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Huskers Open WNIT with Missouri State

Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-14, 8-10 Big Ten)

vs. Missouri State Lady Bears (20-11, 14-6 Missouri Valley)

Postseason WNIT First Round

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 6 p.m. (CT)

Pinnacle Bank Arena – Lincoln, Nebraska

Tickets: / 1-800-8-BIG-RED
Live Video: B1G+
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (5:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (590 AM),, Huskers App

Huskers Host Missouri State in WNIT Wednesday

The Nebraska women’s basketball team earned a spot in the 2023 Postseason WNIT and will play host to Missouri State in the tournament’s first round on Wednesday in Lincoln.

Tip-off between the Huskers (16-14, 8-10 Big Ten) and the Lady Bears (20-11, 14-6 Summit) is set for 6 p.m. (CT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

A live stream of the game will be provided to subscribers of B1G+.    Fans also can listen across the Huskers Radio Network, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 590 AM in Omaha, the Huskers App and, as Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch call the action.

Nebraska will be making its 23rd overall postseason tournament appearance, including its seventh in the Postseason WNIT, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2023.

The Huskers earned their third straight postseason bid, including a trip to the 2022 NCAA Tournament and an appearance in the 2021 WNIT. Nebraska was also postseason eligible in 2020 before COVID-19 led to the cancellation of all postseason play. 

Over the past 20 seasons dating back to 2003-04, Nebraska has made 16 postseason appearances and has been postseason eligible 17 times, including nine NCAA bids and seven trips to the WNIT.

The Huskers are led by Jaz Shelley, a 5-9 guard from Moe, Australia  (pronounced MO-ee) who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors while leading Nebraska in scoring (14.6 ppg), assists (6.1 apg) and steals (1.6). Shelley has scored in double figures 20 times in 2022-23, including eight games with 20 or more points. She scored a career-high 37 points at Minnesota (Feb. 15), after scoring 32 points to go with eight assists in a win over Mississippi State (Nov. 26). She also put up 31 points in a win over Wisconsin (Dec. 7).

Alexis Markowski (Lincoln, Neb.) added second-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season after leading the Big Ten in both double-doubles (15) and rebounding (10.2 rpg) during the regular season. The 6-3 sophomore who was a midseason top 10 contender for the Lisa Leslie Award, ranks second among the Huskers with 12.4 points per game. Markowski produced nine double-doubles over the last 14 games, scoring in double figures 12 times while adding 11 games with with double-digit rebounds during that stretch. Markowski has scored in double figures a team-high 22 times, including a trio of 20-point performances.    

Isabelle Bourne (Canberra, Australia) captured honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition for the third consecutive season in 2023. Bourne ranked 24th in scoring (12.9 ppg) and 15th in the league in rebounding (6.1 rpg) while ranking ninth in field goal percentage (.512) during conference play. Bourne has produced double figures 18 times in 2022-23, including three 20-point performances.

Sam Haiby (Moorhead, Minn.) claimed All-Big Ten recognition for the third straight year by adding honorable-mention accolades from the league media. Haiby ranks No. 12 at Nebraska in career points (1,588), 17th in rebounding (636) and No. 6 in assists (472). Haiby, who has played more games in a Nebraska uniform (137) than any other women’s basketball player in school history, missed 10 of the first 11 games this season while recovering from a leg injury. 

Maddie Krull (Omaha, Neb.) rounds out Nebraska’s starting five with 6.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists on the season. The 5-9 guard who spent her first two seasons as a starter at South Dakota, owns seven double-figure scoring efforts on the season. 

Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-14, 8-10 Big Ten)

34 – Isabelle Bourne – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 12.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg

40 – Alexis Markowski – 6-3 – So. – C/F – 12.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg

1 – Jaz Shelley – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 14.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg

4 – Sam Haiby – 5-9 – Gr. – G – 10.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg

42 – Maddie Krull – 5-9 – So. – G – 6.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg

Off the Bench

21 – Annika Stewart – 6-3 – So. – F – 5.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg

14 – Callin Hake – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg

15 – Kendall Moriarty – 6-1 – So. – G – 3.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg

44 – Maggie Mendelson – 6-5 – Fr. – F/C – 2.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg

32 – Kendall Coley – 6-2 – So. – F/G – 1.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg

2 – Trinity Brady (Out) – 5-11 – Jr. – G – 2.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg

3 – Allison Weidner (Out) – 5-10 – So. – G – 10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)

Seventh Season at Nebraska (112-98); 16th Season Overall (305-207)

Missouri State Lady Bears (20-11, 14-6 Missouri Valley)

3 – Kennedy Taylor – 6-3 – So. – F – 12.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg

34 – Indya Green – 5-11 – So. – F – 8.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg

5 – Aniya Thomas – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 14.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg

21 – Sydney Wilson – 5-11 – Sr. – G – 10.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg

22 – Paige Rocca – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 7.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Off the Bench

20 – Isabelle Delarue – 5-11 – So. – G – 8.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg

14 – Jade Masogayo – 6-3 – Fr. – F – 8.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg

1 – Taylor Woodhouse – 5-7 – So. – G – 2.3 ppg, 0.4 rpg

12 – Jaiden Bryant – 5-9 – Fr. – G – 0.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg

23 – Khloe Moad – 6-2 – Fr. – F – 0.1 ppg, 0.3 rpg

Head Coach: Beth Cunningham (Notre Dame, 1997)

First Season at Missouri State (20-11); First Season Overall (20-11)

Scouting The Missouri State Lady Bears

Missouri State comes to Lincoln for the opening round of the Postseason WNIT after finishing fifth in the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season standings. The Lady Bears went 14-6 in the Valley on their way to a 20-11 overall mark. They fell 73-70 to MVC Champion Drake in the conference tournament quarterfinals in Moline, Ill., on Friday.

Coach Beth Cunningham is in her first season leading the tradition-rich Lady Bear program. She spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Duke under Kara Lawson after spending eight seasons as an associate head coach at Notre Dame under Muffet McGraw. Cunningham (Morgan) was an honorable-mention All-American and two-time team captain at Notre Dame (1993-97), helping the Fighting Irish to the Final Four as a senior in 1997.

The Lady Bears are led on the floor by second-team All-Missouri Valley Conference guard Aniya Thomas. The 5-7 senior is averaging 14.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Thomas, who spent her first four college seasons at Kansas, was also a member of the Valley All-Newcomer Team and the MVC All-Defensive Team. She led Missouri State with 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while also hitting a team-best 31 three-pointers (.256) on the year.

Forward Kennedy Taylor leads the Lady Bears inside with 12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. The 6-3 sophomore, who spent her first season at Colorado, joined Thomas on the Valley’s All-Newcomer Team.

Jade Masogayo, a 6-3 forward, gave Missouri State three all-league honorees, as she was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year. Masogayo played in all 31 games, primarily off the bench, averaging 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, while hitting 53 percent of her field goal attempts. She also led Missouri State with 44 blocked shots on the year.

Sydney Wilson, a 5-11 senior guard, gives Missouri State three starters averaging in double figures with 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Indya Green (8.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Paige Rocca (7.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg) round out Missouri State’s probable starting five, while Isabelle Delarue (8.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg) also has split starting time with Rocca throughout the season.

Taylor Woodhouse (2.3 ppg), Jaiden Bryant and Khloe Moad complete the list of regular contributors for the Lady Bears.

As a team, Missouri State is averaging 68.2 points per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field on the season. The Lady Bears have struggled from three-point range, connecting on just 29.2 percent (129-442) of their attempts from beyond the arc. They also have hit just 64.8 percent of their free throws. 

Missouri State was a dominant rebounding team in the Valley this season, carrying a plus-8.8 rebound margin (41.3-32.5), collecting 228 more offensive rebounds than its opponents. The Lady Bears held opposing teams to 65.8 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting, including 30.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Nebraska vs. Missouri State Series History

Wednesday’s game will mark the fourth all-time meeting between Nebraska and Missouri State in women’s basketball, and the first since Dec. 8, 1993.

