Freshman center Cain delivers big on Huskers’ senior night

Freshman center Cain delivers big on Huskers’ senior night

Freshman center Kate Cain grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 14 points to get her fifth double-double this year, powering Nebraska women’s basketball (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) to a 59-51 win over Penn State (15-13, 6-9 Big Ten) on Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Cain’s 20 rebounds were the sixth most in school history in a single game.

“Every single rebound she came away with was huge for our team,” Nebraska coach Amy Williams said. “I thought she really went in there just kind of with authority and grabbed some balls, a little more physical than we’ve seen her. It was great to see that. (She was) playing with confidence.”

The Huskers dominated on the glass as a team 60-31 on Thursday. Even though it was a freshman whole stole the show, It was still senior night for Emily Wood, Jasmine Cincore and Janay Morton.

“It was emotional,” Williams said. “It always is. That’s why I always have to wait until after the game (to address it), because I get so emotional. These three young ladies have all left their mark on our program.”

It wasn’t the prettiest of victories to send the seniors out on. Nebraska had 17 turnovers and only shot 31.7 percent on the night.

Junior forward Maddie Simon scored a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and a steal. Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish added nine points, eight rebounds and five assists, while freshman Taylor Kissinger pitched in eight points and seven boards.

“It was just kind of an ugly out-of-sync game,” Williams said. “I told my staff at halftime, ‘I just feel that everyone seems a little frazzled.’ I thought that Penn State has played quite a bit more zone defense this season, and then they came out and played us in primarily man-to-man defense and really pressured up and got into us a little bit.”

It was a defensive game throughout. Nebraska held the Nittany Lions to just 28.1 percent shooting for the game.

The Huskers are now in a tie for second place in the Big Ten with Maryland. The Huskers play at Maryland this Sunday at 11 a.m. That game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Nebraska has also secured a top-four seed and a double-bye at next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

“They just keep saying, ‘We’re not done yet and we want to keep getting better and pressing forward,'” Williams said. “We want to be playing our best basketball when we head to Indianapolis.”