#23/RV Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
at #16/#17 Penn State Lady Lions (10-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
Bryce Jordan Center • University Park, Pa. • Friday, Dec. 30, 6 p.m. (central)
Live Video Stream: BTN.com All-Access (subscription required)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (B107.3 FM-Lincoln; 93.3 FM-Omaha; 880 AM-KRVN-Lexington)
Free Internet Audio: Huskers.com
No. 23 Huskers Open Big Ten Era at No. 16 Penn State Friday Night
The No. 23 Nebraska women's basketball team opens a new era with its first-ever Big Ten Conference game when the Huskers travel to University Park, Pa., to battle No. 16 Penn State on Friday night.
Tip-off between the No. 23 Huskers (11-1) and the No. 16 Lady Lions (10-2) is set for 6 p.m. (central) at the Bryce Jordan Center. A live video stream will be available to subscribers of BTN.com All-Access, while Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will call the action on the Husker Sports Network, including flagships B107.3 FM in Lincoln, Twister 93.3 FM in Omaha and 880 AM-KRVN in Lexington. Free live audio is available on Huskers.com.
Nebraska matched its second-best 12-game start in school history by closing non-conference play with an 11-1 record following an 80-71 win over South Dakota State at the Devaney Center on Dec. 21. Sophomore Jordan Hooper led the Huskers with game highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds on her way to her second Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award in the last three weeks on Dec. 26. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., owns a pair of 30-point efforts among her seven 20-point performances this season. She also owns five double-doubles. She leads the Huskers and ranks second in the Big Ten in both scoring and rebounding with 20.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Junior Lindsey Moore added 27 points and six assists against the Jackrabbits, who have advanced to three straight NCAA tournaments. The 5-9 point guard from Covington, Wash., ranks second among the Huskers and eighth in the Big Ten with 16.3 points per game. She also ranks third in the Big Ten with 5.9 assists, second in the conference with 2.8 steals per game and ranks among league leaders in field goal percentage (.500), three-point field goal percentage (.429), free throw percentage (.800), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8-to-1).
The matchup between the Huskers and Lady Lions features a pair of top-25 teams with strikingly similar numbers both offensively and defensively. Individually, Preseason Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Alex Bentley has been nearly as productive from her point guard spot as Nebraska's Moore. Penn State's junior is averaging 15.1 points, 5.8 assists and 2.8 steals and owns a 1.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Bentley is shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore Maggie Lucas gives the Lady Lions as dynamic a scoring option as Hooper provides the Huskers. The 5-10 guard leads PSU with 19.3 points per game and needs just 17 points to reach 800 for her career. Lucas owns seven 20-point efforts this season.
#23 Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 3.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - So. - F - 20.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 16.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg
5 - Kaitlyn Burke - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 5.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Off the Bench
33 - Rebecca Woodberry - 5-10 - RFr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
11 - Tear'a Laudermill - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 6.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 5.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
14 - Katie Simon - 6-2 - RFr. - F - 4.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg
55 - Adrianna Maurer - 6-3 - So. - C - 4.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 2.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
21 - Harleen Sidhu - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 0.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
10th Season at NU (177-118); 22nd Season Overall (372-258)
#16 Penn State Lady Lions (10-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
23 - Ariel Edwards - 6-2 - So. - F - 6.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg
54 - Nikki Greene - 6-4 - Jr. - F/C - 9.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg
12 - Zhaque Gray - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 12.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
20 - Alex Bentley - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 15.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
33 - Maggie Lucas - 5-10 - So. - G - 19.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Off the Bench
5 - Talia East - 6-3 - So. - F/C - 4.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg
40 - Marisa Wolfe - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 4.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg
24 - Mia Nickson - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 4.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg
44 - Tori Waldner - 6-5 - Fr. - F - 2.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg
25 - Gizelle Studevent - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Head Coach: Coquese Washington (Notre Dame, 1992)
Fifth Season at Penn State (76-62); Fifth Season Overall (76-62)
Huskers Climb One Spot to No. 23 in AP Top 25
Nebraska moved up one spot to No. 23 in the Monday, Dec. 26, Associated Press Poll. The Huskers maintained their 110 points, but moved ahead of North Carolina. NU received 54 votes in its first week in the top 25 on Dec. 12.
The Huskers rolled to an 80-71 win over South Dakota State in their only action last week to improve to 11-1 on the season, matching the second-best start in school history. Nebraska is one of four Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25, joining Ohio State (9th), Penn State (16th) and Purdue (20th). Northwestern is also receiving votes.
Nebraska's ranking this week is its highest since being ranked No. 4 nationally in the final AP Poll of 2009-10. The Huskers spent one week at No. 24 in the AP Poll in 2010-11 (Nov. 29, 2010).
