Huskers Take on Top 10 Terps on Super Sunday
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team takes on its toughest opponent of the regular season when the Huskers meet USA Today Coaches No. 10 Maryland on Sunday in Lincoln. Tip-off between the Huskers (17-6, 7-2 Big Ten) and the Terrapins (19-3, 8-1 Big Ten) is set for 1 p.m. (MT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena with first place in the Big Ten standings on the line.
• Fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance on Huskers.com to avoid lines at the ticket windows at Pinnacle Bank Arena on game day.
• A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch teaming up for their 17th season together on the call. The game will be carried for free on Huskers.com and over the air on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App and the TuneIn App.
• A live video stream will be provided to BTN Plus subscribers as a BTN Student U production.
• The Huskers are riding a five-game winning streak after a 62-47 win over Illinois at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday night to open a three-game home stand. The Terps bring a four-game winning streak to Lincoln following a Thursday win over Rutgers in College Park. Maryland, which has won three straight Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles since joining the Big Ten for the 2014-15 season, suffered its only conference loss in an 82-68 setback to Michigan State on Jan. 11.
• Nebraska’s 8-2 record matches its best 10-game conference start since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12. Only three teams in school history have opened conference play with a 9-2 record or better, including an 11-0 start in 2009-10 (Big 12), a 9-2 start in 2006-07 (Big 12) and a 9-2 start in 1987-88 (Big Eight).
• Five of Nebraska’s eight Big Ten wins have come against NCAA RPI Top 50 teams (through games Feb. 1), including at Rutgers (18), Iowa (26, twice), Purdue (37), and at Minnesota (50). NU’s only conference losses have come to RPI No. 6 Ohio State and RPI No. 32 Michigan in overtime.
• Nebraska is one of only five NCAA Division I teams that is unbeaten in true road games this year joining Mercer (11-0), UConn (10-0), Louisville (10-0) and Mississippi State (6-0).
• Nebraska is one of only two teams nationally (through games Feb. 1) that owns a plus-10 or better improvement in the win column over 2016-17. The team that has shown the most improvement is Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are plus-11 in the win column at 17-7 (6-24, 2016-17).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (17-6, 8-2 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Fr. – C – 10.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – So. – G – 13.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – So. – G – 8.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – Sr. – F – 6.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Off the Bench
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – Fr. – G – 10.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 4.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg
13 – Janay Morton – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 3.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
15 – Bria Stallworth – 5-6 – So. – G – 3.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – F – 2.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (24-28)
11th Season Overall (217-137)
No. 11/10 Maryland Terrapins (19-3, 8-1 Big Ten)
24 – Stephanie Jones – 6-2 – So. – F – 11.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg
3 – Channise Lewis – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 5.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
5 – Kaila Charles – 6-1 – So. – G – 17.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg
12 – Kristen Confroy – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 10.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg
10 – Eleanna Christinaki – 6-0 – Jr. – G – 13.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Off the Bench
34 – Brianna Fraser – 6-3 – Jr. – C – 10.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
1 – Ieashia Small – 6-0 – RSr. – G – 10.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg
21 – Sarah Myers – 6-0 – So. – G – 2.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg
0 – Aja Ellison – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 1.0 ppg, 1.6 rpg
22 – Blair Watson – 6-0 – So. – G – 13.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Head Coach: Brenda Frese (Arizona, 1993)
16th Season at Maryland (421-114)
19th Season Overall (478-144)
Scouting the Maryland Terrapins
• Coach Brenda Frese has her 16th Maryland team climbing in the rankings as the Terrapins sit alone atop the Big Ten Conference standings. The Terps shoot for their 20th win of the year, which would mark their 14th straight season with 20 or more victories. • Maryland is winning at a high level despite losing two All-Americans in guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and center Brionna Jones along with the 2017 National Freshman of the Year in point guard Destiny Slocum, while also suffering the loss of one of its top players this season – sophomore guard Blair Watson (13.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) just five games ago.
• With a revamped roster, Maryland opened the season with a 2-2 record with its losses coming to defending national champion South Carolina and current No. 1 UConn before Thanksgiving. Since then, the Terrapins have won 17 of 18 games with their lone loss coming to Michigan State (Jan. 11) a day after learning they had lost Watson for the season with a knee injury.
• Maryland may not be as potent or experienced as previous seasons, but the Terrapins are still loaded.
