Photo Credit: Joscelyn Hynes/Nebraska Communications Photo Credit: Joscelyn Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Hunt Big Ten Road Win at Purdue

Photo Credit: Joscelyn Hynes/Nebraska Communications Photo Credit: Joscelyn Hynes/Nebraska Communications

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten)
at Purdue Boilermakers (12-5, 3-4 Big Ten)
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 6 p.m. (CT)
Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Indiana
Live Video: 
Live Radio: Huskers Radio Network (5:45 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln (107.3 FM), Omaha (105.9 FM),, Huskers App

Huskers Hunt for Big Ten Road Win at Purdue
The Nebraska women's basketball team hunts for a Big Ten road win on Wednesday when the Big Red takes on Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

Tip-off between the Huskers (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten) and the Boilermakers (12-5, 3-4 Big Ten) is set for 6 p.m. (CT) with a live video stream for subscribers of B1G+. The game also can be heard across the Huskers Radio Network with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on 107.3 FM in Lincoln and 105.9 FM in Omaha, and the Huskers App.

Wednesday's game could be a pivotal contest in the Big Ten for both teams. They enter the game tied for seventh in the conference standings at 3-4, and on paper, it would be tough to find more evenly matched teams across all statistical categories. The numbers prove themselves in the NCAA's NET rankings, where Nebraska entered the week at No. 42 and Purdue at No. 47.

Nebraska is coming off a 76-67 loss to unbeaten and then-No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The Huskers won the turnover battle 18-12 against a Buckeye bunch that entered the game with a better than plus-10 average turnover margin. The Big Red also matched a season high with 21 offensive boards and attempted 20 more field goals than OSU, but the Huskers hit only 35.8 percent of their shots and just 18.5 percent of their threes in the loss.

Ohio State hit better than 50 percent of its shots from the floor, including 8-of-15 three-pointers, and 10-of-12 free throws to shoot its way to victory and climb to No. 2 in the national rankings.

Sam Haiby, a fifth-year Husker who made her fifth straight start after missing 10 of NU's first 11 games this season with a leg injury, put up season highs of 16 points and seven rebounds.

Sophomore Alexis Markowski, the 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, pitched in 15 points and eight rebounds, while junior Isabelle Bourne added 13 points and eight boards. Freshman guard Callin Hake contributed double figures off the bench for the fourth time in the last five games. She finished with 11 points, including a trio of first-half three-pointers. 

All-Big Ten guard Jaz Shelley continues to be one of Nebraska's top threats, leading the Huskers in scoring (13.6 ppg), assists (6.6 apg) and steals (1.8 spg) while adding 4.1 rebounds per game. Shelley ranks among Big Ten leaders with 40 made three-pointers on the season.

The Ohio State game was Nebraska's seventh this season against an AP Top 25 team at game time, and the Huskers are scheduled to face six more current top-25 foes. If those numbers hold, it would give NU a school-record 13 games against AP Top 25 teams. No other Nebraska team has ever faced more than 11 AP Top 25 opponents (2000-01). Since entering the Big Ten (2011-12), the Huskers have never played more than eight games in a season against AP Top 25 foes.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten)
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg
40 - Alexis Markowski - 6-3 - So. - C/F - 12.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg
1 - Jaz Shelley - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 13.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Gr. - G - 8.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg
42 - Maddie Krull - 5-9 - So. - G - 4.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Off the Bench
21 - Annika Stewart - 6-3 - So. - F - 6.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg
14 - Callin Hake - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.1 ppg, 1.4 rpg
44 - Maggie Mendelson - 6-5 - Fr. - F/C - 4.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
15 - Kendall Moriarty - 6-1 - So. - G - 3.7 ppg, 1.9 rpg
32 - Kendall Coley - 6-2 - So. - F/G - 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 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 (107-91); 16th Season Overall (300-200)

Purdue Boilermakers (12-5, 3-4 Big Ten)
14 - Ava Learn - 6-1 - So. - G/F - 4.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
34 - Caitlyn Harper - 6-2 - Gr. - F - 11.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
10 - Jeanae Terry - 5-11 - Sr. - G - 6.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg
23 - Abbey Ellis - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 10.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
33 - Madison Layden - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 7.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
11 - Lasha Petree - 6-0 - Gr. - G - 16.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
3 - Jayla Smith - 6-0 - So. - G - 8.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
5 - Cassidy Hardin - 5-10 - Gr. - G - 7.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
35 - Rickie Woltman - 6-4 - Sr. - F - 3.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg
30 - Addison Potts - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 0.4 ppg, 0.0 rpg
31 - Lilly Stoddard - 6-4 - Fr. - F - 0.3 ppg, 0.2 rpg
Head Coach: Katie Gearlds (Purdue, 2007)
Second Season at Purdue (29-20); 10th Season Overall (257-70)

Nebraska Notables
Freshman Callin Hake led five Huskers in double figures with a career-high 16 points in Nebraska's 80-51 win over Penn State last Wednesday.

