The Nebraska women’s hoops team will play host to Northern Iowa in the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). In a highly anticipated matchup, the Cornhuskers will look to continue their momentum after an impressive win against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the opening round of the tournament.
The Cornhuskers enter the matchup as the favorites and have a strong record at home. Nebraska boasts a 19-2 record at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season and has previously defeated Northern Iowa three times in the past. The team is coming off of a 74-62 victory against the Panthers of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and will look to use that momentum to propel themselves to victory against Northern Iowa.
Nebraska is led by a trio of All-Big Ten players in Hailie Sample, Kate Cain, and Ashtyn Veerbeek. Sample and Cain are averaging 12.6 and 11.6 points per game respectively, while Veerbeek has been a key contributor on the defensive end, averaging 9.1 rebounds per game. The Cornhuskers have been able to make the most of their size advantage, out-rebounding their opponents on average by 8.5 boards per game.
The Panthers of Northern Iowa have had an impressive season, starting 24-9 and winning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Panthers are well-coached by Tanya Warren and have the capability to outscore many teams. They are led by a trio of guards in Kennedi Simon, Ellie Howell, and Karli Rucker. They have a combined average of 27.8 points per game and will be looking to use their quickness to their advantage.
This matchup promises to be a close one, but Nebraska will look to make the most of their size advantage to propel themselves to victory. The Cornhuskers are set to host the Panthers in the second round of the WNIT, with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals. Nebraska will look to use the home court advantage to their advantage in a game that could be decided by the last possession.