Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-6, 6-2) at Iowa Hawkeyes (16-5, 4-4)
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m. (CT)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, Iowa)
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln – B107.3 FM; Omaha – ESPN 590 AM
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com/Huskers & TuneIn Apps
Huskers Shoot for Season Sweep at Iowa
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team closes January on the road to take on Big Ten rival Iowa on Sunday afternoon. Tip-off between the Huskers (15-6, 6-2 Big Ten) and Hawkeyes (16-5, 4-4 Big Ten) is set for 2 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
• 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.
• Nebraska’s 6-2 record at the halfway point of conference play matches the best record for the Huskers since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12 (6-2). That Husker team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament, opened with an 8-2 record and finished 10-6.
• Four of Nebraska’s six Big Ten wins have come against NCAA RPI Top 50 teams (through games Jan. 24), including at Rutgers (14), Iowa (31), at Minnesota (43) and Purdue (46). NU’s only conference losses have come to RPI No. 6 Ohio State and RPI No. 23 Michigan in overtime.
• Nebraska, which is a perfect 7-0 in true road games this season including 4-0 in the Big Ten, is coming off its most impressive performance of the season in a 75-51 victory over Purdue on Wednesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.
• Iowa, which lost to Nebraska, 74-65 in Lincoln on Jan. 16, will be Nebraska’s fifth straight top-50 RPI opponent and seventh in the Huskers’ first nine Big Ten games. Both Nebraska and Iowa received votes in this week’s Associated Press Poll and the Hawkeyes are No. 25 in this week’s WBCA/USA Today Top 25.
• Nebraska is one of only two teams nationally (through games Jan. 24) that owns a plus-eight 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 17-5 (6-24, 2016-17).
• Compared to last season, Nebraska is 7.4 points per game better offensively (70.2-62.8 ppg) and 13.0 points per game better defensively (63.3-76.3 ppg).
• Through games Jan. 24, Nebraska was one of only eight Power Five Conference schools in the nation (and just 19 in NCAA Division I) to have men’s and women’s basketball teams with 15 wins apiece.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (RV/RV) (15-6, 6-2 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Fr. – C – 10.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – So. – G – 13.5 ppg, 3.9 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 – 10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 4.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
15 – Bria Stallworth – 5-6 – So. – G – 3.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg
13 – Janay Morton – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 3.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – F – 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (22-28)
11th Season Overall (215-137)
Iowa Hawkeyes (RV/#25) (16-5, 4-4 Big Ten)
4 – Chase Coley – 6-3 – Sr. – F/C – 8.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg
10 – Megan Gustafson – 6-3 – Jr. – F/C – 23.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg
3 – Mackenzie Meyer – 5-10 – So. – G – 11.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
5 – Alexis Sevillian – 5-5 – RFr. – G – 10.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
22 – Kathleen Doyle – 5-9 – So. – G – 11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
21 – Hannah Stewart – 5-10 – Fr. – G – 7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg
43 – Amanda Ollinger – 6-1 – So. – F – 3.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
34 – Carly Mohns – 6-1 – Jr. – F – 2.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
24 – Zion Sanders – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 0.4 ppg, 0.2 rpg
31 – Paula Valino Ramos – 6-3 – Fr. – F/C – 1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg
11 – Tania Davis – 5-4 – Jr. – G – 9.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Head Coach: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983)
18th Season at Iowa (359-207)
34th Season Overall (715-349)
Scouting The Iowa Hawkeyes
• Coach Lisa Bluder brings her Iowa Hawkeyes into Sunday’s game at Carver-Hawkeye following an impressive 103-89 win over No. 12 Ohio State in Iowa City on Thursday night. The win snapped Iowa’s three-game losing streak. Iowa enters Sunday’s game with a 16-5 overall record and a 4-4 Big Ten mark.
• Junior Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting and five rebounds against the Buckeyes. Gustafson had 29 points and 18 rebounds in the loss at Nebraska (Jan. 16).
