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Huskers Close Non-Conference Play at Arkansas | KTIC Radio

Huskers Close Non-Conference Play at Arkansas

Huskers Close Non-Conference Play at Arkansas
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team closes its regular-season non-conference schedule when the Huskers travel to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas Tuesday at Bud Walton Arena.
• Tip off between Nebraska (5-5) and the Razorbacks (8-3) is set for 7 p.m. (CT) in Fayetteville. Live radio coverage (beginning at 6:45 p.m.) can be heard in Lincoln on B107.3 FM, in Omaha on CD 105.9 FM and across the state on many other Husker Sports Network stations. Free live audio can also be found at and on the Huskers App. A live video stream will be provided by SEC Network Plus and the Watch ESPN App.
• Nebraska completed a perfect three-game home stand with a 96-71 win over Denver on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Sophomore guard Taylor Kissinger, who scored a career-high 25 points in last year’s 80-69 Husker win over Arkansas, scored 18 points to lead five Huskers in double figures against Denver. Kissinger averaged 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals in NU’s home wins over Kansas, San Jose State and Denver.
• Fellow sophomore Kate Cain also surged in the Husker home stand, averaging 15.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in wins over San Jose State and Denver. In those two contests, the 6-5 center hit 15-of-18 field goal attempts. A Lisa Leslie National Center of the Year Award candidate, Cain is averaging 9.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks through 10 games.
• Cain and Kissinger lead a group of Huskers that feature all five starters averaging more than eight points per game. In fact, eight Huskers are averaging more than eight points.
• Sam Haiby is NU’s leading scorer overall with 10.5 points per game. The 5-9 freshman has added 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists, including a career-high eight assists and no turnovers against Denver.
• Leigha Brown, a 6-1 freshman wing, improved her season scoring to 8.6 points per game by averaging 17.5 points in wins over San Jose State and Denver. Brown averaged 13.0 points during the home stand while shooting 54.2 percent from the field.
• Freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek is also surging after producing back-to-back career-high totals of 14 points against San Jose State and Denver. In fact, during Nebraska’s three-game home stand the 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa averaged a double-double with 11.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in just 16.7 minutes per game. Veerbeek is averaging 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds on the year.
• Four of Nebraska’s five losses early this season have come against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams, including Final Four participant and 2018 ACC champion Louisville, Creighton (NCAA second round), Miami and Drake. Both the Hurricanes (22nd) and Drake (25th) are currently ranked in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 along with No. 4 Louisville.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-5, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 8.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – So. – C – 9.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – Jr. – G – 8.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – So. – G – 10.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Off the Bench
4 – Sam Haiby – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 10.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg
32 – Leigha Brown – 6-1 – Fr. – F – 8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg
13 – Ashtyn Veerbeek – 6-2 – Fr. – F – 8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg
44 – Kayla Mershon – 6-3 – Fr. – F – 2.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg
11(out) – Kristian Hudson – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Third Season at Nebraska (33-38); 12th Season Overall (226-147)
Arkansas Razorbacks (8-3, 0-0 SEC)
10 – Kiara Williams – 6-1 – Jr. – F/C – 7.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg
2 – Alexis Tolefree – 5-8 – Jr. – G – 12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
10 – Malica Monk – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 12.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
14 – Jailyn Mason – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 6.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg
33 – Chelsea Dungee – 5-11 – So. – G – 16.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Off the Bench
00 – A’Tyanna Gaulden – 5-7 – So. – G – 6.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
22 – Bailey Zimmerman – 6-0 – Sr. – G/F – 5.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg
24 – Taylah Thomas – 6-1 – So. – F – 4.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
52 – Rokia Doumbia – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 1.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg
1 – Raven Northcross-Baker – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 1.6 ppg, 0.8 rpg
30 – Macy Weaver – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
13 – Grayce Spangler – 5-11 – So. – G – 0.8 ppg, 0.5 rpg
20 – Sydney Stout – 6-0 – Jr. – F – 0.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg
Head Coach: Mike Neighbors (Arkansas, 1993)
Second Season at Arkansas (21-21); Sixth Season Overall (119-92)
Scouting the Arkansas Razorbacks
• Arkansas carries an 8-3 record into Tuesday night’s game against Nebraska after running to a 71-44 win over Prairie View A&M at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville on Sunday afternoon.
• Coach Mike Neighbors has the Razorbacks in position for improvement in his second season at his alma mater, after leading his first Arkansas team to a 13-18 record and a 3-13 SEC mark last year.
• After the game against Nebraska, Arkansas has two more non-conference games, at Tulsa (Dec. 20) and at home against Jackson State (Dec. 30) before entering SEC play at home against Mississippi State (Jan. 3).
