Huskers Set for Showdown at No. 10 Iowa
Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten)
at 10/8 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-4, 8-1 Big Ten)
Saturday, January 28, 2023, Noon (CT)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, Iowa
Live TV: FOX
Brandon Gaudin (PBP), Sarah Kustok (Analyst)
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (11:45 a.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App
Huskers Face No. 10 Hawkeyes Saturday on FOX
The Nebraska women's basketball team takes on its ninth top-20 opponent of the season when the Huskers open their season series at No. 10 Iowa on Saturday afternoon in Iowa City.
Tip-off between the Big Red (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten) and the Hawkeyes (16-4, 8-1 Big Ten) is set for Noon (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Live national television coverage will be provided by FOX with Brandon Gaudin and Sarah Kustok on the call.
The game also can be heard across the Huskers Radio Network with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 590 AM in Omaha, Huskers.com and the Huskers App.
Saturday's game will not only be Nebraska's ninth this season against an Associated Press Top 25 foe at game time, it will also be NU's sixth against a top-15 foe and fourth against an AP Top 10 opponent. Through games Jan. 23, the only team in the NCAA NET Top 100 that had played more games against NCAA NET quad 1 opponents than Nebraska (10) was North Carolina (11), according to WarrenNolan.com. In fact, in a loaded Big Ten this season, Iowa (9) is the only other NET Top 100 conference foe to play as many as eight games against quad 1 foes.
According to the NCAA NET rankings, Northwestern's opponent success ranks No. 1 in the nation, while Nebraska's comes in at No. 6, Iowa's at No. 9 and Maryland's at No. 10. Nebraska plays Iowa, Maryland and Northwestern twice this season in league play.
Nebraska is coming off a 69-54 loss to No. 11 Maryland last Sunday, as the Terrapins salvaged a season split with the Huskers. Nebraska rolled to a 90-67 victory over then-No. 20 Maryland at College Park (Dec. 4) to open Big Ten play - one of two Nebraska wins over top-20 foes this season.
Alexis Markowski, the 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, has been a leader for the Huskers throughout the season. The 6-3 center who is on the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List has averaged 12.2 points and ranks second in the Big Ten with 9.4 rebounds per game. She also ranks seventh in the conference with 1.1 blocks per contest. Markowski has produced eight double-doubles this season. Last season at Iowa, Markowski hit a career-high six three-pointers on seven attempts to finish with a career-high 27 points.
Jaz Shelley, who joined Markowski as a second-team All-Big Ten choice last season, leads Nebraska in scoring (12.7 ppg), assists (6.3 apg) and steals (1.6 spg) while adding 4.2 rebounds per game. The 5-9 guard from Moe, Australia (pronounced MO-ee) is one of the Big Ten's top three-point shooters.
Sam Haiby continues to provide increased production since rejoining the starting lineup (Dec. 28 vs. Michigan). Over the past six games, the 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., is averaging 11.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals. She just missed a double-double with nine points and a career-high-tying 12 rebounds against No. 11 Maryland (Jan. 22). Haiby missed 10 of Nebraska's first 11 games while recovering from a leg injury that required surgery in October.
