• The Nebraska women’s basketball team plays its third game of a four-game season-opening home stand when the Huskers play host to Arkansas on Thursday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. with a live national telecast by BTN with Brenda VanLengen and Lisa Byington on the call.
• 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 live for free on Huskers.com and over the air on select Husker Sports Network stations, including B107.3 FM and CD 105.9 FM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App.
• Nebraska enters its first clash with a Power Five Conference foe with a 2-0 record after an 80-60 win over UMKC at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Tuesday night.
• Freshman guard Taylor Kissinger (Minden, Neb.) led a balanced Big Red attack with a career-high 18 points while knocking down a career-best four three-pointers.
• Kissinger was joined in double figures by junior forward Maddie Simon (Lincoln, Neb.), who had 11 points and a career-high-matching eight rebounds, and sophomore forward Grace Mitchell (Wellington, Kan.), who had a career-high 10 points. All 10 Huskers had at least two points and two rebounds.
• Center Kate Cain earned her first career start against UMKC after being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Nov. 13). The 6-5 Cain had 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high three blocks off the bench in her debut. She added eight points and two blocks in the win over UMKC.
• Sophomore Nicea Eliely and senior guard Janay Morton enter the season with injuries and will likely be unavailable for Thursday’s game with Arkansas. Both are hopeful to return to full strength early in the non-conference season.
• First-year Arkansas head coach Mike Neighbors brings the Razorbacks to Lincoln for the first time in school history. Neighbors earned his 100th career coaching victory in the Razorback win over Samford in Fayetteville on Sunday. He led Washington to the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 2016, and guided the Huskies to a tie for second in the Pac-12 and 29 victories last season before returning to his alma mater.
• The Razorbacks averaged 74.5 points per game in a pair of opening-weekend wins over Sam Houston State (65-54) and Samford (84-63). Malica Monk, a 5-5 junior guard, averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals in 35 minutes per game. Senior guard Devin Cosper added 17.5 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds for the Razorbacks in the wins.
You Betcha Shirts to 2,000 Fans for Arkansas Game
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team is offering a fun giveaway for Thursday’s game with Arkansas, as 2,000 lucky fans will receive “You Betcha” T-shirts.
• The signature three-point call of Husker Sports Network play-by-play voice of women’s basketball Matt Coatney makes its way to a fresh batch of red T-shirts for Thursday’s game. • Nebraska’s game with Arkansas on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Pinnacle Bank Arena will tip off at 8 p.m.
Scouting the Arkansas Razorbacks
• Coach Mike Neighbors leads Arkansas to Lincoln for the first time in his first season at the helm of the Razorbacks.
• Neighbors led the University of Washington to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four, before advancing with the Huskies to the 2017 NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Neighbors was the head coach at UW for four seasons and compiled a 98-41 record. He was also an assistant coach for six seasons under current Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff at both Xavier and Washington. In his first season as an assistant at Xavier, the Musketeers lost to Nebraska, 61-58, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
• Sophomore guard Malica Monk led the Razorbacks to a 2-0 record over the weekend by averaging 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and team bests with 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals. Monk averaged 9.1 points per game a year ago.
• Senior guard Devin Cosper averaged 17.5 points and a team-best 8.5 rebounds in wins over Sam Houston State and Samford. Cosper averaged 6.4 points per game last season.
• Jailyn Mason gave the Razorbacks three players averaging in double figures through the first two games. The 5-9 sophomore guard averaged 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. • Forwards Kiara Williams (8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and Bailey Zimmerman (1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg) rounded out the Arkansas starting five in the first two games.
• Junior Keiryn Swenson produced 7.0 points per game off the bench on opening weekend. Swenson averaged 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds as a part-time starter for the Razorbacks last season.
• Freshman Taylah Thomas made the biggest impact for the Razorback reserves on opening weekend, averaging 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in 19 minutes per game. Thomas went 7-for-8 from the field.
• Arkansas and Nebraska have never faced each other in women’s basketball. The Razorbacks are one of two Arkansas schools the Huskers will face in non-conference action this season. The Big Red will face the Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions on Dec. 2 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 7.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Fr. – C – 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – So. – G – 8.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – Fr. – G – 11.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Off the Bench
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
13 – Bria Stallworth – 5-6 – So. – G – 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – F – 5.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 2.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – So. – G – 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
13 – Janay Morton – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy (Gusso) Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (9-22)
11th Season Overall (202-131)
Arkansas Razorbacks (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
10 – Kiara Williams – 6-1 – So. – F/C – 8.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
22 – Bailey Zimmerman – 6-0 – Jr. – G/F – 1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
3 – Malica Monk – 5-5 – Jr. – G – 19.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
21 – Devin Cosper – 5-10 – RSr. – G – 17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg
14 – Jailyn Mason – 5-9 – So. – G – 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Off the Bench
24 – Taylah Thomas – 6-1 – Fr. – F – 8.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
4 – Keiryn Swenson – 6-1 – Jr. – G/F – 7.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
1 – Raven Northcross-Baker – 5.7 – Fr. – G – 1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
20 – Sydney Stout – 6-0 – So. – F – 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
30 – Macy Weaver – 6-3 – Fr. – F – 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
13 – Grayce Spangler – 5-10 – Fr. – G – 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
Head Coach: Mike Neighbors (Arkansas, 1993)
First Season at Arkansas (2-0)
Fifth Season Overall (100-41)
Huskers Have History of Home-Opening Success
• Nebraska owns a history of season-opening success on the Huskers’ home court. NU notched its 42nd season-opening win with a a 62-53 victory over SIU-Edwardsville on Nov. 11.
