Huskers will travel to Louisville for Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Huskers will travel to Louisville for Big Ten/ACC Challenge

The Nebraska women’s basketball team will square off with 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four participant and ACC regular-season and tournament champion Louisville in the 2018 ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The conferences announced the match-ups for the 12th consecutive season of the challenge, which pits two of the nation’s premier women’s basketball conferences against each other in head-to-head games.

The ACC and Big Ten offices collaborate to determine the Challenge schedule each season. In addition, the official title of the Challenge rotates each year. The 2018 event will be referred to as the ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge and will continue to mirror the official title of the two conferences’ Challenge agreements for men’s basketball and softball.

The ACC and Big Ten have been among the most competitive conferences in women’s basketball for many years. Both conferences sent ten schools to postseason play in 2017-18.

2018 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Illinois at Clemson
Indiana at Wake Forest
Virginia at Michigan State
Rutgers at Virginia Tech
Duke at Wisconsin

Thursday, Nov. 29
Iowa at Notre Dame
Georgia Tech at Maryland
Michigan at NC State
Syracuse at Minnesota
Nebraska at Louisville
Pittsburgh at Northwestern
North Carolina at Ohio State
Penn State at Florida State
Miami at Purdue

The Huskers, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament after finishing third in the Big Ten Conference regular-season standings this past season, will travel to the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville to collide with the Cardinals on Nov. 29.

Tip times and television information will be announced at a later date.

The Cardinals, who are coached by former Nebraska assistant Jeff Walz, finished with a 36-3 overall record last season that included a 15-1 mark in the ACC. Walz, who will be in his 12th season at Louisville in 2018-19, will lead a squad that returns four of its five starters from its 2017-18 team.

First-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year Asia Durr headlines the group of returning Cardinals after averaging 18.7 points per game while shooting 41.5 percent (115-277) from three-point range.

Fellow seniors Sam Fuehring (9.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Arica Carter (7.6 ppg, 4.0 apg) join junior Jazmine Jones (8.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg) back in Louisville’s starting five.

Nebraska head coach Amy Williams, who was a player at Nebraska when Walz was an assistant for the Huskers in 1997-98, was Big Ten Coach of the Year in her second season at her alma mater in 2017-18.

The Big Red finished with a 21-11 overall record that included an 11-5 showing in the Big Ten.

Nebraska, which produced the nation’s top turnaround in 2017-18 with a 14-game improvement, returns four starters and its top five scorers from last year’s team.

Second-team All-Big Ten guard Hannah Whitish averaged 12.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists as a sophomore in 2017-18, while Lincoln native Maddie Simon pitched in 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds as a junior forward.

Taylor Kissinger, a 6-1 guard/forward from Minden, Neb., averaged 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds primarily off the bench, while fellow 2017-18 freshman center Kate Cain pitched in 9.9 points and team bests with 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 blocks.

Cain, a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams, shattered the Nebraska school record with 100 blocked shots last season.

Nicea Eliely rounds out Nebraska’s top five scorers from a year ago with 8.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in her second season as a starter in 2017-18.

The Huskers also add a four-player freshman class that includes Leigha Brown, Sam Haiby, Kayla Mershon and Ashtyn Veerbeek that has been ranked among the top 20 incoming classes in the country.