The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled everything you need to know about Nebraska women's basketball's game against Wisconsin.
Thursday's game will tip off at 7:05 p.m., and will be broadcast on NET and on 590 AM (Omaha); 107.3 FM (Lincoln) radio.
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Wisconsin (9-5, 1-2)
C Abby Laszewski 6-3 Sr. 11.8
F Imani Lewis 6-1 So. 14.3
G Kendra Van Leeuwen 5-10 Sr. 6.4
G Niya Beverley 5-7 Jr. 7.2
G Sydney Hilliard 5-11 Fr. 10.3
NEBRASKA (12-2, 2-1)
C Kate Cain 6-5 Jr. 11.1
F Ashtyn Veerbeek 6-2 So. 8.4
G Sam Haiby 5-9 So. 11.7
G Nicea Eliely 6-1 Sr. 8.6
G Hannah Whitish 5-9 Sr. 8.4
Scouting Wisconsin: The Badgers haven’t had a winning season since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, so the Huskers have generally done well in the series, winning nine of 11. But the Badgers are steadily improving, and this may be Wisconsin’s most complete team in years, especially on defense, where UW is allowing just 60.9 points per game this season with none of its opponents scoring 75 points. Wisconsin has one of the top starting frontcourts in the Big Ten, as Laszewski and Lewis are a physical, good rebounding duo. Hilliard, though 5-11, is a good rebounding guard, too. Wisconsin draws a lot of fouls and gets to the line often. It’s not a good shooting team — inside or beyond the arc — but Wisconsin’s slow-it-down style should limit possessions. Close losses to Arkansas and Rutgers — teams likely bound for the NCAA tournament — indicate Wisconsin should take NU to the final five minutes of the game. The Badgers are a trapdoor game that Nebraska, needing every win for its NCAA tournament bubble profile, will not want to lose.
Scouting Nebraska: The Huskers better be ready for another toughness game. NU has the frontcourt — Cain and Veerbeek as starters, Isabelle Bourne, Grace Mitchell and Kayla Mershon off the bench — to handle Wisconsin’s powerful duo, and Nebraska has greater depth and skill at guard. But Wisconsin will test the Huskers’ willingness to get on the floor and be physical. It’s a good tune-up for a road two-step at Rutgers and Maryland. Cain is playing the best basketball of her career, making the Big Ten honor roll this week for her 19-point, 15-rebound game against Minnesota. Veerbeek has been a little quiet since an ankle injury in December, but could pull out of it against the Badgers. Nebraska’s 3-point shooting is back above 30% for the season — 30.2 to be exact — after hitting 10 of 19 in the 72-58 win over Minnesota. The Gophers may be a better team than Wisconsin, but Nebraska matched up well. The Badgers, with their rebounding prowess, will be a chore.
Notes: NU’s RPI, as of Wednesday, was up to 53 Wisconsin was 115. … The Huskers have a 9-7 edge all-time on Wisconsin, with all nine wins coming in the Big Ten. The Badgers have won the last two games in Madison, including a 70-69 buzzer-beater last season.