Photo Credit: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications Photo Credit: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Head to Hokies for ACC/Big Ten Challenge


Photo Credit: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications Photo Credit: Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-2)
at 9/9 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-0)

Thursday, December 1, 2022, 6 p.m. (CT)
Cassell Coliseum - Blacksburg, Virginia
Live TV: 
ACC Network
Sam Ravech (PBP), Brooke Weisbrod (Analyst)
Live Video: ESPN+
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (5:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (105.3 FM), Omaha (105.9 FM)
Huskers.com, Huskers App

Huskers Head to Hokies for ACC/Big Ten Challenge 
The Nebraska women's basketball team returns to the road to take on No. 9 Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 1. 

Tip-off between the Huskers (3-2) and the unbeaten Hokies (6-0) is set for 6 p.m. (CT) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va. 

The game will be televised live on the ACC Network with Sam Ravech and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. A live video stream will be available on ESPN+ and the WatchESPN App.

Nebraska's game with Virginia Tech also can be heard live on the Huskers Radio Network with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on the call on 105.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha, the Huskers App and Huskers.com.

The clash with the No. 9 Hokies will be Nebraska's second road game against a top-20 AP team this season, joining a Nov. 15 setback at No. 20 Creighton. The Jays have since moved up to No. 13 in the AP rankings.

The game with Virginia Tech also marks Nebraska's second meeting in Blacksburg with the Hokies as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge since 2016. In the first seasons for both NU Coach Amy Williams and VT Coach Kenny Brooks at their respective schools, the Hokies worked their way to a 76-67 win over the Huskers. Virginia Tech finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 20-14 record, while the Huskers finished 7-22.

Thursday's game is Nebraska's second consecutive road game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Last season, the Huskers rolled to an 86-60 win over previously unbeaten Wake Forest (7-0) in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2021). Jaz Shelley led the Huskers with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists while knocking down four of Nebraska's 10 three-pointers against the Demon Deacons.

Shelley's game last season followed a 30-point performance with six threes in a win over Drexel in San Diego (Nov. 26). This season, Shelley heads to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge fresh off a 32-point performance that included seven threes in an overtime win over Mississippi State at the Puerto Rico Clasico in San Juan (Nov. 26). Shelley scored 14 of her career-high-tying 32 points on five consecutive overtime possessions, including four straight three-pointers to lift the Huskers to victory. 

Shelley, who added eight assists against the Bulldogs, leads the Huskers and ranks second in the Big Ten with 7.6 assists per game to go along with her 12.9 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Alexis Markowski, who averaged 13.3 points, 14.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.3 blocks in Nebraska's three wins last week, is the Big Ten's leading rebounder with 10.4 boards per game.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 10.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - So. - C/F - 13.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 12.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - So. - G - 10.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Off the Bench
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - So. - F - 8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - So. - G - 4.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg
42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - So. - G - 4.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - So. - F/G - 3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 3.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
24 - Nailah Dillard - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
44 - Maggie Mendelson - 6-5 - Fr. - F/C - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Seventh Season at Nebraska (101-86); 16th Season Overall (294-195)

9/9 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-0, 0-0 ACC)
13 - Taylor Soule - 5-11 - Gr. - F - 9.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg
33 - Elizabeth Kitley - 6-6 - Sr. - C - 19.7 ppg, 11.5 rpg
5 - Georgia Amoore - 5-6 - Jr. - G - 11.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
15 - Ashley Owusu - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 11.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
22 - Cayla King - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 10.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Off the Bench
23 - Kayana Traylor - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 12.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
10 - Charlise Dunn - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
11 - D'asia Gregg - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg
32 - Clara Ford - 6-3 - Gr. - C - 1.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg
35 - Taylor Geiman - 6-0 - Sr. - G/F - 0.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg
14 - Maddie Vejsicky - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Head Coach: Kenny Brooks (James Madison, 1992)
Seventh Season at Virginia Tech (128-69); 21st Season Overall (465-191)

National Award Candidates Set to Go Head-to-Head
A pair of preseason national award candidates are ready to go head-to-head at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night when Nebraska battles Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Nebraska sophomore center Alexis Markowski (13.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and Virginia Tech senior center Elizabeth Kitley (19.7 ppg, 11.5 rpg) will collide as Lisa Leslie Award candidates. It will be the second straight game that Markowski has faced a 2023 Lisa Leslie Award candidate, after getting six points, 15 rebounds and career highs of three assists and four steals going head-to-head with Mississippi State's Jessika Carter in Puerto Rico (Nov. 26).

Markowski, 6-3, is a preseason first-team All-Big Ten choice after earning second-team All-Big Ten honors a year ago as the 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Kitley, a 6-6 AP All-American (3rd) last season, was the 2022 ACC Player of the Year, a first-team All-ACC selection and a member of the ACC All-Defensive team in 2021-22. She is a two-time Lisa Leslie Award finalist. The 2020 ACC Freshman of the Year, Kitley was a first-team All-ACC pick in 2021.

Ann Meyers Drysdale Award candidates Jaz Shelley and Ashley Owusu also will square off at Cassell Coliseum. Shelley (12.9 ppg, 7.6 apg) was a second-team All-Big Ten choice and a member of the Big Ten All-Defensive Team in her first season at Nebraska in 2021-22.

Owusu, who spent the past three seasons at Maryland, joined Shelley and Markowski as a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2021-22. In 2020, Owusu was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year before capturing the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as the nation's top shooting guard in 2021. She was an AP All-American in both 2021 (3rd) and 2022 (HM).

Aussie Pairs Play Big Roles for Huskers, Hokies
Both Nebraska and Virginia Tech feature a pair of Australians on their 2021-22 rosters. Huskers Jaz Shelley (12.9 ppg, 7.6 apg) and Isabelle Bourne (10.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg) have started all seven games for the Big Red this season.

