Huskers Return Home to Face Rutgers
Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 2-4 Big Ten)
vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-12, 0-7 Big Ten)
Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, 7 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska
Tickets: Huskers.com (1-800-8-BIG-RED)
Live TV: Nebraska Public Media (Brenda VanLengen, Jami Hagedorn)
Live Video: B1G+
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (6:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Huskers Return Home Thursday to Face Rutgers
The Nebraska women's basketball team returns to Lincoln for a midweek clash with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Thursday at Pinnace Bank Arena.
Tip-off between the Huskers (13-4, 2-4 Big Ten) and the Scarlet Knights (7-12, 0-7 Big Ten) is set for 7 p.m. (CT) with statewide TV coverage provided by Nebraska Public Media with Brenda VanLengen and Jami Hagedorn on the call. A live video stream will be available for B1G+ subscribers.
Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will provide commentary for the Huskers Radio Network (B107.3 FM, Lincoln; ESPN 590 AM, Omaha), Huskers.com and the Huskers App.
Nebraska will be looking to turn the tide on three straight losses that included a pair of setbacks to top-25 Iowa around a seven-point loss at No. 6 Indiana. The Huskers, who have played four of their first six Big Ten games on the road, will play four of their next five at home.
While the Huskers are happy to be back home, they could still be missing multiple starters including Sam Haiby (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.7 spg) and Jaz Shelley (13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.2 bpg). Both missed the loss at Iowa, as Haiby sat out with an upper body injury and Shelley did not make the trip because of COVID protocols.
Freshman Alexis Markowski has stepped up big in place of injured starter Bella Cravens (ankle) over the past four games. The four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals as a starter. She is coming off a career-high 27 points that included a career-best six three-pointers at Iowa. She also had 20 points in NU's win over No. 8 Michigan (Jan. 4).
Allison Weidner, a Husker freshman from Humphrey, Neb., replaced Haiby in the starting five at Iowa and played solid basketball. The 5-10 guard finished with eight points and a team-high five assists and is averaging 5.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists on the season.
Isabelle Bourne, an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection a year ago, has added 10.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, while Ashley Scoggin has pitched in 9.0 points as one of the Big Ten's best knock-down shooters. Bourne and Scoggin are the only Huskers to start all 17 games this season.
Nebraska plays a deep rotation with Australian Ruby Porter earning two starts, while Annika Stewart, Kendall Coley, MiCole Cayton, Whitney Brown and Kendall Moriarty see regular action.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-4, 2-4 Big Ten)
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 11.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 10.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 9.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 5.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg
14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 3.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Sixth Season at Nebraska (85-79); 15th Season Overall (278-188)
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-12, 0-7 Big Ten)
22 - Tyia Singleton - 6-2 - RJr. - F - 5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
32 - Osh Brown - 6-1 - Gr. - F - 9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg
0 - Lasha Petree - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 7.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
3 - Shug Dickson - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg
35 - Sayawni Lassiter - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Off the Bench
12 - Sakima Walker - 6-5 - So. - C - 4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
5 - Victoria Morris - 5-8 - Gr. - G - 4.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg
15 - Awa Sidibe - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg
20 - Joiya Maddox - 6-0 - RSo. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
54 - Chyna Cornwell - 6-3 - So. - F - 2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg
14 - Jailyn Mason - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
1 - Destiny Marshall - 6-0 - RSr. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
24 - Kierra Sanderlin - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg
2 - Liz Martino - 6-0 - So. - G - 2.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
11 - Stephanie Guihon - 5-6 - RSr. - G - 2.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
10 - Erica Lafayette - 6-0 - So. - G - 0.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Acting Head Coach: Tim Eatman
7th Season as a Rutgers Coach; 31st Season Overall in College Coaching
Nebraska Numbers to Watch
• Through games Jan. 17, the Huskers ranked among the top 20 teams nationally in scoring offense (8th, 81.4 ppg), scoring margin (9th, +19.4 ppg), assists (9th, 300), rebounds (12th, 731), assist-to-turnover ratio (13th, 1.24), three-point field goals made (14th, 150), assists per game (15th, 17.6 apg), defensive rebounds per game (15th, 30.1 rpg), blocked shots (17th, 83), free throws made (18th, 238), free throw attempts (18th, 336), three-point field goal attempts (19th, 412) and field goal percentage (19th, .459).
• Nebraska leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (+19.4 ppg), total rebounds (43.0 rpg), defensive rebounds (30.1 rpg) and field goal percentage defense (.366).
• Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley ranks among the top 20 players in the Big Ten in scoring (16th, 13.8 ppg), rebounding (10th, 7.5 rpg), assists (8th, 4.4 apg), blocked shots (6th, 1.2 bpg), steals (8th, 1.8 spg), three-point field goal percentage (5th, .435), three-pointers made per game (7th, 2.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (6th, 2.0).
• Jaz Shelley is the only Big Ten player to rank among the top 20 in the conference in all five major statistical categories: scoring (16th), rebounding (10th), assists (8th), blocks (6th), steals (8th).
• Huskers Jaz Shelley (7th, 2.5 pg) and Ashley Scoggin (10th, 2.2 pg) rank among the top players in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made per game.
• Nebraska is the only team in the nation with two shooters (Scoggin, 17th; Shelley, 25th) ranked among the top 30 in three-point field goal percentage.
• Nebraska's backcourt has taken care of the ball while creating opportunities. Jaz Shelley (2.0) and Sam Haiby (1.8) rank No. 6 and 11, respectively in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio based on the NCAA minimum of 3.0 assists per game. Husker reserves Ruby Porter (3.3) and Allison Weidner (2.3), who don't meet the NCAA minimums, own better assist-to-turnover ratios.
• Nebraska ranks eighth nationally in scoring offense with 81.4 points per game. The only time in the last 25 years NU has averaged more than 75 points per game in a season came in 2009-10 (77.4 ppg). That Husker team went unbeaten in the regular season, won the Big 12 regular-season title and advanced to Nebraska's first NCAA Sweet Sixteen as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
• Sophomore point guard Jaz Shelley has pulled down 120 total rebounds in 462 minutes this season. In two seasons (971 minutes) at Oregon (2019-20, 2020-21), the 5-9 Shelley totaled 70 rebounds.
• Jaz Shelley leads Nebraska with 19 blocked shots in 16 games. She had six blocks in 55 games over two seasons at Oregon.
• Nebraska's minus-21 foul disparity (28-7) at Iowa (Jan. 16) marked the largest foul differential in program history for either team in 1,448 games over 48 seasons. It marked the first time in history that a Husker team held a negative foul differential of greater than 17. Prior to the game, NU held a positive foul differential of 2.1 through 16 games this season.
Scouting The Rutgers Scarlet Knights
• Rutgers comes to Lincoln on Thursday on a five-game losing streak after suffering a 49-45 loss at Wisconsin on Sunday. It marked the third time in the last four games and eighth time in 19 games this season that Rutgers has been held to fewer than 50 points.
• The Scarlet Knights are led by acting head coach Tim Eatman, who has been on Hall of Fame Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer's staff at Rutgers for the past seven seasons. Stringer has taken a leave of absence from coaching this season for personal reasons, and Eatman has led the Scarlet Knights to a 7-12 overall record and an 0-7 Big Ten mark.
• Eatman served as the acting head coach for Rutgers at Pinnacle Bank Arena against the Huskers in a 65-54 loss to NU on Jan. 16, 2016. He also served two stints as an assistant coach at Kansas under Marian Washington (1996-98 and 2002-04). He was the interim head coach at Boston College (2011-12), and was the head coach at Illinois-Chicago (1998-2002).
• First-year Scarlet Knight Osh Brown leads Rutgers in scoring and rebounding at 9.1 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Brown, a 6-1 graduate transfer from Ball State, is the NCAA Division active leader in total rebounds and double-doubles. Brown will be playing her 135th career game on Thursday. She owns 1,658 points and 1,269 rebounds with 55 career double-doubles, including six this season. In a 68-63 loss at Northwestern (Jan. 13), Brown had 22 points and 15 rebounds, before notching another double-double with 11 points and 10 boards at Wisconsin (Jan. 16).
• Brown is the only Scarlet Knights to start every game this season.
• Graduate Shug Dickson has added 9.0 points per game in the Rutgers backcourt. Dickson spent two-plus seasons at Tulsa before transferring to Texas Tech. She never played in Lubbock and transferred to Missouri in 2020-21. She has played 12 games with nine starts this season.
• Another graduate transfer, Sayawni Lassiter, came to Rutgers from Florida State. The 5-10 guard is averaging 2.8 points per game. Lassiter has played in all 19 games with 10 starts.
• Overall, the Scarlet Knights feature eight first-year transfers into the program, including 2019-20 NJCAA National Player of the Year Awa Sidibe, who was a teammate of Nebraska's Ashley Scoggin at Salt Lake City CC. Sidibe (3.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg) has appeared in 18 games with three starts.