• NU is 5-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in season openers, including a a 71-53 win over UTRGV on Nov. 12, 2016, a 96-46 victory over Arkansas Pine Bluff on Nov. 14, 2015, a 100-65 win over Pepperdine on Nov. 15, 2014, and a 77-49 win over UCLA in the first regular-season basketball game in the history of the building on Nov. 8, 2013. Nebraska’s last loss in a home opener came to South Dakota State on Nov. 19, 2005. NU’s only other home-opening loss was to Kansas (88-56) on Nov. 21, 1980.
• Nebraska has been strong in its first six home games every season. In fact, NU is 222-37 in the past 44 years in its first six home contests (.857), including 37-7 in Game No. 2.
• Nebraska is 35-8 in Game No. 3, 37-6 in Game No. 4, 37-6 in Game No. 5 and 34-8 in Game 6. The Huskers only played five total home games in their first season in 1974-75.
Huskers Honor State Employees At Creighton Game
• The Nebraska Athletic Department will hold one of its annual State Employee Appreciation Days for the Creighton game on Sunday, Nov. 19. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Bluejays is set for 7 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• State Employees were offered a special $1 ticket discount for the game.
• Sunday night’s game with Creighton also will feature a giveaway of approximately 1,500 men’s and women’s basketball schedule magnets sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Checkoff.
Cain Claims First Big Ten Freshman Honor
• Nebraska’s Kate Cain shared the Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week award when the conference announced its first set of weekly awards on Monday, Nov. 13.
• Cain, a 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., erupted for 18 points and team highs of nine rebounds and three blocks off the bench to help the Big Red to a 62-53 victory over Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Cain, who was ranked as the No. 10 post and No. 82 player overall in the nation by ESPN among 2016-17 high school seniors, hit 9-of-15 shots from the field while adding an assist and a steal in 26 minutes of action against the Cougars on Saturday.
• Cain teamed up with sophomore newcomer Bria Stallworth to account for all 39 of Nebraska’s bench points, as the Husker reserves outscored SIUE, 39-2. Cain scored six of Nebraska’s first eight points in a decisive 13-0 run to end the third quarter against the Cougars.
• Cain shared the honor with Purdue guard Karissa McLaughlin, who scored a team-high 21 points while adding five assists and four steals in leading Purdue’s come-from-behind win over Central Michigan on Friday. McLaughlin became the first freshman guard to start a season opener for Purdue since Courtney Moses in 2010.
• Iowa junior forward Megan Gustafson was named the conference’s first Big Ten Player of the Week. She was named the MVP of the Hawkeye Challenge after averaging 25.5 points, 16.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in a pair of Hawkeye wins over Quinnipiac and Western Kentucky. She scored a career-high 35 points in an overtime win over WKU on Saturday, while adding 17 rebounds.
Young Huskers Ready to Rise, Compete on Defense
• Nebraska will put one of the least-experienced lineups in the Big Ten on the court this season. Senior Jasmine Cincore leads the Huskers with 37 career starts, while true sophomore Nicea Eliely’s 29 starts rank second and Hannah Whitish’s 19 starts rank third. Those three Huskers have combined for 85 of Nebraska’s 110 combined career starts in Husker uniforms. Sophomore Rachel Blackburn (10) and junior Maddie Simon (7) were the only other current Huskers who had ever started a game for Nebraska, and neither one of them made a start last season. Freshman Taylor Kissinger and junior Darrien Washington earned their first career starts against SIUE (Nov. 11), while freshman Kate Cain made her first career start against UMKC (Nov. 14).
• Last season, the four least-experienced teams (Nebraska, Illinois, Rutgers, Wisconsin) tied for 11th in the Big Ten Conference.
• Although the Huskers will be relatively inexperienced, they are confident they can be a drastically improved defensive team in 2017-18. Last season, Nebraska ranked 14th in the Big Ten by allowing 76.3 points per game, including 80.4 points per game in Big Ten play. It marked the second straight season that Nebraska surrendered more than 65 points per game. Prior to the 2015-16 season, the Huskers had not allowed 65 points per game since 2004-05.
• In the 2017-18 season-opening win over SIU Edwardsville, Nebraska held a Cougar team that returned five starters to just 53 – the lowest total allowed by the Huskers since the 2016-17 season-opening win over UTRGV. • In game two of 2017-18, the Big Red limited UMKC to 60 points, as opponents are averaging just 56.5 points per game through the first two contests this season.
• In Nebraska’s exhibition opener against Minnesota State-Mankato, the Huskers held an experienced Maverick team to just 55 points. The Huskers also held Minnesota State to just 28.8 percent field goal shooting. Earlier in the week, Minnesota State won an exhibition game 87-37 against NCAA Division III St. Olaf’s College.
• In a closed scrimmage with 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifier Iowa State in Ames on Oct. 29, Nebraska held the Cyclones to just 64 points and just 20 made field goals at Hilton Coliseum.
• NU’s dynamic work on defense against has been even more impressive considering 2017 Husker Defensive MVP Nicea Eliely and another of their top projected perimeter defenders, Janay Morton, have not played because of injuries.
• Last season, Nebraska allowed 82.8 points per game on the road. The Huskers were also minus-6.2 on the glass and minus-5.9 in turnover margin away from Pinnacle Bank Arena.