When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Radio: 107.3 FM, Lincoln; 93.3 FM, Omaha
OHIO STATE (11-9, 1-6)
F Darryce Moore, 6-2, Jr., 8.1
C Ashley Adams, 6-5, Jr., 9.1
F Ameryst Alston, 5-9, Fr., 6.3
G Tayler Hill, 5-10, Sr., 21.0
G Raven Ferguson, 5-11, So., 6.7
NEBRASKA (14-6, 4-3)
F Hailie Sample, 6-1, So., 4.7
F Emily Cady, 6-2, So., 9.8
F Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Jr., 18.2
G Lindsey Moore, 5-9, Sr., 15.3
G Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Fr., 4.9
Ohio State scouting report: Perennial favorites in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes have been hit hard by injuries, including one before the season to forward Kalpana Beach and an ankle injury that kept senior guard Amber Stokes out for four games. The offense revolves around Hill, a fast, versatile scorer hitting 44 percent of her 3-point attempts at home. She gets points off steals and layups, too, which means Lindsey Moore and Hailie Sample — who will likely share guarding duties — will have to be on their toes. OSU’s frontcourt of Adams and Moore is certainly big, but very, very slow. Neither is capable of guarding Jordan Hooper or Emily Cady consistently out on the floor, so look for NU to draw them out, then dash by. Such a strategy worked nicely in the Huskers’ 71-57 and 77-62 wins over the Buckeyes last year. Ohio State’s struggling on defense, giving up 67 points per 40 minutes in Big Ten play.
Nebraska scouting report: Nebraska didn’t have to play Sunday, so coach Connie Yori gave the Huskers Friday and Sunday off to heal up and rest. “I don’t think I left the bed on Sunday,” Sample quipped. NU players said they feel refreshed and full of momentum after ending the first stretch of Big Ten play on a two-game winning streak. “I think we have a lot more to give,” Sample said. Time to find out. Nebraska will still have a small roster of scholarship players at their disposal, as guard Brandi Jeffery remains day-to-day, while Sadie Murren is still out. The Huskers fight in-game fatigue with Gatorade chews and gel pouches packed with carbohydrates and proteins. As four starters are averaging more than 30 minutes per game in conference play, they’ll probably need the extra boost. Thursday, Cady and Hooper are players to watch. OSU’s style of defense — and their response to that defense — may determine who wins the game. Cady averaged nearly 20 points in three games last year against the Buckeyes. Because of OSU’s low RPI (71), the Huskers have to try to capture this game on the road. The Big Ten’s shaping up like a six-bid league for the NCAA tournament, and the Huskers’ current RPI — 36th — is sixth in the league.
Opening tips: Yori is going for her 400th career win Thursday night. … Cait Craft, the younger sister of OSU men’s basketball star Aaron Craft, is a freshman walk-on averaging 2.8 points per game.