• Other transfers include Lasha Petree (First-team All-MVC, Bradley), Victoria Morris (Two-time, second-team All-CUSA, Old Dominion), Jailyn Mason (Arkansas) and Destiny Marshall (Jacksonville). Petree has played in all 19 games with 14 starts, while Morris has added four starts in 19 games.
• Tyia Singleton (5.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Sakima Walker (4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg) are the top two returning players from last year's Rutgers team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament before finishing with a 14-5 overall record that included a 10-3 Big Ten mark. Singleton has played in all 19 games with 17 starts, while Walker has appeared in 17 games with two starts.
• Other returners include Chyna Cornwell (2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg), Joiya Maddox (3.0 ppg), Liz Martino (2.2 ppg), Stephanie Guihon (2.1 ppg) and Erica Lafayette.
• Overall, 13 Scarlet Knights have started at least one game. Rutgers is shooting 39.8 percent from the field, including 27.2 percent from three-point range. The Scarlet Knights are averaging just 3.9 threes per game, while hitting just 65.1 percent of their free throws. Rutgers has managed just 56.0 points per game, but has held the opposition to just 57.1 points per contest. The Scarlet Knights have out-rebounded opponents (36.8-29.8, +7.0 rpg) but carry a minus-2.5 turnover margin.
Nebraska vs. Rutgers Series History
• Rutgers leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 6-4, including a 78-62 win over the Huskers at Jersey Mike's Arena (the RAC) in Piscataway Feb. 7, 2021 in the last meeting between the two teams.
• Nebraska defeated Rutgers in the last meeting at Pinnacle Bank Arena (53-50, Jan. 3, 2021). The Huskers are 3-1 all-time against Rutgers at Pinnacle Bank Arena, and 1-4 in Piscatway, dating back to the first meeting between the two teams (Feb. 5, 2015). The No. 21 Scarlet Knights earned a hard-fought 46-43 victory over the No. 19 Huskers.
• Rutgers eliminated Nebraska from the 2016 Big Ten Tournament with a 66-63 win in Indianapolis (March 3, 2016).
• The largest margin of victory in the 10 games in the series is 16 points (78-62 Rutgers win, Feb. 7, 2021, Piscataway). Six of the 10 meetings have been decided by two possession (6 points) or less. Rutgers also became the first team in the series to reach 70 points in a game.
• Sam Haiby has produced double figures in her last 10 Big Ten games, including all five contests she has played in this season.
• Alexis Markowski has produced double figures in five straight games including each of her four Big Ten starts.
• Ashley Scoggin has started a team-best 43 consecutive games since joining the Huskers for the 2020-21 season.
• Nebraska's game with Rutgers will be the seventh straight games against 2021 NCAA Tournament qualifiers for the Huskers. It will be eighth consecutive games versus 2021 postseason tournament qualifiers.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 415 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 294 consecutive games.
Deep Bench Boosts Big Red
• The Husker bench has outscored opponent reserves 490-230 (+15.3 ppg) through 17 games, including a 349-166 edge (+18.3 ppg) in 10 games at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• A total of 10 Huskers are averaging better than 10.0 points per 40 minutes, including two Huskers (Alexis Markowski, 27.5 pp40, 15.7 rp40 and Annika Stewart, 23.9 pp40; 10.0 rp40) who are averaging better than 20 points per 40 minutes.
• No Husker ranks among the top 25 players in the conference in minutes per game. Jaz Shelley leads Nebraska with 28.9 minutes per game, while Courtney Shaw from Northwestern ranks 25th in the conference (30.4 mpg).
• Nebraska leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (+19.4 ppg), total rebounds (43.0 rpg), defensive rebounds (30.1 rpg) and FG percentage defense (.366).
• The Huskers rank among the top three teams in the Big Ten in 15 statistical categories.
• Nebraska ranks among the top 25 teams in the nation in 16 statistical categories.
• Nebraska has hit 10 or more threes nine times in the last 24 games, including six times in 17 games in 2021-22. NU buried 14-of-28 threes against NC Central (Nov. 20), 14-of-30 threes at Iowa (Jan. 16), 12-of-29 vs. Drake (Dec. 19), 11-of-22 vs. Prairie View A&M (Nov. 11), 10-of-19 at San Diego (Nov. 27) and 10-of-28 at Wake Forest (Dec. 1).