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  1. #1

    Default B1G Game 7: Gophers visit Nebraska (1-20-19)

    Freshmen Forwards

    As the Gophers (2-4) traveled to accommodating welcome mat Wisconsin (1-5) ending a four game losing streak, Nebraska (3-3), following three straight loses, traveled to Illinois (1-5) anticipating a similar warm welcome. Neither team was disappointed. Minnesota quickly made themselves at home in Madison with a 78-50 wire to wire rout stretching the Gophers winning streak over the Badgers to 13. Illinois wasn’t quite as hospitable; but the Huskers emerged with a ten point victory. It was the Husker’s third consecutive win in the series with the Illini and their 12th win in the last 15 contests.

    In the first five B1G games, Nebraska’s starters were familiar to Gopher fans. The five, Maddie Simon, Kate Cain, Hannah Whitish, Nicea Eliely and Taylor Kissinger played key roles in last season’s Nebraska 79-74 win in Minneapolis. Last season, Minnesota took a 74-73 lead with :38 seconds remaining. Nebraska’s Simon scored giving the lead back to the Huskers. Then Pitts and Wagner missed three point attempt’s on consecutive possessions while Simon and Eliely put away four consecutive foul shots sealing a Nebraska victory. Keke Bell led Minnesota with 30 points with Gadiva Hubbard chipping in 15 points and 8 assists.

    However, last night in Champaign, 6’3” freshman Kayla Mershon replaced 6’2” Sr Maddie Simon in the lineup. Mershon and Simon both scored four points. But the leading scorer was another 6’2” freshman forward, Ashtyn Veerbeck, who came off the bench to pump in nineteen points. Bench production is not unusual for the Huskers. Their leading scorer in B1G play is yet another freshman forward coming off the bench, Leigha Brown. She put up 10 points in 20 minutes versus the Illini and is averaging 13.7 points in 20.2 minutes per B1G game. The Big Red’s second leading scorer is point guard Hannah Whitish (9.0 points per game). Whitish (32.2 minutes/game) is the only Husker averaging more than 24 minutes/game. Nebraska with eleven roster players consistently utilizes a solid nine player rotation.

    Nebraska alum Amy Williams is now in her third year in Lincoln. Last season Williams led Nebraska to an 11-5 B1G record and the NCAA tournament. It was a complete turnaround from her inaugural season’s 3-13 record which included a 69-79 overtime loss to Minnesota in Lincoln and the transfer of Jessica Shepard to soon to be NCAA Champion Notre Dame.
    It’s a team with a lot of options: As Williams said after last night matchup with Illinois:

    “I thought we took a step forward today of our goal of trying to find ways to get everybody to contribute,” Williams said. “I thought we got that today. We made a little change, and I asked Maddie to be a spark for us, and she came in and got a huge steal and made a play on the defensive end of the floor that led to offense. We just had contributions from everywhere down the line.”

    Some Numbers:

    Nebraska averages 69.2 points per B1G game and Minnesota 67.5.
    Nebraska allows 68.7 points per B1G game and Minnesota 69.2

    B1G Wins: Michigan 70-56, @ Ohio State 78-69, @ Illinois 77-67

    B1G Losses: @ Iowa 71-77, Maryland 63-81, Rutgers 56-63

    Starters: With stats from last season’s Minnesota/Nebraska game.

    6’3” F Fr Kayla Mershon
    6’5” C So. Kate Cain (8 points, 6 rebounds in 29 minutes)
    5’ 9” G Jr Hannah Whitish (14 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers in 30 minutes)
    6’1” G Jr Nicea Eliely (14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 turnovers in 25 minutes)
    6’1” G So Taylor Kissinger (9 points, 6 rebounds in 18 minutes)

    6’2” F Sr Maddie Simon (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists in 31 minutes)
    5’9” G Fr Sam Haiby
    6’1” F Fr Leigha Brown
    6'2" F Fr Ashtyn Veerbeek

  2. #2


    ESPN2 decided to go with two dud Big Ten games this Sunday and this is one of them. Penn St at Maryland is the other one.

