In the Huskers first game back at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Nebraska downed Alabama A&M 68-46. Junior center Kate Cain led the way with 10 points, seven rebounds and an impressive eight blocks proving again to be an elite interior protector for Nebraska.
Cain and sophomore forward Ashtyn Veerbeek, who racked up 10 points and six rebounds, helped carry the Huskers as they both started together for the first time.
They both felt the work they put in during the offseason helped make the transition to playing together seamless.
“The more and more we practiced with me on the perimeter and being able to recognize and see Kate in the post and make those passes the easier it got for us,” Veerbeek said. “Really it was just a matter of working to defend better on the perimeter and adjusting to playing outside instead of defending inside, but I feel like we had a feel for each other and connected well today.”
Cain earned the “Top Dog Chain” for the team today which is awarded to the player with the most hustle plays at the end of every game and practice. .
“We have the ‘Top Dog Chain’ and we have the ‘Board Man gets Paid Chain’ which is for rebounding, but we get the ‘Top Dog Chain’ for hustle plays which can be blocks, deflections, contests, basically the kind of plays that don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet,” Cain said.
Aside from Cain and Veerbeek, senior guard Hannah Whitish also poured in 12 points, all coming from beyond the arc shooting 4-6 from the 3-point line. Her 12 points went along with three assists and three rebounds to wrap up a solid day.
Sophomore forward Leigha Brown also had a solid day for the Huskers with 10 points and seven rebounds of her own as the Huskers put together a solid team effort.
For Alabama A&M head coach and former Husker team captain Margaret Richards, she sees great potential for the young Nebraska team she faced today.
“They are long and can shoot the basketball very well and are extremely disciplined” Richards said. “They are confident in the way they can shoot the ball and I think they are going to give teams some problems this year and I know that Amy does a great job with the team and will keep them on course.”
Nebraska head coach Amy Williams walked away from the game happy, but knowing there is work to do for the Huskers if they want to get to where they want to be.
“I think we played 25 minutes of pretty good defense and did a good job of limiting second chance points despite giving up as many offensive rebounds as we did,” Williams said. “The last 15 minutes we let off the gas a little and let them go on a run and do the things they wanted to do.”
Looking forward, the Huskers will visit Missouri to take on the Tigers on Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. following the win today.