Young Huskers Hope to Continue One of School's Best Starts
Nebraska's 11-1 start is tied for the second-best 11-game start in school history. The 2009-10 Huskers opened the season 11-0 on their way to a school-record 30 consecutive wins. The only other Husker teams in history to start 11-1 were the 1996-97 Huskers (16-1) and the 1998-99 Huskers (11-1).
Yori's 2009-10 Huskers featured six seniors on the roster, including three first-team All-Big 12 players (Kelsey Griffin, Cory Montgomery, Yvonne Turner) in the starting five, along with then-junior Dominique Kelley and then-true freshman Lindsey Moore.
This year's Husker team carries just one active senior (Kaitlyn Burke), and one junior (Moore) in the starting five. Hooper and true freshmen Emily Cady and Hailie Sample round out NU's starters. Four other freshmen (Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill, Rebecca Woodberry, Katie Simon) have been major contributors to Nebraska's success, along with sophomore Adrianna Maurer and junior Meghin Williams.
Hooper Earns Second Big Ten Weekly Award
Nebraska sophomore Jordan Hooper captured her second Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award in the past three weeks when she was named a co-winner of the conference's weekly honor on Monday, Dec. 26.
Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., produced her second 30-point scoring performance in the past three games with 30 points in Nebraska's 80-71 win over South Dakota State on Dec. 21. She added her second straight double-double with 11 boards to increase her season total to five double-doubles.
Hooper hit 10-of-19 shots from the field, including 4-of-9 three-pointers against the Jackrabbits. She also went 6-of-7 at the free throw line, while adding an assist, a block and a steal in a season-high 33 minutes.
For the season, Hooper leads the Huskers and ranks second in the Big Ten in both scoring and rebounding with 20.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. She has also connected on a team-high 26 three-pointers. She has hit 61 free throws through 12 games this season, and needs just two more made free throws to match her freshman season total.
Hooper already owns seven 20-point scoring efforts after producing five in 31 games a year ago. Her five double-doubles are two more than she produced as a freshman, when she earned a spot on the five-player Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
Hooper shared the Big Ten weekly award with Ohio State's Tayler Hill, who averaged 23.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals in three Buckeye victories last week. Hill is the only player in the Big Ten with a higher scoring average (21.2 ppg) than Hooper.
Hooper, Moore Make History at Northern Arizona
Jordan Hooper (32) and Lindsey Moore (31) became the first teammates in school history to each score 30 points in the same game when Nebraska ran to a 97-88 double-overtime victory at Northern Arizona on Dec. 10.
Each Husker scored 25 points after halftime, as Hooper produced a career-high 32 points and Moore finished with 31 points - just two points shy of her career high. For both players, it was the second 30-point scoring performances of their careers. Moore produced a career-high 33 at Kansas last season, while Hooper scored 31 at Missouri (Feb. 2, 2011) before adding her third 30-point effort with 30 points in a win over South Dakota State (Dec. 21, 2011).
Hooper's 32 points at NAU tied for the 27th-best scoring effort in school history, while Moore's 31 tied Hooper's previous best for 37th. Overall, Nebraska has had 67 30-point scoring efforts in history.
Moore and Hooper are just the ninth and 10th Huskers to produce multiple 30-point efforts in their careers. Karen Jennings, the 1992 Wade Trophy winner, produced 12 30-point games, while Hooper's fellow Alliance, Neb., native Amy Stephens score 30 or more nine times. Maurtice Ivy produced eight 30-point efforts, while 2010 first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin and former Husker star Nicole Kubik each scored 30 or more points five times.
Freshman Cady Heating Up for Huskers
Emily Cady has turned up her production over the last four games for the Huskers. The 6-2 freshman forward from Seward, Neb., has averaged 12.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 block per game over the last four contests.
Through the first eight games, Cady was averaging just 4.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest, while hitting just 14-of-43 (.326) of her shots from the field.
Cady has increased her season averages to 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game by hitting 16-of-26 shots from the field (.615) including all three of her three-point attempts over the past four games. She also has hit 14-of-17 (.824) of her free throws, after opening the year just 8-of-16 at the line through the first eight games.
Cady ranks third on the team in scoring, second in rebounding, third in assists and leads the team in blocks.
Moore, Hooper Ranking High in Big Ten, NCAA Stats
Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper are quickly making names for themselves as two of the top players in the Big Ten Conference. Hooper, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., ranks second in the Big Ten in both scoring (20.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg), while also ranking among Big Ten leaders in three-pointers made (T5th, 2.2 pg), three-point percentage (13th, .371) and field goal percentage (15th, .446). Hooper also ranks third in the conference in defensive rebounding (5.8 drbpg) and second on the offensive glass (3.2 orbpg). Hooper is tied for 23rd nationally in scoring.
