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Nebraska (11-1) vs. Michigan St. (7-5) Game Thread


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The Nebraska women's basketball team embarks on its first Big Ten Conference road trip of the season while closing the 2019 calendar year against Michigan State in East Lansing on Tuesday afternoon.

Tip-off between the Huskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten) and Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten) is set for noon (CT) at the Breslin Center. Live television coverage will be provided by the Big Ten Network with Chris Vosters and Vera Jones on the call.

Live radio coverage for Tuesday's New Year's Eve date at Michigan State can be heard on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha beginning at 11:45 a.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.

Nebraska opened Big Ten play with a solid 78-69 win over defending Big Ten Tournament champion and NCAA Elite Eight qualifier Iowa on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

Junior Kate Cain led the Huskers by recording her first double-double of the season and eighth of her career with 16 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. The 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., is a Lisa Leslie Award candidate this year and is averaging 10.6 points and team bests of 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.

Nebraska sophomore Leigha Brown leads Nebraska and ranks 12th in the Big Ten in scoring (14.3 ppg). She closed non-conference play with a season-high 25 points against Manhattan (Dec. 22) to earn a spot on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Dec. 23). Brown opened Big Ten play with 10 points and six rebounds and is a top contender for Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year honors. She is the only non-starter in the Big Ten averaging more than 12 points per game. 

Fellow sophomore Sam Haiby earned spots on the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll (Nov. 11, Dec. 16) after big performances in Husker wins. Haiby, who had 10 points in the win over Iowa (Dec. 28), scored a career-high 28 points in a win over Missouri (Nov. 10) and added 20 points in a win over Oral Roberts (Dec. 14). She ranks second among the Huskers with 10.7 points per game.

Senior leaders Nicea Eliely (12 points, 5 assists) and Hannah Whitish (11 points, 3 assists) completed a group of five Huskers who scored in double figures against Iowa. Whitish is a two-time All-Big Ten pick who is the only Husker in history to reach the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,061), 400 assists (412) and 200 made three-pointers (217).

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
at Michigan State Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten)
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, Noon (CT)
Breslin Center (14,759) - East Lansing, Mich.
Live TV:
 BTN (Chris Vosters, Vera Jones)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (11:45 a.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM; Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 8.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 10.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 7.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 14.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 2.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.4 ppg, 0.6 rpg
Out for Season
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (53-50); 13th Season Overall (246-159)

Michigan State Spartans (7-5, 0-1 Big Ten)
12 - Nia Hollie - 6-0 - Sr. - F - 3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
15 - Victoria Gaines - 6-3 - RSr. - F - 4.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg
0 - Shay Colley - 5-9 - RSr. - G - 9.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
4 - Taryn McCutcheon - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 11.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
24 - Nia Clouden - 5-8 - So. - G - 15.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Off the Bench
40 - Julia Ayrault - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
1 - Tory Ozment - 6-1 - So. - G/F - 5.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
2 - Mardrekia Cook - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
42 - Kayla Belles - 6-3 - So. - F - 4.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
3 - Alyza Winston - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 4.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
22 - Moira Joiner - 5-10 - Fr. - G - 4.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
14 - Taiyier Parks - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 4.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Head Coach: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
13th Season at Michigan State (272-139); 25th Season Overall (473-259)

Scouting the Michigan State Spartans
• In her 13th season at Michigan State, Coach Suzy Merchant had her Spartans in the top 25 throughout the non-conference season until losing back-to-back games to Syracuse (77-63) and West Virginia (63-57) at the Sunshine Challenge before the holiday break. The Spartans suffered their third straight setback with a 79-67 loss at No. 14 Indiana on Saturday.
• MSU's only other losses this season came against LSU at the Junkanoo Jam and unbeaten Florida State in Tallahassee to open a December schedule that so far has seen the Spartans go 1-4 with its only win against Morehead State at home amidst four losses away from the Breslin Center.
Edited by redsteve
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