NU Notes: Iowa to lock up Big Ten title game bid with win over Huskers
Iowa will return to the Big Ten championship game as West champion if it knocks off the Cornhuskers an eighth straight time on Friday in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes were 1-3 in conference play a month ago and a December trip to Indianapolis looked like an impossibility with upstart Illinois reeling off wins. But the Illini have lost three straight and the Hawkeyes are on the doorstep after four straight wins.
Iowa has won 14 straight November games.
Scheels Hero Game Honoree Announced
The annual football matchup between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Iowa Hawkeyes kicks off this year from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa at 3 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 25. It marks the second year for SCHEELS to title sponsor the traditional "Heroes Game," which recognizes and celebrates local heroes who inspire others and positively impact the community.
SCHEELS' commitment to supporting everyday heroes is reflected through its dedicated "Heroes Game" sponsorship. This year, SCHEELS and the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrate Blake Vitale of Falls City, Nebraska.
In the early morning of November 23, 2012, a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Vitale family home near Salem, Nebraska. As the structure was quickly engulfed and the ceiling started to fall, then 10-year-old Blake Vitale rushed to save his three siblings who were asleep upstairs. Despite the two-story home being completely destroyed, Blake's heroics helped prevent any loss of life. For his efforts, Blake was honored with multiple recognitions including the Cornhusker Chapter of the American Red Cross' Good Samaritan Award and the Nebraska Funeral Director's Hero Award. Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of Blake's selfless acts.
"It was evident through the multiple entries received, that Blake stood out as a local hero in Nebraska. 10 years ago, Blake was able to save members of his family from a devastating fire," said Nathan Johnson, Communications & Sponsorship Manager for SCHEELS. "There are many heroes around us and SCHEELS is proud to honor Blake at this year's SCHEELS Heroes Game."
The halftime recognition will involve state representatives and the mascots of both schools, as well as videoboard recognition for the 2022 SCHEELS Heroes. A replica of the Heroes trophy will be displayed at the local SCHEELS of the winning team.
Huskers Finish Regular Season at Home
• The No. 5 Nebraska volleyball team heads into the final weekend of the regular season with a chance to play for a Big Ten championship. The Huskers host No. 3 Wisconsin on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, and they will finish the regular season on Saturday at 8 p.m. against No. 9 Minnesota at the Devaney Center.
• Both matches this weekend will be televised on BTN and can be streamed on FoxSports.com. Anne Marie Anderson and Emily Ehman will have the call for both matches.
• The Huskers Radio Network will broadcast all the action on their radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha on Friday, and AM 590 in Omaha on Saturday. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and the Huskers app. John Baylor is in his 29th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS
• Nebraska clinches at least a share of the Big Ten championship with wins vs. Wisconsin and Minnesota.
• Nebraska clinches the outright Big Ten championship with wins vs. Wisconsin and Minnesota, combined with a Wisconsin loss at Ohio State on Saturday night (6 p.m. CT).
• Nebraska can share the Big Ten championship with a win vs. Wisconsin and a loss vs. Minnesota, but would need Ohio State to beat Wisconsin on Saturday night.
• Nebraska must beat Wisconsin on Friday night to have any chance at winning a Big Ten championship.
• The Big Ten recognizes teams tied atop the volleyball standings at the end of the regular season as co-champions. A tiebreaker is used to determine which team receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The tiebreaker procedure is: 1) Head-to-head conference match results; 2) Percentage of sets won or lost between or among tied teams; 3) Percentage of sets won in all conference matches; 4) Point differential of head-to-head competition between or among tied teams.
SENIOR NIGHT CELEBRATION ON SATURDAY
• Nebraska will recognize its senior class following the Minnesota match on Saturday night. Kaitlyn Hord, Kenzie Knuckles and Madi Kubik will be honored in the post-match ceremony. Nicklin Hames, who was honored on last year's senior night, will also be recognized as Nebraska's career assists record holder.