The Huskers lead the all-time series 2-1, including a 74-64 win over the Lady Bears in Lincoln on Feb. 10, 1976. Nebraska also notched an 88-84 win over then-Southwest Missouri State at the Devaney Center on Feb. 2, 1993, before the Lady Bears beat the Big Red 71-57 in Springfield, Mo., on Dec. 8.

Wednesday’s game will be Missouri State’s first this season against a Big Ten Conference team. The Lady Bears were eliminated from the 2022 NCAA Tournament by Ohio State (63-56) in Baton Rouge, La., after defeating fellow No. 11 seed Florida State (61-50) in the First Four.

Four Huskers Earn All-Big Ten Honors

Jaz Shelley claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches to headline a group of four Huskers who earned all-conference accolades when the league announced its women’s basketball regular-season awards on B1G Today on the Big Ten Network, Tuesday, Feb. 28. Shelley, a 5-9 guard from Moe, Australia, led Nebraska with 14.6 points, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals while adding 4.8 rebounds per game in her second season with the Big Red. She also led the Huskers and ranked among Big Ten leaders with 72 three-pointers on the season.

In Big Ten play, Shelley was even better, ranking 10th in the league in scoring (15.2 ppg), 25th in rebounding (5.5 rpg), fourth in assists (5.9 apg), 16th in steals (1.7 spg), third in three-pointers made per game (2.6) and fourth in free throw percentage (.881). Shelley, who is also an Academic All-America candidate, is the first Husker to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors under Head Coach Amy Williams. Shelley added second-team all-conference accolades from the Big Ten media. 

Alexis Markowski added second-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches and media for the second straight year. The 6-3 center out of Lincoln Pius X High School led the Big Ten in double-doubles (15) and rebounding (10.2 rpg), while ranking second among the Huskers with 12.4 points per game. Markowski’s 15 double-doubles are tied for the third-most by a Husker in a season in school history. With 307 rebounds through 30 games, Markowski became just the eighth Husker in history to produce a 300-rebound campaign, joining Janet Smith (2), Jordan Hooper (2), Emily Cady (2), Carol Garey (2), Karen Jennings, Kelsey Griffin and Nafeesah Brown. Markowski, who was on the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List, was one of the final 10 contenders for the Lisa Leslie Award presented to the nation’s top center.

Isabelle Bourne added honorable-mention All-Big Ten recognition from league coaches and media for the third consecutive season. The three-time Husker captain ranked among the top 25 scorers (24th) in Big Ten play with 12.9 points per game, while ranking 15th in the league in rebounding (6.1 rpg). The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia, also ranked ninth in the conference in field goal percentage (.512) in league games. A Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2021, Bourne is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection who is a candidate for Academic All-America honors in 2023. The three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member was also Nebraska’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner in 2023.

Sam Haiby joined Bourne as a three-time All-Big Ten award winner by claiming honorable-mention recognition from the conference media for the second straight season. The 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., battled back from early season injury to average 10.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.5 steals through 20 games. Haiby, who was a second-team All-Big Ten choice in 2020-21, missed 10 of Nebraska’s first 11 games this season while recovering from a leg injury that was originally thought to have ended her fifth season as a Husker before it started. She has since set the school record for career games played (137), while ranking 12th in school history in career points (1,588), 17th in rebounds (636) and sixth in assists (472).

Huskers Face Historic Strength of Schedule

Nebraska’s game against No. 25 Illinois (Feb. 22) was its 12th this season against an AP Top 25 team at game time, setting a new Husker standard for strength of schedule.

The Big Red tied the previous Nebraska record with its 11th game against an AP Top 25 team when the Huskers faced No. 7 Iowa (Feb. 18). The game against the Hawkeyes marked just the second time in school history that Nebraska had ever faced 11 AP Top 25 opponents in a season, joining the 2000-01 Huskers. 