• Gustafson is a leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year and All-America honors. The 6-3 forward/center ranks second in the Big Ten with 23.9 points per game while leading the Big Ten with 12.4 rebounds per game. Her 67.0 field goal percentage also leads the Big Ten. Gustafson leads the nation with 19 double-doubles and is averaging 26.5 points and 12.6 boards per game in Big Ten play.
• Gustafson is one of four Hawkeyes averaging in double figures, including sophomore Mackenzie Meyer (11.3 ppg). Meyer missed Iowa’s first six Big Ten games with a broken bone in her left (non-shooting) hand before returning to play 40 minutes in a 77-72 loss at Minnesota (Jan. 21). Meyer pumped in 18 points on 4-of-6 threes in the win over Ohio State. She did not play in the first meeting with Nebraska. In Iowa’s first 13 games, Meyer averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 assists while hitting 41.3 percent (26-63) of her threes.
• Iowa, which went 9-for-17 from three-point range in the win over Ohio State, hit just 5-of-37 threes (.135) during their three-game losing streak. The Hawkeyes went 0-for-7 at Nebraska, 2-for-14 from at Minnesota and 3-for-16 against Purdue. The Hawkeyes were outscored 66-15 from long range in the losses, including 27-0 at Nebraska.
• Sophomore point guard Kathleen Doyle ranks second among the Hawkeyes in scoring with 11.5 points per game, including 14.6 points and 8.4 assists in Big Ten play. Doyle is playing 38.8 minutes per game in the Big Ten. Doyle erupted for 25 points on 9-of-19 shooting, including 4-of-8 threes against Ohio State. in Iowa’s three-game skid, Doyle was 3-for-16 (.188) from long range.
• Redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian has struggled the last four games. Sevillian, who is averaging 10.0 points and 2.5 assists, leads Iowa with 46 threes but is just 14-for-55 (.255) in Big Ten play. The last four games, she is 2-for-16 (.125), including 0-for-2 at Nebraska when both three-point attempts were blocked.
• Senior Chase Coley, a 6-3 forward with lots of experience for the Hawkeyes, has started every game this season alongside Gustafson inside. Coley is averaging 8.2 points and 5.7 boards on the year, including a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in the win over Ohio State.
• Sophomore Amanda Ollinger (3.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg) is developing into a reliable force off the bench, averaging 4.0 points and 4.9 boards in Big Ten play, including 12 points and eight rebounds against Nebraska. • Freshman guard Hannah Stewart (7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and junior forward Carly Mohns (2.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg) round out the regular rotation for the Hawkeyes.
• The Hawkeye backcourt was thinned when junior point guard Tania Davis suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Northern Iowa on Dec. 17. Davis averaged 9.7 points per game and was Iowa’s assist leader in the 12 games she played this season. Davis also had last season cut short by injury. • For the season, Iowa is averaging 79.9 points while surrendering 67.7 points per game. In Big Ten play, the short-handed Hawkeyes have managed 74.5 points while allowing 73.1 points per game.
• In conference play, the Hawkeyes have controlled the boards (+4.8 rpg) but have struggled with a minus-4.9 turnover margin playing without a pair of their starting guards in the first six games.
• Iowa is a tremendous free throw shooting team (.800 in Big Ten), but the Hawkeyes were outscored at the free throw line in each of their four Big Ten losses, including 17-11 at the line against the Huskers.
Nebraska vs. Iowa Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa, 7-6, including a 74-65 win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln on Jan. 16 to snap Iowa’s five-game series winning streak with them to Lincoln.
• Each of the last seven meetings between the two teams has been decided by single digits, including a 75-72 Iowa win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Dec. 31, 2016.
• Exactly one year earlier, the Hawkeyes escaped from Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 74-68 victory on Dec. 31, 2015. That meeting was the fourth between Nebraska and Iowa in the 2015 calendar year, including a 74-65 Iowa win over the Huskers in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament (March 6).
