No. 13 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-21)
No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini (8-21)
Wednesday, March 1, 12:30 p.m.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: BTN Lisa Byington (Play-by-Play), Vera Jones (Analyst), Christy Winters Scott (Sideline)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (Matt Coatney, Jeff Griesch)
KBBK-FM 107.3 - Lincoln; KXSP-AM 590 - Omaha; KBRB-AM 1400-Ainsworth; KTNC AM 1239 - Falls City; KRGY FM 93.3 - Grand Island; KGFW AM 1340 - Kearney; KSWN-FM 93.9-McCook; KNCY AM/FM 1600/105.5 - Nebraska City; KHAQ-FM 98.5-North Platte; KNEB AM/ FM 960/100.3 - Scottsbluff; KSID AM/FM 1340/95.7 - Sidney;
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
Live Video: BTN2go
Live Stats: Gametracker
Huskers face Illini in first game of the conference tourney
The Huskers closed regular season play with a 7-21 record and a 3-13 record in league play. Nebraska is coming off of an overtime victory over Michigan State, and has won its last two home contests.
Nebraska is 0-10 on the road this season and 0-2 in neutral site contests. The Huskers are led by Jessica Shepard, who averages 18.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. The Huskers average 62.5 points per game, allowing 76.2 from their opponents.
This will be the first time the Huskers will have to play in a play in game since the Huskers have joined the Big Ten. The Huskers lowest seeding prior was a seven seed.
The Illini used a strong second-half surge to secure a 79-59 victory over Nebraska on Jan. 15. Holešínská led the squad with 19 points, while Beasley carded her second double-double of the season with 17 points and a career-high 10 assists. Wittinger also added 17 points for the Illini in her 10th consecutive double-digit scoring game.
After a close first half (34-33, Illini) Illinois came out hot after the break, knocking down 10-of-12 third-quarter field goals. Both Wittinger (4-4) and Beasley (3-3) were perfect in the period, heading into the fourth quarter already in double-digit scoring numbers. The Huskers continued to test the Illini defense out of the halftime break, but Illini closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to keep a 57-49 advantage entering the final period. Illinois outscored the Huskers, 22-10 to close out the game.
Nebraska lead the all time series against Illinois 10 - 4.
32 - Jessica Shepard - 6-4 - So. - F
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Sr. - C
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Fr. - G
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Fr. - G
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Jr. - G
Illinois Fighting Illini
35 - Alex Wittinger - 6-1 - So. - F
1 - Brandi Beasley - 5-7 - Fr. - G
13 - Petra Holešínská - 5-9 - Fr. - G
23 - Jaelyne Kirkpatrick - 5-7 - So. - G
25 - Kennedy Cattenhead - 5-10 - Jr. - G
Fighting Illini women's basketball celebrated senior day on Saturday, honoring guard Ashley McConnell prior to an afternoon contest against the Indiana Hoosiers. Illinois pulled out to an early lead in the game after an energetic start, but the Hoosiers pushed back to ultimately earn a 74-60 victory over the Orange and Blue.
Freshman Brandi Beasley led Illinois with 16 points and five rebounds, while freshman Petra Holešínská and redshirt junior Kennedy Cattenhead each added 13 points of their own. The Illini closed the regular season with an 8-21 record overall and a 3-13 mark in Big Ten play.
Could this be Illinois Coach Matt Bolant's last job on the sideline of the Illini should Nebraska win? Time will tell as Illinois media, boosters and fans have had him on the hot seat for a few years now.
• Jessica Shepard notched her 14th double-double of the season and 24rd of her career with 32 points, 11 rebounds against Michigan State last Sunday. She has eight double-doubles in Big Ten play this season.
• Shepard leads the Huskers in scoring and rebounds with 18.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She has scored 1,096 in her first two seasons at Nebraska and has surpassed All-American Jordan Hooper for the most points scored by the end of a sophomore season in school history.
• Nebraska is facing the toughest overall schedule in school history in 2016-17. The Huskers will play 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams and 11 more regular-season games against Postseason WNIT teams in 2016-17.
• Nebraska freshmen Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish have helped solidify the Huskers’ starting five, while providing hope for the future for a young Husker roster.
• Eliely, a 6-1 guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., has started all 28 games and ranks third on the team in scoring with 7.5 points per game. She also leads the Huskers in steals (44), blocked shots (20) and field.
• Whitish, the 2016 Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year at Barneveld High School, ranks second on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg), including 11.1 points per game in Big Ten play. Whitish leads the Huskers with 53 threes, which ranks as the second-best total by a freshman in school history. Whitish also leads the Huskers in assists (76) and ranks third in steals (27).
• In Big Ten play, Whitish leads the Huskers in assists (59) and three-pointers (38), while ranking second on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg), steals (21) and three-point percentage (.428). She has produced double figures ten times in Big Ten play and 12 times overall this season. She had career highs of 24 points and five three-pointers while adding five rebounds, five assists and one steal in Nebraska’s win over Michigan State.
BEAT THE ILLINI!!