Junior Kate Cain added 10 points, seven rebounds and a game-high eight blocked shots, while sophomore Ashtyn Veerbeek pitched in 10 points and six boards while making her first career start. Fellow sophomore Leigha Brown contributed 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Big Red, which improved to 43-3 all-time in home season openers.
Nebraska got off to a strong start both offensively and defensively. The Huskers jumped to an 11-2 lead after the opening tip, including 3-for-3 three-point shooting from Veerbeek and Whitish (2-for-2), to close the first quarter with a 20-9 lead.
The Huskers opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run with four straight points from Cain, a three-point play from Brown and the first two points of Isabelle Bourne's career to extend the margin to 20 points at 29-9. Nebraska closed the half with a 35-14 lead.
The third quarter started all Nebraska again, as the Huskers pushed the edge to 46-14 with an 11-0 run in the first 3:35 of the second half. Cain and Veerbeek combined for seven points during the spurt. But Alabama A&M, coached by former Husker Margaret Richards, rallied for an 8-0 run of its own and closed the third quarter trailing 49-31.
The Bulldogs closed the gap to 55-38, before Whitish buried back-to-back threes midway through the fourth quarter to seal the Husker win.
Sophomore Sam Haiby, who joined Veerbeek in making her first career start, just missed double figures with eight points. Haiby, Whitish and Nicea Eliely all led the Huskers with three assists.
Junior Taylor Kissinger had a team-high eight boards, while pitching in four points. Senior Kristian Hudson (Birmingham, Ala.) added four points and three boards, while sophomore Kayla Mershon contributed four points and five rebounds, as Nebraska out-boarded the Bulldogs, 50-45.
Nebraska shot 42.6 percent (23-54) from the floor, 31.3 percent (5-16) from downtown and 70.8 percent (17-24) from the free throw line. Alabama A&M was held to 25.3 percent (20-79) from the field, 12.5 percent (2-16) from long range and 50.0 percent (4-8) from the line.
Lincoln Northeast High School grad Nigeria Jones led the Bulldogs with 16 points, including 14 in the second half. Fellow guard Deshawna Harper added 15 points including a pair of threes. Omaha North grad Dariauna Lewis contributed eight points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Nebraska will return to action on Sunday, Nov. 10 with a non-conference matchup against the Tigers in Columbia, Mo. Tip-off at Mizzou Arena is set for 2 p.m. with live video available from SECN+.
LINCOLN, Neb. - UC Riverside used hot shooting from the 3-point line and capitalized on Nebraska's cold shooting to take a 66-47 win, spoiling the debut of new Husker Coach Fred Hoiberg.
The Highlanders went 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the second half to break open a four-point halftime lead. DJ McDonald came off the bench for UC Riverside and had 15 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range, to lead four players in double figures.
For Nebraska, sophomore point guard Cam Mack led the Huskers with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Matej Kavas came off the bench to add 10 for Nebraska, which shot just 29 percent, including 6-of-26 from 3-point range.
UC Riverside scorched the nets in the first nine minutes of the second half, hitting 7-of-9 from distance to turn a 32-28 lead into an 18-point advantage at 53-35. McDonald went 3-of-3 from beyond the arc in the run, as the Highlanders took command in that stretch and Nebraska was unable to get within 15 the remainder of the contest.
Dragen Elkaz had 14 points, while George Willborn III finished with 13 points and a game-high 18 rebounds for the winners.
The Huskers got off to a quick start offensively, but could not sustain the momentum as UC Riverside took a 32-28 lead into the break. Despite shooting 35 percent, including 3-of-13 from 3-point range, the Huskers were within striking distance, as they forced nine Highlander turnovers for 10 points.
Nebraska began with a blistering start, hitting six of their first shots from the floor in building a 16-7 lead after a Haanif Cheatham free throw in the first half. The Huskers lead 20-12 after an Yvan Ouedraogo basket, but the Highlanders used a 10-2 run to pull even at 22 all after a Willborn 3-pointer. Consecutive 3-pointers from McDonald and Elkaz stretched the lead to six before Kavas scored four straight points to make it a two-point game before Elkaz's tip-in beat the first half buzzer.