Alexis Markowski notched her seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds against the Lady Lions.

Jaz Shelley just missed a triple-double against Penn State, notching her first double-double of the year with 10 points, 10 assists and a season-high nine rebounds.

Isabelle Bourne recently became the 36th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history, achieving the milestone in the fourth quarter of NU's win over Penn State last Wednesday. She also became just the 22nd player in NU history to achieve the combined career milestones of 1,000 points (1,014) and 500 rebounds (553) joining teammate Sam Haiby (1,446 points, 567 rebounds) in that prestigious group.

Nebraska has knocked down 10 or more threes on nine occasions this season and is 9-0 when hitting double-digit threes. Nebraska's most recent double-digit three-point effort came on 13-of-28 shooting against Penn State last Wednesday.

Kendall Moriarty put the exclamation point on the win over Penn State with a running, half-a-hook three from beyond halfcourt in the closing seconds to beat the shot clock. Moriarty's improbable shot, which came on a Nebraska baseline inbounds play, was Scott Van Pelt's "The Best Thing I Saw Today" on ESPN.

Jaz Shelley (Moe, Australia - pronounced MO-ee) has been Nebraska's most potent and reliable weapon throughout the season. The 5-9 guard is averaging 13.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and team-bests of 6.6 assists and 1.8 steals on the season. 

Shelley opened Big Ten play with 29 points in a road upset at No. 20 Maryland (Dec. 4), before pumping in 31 points in a win over Wisconsin (Dec. 7). 

Preseason All-Big Ten center and 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Alexis Markowski (Lincoln, Neb.) is one of the Big Ten's top rebounders, averaging 9.3 boards to go along with her 12.4 points per contest. The 6-3 center owns seven double-doubles on the season and leads the Huskers with 20 blocks while ranking second on the team with 19 steals.

Nebraska has lost starters Allison Weidner (10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.4 apg) and Trinity Brady (2.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg) to injuries. Weidner (leg) was injured in the fourth quarter of Nebraska's 85-79 3OT win over No. 20 Kansas (Dec. 21) and is out for the season. Brady (concussion) was injured in the first half of NU's loss at No. 9 Virginia Tech (Dec. 1) and has missed the past nine games.

The injuries to Weidner and Brady have helped hasten the return of three-year starter Sam Haiby to Nebraska's lineup. Haiby, who has more than 1,400 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in her Husker career, produced double figures off the bench in the win over Kansas. She made her first start on New Year's Day at No. 4 Indiana, helping the Huskers push the Hoosiers to overtime. Haiby is averaging 8.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals in 20 minutes per game since returning from her own leg injury suffered in the preseason (Sept. 12).  

Scouting The Purdue Boilermakers
Second-year Purdue head coach Katie Gearlds leads the Boilermakers into Wednesday's game with a 12-5 overall record that includes a 3-4 Big Ten Conference mark. Gearlds graduated from Purdue in 2007 after earning All-America honors as a player, when she helped the Boilermakers to four NCAA Tournament bids, including the NCAA Elite Eight as a senior.

The Boilermakers are coming off a 65-54 win at Northwestern on Saturday, after suffering back-to-back losses to No. 17 Michigan (80-59, Jan. 10) and at Penn State (70-60, Jan. 7). Purdue also owns a 73-61 Big Ten win over Wisconsin (Jan. 1) and a 76-71 OT win at Michigan State (Dec. 5).

Purdue is led by graduate transfer Lasha Petree, who is averaging 16.0 points and 3.5 rebounds. Petree, who spent 2021-22 at Rutgers, started the first 15 games for the Boilers but has averaged just over 10 minutes per game off the bench in the last two contests.

Caitlyn Harper, a graduate transfer from Cal Baptist, has started all 17 games for the Boilermakers, averaging 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds. The 6-2 forward is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, including 46.2 percent (12-26) from three-point range.

Senior point guard Jeanae Terry, who started her career at Illinois, is the only other Boiler to start all 17 games this season. She has averaged 6.6 points and team bests of 7.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.1 steals.

Madison Layden, who has been a major contributor for Purdue the past two seasons, is averaging 7.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists, while Abbey Ellis, a transfer from Cal Poly, has recently moved back into the starting lineup. Ellis, a 5-6 guard from Melbourne, Australia, is averaging 10.7 points while hitting 37 percent (17-46) of her threes and 88.9 percent (48-54) of her free throws.