Moore, a 5-9 junior point guard from Covington, Wash., is listed among the Big Ten's best in even more categories than Hooper. Moore ranks eighth in the conference in scoring (16.3 ppg) and is second in the Big Ten in steals (2.8 spg). She ranks third in assists (5.9 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8-to-1), while ranking fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.429) and fifth in overall field goal percentage (.500). She is also tied for 12th in three-pointers made per game (1.8) and ranks 15th in free throw percentage (.800).
In the NCAA statistics released Dec. 19, Moore was 14th nationally with her 5.9 assists per game, while her 2.8 steals per contest were just outside the top 50. Moore ranks just under the NCAA requirement of 2.0 three-pointers made per game with 1.8, or she may rank in the top 20 nationally in that category.
Perhaps even more amazing, Moore's 50.0 overall field goal percentage puts her in elite company among the nation's guards. The NCAA's top 50 shooters (min. 5.0 FG per game) are shooting 53.1 percent or better. However, only seven players among the top 50 are guards and only three of them are shorter than Moore (5-9) - Angel Goodrich (Kansas, 5-4, .543; Bria Hartley, Connecticut, 5-7, .532; Ta'Kenya Nixon, Eastern Illinois, 5-8, .531). It is likely that Moore's overall shooting percentage ranks among the top 10 guards and among players 5-9 or less.
Scouting The Penn State Lady Lions
Preseason Big Ten favorite Penn State heads into conference play with a 10-2 overall record and a No. 16 national ranking. The Lady Lions' only losses have come on the road to top 20 teams at current No. 19 Delaware (80-71, Nov. 17) and at current No. 13 Texas Tech (70-66, Dec. 3). The Blue Hens and Lady Raiders make up two of the nation's eight remaining unbeaten teams.
Preseason Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Alex Bentley leads Penn State. The 5-7 junior point guard from Indianapolis, Ind., is averaging 15.1 points, 5.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. While Bentley's numbers are strikingly similar to Nebraska junior point guard Lindsey Moore, Bentley's favorite target, sophomore Maggie Lucas has put up similar numbers to NU's Jordan Hooper. Lucas, a 5-10 guard, leads PSU with 19.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while adding 2.3 assists. Lucas has hit 30 three-pointers and has connected at a 39.5 percent clip from long range.
Senior guard Zhaque Gray gives the Lady Lions three players averaging double figures and playing more than 30 minutes per game. Gray, a 5-8 guard from Chicago, is averaging 12.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Gray ranks second on the team with 19 three-pointers while shooting 41.3 percent from long range. She has also hit nearly 90 percent (23-26) of her free throws.
Penn State also features a dominant defensive presence inside with 6-4 junior forward/center Nikki Greene. One of the top shot-blockers in school history, Greene ranks sixth on the PSU career chart with 146, including 16 this season. She has started all 12 games alongside Bentley, Lucas and Gray, averaging 9.3 points and 7.0 rebounds.
Ariel Edwards, a 6-2 sophomore forward has rounded out the starting five in eight games and has averaged 6.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Edwards has replaced Mia Nickson in the lineup while Nickson has struggled to overcome complications with an early season concussion. Nickson has averaged 4.0 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds in just 24 minutes per game when available.
Talia East, a 6-3 sophomore forward/center, gives the Lady Lions another big body off the bench. East leads PSU this season with 19 blocks while adding 6.9 boards per game. She has also contributed 4.9 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field.
Gizelle Studevent, a 5-11 junior, has seen action in all 12 games as PSU's only other guard, while Tori Waldner has played in 10 contests and Marisa Wolfe has competed in nine games.
As a team, Penn State's numbers are strikingly similar to the Huskers. PSU is averaging 77 points, while allowing 57.7 points per game. The Lady Lions have been more efficient on offense, shooting 45.2 percent from the field, while holding opponents to just 31 percent shooting. PSU has hit an impressive 38.4 percent of its three-point attempts, while holding foes to just 25.4 percent success from long range. The two teams are nearly identical in turnover margin, but PSU has taken better care of the ball (15.3 topg) than the Huskers (19.0 topg). However, Nebraska's plus-9.0 rebound margin exceeds PSU's plus-1.8 rebound edge by a wide margin.
Coach Coquese Washington leads the Lady Lions in her fifth season at Penn State. She owns a 76-62 overall record, including a 25-10 mark last season. PSU went 11-5 to finish second in Big Ten regular-season play a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State leads the all-time series with Nebraska 2-0, including an 83-64 victory over the Huskers in the championship game of the Surf-N-Slam in San Diego on Dec. 30, 2002 - Coach Connie Yori's first season at Nebraska. The only other meeting came with Penn State's 102-66 win in State College, Pa., on Jan. 2, 1993. Penn State will make its first-ever trip to Lincoln on Sunday, Jan. 15, when the two teams conclude their first Big Ten regular-season series with a 2:05 p.m. (central) tip-off.
