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    WBB: Game #16 @ Michigan St.

      Young Huskers travel to East Lansing to take on MSU



      Brian Rosenthal     Nebraska Cornhuskers


    Michigan State   Michigan State Spartans



    Saturday, Jan. 7, 6 p.m.
    Breslin Center 



    Video: BTN Plus
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    Live Stats: Gametracker



    Huskers to Battle Spartans in East Lansing



    The Nebraska women’s basketball team continues Big Ten road action on Saturday when the Huskers travel to Michigan State.


    Tip-off between the Huskers (4-11, 0-3 Big Ten) and the Spartans (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten) is set for 6 p.m.


    Nebraska and Michigan State are two of the most inexperienced teams in the Big Ten this season. The active Husker roster has combined for 140 career starts - the same number of total starts by MSU seniors Tori Jankoska (96) and Branndais Agee (44). Seven other Spartans have combined for 82 additional starts.


    Nebraska is led by 6-4 sophomore forward Jessica Shepard, who is averaging a double-double with 18.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. A first-team All-Big Ten performer as the conference’s freshman of the year in 2015-16, Shepard had 26 points and six rebounds in last season’s 73-66 win over then-No. 17 Michigan State. Shepard was the only Husker to manage double figures in Wednesday’s 93-49 loss to No. 3 Maryland in Lincoln.


    Jankoska, who joined Shepard on the preseason All-Big Ten team for 2016-17, leads Michigan State in scoring (21.2 ppg), rebounding (7.8 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg). She was the only Spartan to manage double figures in Wednesday’s 66-54 loss at Purdue, finishing with 16 points. She was held to three points in last season’s loss to the Huskers in Lincoln.




    Nebraska Cornhuskers 


    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 


    Michigan State Spartans 
    15 - Victoria Gaines - 6-1 - RFr. - F 
    32 - Taya Reimer - 6-4 - Sr. - F 
    1 - Tori Jankoska - 5-8 - Sr. - G 
    4 - Taryn McCutcheon - 5-5 - Fr. - G 
    10 - Branndais Agee - 5-11 - RSr. - G


    Scouting Michigan State


    Michigan State enters Saturday’s game with Nebraska carrying an 11-4 overall record and a 1-1 Big Ten mark after falling 66-54 at Purdue , Wednesday. The Spartans opened Big Ten play with a 71-47 pounding of Illinois.


    The Spartans have been among the top teams receiving votes in the national polls throughout the season and are No. 26 in the USA Today Coaches poll this week. Coach Suzy Merchant’s Spartans have been led on the court this season by senior Tori Jankoska. She  is averaging 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 35.1 minutes per game. Jankoska owns 1,784 career points, 618 rebounds, 402 assists and 162 steals. She is expected to make her 97th career start on Saturday.


    Jankoska is an accomplished and experienced player, the rest of Michigan State’s starting five is somewhat unproven. Taryn McCutcheon, a 5-5 freshman guard from East Lansing, has started every game this season alongside Jankoska and is averaging 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and a team-best 5.2 assists per game. McCutcheon has proven herself as a three-point shooter, hitting 23-of-59 on the year, but she is just 11-of-41 (.268) from inside the arc. She has produced a pair of double-figure scoring efforts on the year, but she was held scoreless in her Big Ten debut against Illinois and had just three points at Purdue.


    Michigan State is averaging 69 points while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, including 33.6 percent from three-point range. The Spartans are knocking down 6.5 threes per game. MSU ranks among the Big Ten’s best free throw shooting teams, hitting 73.4 percent of their attempts. The Spartans own a plus-8.1 rebounding margin but carry a minus-2.6 team turnover margin. MSU is averaging 17.3 turnovers per game.


    Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 5-2, including a 73-66 win over the No. 17 Spartans at Pinnacle Bank Arena


    It is yet to be determined if Michigan St Head Coach Suzy Merchanrt will be able to coach her team or not. Merchant fainted on the sideline last week during their game against Illinois and did not coach the Purdue game. She has undergone tests to see if she can continue on the sidelines or if she should hold out for later. So far those results haven't gone public.   


    Husker Nuggets

    Jessica Shepard leads the Huskers with averages of 18.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. 