The Huskers return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Southern Utah. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. and it will be carried on the IMG-Learfield Husker Sports Network and online on BTN+. A limited number of tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com/Tickets or by calling 800-8-BIGRED.
Knuckles averaged 5.00 digs per set in No. 8 Nebraska's wins against Rutgers and No. 7 Penn State over the weekend. She posted a career-high 24 digs in the five-set win over the Nittany Lions, as the Huskers held Penn State to a .166 hitting percentage, its lowest mark in a Big Ten match this season.
Knuckles also had 16 digs against Rutgers, as NU held the Scarlet Knights to a .099 hitting percentage.
The Yorktown, Indiana native picked up her first career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor. Earlier this season she was honored as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Adams Central 64, Valentine 0
Aquinas Catholic 27, Shelby-Rising City 0
Arthur County 59, Heartland Lutheran 38
Ashland-Greenwood 53, Cozad 14
Aurora 32, Ogallala 13
BRLD 39, Wilber-Clatonia 21
Battle Creek 34, Archbishop Bergan 14
Bellevue West 42, Lincoln East 0
Bennington 47, Seward 35
Cody-Kilgore 100, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 0
Columbus Scotus 48, Bishop Neumann 28
Creek Valley 58, Wilcox-Hildreth 28
Doniphan-Trumbull 22, Centennial 14
Elkhorn South 23, Kearney 7
Eustis-Farnam 34, Red Cloud 33
Grand Island 35, Lincoln Southwest 14
Harvard 64, Spalding Academy 28
Hastings 42, McCook 7
Lincoln Southeast 35, Omaha North 10
McCool Junction 55, Crawford 40
McPherson County/Stapleton 43, Maywood-Hayes Center 20
Millard South 42, Papillion-LaVista South 21
Millard West 34, Lincoln Pius X 0
Norris 38, Mount Michael Benedictine 10
North Bend Central 34, North Platte St. Patrick's 19
Northwest 34, Lexington 3
Oakland-Craig 28, Hartington Cedar Catholic 26
Omaha Burke 31, Millard North 5
Omaha Roncalli Catholic 56, Plattsmouth 28
Omaha Skutt Catholic 28, Blair 3
Omaha Westside 49, Creighton Preparatory School 13
Ord 26, Gothenburg 20
Pierce 55, Chase County 28
Scottsbluff 48, Alliance 6
Sioux County 48, Sterling 8
St. Paul 36, Centura 0
Sutton 46, Yutan 7
Wahoo 56, Boys Town 0
Waverly 49, Gross Catholic 20
Wayne 28, Kearney Catholic 21
KRGI SN Recaps 11-01-19
The Nebraska women's basketball team plays its only exhibition game of the 2019-20 season when the Huskers take on NCAA Division II Rogers State Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off in Lincoln is set for 4 p.m.
• Single-game, season, "Starting Five Pack" and the new "You Betcha Bundle" tickets are available now through the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at Huskers.com.
• Live radio coverage (beginning at 3:45 p.m.) can be heard in Omaha on 105.9 FM, and across the state on select Learfield-IMG College Husker Sports Network stations. Free live audio can be found at Huskers.com, the Huskers App and on TuneIn.
• Nebraska returns five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 14-16 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference.
• The Huskers return their top seven scorers from a year ago, including senior starters Hannah Whitish (10.1 ppg) and Nicea Eliely (7.9 ppg). Whitish is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, and Eliely is one of the Big Ten's best defenders.
• Senior Kristian Hudson returns after missing Nebraska's final 23 games last year with an injury. Senior forward Grace Mitchell will add size and experience inside for the Huskers.
