The Nebraska women’s basketball team heads into the final stretch of non-conference play taking on Oral Roberts on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln. Tip-off between the Huskers (8-1) and Golden Eagles (4-6) is set for 1 p.m. (CT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena, with tickets available now through the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at Huskers.com.
A live video stream will be provided to subscribers of BTN+ as a BTN Student U production.
Live radio coverage for Saturday’s game with ORU can be heard on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha beginning at 12:45 p.m. (CT). Stations across the state will also carry the broadcast on the Learfield-IMG College Husker Sports Network. Free live audio can be found at Huskers.com, the Huskers App and TuneIn.
Saturday’s game will also feature a halftime performance by the KC Disc Dogs.
Senior guard Hannah Whitish added another mark to her spot in Husker history in Nebraska’s 83-79 win over Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 4. Whitish dished out three assists on Nebraska’s first three baskets of the night to reach 400 career assists. In the process, she became the first Husker to reach the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,042), 400 assists (403) and 200 three-pointers (213).
Whitish, a two-time All-Big Ten guard, finished with 10 points and a season-high six assists in the win over the Blue Devils, scoring Nebraska’s final four points at the free throw line to seal the win.
Junior Taylor Kissinger led Nebraska with a season-high 19 points and a career-high-tying six three-pointers in the win over Duke. She also tied a career high with four assists. Kissinger is averaging 15.0 points the last two games, after overcoming a concussion suffered early in non-conference play.
Junior Kate Cain, a candidate for the Lisa Leslie Award, added 12 points, five rebounds and five blocks in the win over Duke. Cain moved into a tie at No. 3 on the Husker career block chart (207) with Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (2005-08).
Sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek played an impressive all-around game in the win over Duke with a season-high 14 points on a perfect shooting night that included a career-high-tying three threes. Veerbeek (9.6 ppg) is part of a trio of sophomores leading Nebraska in scoring, including Leigha Brown (13.6 ppg) and Sam Haiby (9.8 ppg).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1) vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (4-6)
Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, 1 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,000) – Lincoln, Neb.
Halftime: KC Disc Dogs
Live Video: BTN+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (12:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln – B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM; Huskers.com; Huskers App; TuneIn
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
13 – Ashtyn Veerbeek – 6-2 – So. – F – 9.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Jr. – C – 9.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
4 – Sam Haiby – 5-9 – So. – G – 9.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – Sr. – G – 8.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Off the Bench
32 – Leigha Brown – 6-1 – So. – F – 13.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – Jr. – G – 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
34 – Isabelle Bourne – 6-2 – Fr. – F – 4.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 2.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
11 – Kristian Hudson – 5-5 – RSr. – G – 1.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
44 – Kayla Mershon – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
1 – Makenzie Helms – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 0.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (50-50); 13th Season Overall (243-159)
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (4-6, 0-0 Summit)
24 – Montserrat Brotons – 6-4 – Sr. – C – 9.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg
33 – Keni Jo Lippe – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 18.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
21 – Rylie Torrey – 5-11 – RSr. – G – 14.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg
23 – Macy Gore – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 5.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg
32 – Sarah Garvie – 5-8 – Sr. – G – 8.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Off the Bench
22 – Karly Gore – 5-9 – Fr. – G/F – 4.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg
11 – Gem Summers – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 4.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
3 – Katie Kirkhart – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 2.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg
1 – Nena Taylor – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg
20 – Regan Schumacher – 6-2 – Jr. – C – 2.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg
13 – Rachel Skalnik – 5-8 – Sr. – G – 1.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Head Coach: Misti Cussen (Southern Nazarene, 1993)
Eighth Season at ORU (113-112); Eighth Season Overall: (113-112)
Scouting Oral Roberts
• Coach Misti Cussen brings her eighth Oral Roberts team to Lincoln with a 4-6 overall record after a 78-58 loss at Utah on Thursday, Dec. 5.
• The Golden Eagles own early season wins over Wichita State (79-66), Sam Houston State, Texas State and Central Christian.
• ORU is 0-5 on the road this season with losses at Arkansas, Kansas State, Tulsa and Southern Utah, joining the setback to the Utes.