• Iowa has won two straight against the Huskers in Iowa City, including a 78-72 OT win (Jan. 26, 2015).
• Nebraska dominated the series in its first years in the Big Ten. From 2011-12 through 2013-14 (three seasons), the Huskers went 8-0 against the Hawkeyes, culminating with a 72-65 victory in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (March 9).
• The Huskers are 3-5 all-time against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City with four of the last five games being decided by two possessions or less, including one overtime battle.
• Nebraska is 5-5 all-time against Iowa in Lincoln, dating back to a 67-66 win over the Hawkeyes at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Dec. 22, 1979.
• Nebraska is 5-2 all-time against Iowa on neutral courts dating back to the first meeting in the series, a 71-63 Husker win at the Jennies’ Classic in Warrensburg, Mo., on Jan. 13, 1978.
• A win for Nebraska at Iowa would be the Huskers’ 16th victory of the season, which would be a plus-nine-win improvement from last season (7).
• A win would be Nebraska’s fourth straight win overall and its fourth straight over a top-50 RPI team after defeating then-RPI 25 Iowa (74-65) in Lincoln (Jan. 16), then-RPI 11 Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. (Jan. 21) and then-RPI 47 Purdue in Lincoln (Jan. 24).
• Kate Cain has climbed to third on Nebraska’s season block list with 72. Cain needs five blocks 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 21 games this season.
• Cain’s 72 blocks rank No. 3 in the nation while her 3.4 blocks per game rank fifth in the country through games Jan. 24. 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 eight Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard from Minden, Neb., is tied for third on the team with 10.7 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 (+6.6 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 10.7 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. Simon has scored in double figures in nine of the last 12 games. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.
Husker Road Warriors
• Nebraska is riding an eight-game winning streak away from home. NU’s current road streak is the third-longest road winning streak in school history, and includes true road games (7) and the neutral site win over Coastal Carolina (San Juan Shootout, Daytona Beach, Fla.) that started the streak on Nov. 24.
• The longest road winning streak in school history came with 14 consecutive wins away from the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2009-10. That Husker team finished 32-2, won the Big 12 title and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
• The only other double-digit road winning streak in school history came with 10 wins for the 2007 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. After dropping their first game of the season on the road, the 2007 Huskers reeled off 10 straight away from home, including three neutral site wins.
• The 2017-18 Huskers are one of just three Nebraska teams to produce an eight-game road winning streak. This year’s group of Husker road warriors is just the second team in school history to win seven consecutive true road games. They are also the first group of Huskers to open Big Ten Conference play with four consecutive road wins.
NCAA Division I Most Improved Teams
• Nebraska is putting together one of the nation’s top turnarounds under second-year Coach Amy Williams. The Huskers are already plus-eight in the win column heading into Sunday’s game at Iowa. The only team in the country that has seen a greater increase in the win column through games Jan. 24 is Rutgers (+11).
• Butler (+7) and Alabama A&M, UC Irvine and Denver are the only other teams in the country with a plus-six improvement in the win column. Denver is coached by Maddie Simon’s uncle, Jim Turgeon.
• The Huskers own wins over three of the nation’s other most improved teams, at Rutgers (52-42, Jan. 21), at Kansas (66-49, Dec. 6) and Florida Atlantic (86-69, Dec. 19). Florida Atlantic is plus-five, while Kansas is plus-three in the win column.
• Nebraska heads to Iowa with a three-game winning streak that started with a 74-65 win over Iowa (Jan. 16).
• The Huskers have won eight consecutive games away from Pinnacle Bank Arena, including seven straight true road games and four consecutive Big Ten road games.
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (38) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 20 games by freshman Kate Cain.
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 21 games this season.
• Nebraska has featured the same starting lineup in 13 consecutive games.
• Whitish has posted at least one assist in 23 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 19 games this season.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 18 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 21 games of her career. She has 18 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 17 of her games this season.
• Simon has at least one assist in 16 straight games.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 301 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 180 consecutive games.