No. 9 Maryland 13-1 (2-1 Big Ten) has an opportunity to make history on Tuesday night in Lincoln with a win over Nebraska 7-7 (2-1 Big Ten). The win would be No. 500 for head coach Brenda Frese a milestone in itself, while also making Frese the winningest head coach in program history passing Chris Weller who has 499 wins.
The Cornhuskers are a strong offensive team, averaging 76.8 points per game fourth in the conference. Nebraska’s offense is led by the freshman duo of guard Sam Haiby and forward Leigha Brown both averaging greater than 10 points per game. Despite their youth, both have had strong starts to the season. Playing strong team defense and forcing the freshman into tough positions will be important.
While the Cornhuskers have an efficient offense, defensively they have struggled so far this season. Nebraska is giving up an average of 70.4 points per game, the second worst total in the conference. Junior guard Kaila Charles is coming off a strong 23 point performance on Saturday against Ohio State, knocking down jumpers and attacking the basket. Freshman guard Taylor Mikesell caught fire in the fourth quarter with nine points against the Buckeyes, a good momentum builder heading into Lincoln.
Perimeter defense will be crucial for Maryland particularly against sophomore guard Taylor Kissinger. Kissinger is shooting 47.7 percent from beyond the arc, the conference leader and one of the best perimeter marksmen in the country. The Maryland guards will need to be cognizant of where Kissinger is on the court at all times, limiting her open perimeter attempts.
Throughout their 14 games this season, Maryland has shown an established edge on the glass on both ends of the floor. The forward tandem of freshman Shakira Austin and junior Stephanie Jones are the Terps two leading rebounders. Both will be pivotal against Nebraska who also has had success on the glass this season. Establishing an advantage on the offensive glass will allow Maryland to create second opportunities and expose the Cornhuskers struggling defense.
Playing in front of their home fans in Lincoln the Cornhuskers are 5-1 building off the energy from the home crowd compared to only 1-6 on the road. Tip-off is slated for 8:00 p.m Tuesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena on a potentially historic night for Maryland.
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