• Knuckles and Kubik came into the Husker program as freshmen in 2019. A third-team All-American last season, Kubik has played in all 113 matches over the last four seasons and in 393 of a possible 396 sets in that time. Knuckles has played in 112 matches and 391 sets.
• Hames returned for a fifth year of eligibility this season and became Nebraska's career assists record holder midway through the season. She is the only setter in Husker history to reach 5,000 career assists - currently at 5,012 entering the weekend.
• Hord, a three-time All-American, played four seasons at Penn State before transferring to Nebraska to use her fifth year of eligibility this year.
NOTING THE HUSKERS
• Nebraska is hitting .250 as a team and is holding opponents to .120 hitting, which leads the nation. The Huskers rank eighth nationally at 2.74 blocks per set.
• In Big Ten matches only, Nebraska ranks first in opponent hitting percentage (.117), first in opponent kills allowed (10.80 per set) and first in opponent service aces allowed (0.67).
• Nebraska opened the season in a 5-1 system but has been in a 6-2 system since Sept. 1 against Loyola Marymount. The Huskers have used three setters throughout the course of the season: Nicklin Hames (5.75 assists per set), Kennedi Orr (5.26 assists per set) and Anni Evans (4.35 per set).
• Hames, who is in her fifth season at NU, has 5,012 career assists and broke Fiona Nepo's (1995-98) career assists school record on Oct. 22 at Illinois. Hames ranks sixth among active NCAA Division I setters in career assists. An exceptional defensive setter, Hames ranks second on the team in digs at 3.05 per set this season.
• Outside hitter Madi Kubik is averaging a team-high 3.36 kills per set and adds 2.33 digs per set. Kubik surpassed 1,000 career kills on Sept. 10 against Long Beach State, becoming the 24th Husker all-time to reach that mark. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 5.17 kills per set on .347 hitting to go along with 3.33 digs per set in sweeps over Iowa and Purdue.
• Sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez is averaging a team-best 4.28 digs per set. Rodriguez is the reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. She was named the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 10 after averaging 6.00 digs per set in sweeps at Michigan State and Michigan, including a season-high 25 digs in the three-set win over the Wolverines.
• Outside hitter Whitney Lauenstein is averaging 2.92 kills per set and has a team-high 27 service aces. Lauenstein had a career-high 25 kills on .385 hitting in a win at No. 17 Creighton on Sept. 7. It was the most kills by a Husker in a match since Mikaela Foecke had 27 kills in the NCAA Championship match against Stanford in 2018.
• Middle blocker Kaitlyn Hord is averaging 1.31 kills and a .280 hitting percentage to go with 1.61 blocks per set, which leads the nation. Hord ranks No. 2 among active NCAA Division I players in career blocks with 667.
• Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Krause provides 2.05 kills per set.
• Freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick is putting up 1.95 kills per set on a team-high .337 hitting percentage with 1.01 blocks per set. Allick was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 17 and Oct. 24.
• No. 5 Wisconsin (23-3, 17-1 Big Ten) ranks first in the Big Ten with a .270 hitting percentage and second with a .156 opponent hitting percentage. The Badgers are No. 2 in the nation in blocking (3.01 per set).
• Sarah Franklin leads the attack with 3.59 kills per set, while Julia Orzol adds 2.71 kills per set. They are hitting .233 and .225, respectively.
• Middle blocker Danielle Hart is second in the Big Ten and third in the nation with 1.57 blocks per set.
• No. 9 Minnesota (18-8, 13-5 Big Ten) plays at No. 8 Ohio State on Friday night before heading to Lincoln for the Big Ten finale.
• The Golden Gophers rank second among Big Ten teams with a .260 hitting percentage and fourth with a .180 opponent hitting percentage. Minnesota ranks fifth nationally in blocks per set (2.82).
• Outside hitter Taylor Landfair leads all Big Ten players with 4.33 kills per set and is hitting .251. Setter Melani Shaffmaster ranks third in the conference at 10.33 assists per set.