• Kaila Charles, a 6-1 sophomore guard, was named the USBWA National Player of the Week (Jan. 30) after averaging 24.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and two blocks in wins over No. 12 Ohio State and at Northwestern last week. Charles hit 19-of-25 shots from the field and 10-of-12 free throws. She had 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting in the win over the Buckeyes. Charles leads Maryland with 18.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game on the season.
• Eleanna Christinaki, a 6-0 junior guard who was a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team at Florida in 2015-16, has added 14.0 points and 3.8 rebounds since becoming eligible on Dec. 20 (Coppin State) after sitting out one season due to NCAA transfer rules. Christinaki scored 32 points in her debut and added 26 points on 6-of-11 three-point shooting in last week’s win over Ohio State.
• Stephanie Jones, a 6-2 sophomore forward and the younger sister of Brionna Jones, leads Maryland inside with 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. She is shooting a team-best 61 percent from the field, while adding 22 blocks.
• The most experienced Terp is senior Kristen Confroy. The 5-9 guard has joined Jones and Charles in the starting lineup for all 22 games this season. Confroy, who has hit 53-of-110 (.482) of her threes is an elite shooter who is also averaging nearly three assists per game. She has played in 128 games for the Terps with 82 starts.
• Fellow senior Ieshia Small gives Maryland a major boost off the bench. The aggressive scoring guard is averaging 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in just over 23 minutes per game. She is just 1-for-15 on the season from three-point range.
• Freshman Channise Lewis has assumed starting point guard duties in place of the departed Destiny Slocum this season. The 5-8 Lewis has managed 5.4 points and 5.3 assists per game. She is also a solid three-point shooter, hitting 22-of-54 attempts (.407) on the season, despite making just 15-of-28 free throws (.536).
• Junior Brianna Fraser gives Maryland six active players averaging in double figures with 10.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in just 21.7 minutes per game. The 6-3 center provides Maryland with a more traditional post presence and leads the Terps with 25 blocks.
• Sophomore guard Sarah Myers (2.1 ppg) and junior forward Aja Ellison (0.9 ppg) round out the potential contributors on a Maryland roster that features just nine players. Ellison, the daughter of former Louisville All-American Pervis Ellison, has played just 16 total minutes in Big Ten action as she continues to recover from a knee injury that kept her off the court last season.
Nebraska vs. Maryland Series History
• Maryland leads the all-time series with Nebraska 6-0, and the Huskers have never played the Terrapins within single digits.
• The first meeting in history came with Nebraska’s 76-64 setback at Maryland in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament (March 25). The 12-point margin matched the narrowest in series history.
• In 2012-13, the Huskers dropped a 90-71 decision to the Terrapins in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at the Devaney Center on Nov. 28, 2012.
• The two teams did not meet again until Jan. 3, 2015, when the Huskers fell to Maryland, 75-47 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Just over a month later, the Huskers battled the Terps to a 59-47 decision in College Park on Feb. 8 – tying for the tighest margin in series history.
• Maryland’s edge grew to 5-0 with an 89-50 win over the Huskers at the Xfinity Center on Jan. 7, 2016, before Nebraska withstood the biggest loss in series history with a 93-49 setback last season in Lincoln (Jan. 4, 2017) – the largest losing margin at home in Husker history.
• A win for Nebraska over Maryland would be the Huskers’ 18th victory of the season, which would be a plus-11-win improvement from last season (7).
• A win would be NU’s sixth straight and fifth in the last six games over NCAA Top 50 RPI teams, joining Rutgers (18), Iowa (26, twice) and Purdue (37).
• At 8-0 in true road games, Nebraska is one of only five teams in NCAA Division I (349 teams) unbeaten in true road contests, joining UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Mercer.
• Kate Cain ranks third on Nebraska’s season block list with 76. She needs one block to match Catheryn Redmon (77, 2010-11) in second on that list. The Nebraska school record is 78 by Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (78, 2007-08). Cain has at least one blocked shot in all 23 games this season.
• Cain’s 76 blocks rank No. 4 in the nation while her 3.3 blocks per game rank seventh in the country through games Feb. 1. No Nebraska individual has ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a career, and only two Huskers (Danielle Page, 2.4 bpg, 2007-08; Catheryn Redmon, 2.5 bpg, 2010-11) have ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a single season.
• Nebraska freshman Taylor Kissinger has come off the bench for the Huskers in their first 10 Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard from Minden, Neb., is averaging 10.3 points per game on the year. Kissinger averaged a team-best 14.0 points per game over the first seven games this season as a starter before missing Nebraska’s final six non-conference contests with a knee injury.
