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Nebraska’s Ashely Scoggin (0) looks to pass the ball during the game against Creighton at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After four difficult games on the road, the 9-0 Nebraska women’s basketball team returns home for a stretch of nonconference bouts at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

The Huskers will have three straight games at home before getting back on the road. The first matchup for head coach Amy Williams’ team comes against Indiana State on Saturday.

Through the four-game road trip, the Huskers had some of their toughest battles thus far on the season. Nebraska’s most recent win over Big Ten opponent Minnesota on Monday was the closest, with the Huskers barely escaping the Golden Gophers 70-67. In the win, Minnesota rebounded from a 25-14 deficit in the first quarter and even took the lead halfway through the fourth quarter. Nebraska responded to the sudden swing in momentum, though, and was able to achieve the victory. 

Junior guard and Minnesota native Sam Haiby helped spark Nebraska’s rally on Monday with 10 fourth-quarter points. Junior forward Bella Cravens and sophomore guard Jaz Shelley both had 15 points, leading the Huskers in scoring. 

Prior to the Minnesota game, the Huskers’ previous best win was over then-undefeated Wake Forest, taking down the Demon Deacons 87-60 on Dec. 1. 

The Sycamores are also coming into the game coming off their two closest battles of the season, a 59-58 win over Chicago State and a 68-67 loss to Western Michigan. In the win over Chicago State, it came down to the wire as Indiana State won the game off a buzzer beater. Against Western Michigan, Indiana State showed resilience as it had to claw its way back from a 56-46 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter and a 68-59 deficit with 2:37 left in the game. 

Indiana State’s rally fell just short, but sophomore forward Mya Glanton recorded a 22-point, 16-rebound double-double against the Broncos. Each of the Sycamores’ last three contests have been decided by four points or less.

Nebraska, meanwhile, has been dominant through the first nine games of the season, outscoring opponents 763-486 and averaging 84.8 points per game. The Huskers rank No. 2 nationally in scoring margin largely due to the Huskers having three 100-point games for the first time in program history. Leading the charge for the Huskers is sophomore guard Jaz Shelley, who is averaging 15.0 points per game. Shelley also leads the team with assists (43), 3-pointers (30), blocks (15) and steals (14). 

Accompanying Shelley for Nebraska’s front five is sophomore forward Isabelle Bourne who is Nebraska’s second-leading scorer with 11.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Ashley Scoggin is third with 9.3 points per game, junior forward Bella Cravens is averaging 8.8 points per game while also leading the team in rebounds with 8.0 rebounds per game and Haiby is averaging 9.0 points per contest. 

Indiana State, despite its 3-5 record, has been outscoring opponents 520-505 on the season while averaging 65 points per game. Indiana State has been competitive despite losing its leading scorer, junior forward Adrian Folks, to a torn ACL and MCL injury suffered on Nov. 27. 

Junior guard Del’Janae Williams is the Sycamores’ leading scorer in Folks’ absence, averaging 13.8 points per game. Senior guard Marie Hunter averages 9.1 points per game and Glanton averages an even 8.0 points per game and senior guard Natalia Lalic averages 6.1 points per game, rounding out the Sycamores’ top five scorers.

While the Huskers have been extremely battle-tested so far this season, the Sycamores have not. Saturday’s matchup will be Indiana State’s first against a power conference opponent, in a difficult road environment no less. The Sycamores may be in for an uphill battle without their leading scorer while the Huskers will look to start their three-game homestand on a positive note.

Saturday’s tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m. and the game can be viewed on Big Ten Plus and listened to on the Huskers Radio Network. 

sports@dailynebraskan.com