Huskers Set for Sycamores Saturday
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
vs. Indiana State Sycamores (3-5, 0-0 MVC)
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, 1 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska
Tickets: Huskers.com (800-8-BIG-RED)
Live Video: B1G+ (Marko Jerkovic, Molly Robinson)
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (12:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (105.9 FM), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Huskers Return Home Saturday for Sycamores
The Nebraska women's basketball team returns home for the first time in three weeks to take on Indiana State in a non-conference clash at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday.
Tip-off between the Huskers (9-0, 1-0 Big Ten) and Sycamores (3-5) is set for 1 p.m. (CT) in Lincoln. Live video will be provided to subscribers of B1G+ with Marko Jerkovic and Molly Robinson on the Student U call. Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch can be heard on the Huskers Radio Network (B107.3 FM, Lincoln; CD 105.9 FM, Omaha), along with free live audio on Huskers.com.
The Huskers return to Lincoln after going a perfect 4-0 on a challenging coast-to-coast four-game road swing that included a 26-point win at Wake Forest (8-1) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, an eight-point win at San Diego (6-2) and a 12-point win over Drexel (6-2) in San Diego before capping the road trip with a hard-fought 70-67 victory at Minnesota to open Big Ten play on Monday.
Nebraska's 9-0 start is its best since the Big Red opened 30-0 in 2009-10 on its way to a Big 12 Championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
A win over the Sycamores on Saturday would give the Huskers their first 10-game winning streak since reeling off 10 straight victories from Jan. 20 through Feb. 28, 2013.
Nebraska's early season success is making waves nationally, with the Huskers earning a No. 4 spot in the first NET Rankings (Dec. 6). The Big Red slipped one spot to No. 5 after the win at Minnesota, trailing only South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State and Texas.
The Huskers earned votes in both the Associated Press (Dec. 6) and USA Today Coaches (Dec. 7) top 25 rankings this week for the first time this season.
Through games Dec. 6, Nebraska was one of just 13 remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Division I women's basketball and joined South Carolina as the only 9-0 teams.
The Huskers lead the nation in defensive rebounds per game (34.0 rpg) and rank No. 2 nationally in scoring margin (+30.8), while ranking among the nation's top 10 in 13 statistical categories, including scoring offense (6th, 84.8 ppg)
Sophomore transfer Jaz Shelley (Moe, Australia) continues the outstanding start to her Husker career by averaging team bests of 15.0 points, 4.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.7 blocks while hitting 30-of-54 threes (.556). The 5-9 point guard also ranks second among the Huskers with 6.9 rebounds.
Shelley is joined by returning Husker starters Isabelle Bourne (11.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Sam Haiby (9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.4 apg), Bella Cravens (8.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Ashley Scoggin (9.3 ppg).
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
14 -Bella Cravens - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 8.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - So. - F - 11.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
0 - Ashley Scoggin - 5-7 - RSo. - G - 9.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - So. - G - 15.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 9.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Off the Bench
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - Fr. - F/C - 7.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - Fr. - F/G - 4.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg
5 - MiCole Cayton - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 3.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
11 - Ruby Porter - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 2.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg
10 - Whitney Brown - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Sixth Season at Nebraska (81-75); 15th Season Overall (274-184)
Indiana State Sycamores (3-5, 0-0 Missouri Valley)
00 - Mya Glanton - 6-0 - RSo. - F - 8.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg
5 - Marie Hunter - 5-7 - Gr. - G - 9.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
12 - Natalia Lalic - 5-11 - Sr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
24 - Tonysha Curry - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
51 - Del'Janae Williams - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 13.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Arianna Smith - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 6.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
23 - Anna McKendree - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 5.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg
44 - Caitlin Anderson - 5-6 - Jr. - G - 5.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
4 - Essy Latu - 5-10 - Sr. - G/F - 2.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg
13 - Florence Tshimanga - 6-3 - Sr. - C - 0.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg
11 - Adrian Folks (Out) - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 14.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg
Head Coach: Chad Killinger (Franklin, 1997)
First Season at Indiana State (3-5); Second Season Overall (9-7)
Scouting The Indiana State Sycamores
• Head coach Chad Killinger leads his first Indiana State team to Lincoln with a 3-5 record early in the season. The Sycamores have not played since a 68-67 loss to Western Michigan at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute on Saturday, Dec. 4.
• Close games have been the norm for the Sycamores with each of their last three games being decided by four points or less, including back-to-back one-point decisions at Chicago State (W, 59-58) and the one-point loss to Western Michigan.
• Indiana State has a pair of close connections to the Nebraska coaching staff. Associate Head Coach Deidra Johnson was recruited to Oklahoma State as a player by Husker Head Coach Amy Williams. ISU assistant coach LaKale Malone was a long-time assistant at Illinois until moving to Indiana State for the start of 2021-22. She was an assistant at Nebraska for four seasons from 2003-04 to 2006-07. She also earned her master's degree in educational administration from UNL.