    Jessica Shepard ranks second among the Huskers in three-point field goals made (18)

    Nebraska freshman Nicea Eliely ranks second on the team in scoring (8.2 ppg), third in rebounding (4.3 rpg), second in assists (2.7 apg) and first in steals (1.7 spg), blocked shots (0.7 bpg) and field goal percentage (.495) through the first 15 games of her collegiate career.

    Freshman Hannah Whitish is averaging 9.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in three Big Ten games as a starter for the Huskers.

    • Overall, Nebraska owns just 140 career starts. In comparison, Michigan State carries one of the more inexperienced rosters in the Big Ten and the Spartans have combined for 202 career starts at MSU.

    Nebraska’s strength of schedule ranked No. 6 nationally.

    Michigan State (11-4) will be Nebraska’s 11th opponent that already owns double-digit wins this season, including five teams with 13 or more victories.






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    Recommended Comments

    be disappointing if the huskers don't make this a competitive game. manage jankoska and stay out of foul trouble---and, as usual, limit to's. early in the game, work the ball and get into an offensive flow before looking for the perimeter shot. i just think huskers can make this one interesting.

    Edited by whoopdeedoo

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    Hopefully the coaches have been preaching for a better attitude and effort for a full forty minutes then what they got last game. I think they'll conscientiously know that they need to perform better if they intend to stay competitive with MSU. I agree with whoop they can make this interesting but they need 100% effort from every one who steps on the court on both ends of the court. Limit the turnovers, make your shots and control the boards from the get go are key in this game . 


    I would expect Allie to have a huge game as this will be her last game closest to her home where she will most likely have a bunch of family and friends in attendance.

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    msu plays faster than i thought they would. pretty good rebounding team also. merchants bench may be one of her best. clog the lane and make huskers shoot from out. ugh. then i read today msu got 6'4" sydney cook for next year. double ugh. i was so hoping huskers could make..........oh well.....wrong.

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    On 1/7/2017 at 7:59 PM, Bugeaters1 said:

    Huskers got the short end on some calls.



    It looked like it several times Bugs, and it lead to frustration later...and it got testy. There were several fouls that were no calls on MS. One out front where one of their players intentionally tripped I think it was Hannah, to keep Hanna from getting the ball ....and no call...and one where the MS player come over the top of Jess's back (and scored)...,almost knocking Jess out of the way...no call. Jess would get hammered time after time...no calls. The flagrant fouls....were unintentional...no attempt to hit anyone...just happened in close contact. Is accidental the same as flagrant in the B1G ?

    So later Jess had enough.


    Likewise...we got called for almost invisible fouls....the game was poorly officiated. I can say it...so coach doesn't have to.


    Michigan State is so much deeper and bigger than we are. :(


    We start games so slow...and unemotional...we looked so unprepared...it's painful to watch. Tonight it was like the players got pissed and played harder.  The coach should have them better prepared emotionally.


    Our interior defense like Row say's....inside defense just isn't there consistently. We sometimes get good rebounds, then the next time down we don't seem to even see them coming. We leave the middle open a lot. Are late getting there many times.....leave people open to give assists by the basket. Our defensive scheme just isn't played well...or ?


    Yea, it's frustrating for everyone....just hard to see where we're going. The frustration is so constant.


    Both Cincore and Maddie seem to be adjusting, and are more in control, concise and purposeful in what they're doing...not so haphazard.  ...good for them...and will help going forward.



    Edited by redsteve

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    5 hours ago, Bugeaters1 said:

    Could this happen happen this year?



    The girl that gave the first big shove should be ejected and suspended. And also any that comes off the bench to get involved in the fight. Put out for a long time to set an example.

    In the men's game, the fouls are usually called pretty closely and immediately, but when the fouls are allowed to continue...bad stuff will happen sooner or later.


    Don't know where the women's officials come from, but many are very inconsistent, game to game, and especially from different officials in the same game.


    OK...that's my "official" ..officials rant for today.

    Edited by redsteve

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    completely agree with you, redsteve. imo, the way the game is (or isn't) being officiated is really putting a downer on the women's game. i am just surprised situations like this haven't been more common------unfortunately.

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    39 minutes ago, whoopdeedoo said:

    completely agree with you, redsteve. imo, the way the game is (or isn't) being officiated is really putting a downer on the women's game. i am just surprised situations like this haven't been more common------unfortunately.

    If you watch Jess she just get the shit kicked out of her all of the time. If I were her I have some pay back.

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