• Nebraska is 19-12-1 all-time against Wisconsin, but the Badgers have won the last nine meetings between the two teams. Wisconsin defeated the Huskers, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18, in Madison on Oct. 26. The last time Nebraska beat Wisconsin was Sept. 30, 2017, a 3-2 win in Lincoln.
• The teams met three times last year, including the NCAA Championship match on Dec. 18 in Columbus, Ohio. Wisconsin prevailed 3-2 after jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the decisive fifth set. NU came back to get within two at 14-12, but it wasn't enough. All five sets were decided by two or three points.
• Nebraska is 36-11 all-time against Minnesota. The teams met once last year in Minneapolis, where Minnesota won 3-2 on Oct. 30.
• Since joining the Big Ten in 2011, Nebraska is 10-7 against Minnesota with a 6-3 record at the Devaney Center.
HUSKERS RANKED NO. 5 IN AVCA POLL
• Nebraska is ranked No. 5 in the AVCA Coaches Poll this week.
• The Huskers were ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, the first time since 2016 the Huskers started a year atop the poll. Nebraska also held the No. 1 ranking the week of Oct. 24.
• Nebraska has been ranked No. 1 in 102 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 529 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 585 AVCA Coaches Polls it has been eligible for since it was established in 1982. Nebraska is the only program to be ranked in every eligible poll all-time.
KNUCKLES, KUBIK, RODRIGUEZ NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS
• The three team captains for the Nebraska volleyball program in 2022 are senior defensive specialist Kenzie Knuckles, outside hitter Madi Kubik and sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez.
• After two years as NU's libero, Knuckles moved into a defensive specialist role last season and was named a team captain for the first time. She averaged 2.06 digs with 0.29 aces per set. Knuckles finished with a double-digit dig performance seven times and ranked 10th in Big Ten play for aces per set (0.31). Knuckles also contributed 52 kills as an attacker out of the back row.
• Kubik was an AVCA third-team All-American in 2021, and she received first-team AVCA North All-Region and first-team All-Big Ten honors. She averaged a team-leading 3.49 kills per set to go with 2.11 digs while adding 21 aces and 55 blocks. Kubik ranked third in Big Ten play in kills per set with 4.11.
• Rodriguez was recognized as the National Freshman of the Year, a first-team AVCA All-American, North Region Freshman of the Year and first-team North All-Region by the AVCA in 2021. She was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection.
AVCA HALL OF FAMER JOHN COOK IN 23RD SEASON AT NEBRASKA
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 23rd season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2022. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, 10 final fours, 12 conference championships and 20 top-10 final rankings since 2000.
• Cook has 815 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history. Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .873 win percentage (654-95).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 57 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook is one of only three active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
REYES STEPS INTO LEAD ASSISTANT ROLE
• Last December, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jaylen Reyes moved into the Huskers' lead assistant role following the departure of associate head coach Tyler Hildebrand, who was named the new head women's volleyball coach at Long Beach State.
• Reyes joined the Husker staff in March 2018. As the Huskers' recruiting coordinator, he has helped NU land the nation's No. 1 recruiting classes for 2021 and 2023, and the No. 2 class for 2022, according to PrepVolleyball.com.
• Reyes coaches the Husker liberos and defense while helping coordinate game plans and scouting reports and assisting with other positions.
• In 2021, Nebraska boasted an elite defense and held opposing teams to just .148 hitting for the year. A former libero at BYU, Reyes led Nebraska's back row defense to unprecedented heights in the 2021 season. Led by AVCA first-team All-American and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Lexi Rodriguez, the Husker defense propelled the young squad all the way to the NCAA Championship match. Rodriguez set a Nebraska freshman record for digs in a season (524), and as a team the Huskers averaged 16.98 digs per set, the third-highest total in school history.
HUNTER EARNS FULL-TIME ASSISTANT POSITION AT ALMA MATER
• Last December, volunteer assistant coach Kelly Hunter was promoted to a full-time assistant role for the Huskers beginning in 2022.
