Husker women’s coach Amy Williams says there will be no glory for her team without ‘GUTS’

LINCOLN — The Nebraska women’s basketball team announced a new motto at its Tuesday night scrimmage, and the Huskers will be able to put it to the test quickly against the team that eliminated them from the NCAA tournament.

NU coach Amy Williams wants even better defense and rebounding from her team, so she came up with “GUTS,” which stands for Gritty United Toughness Succeeds.

“That’s how we want to be known and want to play like,” Williams said. “It’s something that we’ll be huddling out to.”

Nebraska was badly outrebounded in its NCAA tournament loss to Arizona State. The Sun Devils will play a closed scrimmage at NU on Saturday. The scrimmage had initially been set up before the NCAA tournament matchup, Williams said, as a way of getting Omaha Benson graduate and current Sun Devil Kianna Ibis back home.

It’s now become a kind of rematch.

“We’ve been talking about ways to raise the bar for our program, and to go up against a team that outrebounded you by 20, what better measure or test could you do?” Williams said.

NU is now a bigger team, though, with 6-foot-3 freshman forward Kayla Mershon and 6-foot-2 freshman forward Ashtyn Veerbeek. Both are expected to help as rebounders, while the other freshmen, Leigha Brown and Sam Haiby, appear to be good rebounders for their positions.

All 11 Huskers scored in the 29-21 scrimmage win over their male scout team. Taylor Kissinger led all scorers with six, while Brown scored five. The four freshmen scored 12 points overall.

“The guys have that kind of ‘basketball sense,’ and they’ve been able to pick things up very quickly. It’s now just getting them comfortable in our system,” Williams said.

» The first five NU put on the floor — which looks like a likely starting lineup — were Hannah Whitish, Nicea Eliely, Taylor Kissinger, Maddie Simon and Kate Cain.

» Former NU forward Rachel Blackburn — who is on a medical scholarship because of knee pain — is a volunteer coach for the team.

» After missing several 2-footers during drills, Cain worked on them during timeouts in the practice.

» Nebraska will likely look to backup guards Haiby and Kristian Hudson to join Whitish and Kissinger as players who can get to the rim off the dribble. Hudson and Haiby both missed layups at the rim in the scrimmage.

» More than 1,000 fans attended the Pinnacle Bank Arena scrimmage.

Nebraska women’s basketball lands four-star guard who survived traumatic brain injury

LINCOLN — The Nebraska women’s basketball team picked up its third commit for the 2019 class Tuesday when guard Trinity Brady of Indianapolis announced on Twitter she was picking the Huskers.

The 5-foot-10 Brady visited NU earlier this year. She averaged 21 points and 7.8 rebounds for Lawrence North but will transfer to Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for her senior season. According to Prospects Nation, Brady is a four-star prospect and the No. 107 recruit in the 2019 class.

She’s also the survivor of a horrific car accident that occurred Feb. 7, 2016, when a semi fell on the car Brady was riding in. Brady — chronicled in the Indianapolis Star — eventually rehabilitated from a traumatic brain injury.

NU has commits from guard Makenzie Helms of East Haven, Connecticut, and forward Isabelle Bourne, who plays for the Australian Institute of Sport.

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