Big Red Open Big Ten Play at Minnesota
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-0)
at Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-4)
Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, 7 p.m. (CT)
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Live TV: BTN (Sloane Martin, Meghan McKeown)
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 Open Big Ten Play Monday at Minnesota
• The Nebraska women's basketball team caps its four-game road swing by opening Big Ten Conference competition at Minnesota on Monday.
• Tip-off between the Huskers (8-0) and Golden Gophers (6-4) is set for 7 p.m. (CT) at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Live television coverage will be provided by the Big Ten Network with Sloane Martin and Meghan McKeown on the call. The Huskers Radio Network call of Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch can be heard on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha, along with free live audio on Huskers.com and the Huskers App.
• The Huskers head to Minneapolis as the Big Ten's only remaining unbeaten team and one of just 16 undefeated teams left in the nation through games Dec. 2. Nebraska leads the Big Ten in nine statistical categories, including scoring margin (+34.3 ppg), scoring defense (52.4 ppg), rebound margin (+14.3 rpg), field goal percentage defense (.298), three-point field goal percentage (.424) and three-pointers made (9.4 pg).
• Nebraska ranks among the top five teams in the nation in 11 categories, including No. 1 in scoring margin (+34.2 ppg) and defensive rebounds per game (36.0 rpg) and No. 2 in assists (16) and field goal percentage defense (.298). The Big Red rank No. 3 nationally in rebounds per game (48.5 rpg) and three-point field goal percentage (.424), while ranking fourth nationally in scoring offense (86.6 ppg) and field goal percentage (.491).
• The Huskers own two road wins over 2021 NCAA Tournament teams (Drexel, Wake Forest), three wins over 2021 postseason teams (Creighton, Drexel, Wake Forest) and two wins over 2021 conference champions (Maine-America East, Drexel-Colonial). NU's average margin of victory against Maine, Creighton, Drexel and Wake Forest is 25.3 points per game, with a trio of double-digit wins.
• Nebraska overwhelmed previously unbeaten Wake Forest, 86-60, as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Winston-Salem on Wednesday. The win marked Nebraska's first 8-0 start since the Big Red opened 30-0 in 2009-10.
• The victory over the 2021 NCAA Tournament-qualifier Demon Deacons also gave the Huskers their first eight-game winning streak since a 10-game stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 28, 2013.
• Nebraska's 26-point margin against Wake Forest was its largest over a Power Five opponent on the road since knocking off Indiana, 67-39 (+29) on Jan. 10, 2013. It was also the largest margin in any of the 14 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games. The Huskers were one of four Big Ten teams to notch a victory in the challenge and joined Northwestern as the only conference teams to win on the road.
• NU's 86 points in the win at Wake nearly doubled the Deacons' season average in scoring defense (48.7 ppg) entering the contest. The Huskers continue to rank among the national leaders in scoring offense (86.6 ppg) despite playing outstanding defensive units on the road at Wake, San Diego and against Drexel, along with an always tough Creighton defense in Lincoln.
• At 3-0 away from Lincoln, the Big Red takes aim at its first win at Minnesota since Dec. 31, 2017, when the Huskers fought to a 79-74 victory. Nebraska expects a tight battle with the Golden Gophers with seven head-to-head meetings being decided by six points or less or in overtime (2) since 2014.
• Sophomore transfer Jaz Shelley (Moe, Australia) continues the outstanding start to her Husker career by averaging team bests of 15.0 points, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.5 blocks while hitting 27-of-45 threes (.600). The 5-9 point guard also ranks second among the Huskers with 7.3 rebounds.
• Fellow Australian Isabelle Bourne ranks second among the Huskers in scoring with 11.1 points while adding 5.0 rebounds. The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice as a sophomore last season.
• Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.) has played big in Nebraska's toughest wins (Creighton, San Diego). The 2021 second-team All-Big Ten choice had season highs with 15 points in both contests.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
14 - Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 8.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 11.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg
0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 9.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 15.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Off the Bench
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 7.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 5.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 5.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 3.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 3.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 0.5 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Sixth Season at Nebraska (80-75); 15th Season Overall (273-184)
Minnesota Golden Gophers (6-4, 0-0 Big Ten)
30 - Kadi Sissoko - 6-2 - RJr. - F - 11.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg
35 - Bailey Helgren - 6-5 - Gr. - C - 1.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg
3 - Deja Winters - 5-11 - Gr. - G - 11.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg
4 - Jasmine Powell - 5-6 - Jr. - G - 12.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg
14 - Sara Scalia - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Off the Bench
13 - Gadiva Hubbard - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 6.2 ppg, 1.7 rpg
54 - Alanna Micheaux - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 6.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg
1 - Alexia Smith - 5-8 - So. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg
12 - Laura Bagwell Katalinich - 6-0 - Gr. - F - 2.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg
21 - Caroline Strande - 5-11 - So. - G - 2.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg
10 - Erin Hedman - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
25 - Klarke Sconiers - 6-2 - Jr. - C - 1.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg
43 - Grace Cumming - 6-3 - RFr. - F - 0.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg
15 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 0.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
5 - Maggie Czinano - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 0.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
Head Coach: Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota, 2004)
Fourth Season at Minnesota/Overall (51-43)
Scouting The Minnesota Golden Gophers
• Head coach Lindsay Whalen leads her fourth Minnesota team into the Big Ten Conference opener against Nebraska. The Golden Gophers own a 6-4 record after an 82-76 home loss to North Carolina at Williams Arena on Wednesday. UConn and Oklahoma at the Battle 4 Atlantis, and a season-opening home loss to Jacksonville (Nov. 9). Minnesota owns quality wins over Arizona State and Syracuse.