• The Sycamores have been competitive the past three games despite losing their leading scorer, Adrian Folks, to a torn ACL and MCL in a loss to Jacksonville at Georgia Southern's Thanksgiving Tournament (Nov. 26). Folks was averaging 14.6 points and 5.8 rebounds through five games.
• Junior guard Del'Janae Williams is the only Sycamore averaging double figures (13.8 ppg). She also leads Indiana State with 13 three-pointers while shooting 81.8 percent (27-33) from the free throw line. Williams is averaging team bests with 2.8 steals and 2.5 assists; however, she also is averaging 3.8 turnovers per game. Williams was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman Team in 2019-20.
• Graduate student Marie Hunter has pitched in 9.1 points and more than two assists and two steals, but the 5-7 guard has not hit a three-pointer through eight games as a starter. Hunter has started 50 career games for the Sycamores and is closing in on 500 career points.
• Natalia Lalic, a 5-11 senior guard from Adelaide, Australia, has joined Hunter in the Indiana State starting five for all eight games. Lalic has averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 rebounds and with 11 three-pointers, is the only Sycamore other than Del'Janae Williams with more than four threes on the season.
• Graduate student Tonysha Curry has stepped into Indiana State's starting five since the injury to Folks. Curry (3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg) is a well-traveled fifth-year player who started her college career at Richmond before transferring to Florida Southwestern State. The 5-10 guard out of Manual High School in Louisville, Ky., spent the past two seasons at Stetson.
• Florence Tshimanga, a 6-3 senior center, and Arianna Smith, a 6-2 freshman forward add size for the Sycamores, while junior guards Anna McKendree (5.8 ppg) and Caitlin Anderson (5.3 ppg) add production off the bench. Australian Essy Latu (2.6 ppg) rounds out the regular contributors for ISU.
• Indiana State is averaging 65 points while shooting 43.3 percent from the field, but just 28.3 percent from three-point range. The Sycamores are averaging 4.3 made threes per game. ISU is forcing 22.4 turnovers per game, but is committing 20.6 miscues per contest.
Nebraska vs. Indiana State Series History
• Indiana State leads the all-time series with Nebraska 1-0 with an 86-76 victory over the Huskers at the Duke Invitational in Durham, N.C., on Dec. 3, 1994.
• Husker Head Coach Amy Williams was a guard on that Nebraska team.
• Saturday's game with the Sycamores will be the first of back-to-back games with Missouri Valley Conference opponents. The Huskers take on Drake on Sunday, Dec. 19 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Indiana State finished 2-12 in the Valley and 5-15 overall in Coach Vicki Hall's last season in Terre Haute, while Drake finished 13-5 in the conference and 18-12 overall in Coach Jenni Baranczyk's final year in Des Moines in 2020-21.
Nebraska Numbers to Watch
• Through games Dec. 6, the Huskers ranked among the top 10 teams nationally in win-loss percentage (1.000, 1 of 13/1 of 2 9-0), defensive rebounds per game (1st, 34.0 rpg), scoring margin (2nd, 30.8 ppg), assists (5th, 178), field goal percentage defense (5th, .312), scoring offense (6th, 84.8 ppg), free throws made (6th, 146), assist-to-turnover ratio (7th, 1.45), assists per game (7th, 19.8 apg), field goal percentage (8th, .482), free throw attempts (8th, 206), rebounds (8th, 420), rebounds per game (8th, 46.7 rpg) and three-point field goal percentage (9th, .403).
• Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley ranks among the top 15 players in the Big Ten in scoring (12th, 15.0 ppg), rebounding (11th, 6.9 rpg), assists (7th, 4.8 apg), blocked shots (2nd, 1.7 bpg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2nd, 2.7), while leading the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.556) and ranking second in three-pointers made per game (3.3). She also ranks 19th in steals (1.6 spg).
• Husker shooters Jaz Shelley (2nd, 3.3 pg) and Ashley Scoggin (11th, 2.1 pg) rank among the top players in the Big Ten in three-point field goals made per game.
• Nebraska's backcourt has been strong taking care of the ball while creating opportunities for their teammates. Sam Haiby (2.9) and Jaz Shelley (2.7) rank No. 1 and 2 in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio based on the NCAA and Big Ten minimum of 3.0 assists per game. However, Husker reserves Ruby Porter (4.3) and Allison Weidner (4.1) own better assist-to-turnover ratios than Haiby and Shelley.
