The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled everything you need to know about Nebraska women's basketball's game against Maryland.
Thursday's game will tip off at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on BTN and on 590 AM (Omaha); 107.3 FM (Lincoln) radio.
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Maryland (12-4, 3-2)
C, Shakira Austin, 6-5, So., 11.3
F, Stephanie Jones, 6-2, Sr., 10.0
F, Kaila Charles, 6-1, Sr., 13.9
G, Taylor Mikesell, 5-11, So., 10.4
G, Blair Watson, 6-0, Sr., 10.3
Nebraska (13-3, 3-2)
C, Kate Cain, 6-5, Jr., 10.1
F, Ashtyn Veerbeek, 6-2, So., 8.7
G, Sam Haiby, 5-9, So., 11.4
G, Nicea Eliely, 6-1, Sr., 8.4
G, Hannah Whitish, 5-9, Sr., 8.5
Maryland scouting report: When hanging out at No. 20 in the rankings constitutes a “down” year, you’re pretty darn good. The Terrapins, despite losses at Northwestern and Iowa, remain heavyweight prize fighters in the Big Ten. Nebraska has never beaten Maryland — NU has come close a few times — and the athletic disparity between the teams is often evident. The Terps have long, quick defenders who shut down Husker drives into the lane, which creates an imperative to hit 3-pointers. Usually, Nebraska doesn’t. This Maryland team, with one exception in an ugly loss at Northwestern, is another terrific defensive team that forces 24 turnovers and averages 14 steals per game. Teams are shooting 35.5% against UM this season — 27.4% from the 3-point line. Maryland’s offense rises and falls on whether Taylor Mikesell and Blair Watson are making their 3-pointers. Usually they are — both average 40% or better from beyond the arc. Given that both average at least six attempts per game, do the math between whether they make 5 of 12 or 2 or 12. NU’s chances of scoring more than 70 points Thursday are slim to none. Scoring 60 isn’t a cinch, either, so an elite defensive performance may be crucial.
Nebraska scouting report: The Huskers have no time to kick themselves for squandering a great start (and 12 3-pointers) in a four-point loss to Rutgers, even if it could be a game NU wishes it had in its back pocket. Nebraska will take hitting 12 trios again at Maryland, though. Ashtyn Veerbeek (14 points, five rebounds, three assists) had one of her strongest games of the season, as did Isabelle Bourne (nine points, eight rebounds) and Trinity Brady (seven points). Kate Cain went scoreless, missing all five of her shots. Her matchup against Maryland’s Shakira Austin won’t be any easier than what she just faced. Nebraska’s rebounding has turned a corner in Big Ten play — plus-2 per game in five contests — but Maryland’s rebounding is usually on a different level. The Terrapins probably aren’t the best team in the league — Indiana and Iowa look saltier — but they represent the hardest matchup for Nebraska. And it’s on the road.
Notes: NU’s RPI as of Tuesday was 55. … Maryland was at 24. … In ESPN’s updated bracketology released Monday, NU remained in the NCAA tournament field by the thinnest of margins as the second-to-last team in. … UM and NU are tied for fifth in the Big Ten. There are no undefeated nor winless teams in the league.