• Second-team All-Big Ten guard Jasmine Powell continues to be a leader for the Gophers. The 5-6 junior has averaged 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-best 5.9 assists.She had six points, three rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and a steal off the bench in the loss to North Carolina.
• Junior Sara Scalia leads Minnesota with 12.4 points while knocking down a team-best 22 three-pointers. Scalia has been one of the Big Ten's best long-range shooters the past two seasons, despite battling injuries a year ago. The 2020 Big Ten All-Freshman and honorable-mention all-conference choice had 11 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and three steals in last year's win over NU in Minneapolis. She added 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the win in Lincoln.
• Kadi Sissoko, a redshirt junior from Paris, France who transferred from Syracuse prior to the 2020-21 season, is averaging 11.1 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds. The 6-0 forward had 10 points against Nebraska in a win at Williams Arena last season. She had 11 points and six boards against in Wednesday's loss to North Carolina.
• Sissoko, Scalia and Powell all missed the 2021 Big Ten Tournament with injuries.
• Grad transfer Bailey Helgren, who the Huskers faced twice as a young center at Kansas, has joined Sissoko on Minnesota's starting front line. The 6-5 center is averaging 1.2 points and 4.0 rebounds.
• Another graduate transfer, Deja Winters, has made a major impact early coming off the bench in the first five games before replacing Gadiva Hubbard in the starting lineup over the past five contests.
• Winters, a 5-11 guard, is averaging 11.2 points and 4.3 rebounds while hitting 23-of-55 threes (.418). A first-team All-MEAC selection at North Carolina A&T in 2020-21, Winters spent her first two seasons at Seton Hall. Last season at NC A&T, Winters averaged 14.1 points and led the MEAC in three-point shooting (52-120, .347). She hit a game-winning three-pointer with three seconds left to send NC A&T to the NCAA Tournament as the MEAC Tournament champions.
• At the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas (Nov. 20-22), Winters averaged 15.6 points and connected on 10-of-21 threes over three games against UConn, Syracuse and Oklahoma. She made her first start as a Gopher in the win over Syracuse.
• Hubbard is averaging 6.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in her fifth season on the court. She was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice in 2020 but battled injuries in 2020-21. She buried five threes, including huge hits in the fourth quarter, to finish with a team-high 18 points in the win at Nebraska last year. She added 14 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting against the Big Red in Minneapolis. She is also coming off a 14-point effort with three threes and five assists off the bench against UNC.
• Alexia Smith, a 5-8 sophomore, drew late-season starts for the Gophers last year, including the Big Ten Tournament loss to Nebraska. She had five points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals while playing 39 minutes in Minnesota's win over Nebraska (Feb. 24, 2021). She is averaging 2.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 16 minutes per game off the bench early this season. She made her first start of the year in place of Powell (coach's decision) in the loss to North Carolina.
• True freshman Alanna Micheaux has added 6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds off the bench. Micheaux's playing time has increased recently, and the 6-2 forward had a breakout performance with 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds in 26 minutes against North Carolina. She is 17-of-22 (.773) from the field and 10-for-13 (.769) at the free throw line over the last four games.
• Former Husker Kayla Mershon, who was a part-time starter for Minnesota in 2021-22, missed all three games at the Battle 4 Atlantis. She is averaging 13 minutes over the other seven contests.
• Junior center Klarke Sconiers, who was a part-time starter last season, has seen her playing time dwindle recently, and she has missed three of Minnesota's last four games. In Minnesota's win over NU at Williams Arena last season, Sconiers had 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting in just 12 minutes.
• Laura Bagwell Katalinich, a second-year grad transfer from Cornell, has averaged 2.6 points and 1.7 rebounds. She was a first-team All-Ivy League selection in 2018-19, and nearly notched a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in a start against Nebraska in the 2021 Big Ten Tournament.
• As a team, Minnesota is averaging 68 points while allowing 64.3 points per game. The Gophers carry a plus-0.4 rebound margin and a minus-1.0 turnover margin, while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from three-point range.
Nebraska vs. Minnesota Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Minnesota 15-12, after stopping a three-game Gopher winning streak with 72-61 win in the second round of the 2021 Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis.
• Last season, Nebraska's Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.) averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three games with the Gophers, including 25 points and 12 boards in a 75-71 loss in Lincoln.
• Gadiva Hubbard averaged 14.7 points in the three games for the Gophers, while Sara Scalia averaged 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two Minnesota wins. She missed the Big Ten Tournament with a shoulder injury.
• Last season in three games, each team averaged just 8.3 turnovers.