• Following her professional playing career overseas, Hunter joined the Husker staff two years ago. She has served in multiple roles as a volunteer assistant (2020-21), interim assistant coach (January-August 2020) and graduate assistant (2019). She fulfilled her stint as an interim assistant coach in 2020 while former associate head coach Tyler Hildebrand prepared for the 2020 Olympic Games prior to his arrival in Lincoln.
• Hunter set the Huskers to national championships in 2015 and 2017 and was a two-time All-American. She was also the 2017 Big Ten Setter of the Year and a two-time All-Big Ten selection. The three-year Husker captain received numerous honors from volleyball publications, including National Player of the Year and All-America first-team honors from PrepVolleyball.com. Hunter was also named co-Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship with teammate Mikaela Foecke after the Huskers beat Florida in the national title match in 2017.
OMAHA TO HOST NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THIRD TIME IN EIGHT YEARS
• The NCAA Championship returns to Omaha in 2022 for the third time in the last eight years and the fifth time overall. The University of Nebraska and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) will host the NCAA Championship at the CHI Health Center on Dec. 15-17.
• Omaha has served as the most frequent host of the NCAA Championship in the 41-year history of the tournament. Omaha has hosted the event four times: 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2020.
• Omaha hosted the entire 48-team NCAA Tournament in April 2021 after the 2020 season was delayed until the spring because of COVID-19. Kentucky beat Texas, 3-1, to win its first NCAA title that season.
• The Huskers won NCAA titles in Omaha in both 2006 (vs. Stanford) and 2015 (vs. Texas), and the Big Red reached the final four in 2008 before losing a five-set thriller to Penn State in the semifinals.
• Four of the top 11 crowds in NCAA history have occurred at the NCAA Semifinals and Finals played at the CHI Health Center in Omaha.
• Future NCAA Volleyball Championship sites include Tampa (2023), Louisville (2024) and Kansas City (2025).
HUSKERS REACH CONSECUTIVE SELLOUT MILESTONE
• Nebraska volleyball celebrated its 300th consecutive regular-season sellout on Nov. 11 against Iowa.
• The sellout streak dates back to 2001 at the approximately 4,000-capacity NU Coliseum. Despite moving into the 7,907-seat Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013, the sellout streak continued.
• Nebraska's sellout streak is an NCAA women's record. The Huskers have led the nation in attendance every season since moving into the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2013.
• Nebraska volleyball fans have continued to set the bar for attendance throughout the years:
• Nebraska set a new school record for attendance - 8,632 - against No. 2 Stanford on Sept. 18, 2019.
• A new NCAA attendance record was set at the 2021 NCAA Championship with 18,755 fans turning out to watch Wisconsin and Nebraska battle for the national title at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
• Eight of the top nine crowds in NCAA Volleyball history are all matches that have involved the Huskers.
• When Nebraska played at Creighton on Sept. 7, 2022 at the CHI Health Center, a then-regular-season NCAA record crowd of 15,797 turned out to watch the Huskers defeat the Bluejays, 3-2. It shattered the previous regular-season record of 14,022 (set by Nebraska and Creighton in 2018). The record lasted nine days, however, as Wisconsin and Florida drew a crowd of 16,833 to the Kohl Center on Sept. 16.
• Of the 14 largest NCAA volleyball regular-season crowds, 13 have been matches Nebraska played in.
HORD HEADLINES TALENTED GROUP OF NEW HUSKERS
• Nebraska has five new players on its roster this season: Penn State graduate transfer Kaitlyn Hord (Lexington, Ky.), freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick (Lincoln, Neb.), freshman defensive specialist Maisie Boesiger (Firth, Neb.), freshman outside hitter Hayden Kubik (West Des Moines, Iowa) and freshman middle blocker Maggie Mendelson (Ogden, Utah). The Huskers' signing class was the No. 2-ranked class by PrepVolleyball.