• Junior Keni Jo Lippe provides ORU with an explosive presence in the backcourt. The 5-9 guard from Adair, Okla., is averaging 18.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.3 steals. Lippe lives at the free throw line, averaging 7.8 free throw attempts per contest. She scored more than 2,300 points at Adair during her high school career.
• Lippe is joined in the backcourt by fifth-year senior Rylie Torrey. An impressive shooter, Torrey is averaging 2.9 made threes per game (29-66, .439) while averaging 14.4 points per game. She erupted for a career-high 25 points while going 5-for-9 from three-point range in the loss at Utah (Dec. 5). It was her third 20-point effort of the season and the second time she had hit five or more threes in a game, joining her season-high six in the win over Wichita State (Nov. 11).
• Another senior, Sarah Garvie adds more experience to the ORU backcourt. Garvie is averaging 8.3 points and 2.1 rebounds while giving the Golden Eagles another dangerous three-point threat. The 5-8 guard is averaging 2.2 threes per game (22-56, .393), including four in the win over Wichita State on her way to a season-high 17 points. She scored more than 2,600 points in her prep career as one of the top-10 all-time scorers in the history of Oklahoma high school basketball.
• Garvie and Torrey, who are both transfers from Northern Oklahoma-Enid junior college, combined for 10 of ORU’s 13 three-pointers (13-30, .433) in the win over Wichita State. As a team, the Golden Eagles also went 16-of-17 at the free throw line in the win over the Shockers.
• Spaniard Montserrat Brotons provides ORU with a strong inside presence. The 6-4 center is averaging 9.5 points and team bests of 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. A four-year contributor for the Golden Eagles, Brotons has not attempted a three-pointer in her college career.
• Freshman Macy Gore has started all 10 games for ORU and is averaging 5.2 points, 2.7 assists and 1.5 steals. She has also knocked down 10 threes. She and her fraternal twin sister, Karly, led Seiling High School to three straight state titles. Karly Gore, who is averaging 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game off the bench, was the 2018 state tournament MVP.
• Two other freshmen, Gem Summers (4.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg) and Nena Taylor (2.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg) have seen action off the bench for the Golden Eagles.
• Junior Katie Kirkhart earned her first start of the season at Utah, matching Montserrat Brotons with a team-high seven rebounds. The 5-9 Kirkhart, who started 10 games last year, did not score against the Utes and is averaging 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds so far this season.
• Fellow junior Regan Schumacher joins Brotons as the only Golden Eagles taller than 6-0. The 6-2 Schumacher is averaging 2.3 points and 3.3 rebounds.
• Senior guard Rachel Skalnik rounds out the ORU contributors with 1.6 points and 2.5 boards per contest.
• ORU has been without the services of second-team All-Summit League guard Maya Mayberry, who started all 29 games for the 18-13 Golden Eagles last year. The daughter of former Arkansas All-American, NBA first-round pick and current ORU Assistant Coach Lee Mayberry, Maya averaged 14.1 points per game last season, including a career-high 31 against North Dakota State. She finished 10th in the Summit League in scoring and seventh in three-point percentage (.430) last season.
• Maya Mayberry’s older sister, Kaylan, was a senior guard for ORU in 2016-17 and an All-Summit League pick in her career. As a freshman in 2013-14, Kaylan Mayberry scored 20 points off the bench and hit four threes the last time ORU met Nebraska.
• As a team, ORU is averaging 70.7 points per game but shooting just 37.2 percent from the field. The Golden Eagles have hit 33.6 percent of their three-point attempts and are averaging 8.2 three-pointers made per game. ORU is also an outstanding free throw shooting team, hitting 77.4 percent of their attempts. ORU owns a plus-4.7 rebound margin but a minus-1.7 turnover margin.
Nebraska vs. Oral Roberts Series History
• Nebraska is 6-0 all time against Oral Roberts with all six meetings coming in Lincoln.