  3. #3


    Another look at Nebraska's lineup (Derek Peterson at Hail Varsity):

    Four of Amy Williams’ top five scorers this season are underclassmen. Three of them are freshmen. All three of them come off the bench. It’s been a weird year.

    The Husker women’s basketball team has struggled to maintain last season’s success. It was somewhat expected, given the losses of key guards Jasmine Cincore and Janay Morton and the makeup of the roster (45 percent of the locker room is new players), but maybe not to the extent the Huskers have actually struggled. Starting 2-5 after a breakout 21-11 campaign is a little jarring regardless of circumstance.

    The starting lineup through the first 16 games (a 7-9 record) was reliant on the upperclassmen and the women that have been a part of Williams’ program for long enough to know what she wants. Junior point guard Hannah Whitish, junior two-guard Nicea Eliely and senior forward Maddie Simon looked like stalwarts in the starting five regardless of performance. You can probably factor sophomore center Kate Cain into that group too just based on the minutes she has already logged as a second-year player.

    Freshman guard Sam Haiby is currently averaging more points, more rebounds and fewer turnovers than Whitish while out-shooting her 44 percent to 32 percent. Whitish has Haiby in assists but the offensive rhythm is noticeably different when Haiby is on the floor, in a good way.

    Haiby is the team’s second-leading scorer at 10 a night. The leading scorer is freshman wing Leigha Brown, another bench producer. Brown excels offensively while Eliely is more of a defensive-minded guard. The decision to go with Eliely in the first unit is more of stylistic preference for Williams. Ashtyn Veerbeek — fresh off a career-high 19-point, eight-board performance against Illinois — is outscoring Cain and nearly matching her rebounding. Cain gives rim protection on defense, Veerbeek gives floor-spacing on offense. I’m not ready to say Veerbeek is the better of the two, or say that about any of the freshmen for that matter, but that we’re even having that discussion is somewhat surprising.

  4. #4


    You guys are talking about other Big Ten games but not this one?

  5. #5


    Guess who made a buzzer beater three at the half?

    27-26 MIN at the half

  6. #6


    Perez another three! Seems like she’s approaching starter minutes.

  7. #7


    Costly turnovers here in the 4th. Bell taking over and we need all of out FT's.

  8. #8


    NB is raining 3's.

  9. #9


    Of course they are heating up from 3 now ugh

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    This team is HARD to watch. Got to be the worst shooting team in school history. Next to the men’s team that is.

  11. #11


    12-0 run to end the game

  12. #12


    Lol, this years team really misses Hubbard. Not enough consistent shooters to overcome good teams. Bell was forcing her game which lead to more TO's. Tough loss when they had a decent lead.

  13. #13


    This one on coaching, don’t know why they went into a slow deliberate offense so early or maybe they couldn’t solve the defense. Horrible second half on Bell, horrible decisions.

  14. #14


    Dirty loss. Got complacent, you cannot leave it in ref hands to make call. No decisiveness on play calls, to much standing around waiting for Bell to do something. They had to know after Illinois game when other team is on a run the ref swallow whistles. Lamke and Bell with sloppy passing. No inside drives. That isolation where they had Brunson who is barely a scoring threat shoot a flat three, you could just tell it was over. No fight back or effort to match Nebraskas energy level. Team is underacheiving. That Nebraska team was not better than the Gophers, almost as dumpy a loss as Illinois. They let them rally and had no answers.

    Sent from my SM-J327P using Tapatalk
    Last edited by gopherdudepart2; 01-20-2019 at 07:02 PM.

  15. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by Katogopher View Post
    This one on coaching, don’t know why they went into a slow deliberate offense so early or maybe they couldn’t solve the defense. Horrible second half on Bell, horrible decisions.
    Nebraskas 1-3-1 forced them to slow down. Minnesotas incapable of beating a zone right now.

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