Start 5: Women’s Basketball in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. – Rutgers Women’s Basketball (7-12, 0-7) plays Thursday at 8 p.m. ET in Nebraska (13-4, 2-4) on the road at Pinnacle Bank Arena and live on B1G+.

  • Check out B1G+ (Brenda VanLengen & Jami Hagedorn)
  • Listen on WRSU 88.7 FM (Chris Tsakonas & Gideon Fox)

The 5 things to know

  • Nebraska will try to turn the tide on three consecutive losses, including a few setbacks to top-25 Iowa around a seven-point loss to No. 6 Indiana.
  • In games on Jan. 17, the Huskers were among the top 20 teams nationally in scoring offenses (8th, 81.4 ppg), scoring margin (9th, +19.4 ppg), assists (9th, 300), rebounds ( 12th, 731), assist-to-turnover ratio (13th, 1.24), three-point field goals made (14th, 150), assists per game (15th, 17.6 apg), defensive rebounds per game (15th, 30.1 rpg), blocked shots (17th, 83rd), free throws made (18th, 238), free throw attempts (18th, 336), three-point field goals (19th, 412) and field goal percentage (19th, .459).
  • The Huskers can still miss multiple starters including Sam Haiby (11.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.7 spg) and Jaz Shelley (13.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.2 bpg). Both missed the loss in Iowa as Haiby was out with an upper body injury and Shelley didn’t make the trip due to COVID protocols.
  • Freshman Alexis Markowski has risen sharply in the past four games in place of injured starter Bella Cravens (ankle). The four-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week averages 19.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals as a starter. She is coming off a career-high 27 points, including a career-best six three-pointers in Iowa. She also had 20 points in NU’s win over number 8 Michigan (January 4).

Rutgers has the highest-scoring defense in the Big Ten with 57.1 points allowed per game and is looking to finish the season as the leader in that conference category for the third straight year. Pressure from the Scarlet Knights up front has led to a No. 3 conference ranking with 9.8 steals per game and the low attendance put RU 5th in the B1G in blocked shots per game at 4.1.

Osh Brown, a graduate transfer from Ball State now with 1,658 career points, is the NCAA Division I active career leader in rebounds with 1,279 and in double-doubles with 55. Brown took her first Rutgers double-double in big fashion in the Paradise Jam opener with a feat of 20 points and 20 rebounds against DePaul, Rutgers’ first 20-20 since Betnijah Laney’s 2014 against UNC. She added her sixth this season with 11 and 10 vs. Wisconsin.

Rutgers cleared a 21-point deficit to match the game over Purdue before a heartbreaking buzzer from Boilermaker on Jan. 2, and in the final road game, he narrowed a 15-point deficit to Northwestern to one in the last minute of the game for Northwestern forced to hold on to two turnovers for the win. The Scarlet Knights came back from 18-down in a win over Harvard on Nov. 19, the second-biggest comeback for a win in school history. Rutgers then narrowed an 18-point deficit to two points in a narrow loss to DePaul in the Virgin Islands on Thanksgiving Day.

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• Last game against Wisconsin, Shug Dickson 5+ assists in a game for the 12th time in her career and 5+ assists in the last eight games.

• vs Wisconsin, Lasha Petree scored multiple 3-point field goals in a game for the seventh time this season, and third in a row against Big Ten opponents.

• Rutgers enjoyed his best three-point and free-throw performance of the season at Northwestern, scoring 42 percent from past the arc and 13-of-14 (.929) at 8-of-19.

Shug Dickson’s Eight assists against Wagner brought her career high point last March when she played for Mizzou against Alabama.

• RU kept opponents an average of 12.5 points below their season averages over games from December 1 to January 6.

• The Rutgers defense has kept opponents below their scoring average in 35 of the last 38 games and 122 of the last 133, dating from 2017-18.

• Rutgers’ 24 assists against Delaware State were the most in a game since 25 vs. Hampton on Dec 18, 2020.

• Rutgers ranks 13th in the country in total steals (186) and 27th in total blocks (77). The numbers per game (4.1 blocks and 9.8 steals are both top five in the Big Ten).

• Against No. 8 Maryland, Tyia Singleton posted the second double-double (10pts, 12reb) of her career and the first since the 2020-21 season finale against Ohio State. It was her fifth game in a career in which she scored in double digits and fifth in double digit rebounds.

Osh Brown’s 20-point, 20-rebound double-double vs. DePaul was Rutgers’ first in a game since Betnijah Laney’s 24-24 against UNC on December 5, 2014 in a 2OT game (21-20 at the end of regulation). It fell two short of Brown’s career high of 22 rebounds, which was achieved last season in the 2021 NCAA tournament, a Ball State program record.

• Rutgers provided 21 assists on his 22 field goals in the St. Peter’s win, setting a modern school record (since 2001-02) for the highest percentage of assisted field goals (95%).

• In the St. Peter’s win, Rutgers forced the most sales by an opponent (34) since 38 against Penn State during the 2014-15 season.

• The nation’s fourth-best steals by game team last season, Rutgers took 21 steals in the 2021-22 season opener, the most since Wisconsin’s 22 in Game 2 last season on December 11, 2020.

Follow Rutgers women’s basketball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

-RU-

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