Three-time team captain and two-time All-Big Ten performer Isabelle Bourne has added 10.5 points and 6.4 rebounds in her third season as a starter for the Huskers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 10.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - So. - C/F - 12.2 ppg, 9.4 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 12.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 8.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg
42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - So. - G - 5.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Off the Bench
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - So. - F - 6.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - So. - G - 3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
44 - Maggie Mendelson - 6-5 - Fr. - F/C - 3.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - So. - F/G - 2.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg
3 - Allison Weidner (Out) - 5-10 - So. - G - 10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Seventh Season at Nebraska (108-92); 16th Season Overall (301-201)
10/8 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-4, 8-1 Big Ten)
14 - McKenna Warnock - 6-1 - Sr. - G/F - 11.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg
25 - Monika Czinano - 6-3 - Sr. - F/C - 18.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg
20 - Kate Martin - 6-0 - RSr. - G - 7.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
22 - Caitlin Clark - 6-0 - Jr. - G - 26.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg
24 - Gabbie Marshall - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 4.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg
Off the Bench
45 - Hannah Stuelke - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 6.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
1 - Molly Davis - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 4.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg
3 - Sydney Affolter - 5-11 - So. - G - 2.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg
44 - Addison O'Grady - 6-4 - So. - F/C - 1.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg
2 - Taylor McCabe - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 3.5 ppg, 0.6 rpg
34 - AJ Ediger - 6-2 - So. - F - 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Head Coach: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983)
23rd Season at Iowa (479-246); 39th Season Overall (835-388)
Injuries Altering Nebraska's Season
While Nebraska is squarely in the hunt for a second straight NCAA Tournament bid (NET No. 43), the Huskers have had their journey through the season challenged with several injuries to key players.
In contrast to Iowa having its first starting lineup adjustment of the year with an injury to McKenna Warnock prior to the Hawkeyes' win at No. 2 Ohio State on Monday, the Huskers have used five different starting fives through the first 20 games this season.
Despite Nebraska returning five starters (Isabelle Bourne, Alexis Markowski, Jaz Shelley, Allison Weidner, Sam Haiby) from last year's team that went 24-9 overall and 11-7 in the Big Ten, Haiby missed 10 of the first 11 games this season with a leg injury suffered in practice (Sept. 12).
Trinity Brady, a fourth-year guard, started the first eight games in place of Haiby, before Brady suffered a concussion in the first half of a loss at No. 9 Virginia Tech (Dec. 1). Brady has missed the last 12 games.
Despite the loss of Brady and the absence of Haiby, Nebraska notched an impressive 90-67 road win at No. 20 Maryland (Dec. 4) in the first start by Maddie Krull as a Husker.
However, prior to Nebraska's next game with Wisconsin (Dec. 7), the Huskers lost Isabelle Bourne to an upper body injury suffered in practice. Bourne missed three games, as Annika Stewart made the first three starts of her career. Nebraska went 3-0 with wins over Wisconsin, Samford and Wyoming.
Bourne returned to the starting lineup for a 3OT win over Kansas (Dec. 21), but Allison Weidner suffered a season-ending leg injury early in the fourth quarter of the victory over the Jayhawks. Weidner has missed Nebraska's last seven games and underwent season-ending surgery (Jan. 10).
Weidner's injury hastened the return of Sam Haiby to the starting lineup for Nebraska's Big Ten loss to No. 14 Michigan (Dec. 28).
Nebraska was forced to make another adjustment to its starting five in a win at Purdue (Jan. 18), when Maddie Krull missed a start because of illness. Freshman Callin Hake make her first career start and played well with eight points and three rebounds. Krull also played huge off the bench, overcoming illness for one of her best performances of the season, finishing with 15 points in the victory over the Boilermakers.
The only two Huskers to start all 20 contests this season are Jaz Shelley and Alexis Markowski, despite Markowski battling multiple nagging injuries from preseason to the present. Shelley ranks second in the Big Ten with 34.8 minutes played.
Huskers Face Historic Strength of Schedule
Nebraska's game with No. 10 Iowa will be its ninth this season against an AP Top 25 team at game time, and the Huskers are scheduled to face four more current top-25 foes. If those numbers hold, it would give NU a school-record 13 games against AP Top 25 teams. No other Nebraska team has ever faced more than 11 AP Top 25 opponents (2000-01).
Since entering the Big Ten (2011-12), the Huskers have never played more than eight games in a season against AP Top 25 foes.
Nebraska's game with Iowa will also be its fourth against an AP Top 10 team this season. The Huskers have never faced more than five AP Top 10 teams in the same season, and the Huskers will meet Iowa again on Feb. 18 in Lincoln, after playing current No. 13 Michigan in Ann Arbor (Feb. 12).
