The World-Herald's Sam McKewon compiled everything you need to know for the Nebraska women's basketball team's two games this weekend against USC on Friday and Sacred Heart on Saturday at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas.

Friday's game will tip off at 5:45 p.m. and Saturday's at 3:30 p.m. Both will be broadcast on 105.9 FM (Omaha); 107.3 FM (Lincoln) radio.

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USC (3-2)

C Angel Jackson 6-5 Fr. 6.2

F Alissa Pili 6-0 Fr. 10.0

G Kyra White 5-10 Fr. 3.4

G Desiree Caldwell 5-8 So. 9.8

G Endiya Rogers 5-7 Fr. 12.4

Sacred Heart (2-3)

C J. Woods 6-2 Jr. 13.6

F Olivia Dabney 5-10 Jr. 7.2

G Allyson Murphy 5-5 Sr. 4.0

G Nikki Johnson 5-9 Jr. 12.0

G Adrianne Hagood 5-8 Jr. 18.3


C Kate Cain 6-5 Jr. 8.8

F Ashtyn Veerbeek 6-2 So. 10.5

G Sam Haiby 5-9 So. 13.2

G Nicea Eliely 6-1 Sr. 8.2

G Hannah Whitish 5-9 Sr. 7.3

Scouting USC: The Trojans are starting over this season with one of the youngest lineups in college basketball. Coach Mark Trakh — fired once by USC in 2009 — returned to the program last season, posting a 20-11 record. This team features three five-star recruits — Rogers, Jackson and Pili — who are early in their careers. The Trojans lost games to Texas A&M and UC Santa Barbara, while beating Virginia. Rebounding is an issue, as are turnovers. That’s common with young teams. USC has managed to play tough defense in four of its five games, and Nebraska, struggling to hit shots, should be aware.

Scouting Sacred Heart: The Pioneers, out of Fairfield, Connecticut, feature one of the best shooters in the nation in Hagood, who is hitting 52.3% of her 3-point attempts this season. Woods, too, is a formidable post player. But those are largely the extent of Sacred Heart’s weapons. The team is coming off a 54-50 loss to Stony Brook and suffered a 36-point loss in the season opener to Seton Hall, which was played without Hagood. Rebounding is an issue — the Pioneers are outboarded by three per game — and Nebraska should be able to flex its muscles there.

Scouting Nebraska: The Huskers are coming off a disappointing 79-74 loss to Creighton that left coach Amy Williams displeased in her postgame press conference, as well she should have been, given NU failed to defend CU’s 3-point shooting prowess. The Bluejays made 14 of them, representing a defensive lapse from the Huskers that had a habit of them last season. A bigger concern may be Nebraska’s own 3-point shooting, which through six games sits at 26.7%. That trend can reverse — especially when Taylor Kissinger, who missed four games in concussion protocol, starts to get going — but it’s alarming when Kissinger (0 for 6), Nicea Eliely (1 for 12) and Leigha Brown (6 for 22) can’t buy a bucket from deep. Brown, averaging 15.3 points per game off the bench, is scoring every other way, particularly from the free throw line, where she’s averaging five trips per game. Haiby (21 trips) and Veerbeek (24 trips) are getting there, too. Scoring isn’t — and rarely will be — the issue with an Amy Williams basketball team. In two games against power conference teams, NU scored 164 points. It gave up 164 points, too. With NU, it’s defense and defensive rebounding, and both will be put to the test all season. Two wins in Las Vegas is possible. So are two losses.

Notes: Held in the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center — it’s a popular spot for rodeos — the South Point Shootout will host NU for the second time in four seasons. NU lost to Washington State and Virginia in 2016, Williams’ first season with the program. … Other participating teams include Alabama, Detroit Mercy, Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Ohio State, South Dakota and Tennessee Tech. Ohio State, coming off a close loss to Connecticut, particularly drew the short end of the stick, facing South Dakota and Northern Iowa, both among the top 40 teams in the country.

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