• Junior returning starters Taylor Kissinger (8.9 ppg) and Kate Cain (7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg) give Nebraska more size and experience. Kissinger led the Big Ten and ranked fourth nationally in three-point percentage (.456) last season. Cain has earned her second appearance on the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List, and is on track to become Nebraska's all-time leader in blocked shots this season.
• Nebraska's four-player sophomore class of Sam Haiby (10.0 ppg), Leigha Brown (9.6 ppg), Ashtyn Veerbeek (6.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Kayla Mershon (3.2 ppg) combined for the most points (893) by a Husker freshman class since 1981-82.
• Nebraska's three-player freshman class of Isabelle Bourne, Trinity Brady and Makenzie Helms take the court for the first time at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday. Bourne was a key player in the Australian U19 National Team's run to a silver medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships this summer. Helms was the Connecticut Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2018-19. Brady finished her prep career at Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Tennessee - one of the top women's basketball academy teams in the nation. As a junior, she was one of the top high school players in the state of Indiana at Lawrence North. She was an IBCA Subway Supreme 15 Underclass All-State selection.
Nebraska vs. Rogers State at a Glance
Saturday, Nov. 2, 4 p.m. (CT)
Lincoln, Neb. (Pinnacle Bank Arena, capacity 15,000)
Live Video: Not Available
Live Audio: Leafield-IMG Husker Sports Network (3:45 p.m.)
Huskers.com, Huskers App, 105.9 FM (Omaha), 98.5 FM (North Platte), 101.7 FM (Scottsbluff)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Nebraska Cornhuskers (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek, 6-2, So., F - 6.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg
31 - Kate Cain, 6-5, Jr., C - 7.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish, 5-9, Sr., G - 10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely, 6-1, Sr., G - 7.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown, 6-1, So., F - 9.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby, 5-9, So., G - 10.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger, 6-1, So., G - 8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon, 6-3, So., F - 3.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson, 5-5, RSr., G - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell, 6-2, Jr., F - 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms, 5-8, Fr., G
2 - Trinity Brady, 5-11, Fr., G
34 - Isabelle Bourne, 6-2, Fr., F
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Fourth Season at Nebraska (42-49); 13th Season Overall (235-158)
Rogers State Hillcats (0-0, 0-0 MIAA)
25 - Bailey Kliewer, 5-10, Fr., F
2 - Samariah Thompson, 5-7, So., G
3 - Katrina Christian, 5-7, Jr., G
10 - Alicia Brown, 5-8, So., G - 6.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
23 - Vanessa Gajdosova, 5-8, So., G
Off the Bench
5 - Azaria Floyd, 5-5, Sr., G - 7.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
11 - Darian Jackson, 5-9, Sr., F - 6.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg
13 - Lilly Garner, 5-9, Jr., G - 4.1 ppg, 1.2 rpg
4 - Julie Luna, 5-7, So., G
12 - Alyche Brown, 5-7, Fr., G
15 - Rylie Elkin, 6-1, Fr.. F
Head Coach: Kyle Bent (Illinois, 2008)
Second Season at Rogers State (14-14); Sixth Season Overall: (109-52)
Nebraska Connections with Rogers State
• Nebraska's Amy Williams started her collegiate head coaching career at Rogers State in 2007-08, when she led the transition of the Claremore, Okla., school from junior college to NAIA. She guided Rogers State to the 2012 NAIA Elite Eight in her final year at the school.
• Nebraska Assistant Coach Tandem Mays spent four seasons from 2008-09 through 2011-12 as an assistant on Williams' staff at Rogers State. Mays helped the Hillcats to an 84-47 record and a pair of NAIA Tournament trips during those four seasons, before joining Williams' staff in South Dakota. Mays was a four-year letterwinner (2004-07) at Tulsa prior to becoming an assistant at Rogers State.
• Nebraska Assistant Coach Chuck Love was a men's basketball assistant coach at Rogers State in 2011-12. He also helped the Hillcat men to the NAIA Elite Eight in 2012. It was his only season at Rogers State before joining Williams on the women's basketball staff at South Dakota in 2012-13.