• Saturday’s meeting marks ORU’s second visit to Pinnacle Bank Arena, joining an 89-53 loss to the Huskers in their inaugural season at PBA on Dec. 29, 2013. That Husker victory capped a 10-2 non-conference season for a Nebraska team that went on to win the Big Ten Tournament title.
• The series with the Golden Eagles dates back to a 100-87 Nebraska win over ORU at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Nov. 27, 1987.
• The largest margin of victory in the series for the Huskers was a 110-61 (+49) win over ORU on Dec. 5, 1989.
• In 2012-13, the Huskers worked their way to an 80-67 victory on Dec. 20, 2012. It matched their narrowest victory margin (+13) in the series and the last time the two teams met at the Devaney Center. That Nebraska team advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
• Kate Cain owns Nebraska’s longest streak of consecutive starts (70).
• Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska’s second-longest streak of starts (65).
• Kate Cain has recorded at least one block in all nine games this season, and has blocked a shot in 11 straight games dating back to last season.
• As a team, Nebraska has blocked at least one shot in 78 consecutive games.
• Taylor Kissinger and Hannah Whitish have both produced double-figure points in back-to-back games, the longest active streaks scoring in double figures by the Huskers.
• Nicea Eliely, Leigha Brown, Kate Cain, Ashtyn Veerbeek and Isabelle Bourne are the only Huskers to score points in each of Nebraska’s first nine games this season.
• Nicea Eliely, Kate Cain, Ashtyn Veerbeek and Isabelle Bourne are the only Huskers to record at least one rebound for the Huskers in all nine games this season.
• Eliely was the only Husker to score in all 30 games last season, and the only Husker to score in all of Nebraska’s games against Big Ten Conference foes. She has scored in 43 consecutive games overall. She did not score in a win over Penn State on Feb. 22, 2018, the only time in the past three seasons (including 2019-20, 70 games) that Eliely was shut out.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 351 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 230 consecutive games.
Numbers to Watch
(1) Kate Cain needs one block to move into sole possession of No. 3 on the Nebraska career block list at 208. She is currently tied with Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (207, 2005-08).
(7) Kristian Hudson needs seven assists to reach 400 in her career (383 at FIU).
(9) Kate Cain is nine blocks away from matching Catheryn Redmon (216, 2008-11) for No. 2 on the Husker career block list.
(9) Kristian Hudson needs 11 rebounds to reach 400 in her career (372 at FIU).
(16) Nicea Eliely needs 16 rebounds to reach 400 in her career.
• A Nebraska victory over Oral Roberts would give the Huskers their first nine-win non-conference campaign under Coach Amy Williams.
• Nebraska’s 83-79 win over Duke was the first for Amy Williams in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and her 50th victory overall as NU’s head coach.
• Nebraska’s win over Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge helped the Big Ten secure its first win in the 13 years of challenge play against the ACC. The Big Ten went 9-5 overall in 14 head-to-head games with the ACC to move to 1-9-3 in the history of the challenge.
• Through games Dec. 9, Nebraska was No. 39 in the Massey Ratings. Other Big Ten teams in the top 45 included: Indiana (9), Maryland (16), Minnesota (20), Northwestern (22), Rutgers (26), Michigan (30), Michigan State (35), Purdue (41), Ohio State (42) and Iowa (43).
• Through nine games, Nebraska is allowing an average of 59.4 points per game, after allowing 70.1 points per game last season. NU’s 2018 NCAA Tournament team allowed 63.6.
• Opponents are shooting 33.9 percent from the field and 26.2 percent from three-point range this season against NU. Last year, Husker foes hit 41.1 percent, including 33.4 percent from long range. In 2017-18, Nebraska led the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (.371) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.299).
• Nebraska has held six opponents to 55 points or less through nine games this season. Last year, NU held only two foes (Radford-39, Kansas-52) to 55 or less.
• In 2017-18, Nebraska held 11 of 32 opponents to 55 points or less.
• NU’s bench has outscored opponent reserves in all nine games in 2019-20, and 37 of the last 39 games overall. The Husker bench has outscored opponent benches by double digits in 28 of the last 39 games.
• This season, NU’s bench has outscored opposing benches 257-129 (28.6-14.3 ppg).