Shelley (Moe, Australia), who is in her second season at Nebraska, was the only Big Ten player to rank among the top 20 in the conference in all five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) last season. She was also one of the Big Ten's top three-point shooters.

Bourne (Canberra, Australia) is in her third season as a Nebraska captain and starter. The fourth year Husker power forward is closing in on 1,000 career points (918) and needs just four rebounds to reach 500 in her career.

Virginia Tech counters with 5-6 junior starter Georgia Amoore (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) and 6-2 freshman reserve Charlise Dunn (Victoria, Australia). Amoore (11.5 ppg, 5.7 apg) ranks 10th in Virginia Tech history with 139 three-pointers in her career. She has hit 38.8 percent of her threes over three seasons, including 40 percent (70-175) a year ago. Dunn, who has been a key member of the Australian National Team program at the age group level for several years, is averaging 3.0 points per game off the bench for the Hokies in her first season.

Williams Notches 100th Husker Win
Amy Williams claimed her 100th win as Nebraska's head coach when the Huskers defeated preseason Southland Conference favorite Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 73-44, in the Puerto Rico Clasico  at Roberto Clemente Coliseum on Friday, Nov. 25.

Williams became the third Nebraska women's basketball coach in history to reach the 100-win mark, joining Connie Yori (280) and Angela Beck (191).

Williams is also closing in on her 200th career NCAA Division I victory (197) and her 300th overall collegiate head coaching victory (294).

Scouting the Virginia Tech Hokies
Head Coach Kenny Brooks leads No. 9 Virginia Tech into the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with a 6-0 record after running to an 89-28 win over Longwood at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg on Sunday.

The Hokies climbed into the AP Top 10 on Monday, after entering the WBCA/USA Today Top 10 at No. 9 on Nov. 22 and maintaining that ranking on Nov. 29.

Virginia Tech has won its six games by an average of 37 points per game, including neutral site wins over Kentucky (Nov. 21) and Missouri (Nov. 23) in the Bahamas.

The Hokies are led by National Player of the Year and two-time Lisa Leslie Award finalist Elizabeth Kitley. The 6-6 center is averaging 19.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season. Last year, she was the ACC Player of the Year and a third-team AP All-American. The two-time first-team All-ACC pick was also the 2020 ACC Freshman of the Year. Kitley has more than 1,500 career points and more than 200 career blocks while closing in on 900 career rebounds.

While Kitley is an outstanding anchor inside, a pair of Big Ten transfers have added more offensive punch for the Hokies this season. Ashley Owusu, a three-time All-Big Ten shooting guard at Maryland, has joined the Virginia Tech starting five. Owusu, the 2021 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award winner, is averaging 11.8 points and 3.0 rebounds. Owusu totaled more than 1,300 points, 350 rebounds and 400 assists in her three seasons at Maryland.

Kayana Traylor is in her second year at Virginia Tech after spending her first three seasons at Purdue. The 5-9 senior guard is averaging 12.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists off the bench for the Hokies. An All-Big Ten choice at Purdue, Traylor was a second-team All-ACC Tournament Team member last season in helping Virginia Tech to the ACC semifinals.

Australian Georgia Amoore provides a dynamic starting presence, averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 assists while adding a consistent three-point shooting threat. The 5-6 point guard has knocked down nearly 40 percent of her threes in the past two years and already ranks among the top 10 in program history with 139 career threes.

Cayla King, a 6-0 senior guard, has added 10.7 points and 3.2 rebounds, while 5-11 graduate forward Taylor Soule has contributed 9.7 points and 5.3 boards. Soule was a three-time All-ACC selections at Boston College before joining the Hokies for this season. Soule owns nearly 1,600 career points and more than 700 career rebounds.

In addition to the experience of the starting five and Traylor, the Hokies also have a graduate student and a pair of seniors in supporting roles off the bench.

Virginia Tech has shown its explosiveness by averaging 81.8 points while allowing just 44.8 points per game. The Hokies have dominated the boards (43.5-28.0 rpg), while also dominating in turnover margin (6.7 pg), committing just 12.8 turnovers while forcing 19.5 turnovers per contest. Virginia Tech has hit 46.3 percent of its field goals, including 34.1 percent of its threes, while knocking down 77.2 percent of its free throws.

Husker Nuggets
• The Huskers have hit at least one three in 438 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two threes in 317 consecutive games.

• Nebraska has hit 10 or more threes 16 times in the last 46 games, including four times in 2022-23. NU opened 2022-23 by hitting 14-of-34 threes in a win over Omaha (Nov. 7), before going 10-for-27 in a win over Houston Christian (Nov. 11). The Huskers added 11-for-28 long-range shooting in a win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in Puerto Rico (Nov. 25), before knocking down 12-of-30 in a win over Mississippi State (Nov. 26).

• The Huskers hit double-digit threes nine times in 2021-22, including a Big Ten Tournament-record 15-of-32 threes against Illinois (March 3). NU went 14-of-28 against NC Central (Nov. 20), 14-of-30 at Iowa (Jan. 16), 12-of-29 vs. Drake (Dec. 19), 11-of-20 vs. Purdue (Jan. 30), 11-of-22 vs. Prairie View A&M (Nov. 11), 10-of-19 at San Diego (Nov. 27), 10-of-21 against Minnesota (Feb. 20) 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 (591 games).

• The Huskers closed 2021-22 at No. 23 in the NET rankings. NU finished No. 10 nationally in scoring offense (77.8 ppg), No. 12 in assists (17.4 apg), No. 13 in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24), No. 18 in scoring margin (+13.5 ppg), No. 20 in three-point field goal percentage (.357) and No. 21 in three-pointers made per game (8.5).



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