• Former Husker Jasmine Cincore is in her first season as an assistant coach at Rogers State. A 5-10 guard at Nebraska, Cincore earned four letters for the Big Red from 2014-15 through 2017-18. Her final season, she helped lead the Huskers to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Cincore spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach at the junior college level at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla.
• Cincore played in 112 games during her Husker career with 66 starts. She totaled 555 points, 287 rebounds and 184 assists. As a senior, Cincore averaged 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game as Nebraska's 2018 Defensive Player of the Year. She was Nebraska's Lifter of the Year as a junior in 2017. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Scouting Rogers State
• Rogers State comes to Lincoln to tip its first season in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in NCAA Division II. The Hillcats went 14-14 overall and 7-7 in the Heartland Athletic Conference last season.
• Coach Kyle Bent is in his second season at Rogers State. He spent four seasons at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., where he posted a 95-38 record and coached five NAIA All-Americans. His final season at Martin Methodist in 2017-18, he led the RedHawks to 27 wins and was the 2018 Southern State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He also spent four years as the head coach at Danville Area Community College before leaving for Martin Methodist. He was the NJCAA Region 24 Coach of the Year in 2012.
• Bent graduated from Illinois in 2008 and coached the University of Illinois Women's Club basketball team in 2009-10. He has never been a collegiate assistant coach.
• The Hillcats return just two starters and four letterwinners from a year ago. Azaria Floyd is RSU's top returning scorer (7.4 ppg, 22 starts). Alicia Brown (6.8 ppg, 20 starts) and Darian Jackson (6.3 ppg, 11 starts) give Rogers State three experienced returning seniors. Junior Lilly Garner (4.1 ppg) is the only other returning letterwinner for the Hillcats.
• Some newcomers to watch for Rogers State are junior Katrina Christian, sophomore Samariah Thompson and sophomore Vanessa Gajdosova. Christian started her career at NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois. Thompson is a transfer from Martin Methodist, and Gajdosova is a junior college transfer from Slovakia.
• The Hillcats feature three freshmen in Rylie Elkin, Bailey Kliewer and Alyche Brown, who is the younger sister of senior guard Alicia Brown.
• Last season, Rogers State outscored its opponents by an average of 66.4-65.2, outshot the opposition from the field 41.5%-41.2% and from three-point range 33.7%-33.1% and outrebounded opponents 35.7-34.2.
• Rogers State lost its top three scorers from a year ago, Lauren Schuldt (13.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg), Lindsey Byfield (9.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Desiree Nelson (8.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
Huskers to Tip Regular Season with Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally
• The Husker women's basketball team officially tips off the 2019-20 regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 6, with the Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally at Pinnacle Bank Arena prior to NU's season opener with Alabama A&M.
• The Sportsmanship Pep Rally, which is being offered in partnership with the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame, will take place prior to Nebraska's game with Alabama A&M, which is set for a Noon tip-off. The rally is scheduled to begin at approximately 9:30 a.m., with Husker student-athletes and coaches delivering inspirational and motivational messages to elementary and middle grades students.
• Nebraska women's basketball coach Amy Williams will address the students, along with Alabama A&M Coach Margaret Richards - a former Husker. Students can also expect to be entertained by Steve Max "Master of Simon Sez" who will also entertain the crowd at halftime.
• Each of the nearly 1,800 children scheduled to attend the pep rally will receive a free slice of Valentino's pizza and a beverage provided by Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Children and sponsors from 27 school districts around the state are scheduled to attend, including Auburn, Aurora, Centennial, Central Valley, Columbus Scotus, DC West, Elba, Elmwood-Murdock, Fillmore Central, Fort Calhoun, Freeman, Heartland Community, Johnson County Central, Logan View, Lyons-Decatur Northeast, Malcolm, Nebraska Christian, North Bend Central, Palmyra, Pine Creek, Raymond Central, Southern, Sterling, Umonhon Nation, Wahoo, Weeping Water and Wilcox Hildreth.