• Junior Maddie Simon (+6.9 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 11.0 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. Simon has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 14 games. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.
Big Red Locking Down on Defense in Big Ten
• Nebraska is showing drastic improvement on defense in 2017-18. Last season, Nebraska ranked 14th in the Big Ten by allowing 76.3 points, including 80.4 points per game in league play. Prior to 2015-16, the Huskers had not allowed 65 points per game since 2004-05.
• This season, Nebraska is allowing 63.0 points per game, including 62.6 in Big Ten play.
• During NU’s current five-game winning streak, the Huskers are allowing just 55.8 points per game. • Nebraska leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (.365) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.297). Big Ten opponents are shooting just .294 from three-point range against the Huskers.
• Last season, Nebraska allowed 82.8 points per game to go 0-13 away from home. This year, Nebraska is allowing just 63.8 points per game while going 9-1 away from Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 8.0 points per game better offensively (70.8-62.8 ppg) and 13.3 points per game better defensively (63.0-76.3 ppg).
• Nebraska allowed just 42 points at No. 25 Rutgers, the lowest point total by an opponent in Coach Amy Williams’ two seasons at NU and the fewest points surrendered by the Huskers since holding Creighton to 38 on Dec. 14, 2013. It was also the fewest points allowed by the Huskers in a road game since holding Michigan to 39 points on Feb. 21, 2013, in Ann Arbor.
• Nebraska has held eight foes to 55 points or less, including 42 at No. 25 Rutgers, 47 to Illinois (Feb. 1) and Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), 49 at Kansas (Dec. 6), 51 to Purdue (Jan. 24), 52 to Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 2), 53 to SIUE (Nov. 11) and 55 at San Jose State (Dec. 17). • Last season, the Huskers held just two foes to 55 or less.
• The Huskers have held two opponents (Illinois, 2nd, 0-12, Feb. 1; at Kansas, 4th, 0-14, Dec. 6) without a field goal in a quarter this season. They are the only two times Nebraska has held an opponent without a field goal since the advent of the quarter system. • Nebraska held Illinois (Feb. 1) to just 10 points in the first half – the lowest total by an opponent in a first half in school history. Illinois managed just one point in the second quarter.
• Nebraska held Kansas (Dec. 6) to just 13 points in the second half, the fewest points ever scored in a half by a Husker road opponent on their home court.
• The Huskers limited a potent Michigan offense to just 14 second-half points (4 field goals), including five points in the third quarter, to take the No. 23 Wolverines to overtime (Jan. 13).
• Since accomplishing it the first time in the first quarter (8 points) against Coastal Carolina (Nov. 24), Nebraska has held opponents to single digits in a quarter a total of 13 times, including seven times in 10 Big Ten Conference games. The Huskers held Michigan (3rd, 4th), Rutgers (1st, 4th) and Illinois (1st, 2nd) to single digits twice in the same game.
• The Huskers held the nation’s top-scoring team (91.4 ppg entering the game) No. 12 Ohio State to just 73 points to open Big Ten play (Dec. 28).
• Nebraska held the nation’s No. 9 scoring offense to 74 points in a win at Minnesota (Dec. 31). The Golden Gophers entered the game averaging 94.2 points per game in seven home games at Williams Arena, before being held 20 points below their home scoring average by the Huskers.
• In a season sweep of Iowa, the Huskers held the high-scoring Hawkeyes to just 1-for-19 from three-point range combined. In the first meeting, Iowa went 0-for-7 with multiple air balls and had two attempts blocked by Huskers.
• Nebraska heads into Sunday’s game with Maryland riding a five-game winning streak, including three straight wins at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• The Huskers have won nine consecutive games away from Pinnacle Bank Arena, including seven straight true road games and five consecutive Big Ten road games.
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (40) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 22 games by freshman Kate Cain.
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 23 games this season.
• Nebraska has featured the same starting lineup in 15 consecutive games (12-3 record).
• Whitish has posted at least one assist in 25 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 21 games this season.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 20 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 23 games of her career. She has 19 games with two or more blocks.
• Cain has at least two rebounds every game this season.
• Maddie Simon has at least three rebounds in all 19 of her games this season. • Taylor Kissinger has dished out an assist in nine consecutive games off the bench.
• Kissinger has also blocked at least one shot in five straight games.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 303 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 182 consecutive games.