BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Following an 8-day break, the No. 6-ranked Hoosiers resume conference play with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-2, 2-2 Big Ten) at home on Thursday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. ET.
Indiana (12-2, 4-0 Big Ten) is coming off two hot wins starting with then ranked-No. 6 Maryland and finishing with a double digit victory over Wisconsin on. Jan. 5.
Coach Teri Moren mentioned in an earlier press conference that a couple team members had been affected by the Omicron variant. The 8-day break allowed these players to quarantine and get back to 100 percent.
"It was a nice break and not just for the bodies playing but to get some of our bench back from health and safety protocol," Moren said. "Time away was good for us."
Moren added her team was lucky to not get sick last season. The program adds COVID-19 safety to many of its conversations and makes sure all of its players are doing everything to protect themselves.
Some athletes might be celebrating a more than one-week break, but not the Hoosiers.
"Even when I want to be intentional about giving them days off, it's still very hard for them to take days off," Moren said. "It's almost like I have to put a padlock on the door out there because it really drives them nuts not being able to play."
Finally the time has come, and it will be challenging. The Cornhuskers are coming off a fresh win over then ranked-No. 8 Michigan on Jan. 4 before falling to Iowa earlier this week.
The Huskers are led by junior guard Jaz Shelley who's averaging 13.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
"I think Jaz Shelley has really been a nice addition for them," Moren said. "She's like the energizer bunny out there. She pushes the pace. She's great on the offensive boards. She's tremendous in terms of being a rebounder as a guard."
Freshman center Alexis Markowski is coming off her third Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor after putting up 20 points in Nebraska's win over the Terrapins and 14 points in Nebraska's loss to the Hawkeyes.
Moren described Nebraska as a really good team with plenty of inside pressure. Nebraska utilizes its bench and is known for shooting a high percentage of three's. That dangerous tendency is perhaps why the team is averaging 82.4 points per game.
The Hoosiers have held every team under 70 points so far this season.
"I don't think their depth concerns us as far as being able to guard them," Moren said.
Junior forward Mackenzie Holmes leads the Hoosiers, averaging 17.9 points per game. Moren said Holmes has been intentional every summer working to become more consistent outside the arc, a dedication resulting in a 45.5 three-point percentage this season.
The one thing she should be prepared for is defensive pressure from the Huskers.
"She's going to continue to see doubles," Moren said. "We're probably going to see that against Nebraska."
If the Hoosiers defeat the Huskers, they would make history by getting their best start in Big Ten play.
How to watch Nebraska at Indiana
- Who: Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-2, 2-2 Big Ten) vs. Indiana Hoosiers (12-2, 4-0 Big Ten)
- When: 6 p.m. ET, Thursday, Jan. 13
- Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.
- TV: Big Ten Network
- Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM
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