• The 6-4 Hord was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team and was a first-team All-Big Ten choice for the third straight season last year at Penn State. She averaged a career-best 2.92 kills per set while hitting .394. Hord recorded 1.40 blocks per set, which ranked third in the Big Ten and seventh nationally.
NINETEEN TV APPEARANCES FOR THE BIG RED IN 2022
• Nebraska plays on TV 19 times this season, including 14 national TV broadcasts.
• The Huskers appear on the Big Ten Network 12 times during the regular season, and Nebraska plays at Creighton on FS1 on Sept. 7 and at Kentucky on ESPNU on Sept. 18.
• In addition to the 14 national TV broadcasts, Nebraska Public Media is televising five matches: Tulsa (Aug. 26), Loyola Marymount (Sept. 1), Ohio State (Sept. 24), Northwestern (Oct. 16) and Iowa (Nov. 11).
• The 10 matches that are not on TV can be streamed with a B1G+ subscription. Every match throughout the season airs on the Huskers Radio Network and can be heard on Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
THREE HUSKERS NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
• Three members of the Nebraska volleyball team were named to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Kaitlyn Hord, Madi Kubik and Lexi Rodriguez were all voted to the 15-player preseason team by the conference's head coaches. All three were All-Big Ten First Team selections last year. Kubik was the only player in the Big Ten unanimously chosen to the preseason all-conference team.
• Kubik was an AVCA third-team All-American in 2021, and she received first-team AVCA All-North Region and first-team All-Big Ten honors. She averaged a team-leading 3.49 kills per set to go with 2.11 digs while adding 21 aces and 55 blocks. Kubik ranked third in Big Ten play in kills per set with 4.11.
• Rodriguez was recognized as the AVCA National Freshman of the Year, a first-team All-American, North Region Freshman of the Year and first-team All-North Region in 2021. She was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection.
• Hord, a transfer from Penn State, was named to the AVCA All-America Second Team and was a first-team All-Big Ten choice for the third straight season last year. She averaged a career-best 2.92 kills per set while hitting .394. Hord recorded 1.40 blocks per set, which ranked third in the Big Ten and seventh nationally.
• The Huskers were picked second in the Big Ten preseason poll behind defending national champion Wisconsin. Minnesota was third, followed by Ohio State and Penn State.
MENDELSON, U.S. U19 TEAM WIN GOLD AT PAN AMERICAN CUP
• Nebraska freshman middle blocker Maggie Mendelson and the U.S. Girls' U19 National Team won the gold medal at the Pan American Cup in Tulsa, Okla., in late July. The U.S. team went 5-0 at the tournament without dropping a set.
• Mendelson, the team captain, had six kills, two blocks and two ace serves in the USA's 25-15, 25-14, 25-17 sweep of Brazil in the championship match.
ALLICK, RODRIGUEZ CLAIM GOLD AT PAN AMERICAN CUP
• The U.S. Women's U21 National Team - with Nebraska freshman middle blocker Bekka Allick and sophomore libero Lexi Rodriguez - defeated Argentina 3-1 (25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 25-14) in June to win the Pan American Cup at La Paz Arena in Baja California Sur.
• It is the second time the U.S. has won the title. The last time was in 2017. Both the U.S. Women (5-0) and Argentina (4-2) qualified for the 2023 FIVB U21 World Championship.
• Allick added 14 points on 12 kills and two blocks. Rodriguez, the libero and team captain, was credited with 24 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
Huskers Face Tough Tests in Puerto Rico
The Nebraska women's basketball team travels to San Juan for a pair of stiff challenges over the Thanksgiving holiday break at the Puerto Rico Clasico at the Coliseo Roberte Clemente in San Juan, Nov. 25-26.
The Huskers 3-2 open tournament play on Friday by battling Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The Islanders (2-2) tip-off tournament play against Stony Brook on Thanksgiving Day.
