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Huskers to Face St. Mary's In Sioux Falls

Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications
Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Nebraska Cornhuskers men’s and women’s basketball programs will play at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, during a weekend of Division I matchups in November. The women will play South Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 16, and the men will face Saint Mary’s on Sunday, Nov. 17. 

Tickets to both games will be available at 10 a.m. CST Aug. 15 on

For the men, this marks the third appearance for the Cornhuskers at the Sanford Pentagon while the Gaels will be playing at the Pentagon for the fifth time. This will be the first game for the Nebraska women on Heritage Court and the 11th for the USD women.

“This will be an unprecedented weekend of Division I basketball at the Sanford Pentagon with four teams coming off outstanding years resulting in trips to the post season,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of Sanford Sports. “Hosting premier games on back-to-back days is the perfect way to get fans excited about the start of the college basketball season.”

Nebraska returns seven letterwinners, including three starters, from a team that went 23-11 and reached the NCAA Tournament for Big Ten Coach of the Year Fred Hoiberg. The Huskers are led by seniors Brice Williams, who averaged 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, and Juwan Gary, who averaged 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.  The Huskers also gain the services of seven transfers who have combined for 264 starts and 3,478 career points, 1753 rebounds and 759 assists at their previous schools. Nebraska is 2-0 in its two previous games in the Sanford Pentagon, including a win over Oklahoma State in 2018 and last year’s win over Oregon State

"Returning to the Sanford Pentagon to play Saint Mary’s is a great opportunity for our basketball team,” said Hoiberg. “Our players and coaches enjoyed playing in Sioux Falls last year, and our fans made it a phenomenal atmosphere. We appreciate the work that Sanford Sports has done to put together this year’s match-up.  Saint Mary’s has been in three straight NCAA Tournaments and is one of the best programs in the country, so it will be a very good early-season test for our team. We have a lot of Nebraska alumni in the Sioux Falls region and look forward to seeing the Pentagon full of Husker fans for both the men’s and women’s games that weekend.”

Saint Mary’s won the WCC regular season and conference tournament last season, finishing the year with a 26-8 record that included a third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Gaels previously played at the Sanford Pentagon on Nov. 5, 2019, defeating Wisconsin, 65-63 in overtime. Head coach Randy Bennett’s team returned to Heritage Court for the 2020 Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic, finishing the 3-game tournament with a 2-1 record. 

“We’re excited to add another top tier opponent like Nebraska to our non-conference schedule. As an opponent, Nebraska will prove to be an excellent test for our team as they continue to grow together amidst the 2024-25 season,” said Bennett. “In addition, we’re excited to return to the Sanford Pentagon. We had the opportunity to play in this excellent arena in the 2020-21 season, and we are excited to return for more basketball action this year!”

The Nebraska women’s team is coming off its best season in a decade - a 23-12 record, that included the Cornhuskers’ first Big Ten Championship Game appearance since 2014. Head coach Amy Williams also led the Huskers to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Williams, a native of Spearfish, South Dakota, enters her ninth season with Nebraska. She was the head coach of South Dakota from 2012-16.

“We are excited to take our team to play at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls for the first time,” said Williams. “It is an incredible basketball venue, and it will be a great environment against a great opponent! We are looking forward to seeing lots of Husker fans there to support us!”

South Dakota finished the 2023-24 campaign with a 23-13 record, advancing to the Super 16 of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament. New head coach and Nebraska native Carrie Eighmey comes to Vermillion after leading the University of Idaho last season.

“We are extremely grateful for the partnership with Sanford and the opportunity to play in such an incredible venue,” said Eighmey. “The Pentagon has built a reputation for hosting some of the most thrilling matchups in college basketball. Sioux Falls is home to many USD alumni, and we are looking forward to filling the stands with Coyote fans in our matchup against Nebraska.”

For the Husker men, today's matchup is the second announced game for the 2024-25 schedule, as Nebraska will travel to Creighton on Friday, Nov. 22. The remainder of the non-conference schedule will be announced later this summer.