Since entering the Big Ten (2011-12), the Huskers had never played more than eight games in a season against AP Top 25 foes prior to this season.

Nebraska’s game with Iowa was its fifth against an AP Top 10 team this season. The Huskers have never faced more than five AP Top 10 teams in the same season. In fact, Nebraska played six games against teams that entered the NCAA Tournament ranked in the AP top six nationally, including No. 2 Indiana (1), No. 3 Iowa (2), No. 4 Virginia Tech (1) and No. 7 Maryland (2). 

The Huskers played 17 of their 30 games this season against NCAA NET Top 50 teams, including 5-Indiana (1), 6-Iowa (2), 9-Virginia Tech (1), 14-Maryland (2), 16-Ohio State (1); 18-Creighton (1); 26-Michigan (2); 37-Kansas (1); 39-Mississippi State (1); 41-Illinois (2); 45-Michigan State (2); 49-Purdue (1). 

Nebraska’s Big Ten road wins at No. 25 Illinois (90-57, +33, Feb. 22) and at No. 20 Maryland (90-67, +23, Dec. 4) represent the largest road victory margins in school history against AP Top 25 teams.

Nebraska owns six wins (6-11) over current NCAA NET Top 50 teams, while the Huskers have played 20 games against NET Top 100 teams and own eight top-100 wins. Twelve of Nebraska’s 14 losses came against teams ranked in the NET Top 55.

Husker Numbers to Watch

Sam Haiby (636) needs five rebounds to catch Tina McClain at No. 15 (641, 1994-97) on Nebraska’s career rebound list.

Isabelle Bourne (619) needs eight rebounds to match Cory Montgomery at No. 18 (627, 2007-10) on the Husker career chart. 

Isabelle Bourne (1,171) needs 12 points to catch Jan Crouch at No. 21 (1,183, 1976-79) on Nebraska’s career scoring list.

Isabelle Bourne (1,171) is 29 points away from becoming just the 14th Husker in history to achieve the combined career milestones of 1,200 points and 600 rebounds.

Alexis Markowski (307) needs seven rebounds to match Carol Garey (314, 1978-79) for the sixth-highest season rebounding total in school history, and the second-most by a sophomore in Nebraska history. Markowski is 12 rebounds from Karen Jennings (319, 1991-92) in fifth on that list. Markowski is just the eighth Husker to record a 300-rebound season, joining Janet Smith (2), Jordan Hooper (2), Emily Cady (2), Carol Garey (2), Karen Jennings, Kelsey Griffin and Nafeesah Brown. 

Alexis Markowski’s 15 double-doubles this season are tied for the third most by a Husker in a season in school history, and her next double-double would move her into second with Nafeesah Brown at 16 (1993-94). Kelsey Griffin owns the Nebraska season record with 20 (2009-10).

Alexis Markowski (21) needs one more double-double to move into a tie for seventh on the Nebraska career double-doubles list, joining Janet Smith (22, 1979-82).

Alexis Markowski (572) needs two rebounds to match Nafeesah Brown (574, 1993-94) at No. 23 on Nebraska’s career rebound list. Markowski needs eight rebounds to climb to No. 22 with Catheryn Redmon (580, 2008-11).

Jaz Shelley (184) needs two assists to match Nicole Kubik (186, 1998-99) and seven assists to reach both Jina Johansen (2004-05) and Kathy Hawkins (1975-76) at No. 4 with 191 assists on Nebraska’s single-season assist list.

Jaz Shelley (72) needs one three-pointer to tie for ninth on Nebraska’s season three-point list with Hannah Whitish (73, 2017-18). Shelley is eight threes from tying Jordan Hooper (80, 2013-14) in eighth on that same list. Shelley hit 82 threes last season, which ranks fourth in school history.

Jaz Shelley (154) is one made three away from matching Anna DeForge (1995-98) and Natalie Romeo (2015-16) for seventh on the Husker career three-point list with 155. Shelley needs three three-pointers to catch Tear’a Laudermill (157, 2012-15) in sixth on the career three-point list.

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