• The Razorbacks have been bolstered by the addition of Oklahoma transfer Chelsea Dungee. A member of the Big 12 All-Freshman Team in 2016-17, Dungee was the Gatorade Oklahoma High School Player of the Year at Sapulpa as a sophomore in 2014, after helping the USA Basketball U16 team to a gold medal at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship. The 5-11 redshirt sophomore is averaging a team-best 16.3 points while shooting 36.4 percent (16-44) from three-point range this season.
• Malica Monk is the senior leader for the Razorbacks. The 5-5 guard is averaging 12.8 points and 2.4 assists while knocking down 11-of-30 threes (.367). Monk has struggled at the line, hitting just 56.6 percent (30-53), but she was a 78 percent free throw shooter last year. Monk scored a team-high 22 points in the 80-69 loss at Nebraska last season.
• Two-time transfer Alexis Tolefree has given Arkansas another offensive and defensive weapon. The 5-8 junior from Conway, Ark., started her career at Central Arkansas before transferring to Jones County JC in Ellisville, Miss. The two-time NJCAA All-American is averaging 12.5 points as a high-volume shooter for Arkansas. Tolefree leads the Razorbacks with 26 made threes while shooting 27.4 percent (26-94). She also leads Arkansas with 21 steals.
• Jailyn Mason, a 5-9 junior guard joins Monk as a returning starter to the Razorback backcourt. Mason is averaging 6.6 points while shooting 37.5 percent (9-24) from three-point range. Mason had eight points, five rebounds and four steals in last season’s loss in Lincoln.
• The lone forward in the Arkansas starting five this season is Kiara Williams. The 6-1 junior is averaging 7.3 points and team bests of 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting a team-best 54.4 percent (31-57) from the field. Williams had six points and 11 rebounds as a starter in last year’s loss at Nebraska.
• Another 6-1 forward, Taylah Thomas also had a team-high 11 rebounds last year in Lincoln. Thomas added five points off the bench. So far this season, Thomas is averaging 4.2 points and 6.2 boards.
• Arkansas also has been helped off the bench by Florida State transfer A’Tyanna Gaulden. The 5-7 guard who sat out alongside Dungee last season, is averaging 6.4 points and 2.5 assists.
• Bailey Zimmerman, a 6-0 senior guard/forward has contributed 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds as one of Arkansas’ top reserves. Zimmerman started last season against the Huskers, but managed just one point in 24 minutes.
• As a team, Arkansas owns a plus-11.5 scoring margin (74.8-63.3) but a minus-1.5 rebound margin. The guard-oriented Razorback attack makes up for its lack of rebounding by carrying a plus-7.4 team turnover margin. Arkansas is forcing 18.8 turnovers per game, while committing just 11.5. Last year, Arkansas was just plus-one (16-15) in the turnover department against Nebraska, while the Huskers were plus-10 (55-45) on the glass.
• Arkansas is shooting just 38.8 percent from the field as a team, including 29.9 percent from three-point range. The Razorbacks have hit just 66 percent of their free throws but have attempted 75 more free throws than their opponents.
Nebraska vs. Arkansas Series History
• Tuesday’s meeting will be just the second in school history between Nebraska and Arkansas.
• Nebraska won the inaugural meeting between the two schools last year, when the Huskers worked their way to an 80-69 victory at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Nov. 16, 2017. NU built an 11-point halftime lead (41-30), before Arkansas rallied in the third and fourth quarters to take a 67-65 lead with 6:21 left.
• The Huskers made the plays down the stretch to close out the win, holding Arkansas scoreless for the game’s final 3:56 to end the contest on an 11-0 run.
• Taylor Kissinger erupted for a career-high 25 points, including 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range against the Razorbacks in her third career start.
• Jasmine Cincore, a 2017-18 senior, added 14 points, while Kate Cain pitched in her first career double-double in her second career start with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
• Arkansas guard Malica Monk led the Razorbacks with 22 points and six assists, while graduated senior Devin Cosper contributed 21 points.
• Nebraska owns a 63-53 all-time record against teams currently in the SEC, but the Huskers have only won two true road game against SEC teams at game time. In fact, Tuesday’s game will mark just the sixth time the Huskers have played a true road game against an SEC school.
• Nebraska’s last true road game at an SEC school came with a 53-51 loss at Alabama on Dec. 7, 2014. The Huskers defeated Texas A&M 74-63 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at College Station on March 25, 2013. NU dropped a 64-60 decision at LSU on Jan. 1, 2009, and suffered an 82-42 setback at Tennessee on Jan. 7, 1980. Nebraska defeated Kentucky (90-86) in Lexington on Jan. 4, 1984 for its lone regular-season road win against an SEC team at game time.
• The Huskers are 6-2 against SEC schools in Lincoln, with wins over Arkansas, Alabama (2), Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss, and losses to Georgia (74-59, Nov. 25, 1989) and Missouri (55-35, Nov. 14, 2016).