A live video stream of NU's game with the Islanders will be available to subscribers of FloSports (FloHoops). Fans can listen to the call of Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on the Huskers Radio Network (107.3 FM, Lincoln and 105.9 FM, Omaha), the Huskers App and Huskers.com.
On Saturday, the Huskers wrap up tournament play by taking on Mississippi State (4-1) at 12:30 p.m. (CT). The Bulldogs hit the court for the first time in San Juan against Georgetown on Friday at 10 a.m., in a game immediately preceding Nebraska's game with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Nebraska is making its first trip to Puerto Rico since the San Juan Shootout over the Thanksgiving break of 2001. The Huskers went 2-1 with wins over Colgate (86-45) and Northern Iowa (80-74) and a loss to Tulane (84-78), Nov. 23-25. That trip came in Coach Paul Sanderford's final year at Nebraska.
It was the second straight trip to San Juan made by the Huskers, who also appeared at the 2000 Shootout (Dec. 18-21), where they lost to Auburn (74-55) and Arizona (79-68) around a win over UPR-Mayaguez (99-43).
Nebraska was scheduled to travel to Puerto Rico over the Thanksgiving holiday for the San Juan Shootout in 2017-18, but category 5 hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico in September of 2017, causing extensive long-term damage to the island. Nebraska competed in the San Juan Shootout, which relocated to Daytona Beach (Nov. 23-24). The Huskers fell to Buffalo (82-72) before defeating Coastal Carolina (55-47).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2)
vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2-2)
Friday, November 25, 2022, 12:30 p.m. (CT)
Coliseo Roberto Clemente - San Juan, P.R.
Live Video: FloHoops
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (12:15 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (105.9 FM), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 11.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - So. - C/F - 15.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - So. - G - 3.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - So. - G - 10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
Off the Bench
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 6.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg
42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - So. - G - 5.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 3.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg
14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 1.8 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 (99-86); 16th Season Overall (292-195)
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (2-2, 0-0 Southland)
13 - Alecia Westbrook - 6-1 - Sr. - F/C - 10.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg
14 - Bruna Anguera - 6-2 - Fr. - C - 5.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
20 - Makinna Serrata - 6-0 - RSr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg
24 - Violeta Verano - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg
25 - Mireia Aguado - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Off the Bench
21 - Maya Ellis - 6-0 - So. - F - 4.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg
3 - Jaeda Whitner - 5-5 - So. - G - 4.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg
11 - Paige Allen - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
30 - Annika Willstedt - 5-9 - So. - G - 3.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg
15 - Sasha Shishkina - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 3.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg
23 - Kristen Daniels - 5-11 - Gr. - G - 1.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
10 - Hayle Campbell - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
35 - Justis Odom - 6-2 - Jr. - C - 1.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
32 - Nabaweeyah McGill - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg
2 - Deja Williams - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Head Coach: Royce Chadwick (SW Oklahoma St., 1980)
11th Season at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (146-147); 39th Season Overall (709-268)
Scouting the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders
Head Coach Royce Chadwick takes Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to the Puerto Rico Clasico with a 2-2 record following a 63-46 win over Western Colorado at the Dugan Wellness Center in Corpus Christi on Sunday.
The Islanders open the Puerto Rico Clasico by taking on Stony Brook on Thanksgiving Day.
The Islanders also own a 70-38 win over Texas Lutheran, following opening-week losses at Texas Tech (69-49, Nov. 7) and Texas A&M (69-45, Nov. 10).
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is led by 6-1 senior forward Alecia Westbrook who averages team bests with 10.3 points and 8.8 rebounds. She also leads the Islanders with 2.0 steals per game and 1.3 blocks.
Fifth-year senior Makinna Serrata, a 6-0 guard, has added 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds, while 6-2 freshman center Bruna Anguera has pitched in 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds. Fellow Spaniard Violeta Verano, a 5-9 junior guard, has joined Anguera, Serrata and Westbrook in the starting five for each of the first four games. Verano is averaging 5.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and a team-best 2.5 assists. She also leads the Islanders with four three-pointers.
