Lincoln – Kate Cain produced one of the best rebounding efforts in school history while producing her fifth double-double of the season to power Nebraska to a 59-51 women’s basketball win over Penn State on Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
With the victory, Nebraska secured its 17th all-time 20-win season, improving to 20-8 overall and 11-4 in the Big Ten. Penn State slipped to 15-13 overall and 6-9 in the conference. The Huskers moved into a tie for second place in the Big Ten trailing only No. 14 Ohio State, which clinched a share of the conference title with its win on Wednesday night. The Huskers will face No. 13 Maryland in College Park on Sunday, entering the game tied with the Terps for second place in the league standings.
Nebraska has secured a top-four seed and a double-bye at next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. An Ohio State loss at Penn State on Sunday, and a Nebraska win at Maryland would give the Huskers a share of the Big Ten regular-season title along with the Buckeyes, who would secure the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament with their own win over Penn State Sunday. Both games will tip at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, with the Husker game at Maryland on the Big Ten Network and the Ohio State/Penn State game on ESPN2.
Cain, a 6-5 freshman center, set the tone inside for the Big Red against the Lady Lions, pulling down 20 rebounds to tie for the sixth-most boards by an individual in school history. She added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while adding three blocks to give her 90 blocked shots on the season and move her into Nebraska’s career top 10.
With Cain leading the way on the glass, Nebraska produced a whopping plus-29 edge on the boards, 60-31, for the Big Red’s largest rebound margin of the season, which ranked as the ninth-best rebound margin in Husker history.
Cain was far from alone on the glass inside. Point guard Hannah Whitish added nine points, eight rebounds and five assists, while freshman Taylor Kissinger pitched in eight points and seven boards. Senior Jasmine Cincore contributed three points at the line while adding seven points of her own.
Junior forward Maddie Simon also gave the Big Red a huge lift by scoring a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and a steal.
Simon and Cain were the only Huskers to manage double figures in a low-scoring affair, as they combined to go 11-for-20 from the field. The rest of the Huskers were just 8-for-40.