Husker Nuggets
• Nebraska’s bench outscored the opposition 104-42 in the Huskers’ recent three-game home stand, including a season-best 40-3 edge (+37) in Saturday’s win over Denver.
• The Husker bench has outscored opponents in each of NU’s 10 games this year, including double-digit advantages in seven games.
• Nebraska’s bench got a season-high 42 points against San Jose State, after opening the season with 41 points against Drake to give the Huskers three games with 40 or more points.
• The Big Red bench added a 39-6 edge (+33) in a win over Radford, while outscoring the Washington State bench 33-5 (+28). NU also got 32 points off the bench in a loss at Creighton.
• Overall, Nebraska’s bench has outscored opposition benches 321-149 (32.1-14.9 ppg) for a plus-17.2 margin.
• Nebraska’s 34 points in the fourth quarter against San Jose State tied for the most in any quarter in school history. It joined 34 in the second quarter at Iowa and 34 in the fourth quarter against Florida Atlantic in games last season.
• NU’s 62 points in the second half against San Jose State tied for the fifth-most points scored in any half by the Huskers in school history.
• The Huskers followed with a school-record 31-point first quarter in the win over Denver, giving Nebraska 93 points in a three-quarter span.
• Freshman Sam Haiby led Nebraska with 13 points in a season-opening loss to Drake (Nov. 7). Haiby is the first Husker freshman to lead NU in scoring in an opener since Kelsey Griffin’s 18 in a loss to South Dakota State (Nov. 19, 2005).
• Nicea Eliely leads Nebraska’s active roster with 65 career starts as a Husker. Hannah Whitish (58) is the only other Husker with as many as 50 starts at Nebraska.
Freshmen Contributing Early for Huskers
• Nebraska has received production early and often from its 2018-19 freshman class. The four-player class, which was ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation by ESPN last season, features Sam Haiby (10.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.0 apg), Leigha Brown (8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.2 apg) Ashtyn Veerbeek (8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 bpg), Leigha Brown (8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Kayla Mershon (2.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
• Haiby, a 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., leads Nebraska with 10.5 points per game off the bench. She has led the Huskers in scoring in four games, including against nationally ranked Drake (13) and Miami (14), while also scoring a career-high 20 points at Washington State and adding 17 points at Creighton. She owns five double-figure scoring efforts overall, including 12 points at No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 29).
• Haiby also ranks second among the Huskers in assists (3.0 apg).
• Leigha Brown ranks second among the freshmen in scoring with 8.6 points per game. She set a career high with 18 points in the win over San Jose State (Dec. 8), before adding 17 points and a career-high five assists in the win over Denver (Dec. 15). The 6-1 wing from Auburn, Indiana owns three double-figure scoring efforts and has led the Big Red in scoring twice this season. Brown has committed a total of just six turnovers over the past nine games.
• Ashtyn Veerbeek ranks third among the Husker freshmen in scoring with 8.3 points per game, while leading the group and ranking second on the team with 6.8 rebounds. Veerbeek produced her first career double-double with career highs of 14 points and 14 rebounds in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). She matched her career high with 14 points in just 14 minutes in the win over Denver (Dec. 15). She also ranks second among the Huskers with 11 blocks.
• Kayla Mershon has pitched in 2.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game for the Huskers, including a career-high seven rebounds in the win over Kansas (Dec. 5). The 6-3 forward from Chanhassen, Minn., also has dished out five assists and has committed a team-best two turnovers through 10 games.
• The freshmen have combined for 38.1 percent (296-of-776) of Nebraska’s points in just 33.1 percent of the team’s total minutes (678-of-2,050) on the season. They also have accounted for just 26.5 percent (43-of-162) of Nebraska’s turnovers.
• Nebraska’s four freshmen are combining to average 29.6 points and 14.4 rebounds per game, while NU’s two sophomores (Kate Cain, Taylor Kissinger) have combined to average 19.8 points and 11.6 boards per contest. Nebraska’s six underclassmen have combined for 63.7 percent of NU’s scoring and 59.4 percent of the team’s rebounding through 10 games.
Nebraska Streaks
• Sophomore Kate Cain owns the longest streak of consecutive starts by a Husker with 41.
• Junior Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska’s second-longest streak of starts with 36, while senior Maddie Simon has started 34 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has at least two rebounds in every game of her Nebraska career (42), and she has blocked at least one shot in 40 of 42 games (no blocks in 2018 NCAA Tournament vs. Arizona State and no blocks at Creighton, Dec. 2, 2018).
• Sophomore Taylor Kissinger is 12-for-12 at the free throw line to open the season and owns the longest active free throw streak by a Husker. Kissinger also hit eight consecutive three-pointers over a three-game stretch earlier this season.
• Freshman forward Ashtyn Veerbeek has knocked down 10 consecutive free throws, including an 8-for-8 effort against Denver (Dec. 15).
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 322 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 201 consecutive games.
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