Wednesday, Jan. 4, 7 p.m.
Pinnacle Bank Arena
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Huskers to Meet No. 3 Maryland Wednesday
The Nebraska women’s basketball team returns to Pinnacle Bank Arena to take on No. 3 Maryland on Wednesday night.
Tip-off between the Huskers (4-10) and the Terrapins (13-1) is set for 7 p.m.
Although the Huskers are 0-2 in Big Ten play, they have have lost their first two games by a combined seven points battling in one-possession games to the final seconds against and at Iowa.
Through Monday’s games, Nebraska owned the nation’s No. 6 strength of schedule, and Maryland will be the Huskers’ fifth opponent this season that currently owns 13 or more wins.
The Terps opened conference with an 83-72 win at Minnesota to improve to 13-1 overall with their lone loss coming in an 87-81 setback to No. 1 UConn. Big Ten Co-Player-of-the-Week Brionna Jones led Maryland with 27 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and four steals at Minnesota. That performance followed a 19-point, 13-rebound effort in the loss to UConn. The 6-3 senior center comes to Lincoln averaging 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Jones will go head-to-head with Husker sophomore Jessica Shepard, who is averaging 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game for the Big Red. The 6-4 forward is averaging 22.5 points and 11.5 rebounds through two Big Ten games, including a season-high-tying 28 points at Iowa on Dec. 31.
Nebraska is 0-5 all-time against Maryland in a series that dates back to the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. In two meetings in Lincoln, Nebraska has lost by an average of 23.5 points, including a 75-47 setback in the only previous meeting at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
32 - Jessica Shepard - 6-4 - So. - F
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Sr. - C
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Fr. - G
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Fr. - G
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Jr. - G
42 - Brionna Jones - 6-3 - Sr. - C
3 - Kaila Charles - 6-1 - Fr. - G
5 - Destiny Slocum - 5-7 - Fr. - G
12 - Kristen Confroy - 5-9 - Jr. - G
32 - Shatori Walker-Kimbrough - 5-11 - Sr. - G
Maryland comes to Lincoln after climbing to No. 3 in both The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 this week. The Terrapins are 13-1 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play for Coach Brenda Frese, who is in her 15th season at the helm of the program. She led the Terps to the NCAA title in 2006 and added Women’s Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015. Maryland also won Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships in its first two seasons in the conference in 2015 and 2016.
Brionna Jones leads the Terrapins to Pinnacle Bank Arena averaging team bests of 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game
Destiny Slocum, a 5-7 guard, is one of two newcomers in the Maryland starting five. She is averaging 11.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and a team-best 4.4 assists per game.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, is averaging 16.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Walker-Kimbrough, who is shooting 54.7 percent from the field, including 38.8 percent from three-point range, is also hitting 84.5 percent of her free throws. She owns 86 career starts for the Terrapins.
Maryland’s high-powered offense is averaging 89.9 points per game, while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from three-point range. The Terrapins have knocked down 71.7 percent of their free throws. They have outrebounded their opponents by a whopping 16.4 rebounds per game and own a plus-6.0 team turnover margin. The have outscored their opponents by an average of 31 points per game by allowing just 58.9 points per contest.
• Jessica Shepard leads the Huskers with averages of 18.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
• Jessica Shepard owns seven 20-point scoring efforts through 14 games, including season highs of 28 points at Iowa and against San Jose State. She owns 23 career 20-plus scoring games in 43 career contests.
• Nicea Eliely ranks second on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg), third in rebounding (4.5 rpg), second in assists (2.9 apg) and first in steals (1.7 spg), blocked shots (0.7 bpg), field goal percentage (.505) and three-point field goal percentage (.423) through the first 14 games of her collegiate career.
• Hannah Whitish is averaging 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals in two Big Ten games as a starter for the Huskers.
• One of Coach Amy Williams’ primary objectives early in the season was to find a starting five from a relatively inexperienced group of Huskers. Only seven players on Nebraska’s active roster have ever started a game for the Huskers, with five of them starting 20 or fewer contests.
• Jasmine Cincore owns the longest streak of consecutive starts among the Huskers with 19.Allie Havers has made 17 straight starts, while Nicea Eliely and Jessica Shepard have each started 14 straight games this season. Hannah Whitish has made back-to-back starts.
• Nebraska senior Allie Havers has competed in 110 consecutive games since the first game of her freshman season. The Huskers own a 69-41 record in those contests over the last four years.
BEAT THE TERPS!