Maya Ellis (4.8 ppg), Paige Allen (4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and Mireia Aguado (3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg) have split starting assignments as well.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi carries a 15-player roster that features five international players, including four from Spain and one Russian (Sasha Shishkina). All 15 players have competed in at least three games for the Islanders this season.
The Islander roster includes three Texans (Makinna Serrata, Deja Williams, Hayle Campbell) and two players from Kansas City, Missouri (Alecia Westbrook, Paige Allen).
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has been solid defensively, holding opponents to just 55.5 points per game. Islander foes have hit just 39.8 percent of their field goals, including a dismal 23 percent (17-74) of their three-pointers. The Islanders also own a plus-3.5 rebound margin and a plus-1.0 turnover margin.
Offensively, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has struggled to score just 56.8 points per game while hitting just 36.5 percent of its shots from the floor, including 26.1 percent (18-69) three-pointers. The Islanders have also hit just 58.3 percent of their free throws.
Nebraska is 2-0 all time against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi with the last meeting coming in a 76-64 Husker win at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 27, 2005. The Huskers also defeated the Islanders 76-58 in Lincoln on Dec. 8, 2001.
Williams Shoots for 100th Husker Win
Amy Williams will take aim at her 100th win as Nebraska's head coach when the Huskers face Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Friday in San Juan, P.R.
Williams could become the third Nebraska women's basketball coach in history to reach the 100-win mark, joining Connie Yori (280) and Angela Beck (191).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-2)
vs. Mississippi State (4-1)
Saturday, November 26, 2022, 12:30 p.m. (CT)
Coliseo Roberto Clemente - San Juan, P.R.
Live Video: FloHoops
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (12:15 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Mississippi State Bulldogs (4-1, 0-0 SEC)
4 - Jessika Carter - 6-5 - RSr. - F/C - 12.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg
0 - Anastasia Hayes - 5-7 - Gr. - G - 10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg
1 - Ahlana Smith - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
2 - JerKaila Jordan - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
21 - Debreasha Powe - 6-1 - Fr. - G/F - 11.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg
Off the Bench
3 - Asianae Johnson - 5-8 - Gr. - G - 9.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
25 - Denae Carter - 6-0 - So. - F - 7.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg
23 - Ramani Parker - 6-4 - Jr. - F - 5.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg
11 - Kourtney Weber - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 3.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
5 - Alasia Hayes - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
24 - Nyayongah Gony - 6-4 - RSo. - F - 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
22 - Charlotte Kohl - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 0.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg
Head Coach: Sam Purcell (Auburn, 2003)
First Season at Mississippi State (4-1); First Season Overall (4-1)
Scouting the Mississippi State Bulldogs
Head Coach Sam Purcell brings his first Mississippi State team to Puerto Rico with a 4-1 record after back-to-back wins over Alabama State (81-46) and Colorado State (71-66).
Purcell was an assistant to Head Coach Jeff Walz at Louisville from 2013 to 2022, helping the Cardinals to the NCAA Women's Final Four last season. That followed a successful stint at Georgia Tech from 2007 to 2013.
Purcell was also an assistant coach alongside Nebraska Head Coach Amy Williams at Tulsa in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
The Bulldogs, who went 15-14 under interim head coach Doug Novak last season, were the 2019 SEC Champions under Vic Schaefer. He led the Bulldogs to NCAA Championship Game appearances in 2017 and 2018 before taking Mississippi State to a third straight NCAA Elite Eight in 2019. Schaefer, now the head coach at Texas, spent his last season at MSU in 2019-20 before Nikki McCray-Penson briefly took the reins of the program for the 2020-21 season. McCray-Penson is now an assistant at Rutgers.
