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Huskers set for Sunday showdown at No. 23 Spartans

(KOLN)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:52 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraska completes its two-game road trip to the state of Michigan when the Huskers square off with No. 23 Michigan State on Sunday. Tip-off between Nebraska (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) and the Spartans (8-1, 3-1 Big Ten) is set for 2 p.m. (CT) at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

A live video stream will be provided to subscribers of Big Ten Network plus. Live radio will also be available through the Husker Sports Network with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch calling the action across the network stations, the Huskers App and on Huskers.com.

Both teams will be looking to bounce back from narrow Thursday night losses to top-15 foes. Nebraska suffered a 64-62 setback at No. 15 Michigan. The Huskers rallied from 11 points down in the fourth quarter and got a steal and a last-second half-court heave by Bella Cravens that got off in time but did not draw iron, as Nebraska was the first team this season to play Michigan (8-0, 3-0 Big Ten) within single digits. The Huskers also held the Wolverines 24 points under their season scoring average and forced season-low shooting percentages by Michigan in every category.

The Spartans fell 93-87 to No. 12 Maryland at the Breslin Center on Thursday. MSU trailed by 11 points at the start of the fourth quarter but closed the gap to 83-81 against the Terps with 1:46 left. It was the first loss of the season for the Spartans, denying them a 9-0 start that would have been the best in school history. Nia Clouden led Michigan State with a career-high 32 points.

Sam Haiby led Nebraska at Michigan with 27 points and nine rebounds. The Big Red’s leading scorer, Haiby is averaging 17.3 points per game on the season, including 19.7 points per game in Big Ten play. The College Sports Madness Big Ten Player of the Week (Jan. 4), Haiby’s last-second shot on New Year’s Eve to beat No. 15 Northwestern was ESPN SportsCenter’s Top Play of New Year’s Eve. The 5-9 junior guard finished with 19 points against the Wildcats and added 16 in a win over Rutgers (Jan. 3). She opened Big Ten play with a career-high 33 points in a win over Illinois (Dec. 10).

Haiby enters the Michigan State game leading Nebraska in scoring (17.3 ppg), assists (3.8 apg) and steals (1.3 spg) while tying for second on the team in rebounding (7.3 rpg). She has twice been chosen to the Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll this season (Dec. 14, Jan. 4).

Sophomore Isabelle Bourne also has solidified herself as a rising star in the Big Ten. The 6-2 forward from Canberra, Australia notched back-to-back double-doubles in wins over No. 15 Northwestern (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Rutgers (11 points, 12 rebounds). She was also the primary defender responsible for holding Arella Guirantes to just eight points on 3-of-24 shooting. Bourne enters the Michigan State game ranked second among the Huskers in scoring (13.6 ppg), rebounding (7.3 rpg), assists (2.1 apg) and blocks (1.1 bpg). Through six Big Ten games, Bourne’s numbers are even better at 15.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest.

Kate Cain, a 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., joins Haiby and Bourne as Nebraska’s tri-captains in 2020-21. A three-time Lisa Leslie Award candidate, Cain notched four blocks against Northwestern to become just the sixth player in Big Ten history with 300 career blocked shots. Cain is averaging 2.6 blocks per game this season to go along with 8.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Ashley Scoggin has stepped into a major role in her first year as a Husker. The 22-year-old redshirt sophomore has started all eight games and is averaging 7.4 points while leading Nebraska with 14 made three-pointers (.412). She posted career highs of 16 points against both Purdue and Idaho State.

Junior Bella Cravens also has been a major contributor as a starter in Big Ten play. The 6-3 forward from Laie, Hawaii, is averaging 7.2 points and a team-best 9.2 rebounds in conference games, including a career-high-tying 16 rebounds in the win over Illinois. She added 13 boards in the win over Rutgers and is coming off a 10-point effort at No. 15 Michigan.

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