The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled everything you need to know for the Nebraska women's basketball team's matchup with Michigan State on Sunday.
The game will tip off at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network and 590 AM radio.
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Michigan State (17-7, 7-6)
C Jenna Allen 6-4 Sr. 12.9
F Sidney Cooks 6-4 So. 9.6
G Nia Clouden 5-8 Fr. 11.6
G Taryn McCutcheon 5-5 Jr. 10.8
G Shay Colley 5-9 Jr. 15.0
NEBRASKA (11-14, 6-8)
C Kate Cain 6-5 So. 7.4
F Kayla Mershon 6-3 Fr. 3.0
G Hannah Whitish 5-9 Jr. 9.8
G Nicea Eliely 6-1 Jr. 8.2
G Taylor Kissinger 6-1 So. 8.8
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Scouting Michigan State: Barring a total collapse down the stretch, the Spartans (RPI 23) are headed for the NCAA tournament thanks to three excellent wins over Oregon, Iowa and Maryland. At its best, MSU is very good, with enough size to rebound and dynamic guards who share the ball and hit 3-pointers. At its worst, Michigan State loses by 17 at Wisconsin, as it did on Thursday night. In that game, the Spartans hit just 5 of 21 3-point attempts, far off their 39.4 percent season average. All of Michigan State’s top seven scorers can shoot the 3, including Allen and Cooks, who hit more than 40 percent of their long-distance attempts. Their versatility — and Allen’s ability to deliver two assists per game at 6-4 — creates a lot of cutting opportunities to the hoop. Nebraska’s defense will have its hands full. MSU is vulnerable on defense — allowing 69.4 points in Big Ten play — and Allen has struggled in February, averaging just 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds. She can be a defensive liability that Nebraska will attack. MSU has never won at Nebraska. The 0-4 record includes a 76-74 loss at NU in 2017 in Amy Williams’ first season. The Spartans are beatable if they miss 3s.
Scouting Nebraska: If only NU defended the 3-point line well. It generally does not, allowing Big Ten foes to shoot 36.1 percent from the arc. Maryland hit 6 of 15 (40 percent) in an 89-63 blowout that was competitive for 2½ quarters until Nebraska’s defense fell apart and gave up 36 points over the final 13 minutes. NU should be able to flush that loss pretty easily — Maryland annually treats the Huskers as a speed bump — and lock in to play the Spartans. The scoring revolving door continued at Maryland, where Nicea Eliely was the leading scorer and Leigha Brown, who started, scored just five after dropping 30 in a win over Purdue. All of the Huskers will get plenty of scoring chances against an MSU team that is vulnerable in the paint. Cain and Ashtyn Veerbeek had better be on their offensive games. Wisconsin’s Marsha Howard scored 28 while Iowa’s Megan Gustafson — perhaps the nation’s best post player — scored 41 against the Spartans Feb. 7. MSU is just 3-6 on the road this season. NU can steal one.