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Start Date a Moving Target as Husker Women Await Big Ten Hoops Schedule

November 18, 2020

The men have their Big Ten schedule. The women are still waiting for theirs. And while the Nebraska women’s basketball program waits for the conference side of things to be finalized, the non-conference beginning also remains a bit up in the air.

The NCAA designated Nov. 25 as the official start date for men’s and women’s basketball this season. A report Wednesday from the Lincoln Journal Star suggested Nebraska would not start at that time as it deals with limited numbers of players available for practice. North Dakota State had previously listed the Husker women as their opponent for Nov. 25, but that game has been removed from the Bison’s official website.

Don’t consider that a cancellation, though. A spokesperson for the team said the program has had several different opponents scheduled in principle but nothing has yet been finalized or announced. Creighton has Nebraska on its schedule for Dec. 14 in Omaha on the Bluejays’ website, but, again, Nebraska has announced nothing. The team’s schedule page on the official website remains empty.

Husker head coach Amy Williams and her program are expected to play fewer non-conference games than the men (who are expected to play seven), but 20 league games is still the expected conference schedule.

“I know it’s been very frustrating for many,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said Tuesday night during an appearance on the Husker Sports Nightly radio show.

The Big Ten announced the men’s schedule late Wednesday afternoon. Nebraska will open Big Ten play on Dec. 21 and play a game on Christmas Day for the first time since 2014. The women’s schedule has yet to be announced.

Nebraska will hold a closed scrimmage (it won’t be streamed) on Friday for the team, but it will most likely feature the women going up against practice players. Multiple reports Wednesday said that the Huskers were practicing with fewer than 10 women consistently over the last two weeks. Amy Williams declined to say whether players were missing due to positive COVID-19 tests, but said it was a combination of injury and illness. Center Kate Cain had COVID-19 over the summer, though she revealed that diagnosis on her own. Nebraska is also nursing grad transfer guard MiCole Cayton back to health as she recovers from a knee injury.

Nebraska has 12 women on its roster for the new season.

Forward Bella Cravens, a transfer from Eastern Washington, received a waiver from the NCAA making her immediately eligible to play this season; she’ll help in the frontcourt, where Nebraska has just two returning players from a year ago. Cain, a senior, and Issie Bourne, a sophomore, are joined by first-year player Annika Stewart. Nebraska has options at guard, but precious little in the way of frontcourt depth.

Lots still to work out.

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