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Preview: Nebraska hopes to regain winning Big Ten record against Wisconsin

Leigha Brown and the Nebraska Cornhuskers sit at .500 and in the middle of the Big Ten race. Their next opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers, will try to spoil Nebraska’s chance to move up in the standings in this rematch.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa
Leigha Brown (right) dribbles against Iowa during a 2018-19 contest.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers (14-5, 4-4 Big Ten) will be looking to bounce back from their Wednesday loss to the Purdue Boilermakers, while the Wisconsin Badgers (10-9, 2-6 Big Ten) will be searching for their first winning streak in Big Ten play when the two teams meet at noon ET in Madison, WI.

Nebraska and Wisconsin met earlier in January, with the Cornhuskers winning 65-50. Host Nebraska had a bench-points advantage of 29-9 due in large part to sophomore forward Leigha Brown, who led the team with 15 points. Brown has yet to start a game this season, but is a huge influence off the bench, leading the Cornhuskers in scoring with 13.3 points per game.

Wisconsin fought back from being down 25 at one point and lost by only 10. Sophomore forward Imani Lewis dropped in 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds for the Badgers in the defeat. She averages 15.2 points and 9.1 rebounds to lead Wisconsin.

Highlights: Wisconsin defeats Eastern Illinois

The Cornhuskers out-shot Wisconsin 48.2 to 35.7 percent from the field and 35.0 to 30.0 percent from beyond the arc. They also won the rebounding battle, 38-28.

Both teams hold their opponents between 63 and 64 points per game, but Wisconsin is going to need to find more scoring options than just Lewis to pull off the upset. Nebraska spreads the wealth a bit better than Wisconsin does.

In addition to having six players who average at least 8.4 points, the Cornhuskers are fortunate that two of those players (junior center Kate Cain and senior guard Hannah Whitish) both excel in their specific roles. For Cain that’s rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game to lead the team) and for Whitish it’s 3-point shooting. Whitish has improved her long-distance shooting to 37.1 percent after a shaky December and knocks down 2.3 triples per game.

Working in Wisconsin’s favor is Nebraska’s 1-3 record on the road. But Nebraska has been the better team this season and has a key resume win over the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten).

Highlights: Nebraska takes down Iowa in Big Ten opener

The Badgers’ two wins in conference play have come against the Penn State Nittany Lions (7-12, 1-7 Big Ten) and the Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-7, 2-6 Big Ten), the latter of whom they faced on Wednesday. The Badgers are 7-3 at home.

Game information

Nebraska (14-5) vs. Wisconsin (10-9)

When: Saturday, Jan. 25 at 12 p.m. ET

Where: Kohl Center in Madison, WI

How to watch/listen: Big Ten Network/Husker Sports Network or 100.9 FM/1070 AM (Madison Sports Station)