• Through nine games, Nebraska ranks sixth nationally in scoring offense with 84.8 points per game. The only time in the last 25 years that Nebraska has averaged more than 75 points per game in a season came in 2009-10 (77.4 ppg). That Husker team went unbeaten in the regular season, won the Big 12 regular-season title and advanced to Nebraska's first NCAA Sweet Sixteen as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
• Point guard Jaz Shelley has pulled down 62 total rebounds in 247 minutes this season. In two seasons (971 minutes) at Oregon (2019-20, 2020-21), the 5-9 Shelley totaled 70 rebounds.
• Jaz Shelley leads Nebraska with 15 blocked shots through nine games, nearly tripling her two-year total at Oregon (6) in 55 games with 12 starts.
• Nebraska returns home on a nine-game winning streak, marking the first time the Huskers have opened a season 9-0 since 2009-10, when the Huskers started 30-0.
• Nebraska's last 10-game winning streak came from Jan. 20 through Feb. 28, 2013, when the Huskers reeled off 10 consecutive Big Ten Conference victories.
• The Huskers head into the weekend with a six-game home streak dating back to an 87-72 victory over Penn State in last year's regular-season home finale at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 21, 2021.
• A seven-game home winning streak would be Nebraska's longest in Coach Amy Williams' six seasons leading the Huskers.
• NU opened with a nine-game home winning streak in 2015-16.
• Sam Haiby has scored in 91 of 94 games in her Husker career. She had scored at least two points in 53 consecutive games for Nebraska before being held scoreless without a field goal attempt against Drexel (Nov. 27). The last time she had been held scoreless also came at a Thanksgiving Tournament against USC at the South Point Shootout on Nov. 29, 2019. The Huskers won that game 67-54. She was also held scoreless in a 70-69 loss at Wisconsin on Jan. 27, 2018.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 407 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 286 consecutive games.
• Nebraska enters the game against Indiana State with a combined nine-game victory margin of 277 points - the largest of any nine-game stretch in school history by six points, surpassing the 271-point combined victory margin in Games 3-11 of 2009-10.
Deep Bench Boosts Big Red
• The Husker bench has outscored opponent reserves 298-144 (+17.1 ppg) through nine games, including a 217-98 edge (+23.8 ppg) in five games at Pinnacle Bank Arena
• All 13 Huskers are averaging better than 9.0 points per 40 minutes, including four Huskers (Annika Stewart, 27.0 pp40; Isabelle Bourne, 22.0 pp40; Jaz Shelley, 21.9 pp40; Alexis Markowski 21.8 pp40) who are averaging better than 20 points per 40 minutes.
• No Husker ranks among the top 25 players in the conference in minutes per game. Jaz Shelley leads Nebraska with 27.4 minutes per game, while Jada Peebles from Illinois ranks 25th in the conference (29.6 mpg).
The Aussie Army Knife - Jaz Shelley
• A two-time choice to the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Nov. 22, Nov. 29) for her impressive performances early in the season, sophomore transfer Jaz Shelley has filled the stat sheet across all categories while leading the Huskers to a 9-0 start and a No. 5 NET ranking.
• While baseball has its rare five-tool talents, the 5-9 point guard from Moe (pronounced MO-ee), Australia is demonstrating her amazing skill level in all five major statistical categories in basketball. She is the only Big Ten player to rank among the conference's top 20 in points (12th, 15.0), rebounds (11th, 6.9 rpg), assists (7th, 4.8 apg), blocks (2nd, 1.7 bpg) and steals (19th, 1.6 spg).
• The only other Big Ten players to rank in the conference's top 20 in four categories are league player-of-the-year candidates Caitlin Clark (Iowa) and Veronica Burton (Northwestern). Clark leads the Big Ten in scoring and assists, while ranking sixth in rebounding and 13th in steals but does not rank among the top 25 in blocks. Burton ranks fifth in scoring and third in both assists and blocks while leading the conference in steals, but she does not rank in the top 25 in rebounding.
• The only other preseason All-Big Ten choice by the league media and coaches who ranked among the conference's top 20 in any three categories (as of Dec. 7) was Mackenzie Holmes (Indiana), who was in the top 15 in scoring (10th), rebounding (12th) and blocks (7th). A 6-3 center, Holmes ranked behind the 5-9 point guard Shelley in both rebounding and blocks.
• In addition to her top-20 rankings in the sport's five major statistical categories, Shelley also leads the Big Ten in three-point field percentage (.556) while ranking second in three-pointers made per game (3.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7).
• Shelley is one of three members of the Australian National Program on the 2021-22 Nebraska roster, joining Isabelle Bourne and Ruby Porter. Bourne and Shelley were teammates for Australia's silver medal-winning Gems at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Championships.
• Shelley was the only collegiate player for Australia at the 2021 Asia Cup in Amman, Jordan. She earned a bronze medal in early October. She joined the Huskers for the 2021-22 season, after completing the NCAA transfer process in mid-April. The spent two seasons at Oregon and has three seasons of eligibility at Nebraska.