Ava Learn, a 6-1 sophomore, earned a start in Saturday's win over Northwestern. She is averaging 4.2 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Graduate guard Cassidy Hardin is the most experienced player in a Purdue uniform. The fifth-year guard has started 15 games this season and is averaging 7.2 points and 2.5 rebounds while leading the team with 32 three-pointers (.337).

Rickie Woltman, a 6-4 senior forward who has been a part-time starter for Purdue in her career, adds size, depth and experience off the bench. She averages 3.6 points and 3.4 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Jayla Smith adds more explosiveness off the bench, contributing 8.3 points and 2.1 rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game.

As a team, Purdue is averaging 73.9 points while allowing 65.6. The Boilermakers have hit 46.7 percent of their shots from the field, including 34.1 percent of their threes. They are also a solid 73.8 percent at the free throw line. Purdue carries a plus-1.6 rebound margin and has been nearly even in the turnover department.

Nebraska vs. Purdue Series History
Purdue leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 10-7, but the Huskers snapped a three-game series losing streak with an 81-66 win over Purdue last season in Lincoln (Jan. 30, 2022). Alexis Markowski led four Huskers in double figures with 23 points and seven rebounds. Nebraska hit 11-of-20 threes against Purdue, including a 3-for-3 shooting night from Markowski.

Sam Haiby was the only other Husker starter in double figures with 12 points on 3-of-4 three-point shooting, while Isabelle Bourne and Allison Weidner both scored 14 off the bench.

Jayla Smith led Purdue last season with 16 points in 21 minutes off the bench, including a 4-for-4 effort from three-point range. Cassidy Hardin added 11 points, including a trio of three-pointers, as Purdue sank 10-of-31 threes.

Purdue won the last meeting at Mackey Arena, running to an 83-72 victory over the Huskers on Dec. 23, 2020. Bourne led Nebraska with 22 points and seven rebounds, while Haiby pitched in 16 points for the Huskers. 

Nebraska's last win in West Lafayette came with an 84-64 victory on Jan. 31, 2019.

In the first-ever meeting between the two schools in women's basketball, Nebraska fought its way to an epic 93-89 triple-overtime win at Mackey Arena (Feb. 2, 2012). Later that same season, Purdue defeated the Huskers 74-70 in double-overtime in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis.

The third game between the schools also went overtime, a 69-66 loss for the Huskers in Lincoln on Jan. 5, 2013. None of the other 14 games in the series have gone overtime.

After winning the series opener in 2011-12, Nebraska suffered five straight losses to Purdue. Since the 2014-15 season, Nebraska owns a narrow 6-5 edge in the series.

Husker Numbers to Watch
Jaz Shelley is seven three-pointers away from 129 in her Husker career, which would move her into the top 10 on Nebraska's career three-point list. Shelley has 122 made threes in 50 games (2.4 pg) as a Husker. The only player in NU's top 10 to hit threes at a faster clip in her career is Natalie Romeo, who connected on 155 threes in 55 games (2.8 pg) as a Husker (2014-15, 2015-16). Amy Stephens, one of the greatest shooters and scorers in Nebraska history, hit 129 threes in 57 games (2.3 pg) in the first two seasons of the three-point shot in women's college basketball (1987-88, 1988-89). Nebraska's all-time three-point leader, All-American and 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year Jordan Hooper, hit 295 threes in 131 career games (2.3 pg).

Sam Haiby is 15 points away (1,446) from matching Emily Cady for No. 13 on Nebraska's all-time scoring list (1,461 points, 2012-15).

Sam Haiby needs seven rebounds to climb to No. 21 on Nebraska's career rebound list. Haiby heads to Purdue with 567 rebounds to rank 22nd at Nebraska. Nafeesah Brown is No. 21 in NU history with 574 boards (1992-93, 1993-94).

Isabelle Bourne is immediately behind Sam Haiby on the NU career rebound list. Bourne enters the Purdue game at No. 23 on Nebraska's all-time list with 553.

Isabelle Bourne is 21 points away from catching Alexa Johnson at No. 34 on NU's scoring list (1,035, 2001-04). Issie's older sister, Callie, recently reached the 1,000-point mark in her fifth season at Idaho State, achieving the milestone at San Diego (Nov. 25) in career game No. 118.

Jaz Shelley is 42 points away from 1,000 in her college career (662-Nebraska; 296-Oregon).

Kendall Moriarty has already surpassed her season point total (66-45) from a year ago while more than tripling her three-point total (11-3) and nearly tripling her season rebound total (35-12). She also has more than tripled her steals total (11-3), more than quadrupled her made free throws (9-2) and matched her season block total (3) from a year ago.