Jessika Carter, a 6-5 redshirt senior forward/center, is the only remaining member of Mississippi State's 2019 NCAA Elite Eight and SEC Championship team under Schaefer. She played in 36 games off the bench. She leads Mississippi State in scoring (12.0 ppg), rebounding (7.6 rpg) and blocked shots (3.2 bpg) this season. She joins Nebraska's Alexis Markowski on the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List this season.
Carter is joined by a pair of experienced graduate guards in Anastasia Hayes (10.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.6 apg) and Ahlana Smith (6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.0 apg). Hayes (24), who was a freshman at Tennessee in 2017-18, transferred to Mississippi State alongside her younger sisters, Aislynn (22, Middle Tennessee) and Alasia (Notre Dame) prior to the 2021-22 season. Smith came to Mississippi State from Louisville after playing two seasons for the Cardinals.
Junior JerKaila Jordan returns to the Bulldogs after starting all 29 games last season. She averaged 13.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals for MSU last season. The 5-9 guard has averaged 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and a team-best 2.2 steals early this season. Jordan was the AAC Freshman of the Year at Tulane in 2020-21.
Freshman Debreasha Powe rounds out Mississippi State's starting five. The 6-1 wing was the No. 84 prospect in the nation by ESPN and the Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year at Meridian High School last season. Powe is averaging 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds while leading MSU with 10 three-pointers.
Asianae Johnson, a 5-8 graduate guard, adds more experience and explosiveness off the bench. Johnson, who started 107 career games and scored more than 1,400 points in her four seasons at St. Bonaventure, is averaging 9.8 points and 3.4 assists. Johnson was second-team All-Atlantic 10 in 2022 and third-team All-A10 in 2021.
Sophomore Denae Carter, a 6-0 forward also packs punch off the bench. A member of the 2022 SEC All-Freshman Team, Carter is averaging 7.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in just 17 minutes per game off the bench. She suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Texas A&M (Jan. 30, 2022).
Mississippi State's roster also includes Nyayongah Gony, a 6-4 redshirt sophomore forward out of Lincoln High School who spent her first two seasons at Miami.
The Bulldogs, who open the Puerto Rico Clasico by taking on Georgetown on Friday morning, are averaging 79.0 points while allowing just 52.4 points per game. MSU carries a plus-8.4 rebound margin and a plus-4.0 turnover margin. Mississippi State is hitting 45.7 percent of its shots from the field including 33.6 percent (38-113) of its three-pointers.
MSU has held opponents to just 33.1 percent shooting, including 26.9 percent (29-108) from three-point range.
Saturday's game marks the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Mississippi State.
Markowski, Bourne Power Huskers Past Tarleton
Alexis Markowski and Isabelle Bourne both posted double-doubles to power Nebraska to a 71-53 win over Tarleton at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday night.
Markowski erupted for a season-high 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting while adding a career-high 18 rebounds. The 6-3 center out of Lincoln Pius X High School also matched career bests with three blocks, three steals and two assists. It was Markowski's second 20-point scoring performance and second double-double of the season.
Bourne, a 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia, added her first double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Markowski and Bourne helped Nebraska outscore Tarleton 50-14 in the paint, while the Huskers also claimed a season-high plus-27 rebound margin (53-26) against the Texans.
The strong play inside allowed Nebraska to overcome an eye injury to starting guard Allison Weidner in the opening minute of the game. Weidner took a shot to her left eye while getting an offensive rebound before scoring Nebraska's first points. She left the game and did not return. Weidner did make the trip to Puerto Rico and could be available for Friday's game with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Trinity Brady and Kendall Moriarty both stepped up with season highs of eight points in Weidner's absence, while Jaz Shelley added eight points of her own to go along with a career-high-tying 12 assists.
The Huskers welcomed the return of graduate guard Sam Haiby against the Texans. Haiby, a three-year starter, missed Nebraska's first four games while recovering from a leg injury. She played six minutes off the bench against Tarleton and managed four rebounds, an assist and a steal. She left the game midway through the third quarter and did not return. She did make the trip to Puerto Rico and could be available for Friday's game with the Islanders.