Isabelle Bourne recently became the 36th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history, achieving the milestone in the fourth quarter of NU's win over Penn State (Jan. 11). She is just the 22nd player in NU history to achieve the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,022) and 500 rebounds (556) joining teammate Sam Haiby (1,469 points, 583 rebounds) in that prestigious group.
Sam Haiby is one of just four players in Nebraska history to rank among the school's top 20 in points (13th, 1,469), rebounds (20th, 583) and assists (8th, 437). Haiby joins Maurtice Ivy, Anna DeForge and Emily Cady as the only other Huskers on that elite list.
Preseason All-Big Ten center and 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Alexis Markowski (Lincoln, Neb.) is one of the Big Ten's top rebounders, averaging 9.4 boards to go along with her 12.2 points per contest. The 6-3 center owns eight double-doubles on the season and leads the Huskers with 22 blocks.
Jaz Shelley opened Big Ten play with 29 points in a road upset at No. 20 Maryland (Dec. 4), before pumping in 31 points in a win over Wisconsin (Dec. 7). She also had 21 points and five assists in a loss to No. 14 Michigan (Dec. 28). She just missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in a win over Penn State (Jan. 11).
Opponents have quieted Jaz Shelley from three-point range over the last seven Big Ten games. In Nebraska's first two conference wins (Maryland, Wisconsin) Shelley went 13-for-22 (.591) from beyond the arc, including 6-for-10 against the Terps (Dec. 4) and a season-best 7-for-12 against the Badgers (Dec. 7). Since getting those 13 threes in a four-day span, Shelley has hit 15-of-47 (.319) over the last 10 games, including eight threes in seven Big Ten contests (8-33, .242).
Nebraska has knocked down 10 or more threes on nine occasions this season and is 9-0 when hitting double-digit threes. Nebraska's most recent double-digit three-point effort came on 13-of-28 shooting against Penn State (Jan. 11).
Kendall Moriarty put the exclamation point on the win over Penn State (Jan. 11) with a running, half-a-hook three from beyond halfcourt in the closing seconds to beat the shot clock. Moriarty's improbable shot, which came on a Nebraska baseline inbounds play, was Scott Van Pelt's "The Best Thing I Saw Today" on ESPN.
Scouting the No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes
Coach Lisa Bluder brings one of her most talented and experienced Hawkeye teams in Saturday's game with Nebraska. Iowa is riding a five-game winning streak to improve to 16-4 overall and 8-1 in the Big Ten after handing No. 2 Ohio State its first loss of the season (83-72) on Monday in Columbus.
Iowa's starting five has combined for 547 games and 432 career starts as Hawkeyes entering Saturday's game, totaling 6,789 points, 2,500 rebounds and 1,511 career assists together.
As a comparison, Nebraska's starting five have made 266 starts in 354 combined games as Huskers.
National Player-of-the-Year candidate Caitlin Clark leads the Hawkeyes with 26.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals after producing 28 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in the victory at Ohio State. Clark has started 82 games as a Hawkeye and needs two points to reach 2,200 in her career.
Fellow National Player-of-the-Year candidate Monika Czinano has added 18.2 points and 6.5 rebounds on the season. One of the most efficient scorers in the country, Czinano is hitting better than 66 percent of her shots from the field after an 11-for-13 effort against Ohio State. A fifth-year player, Czinano has startted 109 games over the last four seasons and has totaled 2,126 points and 670 rebounds.
Senior guard McKenna Warnock gives the Hawkeyes a talented and versatile third option on the offensive end while providing a solid defensive presence. Warnock is averaging 11.9 points and 5.9 rebounds this season. Warnock, who missed the win over Ohio State with an injury, started the first 19 games this season alongside Clark, Czinano, Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall. Warnock has started 78 games as a Hawkeye and owns 1,112 points and 656 rebounds in her career.
