorer. The senior guard was one of the best shooters on the team, but played only five games this season and is taking a medical redshirt due to a back injury.
With Wurtz sidelined for the remainder of the season, junior wing Morgan Paige is the only returning starter from last year's Badger squad that finished ninth in the Big Ten. She has started all 13 games this season and had scored in double figures every game until she was held to nine points in Saturday night's 67-44 loss at Miami. Paige leads the team in scoring (16.9 ppg) and three-pointers (24).
Senior point guard Tiera Stephen gives Wisconsin a veteran backcourt presence. As a freshman at Louisville, Stephen started 10 games and was the starting point guard for the Cardinals in the 2009 NCAA Championship game. Prior to this season, she started two of the 52 games she's played for the Badgers. Stephen has been in the starting lineup for every game this year and leads the team in steals and assists, while adding 5.8 points per contest.
Sophomore forward Jacki Gulczynski gives Wisconsin a dual threat with the ability to score inside or from beyond the arc. She has knocked down 14 three pointers, shooting 44 percent from long range. She is the third Badger to start every game this year, and adds 10.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Junior forward Cassie Rochel has started 12 of 13 games, missing the Florida Atlantic contest with a foot injury. She leads the team in blocked shots and rebounds (7.8 rpg) and adds 5.8 points per contest.
Nicole Bauman , the 2012 Wisconsin High School Player of the Year, rounds out the Badger probable starting lineup. She's started eight games and averages 6.5 points. Lending depth off the bench for Wisconsin is freshman Shannon Malone. The native of Flower Mound, Texas was a prep teammate of Husker Hailie Sample at Marcus High School.
Second-year Badger Head Coach Bobbie Kelsey was a long-time assistant at Stanford and five other schools before becoming the sixth head coach in Wisconsin history. She was a team captain at Stanford and helped the Cardinal to the 1992 NCAA Championship.
Wisconsin's depth issues have helped contribute to the Badgers ranking 11th in the Big Ten in scoring offense (62.2 ppg) and 12th in turnover margin (-2.3 topg). However, the team has been impressive at the free throw line, making 72.2 percent of its foul shots, second best in the league.
Wisconsin leads the all-time series 5-2 over NU. Nebraska picked up its first two wins over the Badgers in a series sweep last year. Previously, Wisconsin had defeated the Huskers in their only other two visits to Lincoln, with both games being decided in overtime in 1990 and 1999.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women's basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Wednesday evening beings with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network, including Lincoln affiliate KBBK 107.3 FM (B107.3), KTWI 93.3 FM (The Wolf) in Omaha, KCOW 1400 in Alliance, KNEB 94.1 in Scottsbluff and available to our entire 25 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!