• Nebraska owns a 10-7 edge as Big Ten foes.
• Nebraska is 11-4 all-time against Minnesota in Lincoln. The Huskers are 2-8 against Minnesota in Minneapolis and 2-0 against the Gophers in the Big Ten Tournament (2014, 2021).
• Although women's basketball was not a full varsity sport at Nebraska until 1975-76, a women's team from Nebraska suffered its first defeat at Minnesota in 1904 after going unbeaten between 1897 and 1903. Two weeks after the first meeting with Minnesota, Nebraska beat the same team in Lincoln.
• Minnesota's Laura Coenen scored 42 points for the Gophers in a 90-79 win over the Huskers on Nov. 30, 1984. That effort is tied for the most points by any opponent in a game against the Huskers.
Nebraska Numbers to Watch
• Through games Dec. 2, the Huskers ranked among the top five teams nationally in win-loss percentage (1.000, 1 of 16/1 of 4 8-0), scoring margin (1st, 34.2 ppg), defensive rebounds per game (1st, 36.0 rpg), assists (2nd, 160), field goal percentage defense (2nd, .298), rebounds (3rd, 388), rebounds per game (3rd, 48.5 rpg), three-point field goal percentage (3rd, .424), scoring offense (4th, 86.6 ppg), field goal percentage (4th, .491) and free throws made (5th, 132).
• Nebraska adds more top 10 rankings in assists per game (6th, 20.0 apg), rebound margin (7th, 14.2 rpg), free throws attempted (7th, 188), assist-to-turnover ratio (8th, 1.44) and three-point field goals made (10th, 75), while ranking in the top 12 in three-point field goals made per game (13th, 9.4), blocked shots (18th, 42) and scoring defense (23rd, 52.4 ppg).
• Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley ranks among the top 15 players in the Big Ten in scoring (13th, 15.0 ppg), rebounding (10th, 7.3 rpg), assists (7th, 4.8 apg), blocked shots (2nd, 1.5 bpg), assist-to-turnover ratio (7th, 2.7), while leading the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.600) and ranking second in three-pointers made per game (3.4). She also ranks 23rd in steals (1.4 spg).
• Husker shooters Jaz Shelley (2nd, 3.4 pg) and Ashley Scoggin (9th, 2.3 pg) rank among the top 10 players in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made per game.
• Nebraska's backcourt has been strong taking care of the ball while creating opportunities for their teammates, as Allison Weidner (1st, 6.0), Jaz Shelley (7th, 2.7) and Sam Haiby (8th, 2.4) all rank in the top 10 in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio. Second-year guard Ruby Porter also owns a 4.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (13-3) but does not meet the league minimum in assists.
• Through eight games, Nebraska ranks fourth nationally in scoring offense with 86.6 points per game. The only time in the last 25 years that Nebraska 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.
• Point guard Jaz Shelley has pulled down 58 total rebounds in 212 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 12 blocked shots through eight games, doubling her two-year total at Oregon (6) in 55 games with 12 starts.
• Nebraska heads to Minnesota on a seven-game winning streak, marking the first time the Huskers have opened a season 8-0 since 2009-10, when the Huskers started 30-0.
• Nebraska's last eight-game winning streak came from Jan. 20-Feb. 28, 2013, when the Huskers reeled off 10 consecutive Big Ten Conference victories.
• Nebraska has hit 10 threes in back-to-back road wins at San Diego (Nov. 27) and Wake Forest (Dec. 1), marking just the fourth time in school history that the Huskers have hit 10 or more threes in back-to-back games. NU also sank nine threes against Drexel in San Diego (Nov. 26) after hitting 14 threes against NC Central (Nov. 20).
• Nebraska has never hit 10 threes in three consecutive games.
• Sam Haiby has scored in 90 of 93 games in her Husker career. She had scored at least two points in 53 consecutive games for Nebraska before being held scoreless without a field goal attempt against Drexel (Nov. 27). The last time she had been held scoreless also came at a Thanksgiving Tournament against USC at the South Point Shootout on Nov. 29, 2019. The Huskers won that game 67-54. She was also held scoreless in a 70-69 loss at Wisconsin on Jan. 27, 2018.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 406 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 285 consecutive games.
• Nebraska enters the game at Minnesota with a combined eight-game victory margin of 274 points - the largest of any eight-game stretch in school history by 64 points, surpassing the 210-point combined victory margin in Games 3-10 of 2009-10. The 2010 Huskers won the Big 12 Championship with an undefeated regular season and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
• The Huskers have scored 30 or more in a quarter four times in 2021-22. In the previous six years combined, NU produced nine 30-point periods.
• Sam Haiby is the 35th 1,000-point scorer in Husker history and has increased her career total to 1,098 to rank No. 26 all time at NU. She needs just three points to climb into the top 25 on Nebraska's all-time scoring list.
• Nebraska has hit 10 or more threes seven times in the last 15 games, including four times in eight games in 2021-22. NU buried 14-of-28 threes against NC Central (Nov. 20), 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).
• Through the first 20 seasons with the three-point shot in women's basketball (1988-2007), Nebraska hit 10 threes in a game just six times (312 games).