Kate Martin has made 82 starts the past three seasons and is averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds this year. The gritty, scrappy guard has scored 637 points, grabbed 413 rebounds and dished out 311 assists in 106 games in her four-year career.
Senior guard Gabbie Marshall rounds out one of the most experienced lineups in Big Ten history. The defensive specialist has started 81 games among her 110 games in an Iowa uniform. She has totaled 716 points, 174 rebounds and 182 assists.
Senior guard Molly Davis made her first start in the win over Ohio State in place of Warnock. Davis, a three-year starter at Central Michigan, is averaging 4.5 points on the season.
Freshman Hannah Stuelke, a 6-2 forward, has been Iowa's most productive player off the bench with 6.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Sydney Affolter, a 5-11 sophomore, adds versatile off the bench with 2.9 points and 2.2 rebounds in Iowa's regular eight-player rotation.
Iowa possesses one of the most explosive offenses in the nation, averaging 87.7 points while shooting 50 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from three-point range. Iowa carries a plus-17.0 scoring margin, a plus-6.4 rebound margin and a plus-1.1 turnover margin.
Nebraska vs. Iowa Series History
Iowa leads the all-time series with Nebraska 20-15, including six straight wins. The Hawkeyes notched three wins over the Huskers last season, including a 93-83 win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa also eliminated NU from the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis (83-66).
Nebraska won the first eight games in the series with Iowa upon joining the Big Ten (2011-12 to 2013-14). The Huskers capped that three-year run with a 72-65 win over the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis (March 9, 2014).
The win by the Huskers in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game marked the third consecutive season that Nebraska eliminated the Hawkeyes from the conference tournament.
Iowa won the next five meetings and is 6-3 over the past nine contests.
The Huskers are 6-8 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.
The Huskers are 4-9 all-time against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.
Nebraska is 5-3 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.
Husker Numbers to Watch
Jaz Shelley is five three-pointers away from 129 in her Husker career, which would move her into the top 10 on Nebraska's career three-point list. Shelley has 124 made threes in 52 games (2.4 pg) as a Husker. The only player in NU's top 10 to hit threes at a faster clip in her career is Natalie Romeo, who connected on 155 threes in 55 games (2.8 pg) as a Husker (2014-15, 2015-16). Amy Stephens, one of the greatest shooters and scorers in Nebraska history, hit 129 threes in 57 games (2.3 pg) in the first two seasons of the three-point shot in women's college basketball (1987-88, 1988-89). Nebraska's all-time three-point leader, All-American and 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year Jordan Hooper, hit 295 threes in 131 career games (2.3 pg).
Sam Haiby is 72 points away (1,469) from matching Angie Miller for No. 12 on Nebraska's all-time scoring list (1,541 points, 1984-87).
Sam Haiby needs 28 rebounds to climb to No. 19 by matching Pyra Aarden (611, 1993-96) on Nebraska's career rebound list.
Sam Haiby is seven assists away from No. 7 on the NU career list (444, Amy Stephens, 1985-89).
Isabelle Bourne ranks No. 23 on the Nebraska career rebound list with 556 and needs 18 rebounds to catch Nafeesah Brown at No. 22 (574).
Isabelle Bourne is 13 points away from catching Alexa Johnson at No. 34 on NU's scoring list (1,035, 2001-04). Issie's older sister, Callie, recently reached the 1,000-point mark in her fifth season at Idaho State, achieving the milestone at San Diego (Nov. 25) in career game No. 118.
Jaz Shelley is 28 points away from 1,000 in her college career (676-Nebraska; 296-Oregon).
Kendall Moriarty has already surpassed her season point total (74-45) from a year ago while quadrupling her three-point total (12-3) and more than tripling her season rebound total (39-12). She also has more than tripled her steals total (11-3), hit six times as many free throws (12-2) and matched her season block total (3) from a year ago.