Huskers Get Production From Entire Roster
Nebraska has used an all-hands-on-deck approach early in the 2011-12 season. The Huskers have subbed early and often throughout the first 12 games, and all 12 players on the roster have contributed.
Through 12 games, Nebraska's five starters (Jordan Hooper, Lindsey Moore, Emily Cady, Kaitlyn Burke and Hailie Sample) have combined to average 52.8 points and 24.7 rebounds per game. The seven Huskers who have come off the bench have combined to average 25.3 points and 16.9 rebounds per contest. Eleven of the 12 Huskers are also averaging double-figure minutes per game, while Meghin Williams is averaging 9.8 minutes per contest but has played double-figure minutes each of the last five games.
Nebraska has used at least nine players in all 12 games. Freshman guard Tear'a Laudermill missed four straight games for the Huskers with illness and injury before returning against South Dakota State (Dec. 21). Redshirt freshman Katie Simon has played in 11 games, while sophomore Adrianna Maurer played 10 games before missing the last two games with a back injury. Senior forward Harleen Sidhu made her first appearance of the season in the win over Vermont.
Nebraska Offense Showing Balance
Through 12 games, Nebraska ranks second in the Big Ten with 77.4 points per game. The Huskers have produced solid numbers despite only two players (Jordan Hooper, Lindsey Moore) averaging in double figures. Seven Huskers are averaging five or more points per game, while two more have scored four or more per contest. Of the nine players averaging four or more points, five of them are freshmen.
Husker Home Defense System
Nebraska ranks third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing just 56.5 points per game, but has been significantly better at home. The Huskers have surrendered just 48.8 points per contest, including just 27 points to Texas-Pan American on Dec. 4 - the fewest points allowed by a Husker team since 1975.
In 16 halves of basketball at home, Nebraska has held opponents to 22 points or less nine times, including four halves in the teens. The Huskers held No. 23 USC to just 22 first-half points, as the Trojans finished with 50. NU also limited Creighton to just 22 first-half points before holding the Jays to 55 for the game. In fact, the Huskers held each of their first seven home foes to 55 points or less, before South Dakota State scored 71 on Dec. 21.
Women of Steal
Nebraska's full-court pressure has bothered opponents early in the season. The Huskers have already recorded 132 steals this season, averaging a Big Ten-best 11 steals per game. Last season, Nebraska produced just 167 steals in 31 games, an average of just 5.4 steals per contest.
During Nebraska's historic run to the 2010 NCAA Sweet 16, the Huskers produced 272 steals in 34 games, an average of eight steals per contest.
Hooper, Moore Shoot Huskers Past Jackrabbits
Jordan Hooper produced her second 30-point game of the season while Lindsey Moore added 27 points to power No. 24 Nebraska to an 80-71 win over South Dakota State at the Devaney Center on Dec. 21.
The Huskers led 36-34 at the half before building a 17-point lead midway through the second half. SDSU, which has advanced to three straight NCAA tournaments, continued to battle and cut the lead back to seven before falling.
Hooper and Moore carried the Huskers down the stretch. Hooper's 30 points marked a Devaney Center career high and her second 30-point performance in the last three games. She added 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and the eighth of her career, while notching her seventh 20-point effort in 12 games this season.
Moore added 14 of her 27 points after hafltime, while adding five of her six assists for the game. She also pitched in four rebounds and a pair of steals. It was Moore's third 20-point scoring effort of the season.
For the game, Nebraska hit just 35 percent (21-60) of its shots from the field, including just 8-of-30 (.267) of its three-point attempts. NU hit 24-of-31 second-half free throw attempts, to finish with a season-high 30 made free throws on 37 attempts. NU outrebounded SDSU, 39-31 for the game, while winning the turnover battle, 20-12.
South Dakota State shot a blistering 54.2 percent (26-48) from the field, including 7-of-15 three-pointers. SDSU also hit just 12-of-21 free throws for the game. Ashley Eide led SDSU with 21 points and five rebounds, while Jennie Sunnarborg pitched in 20 points and seven boards as the only two Jacks in double figures.
Hooper and Moore carried the Huskers in the first half, combining for 26 of NU's 36 points on their way to a 36-34 halftime lead. Hooper nearly produced a double-double in the first half alone with 13 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 three-pointers. Moore added 13 points of her own on 4-of-8 shooting, while adding one assist and one steal.
SDSU hit 13-of-24 shots from the field, including 4-of-8 threes and 4-of-6 free throws in the opening stanza. NU hit just 12-of-36 shots from the field, including 6-of-19 threes, but connected on all six of its free throw attempts. The two teams were tied on the glass with 18 boards, while the Huskers won the first-half turnover battle, 10-5.
Hooper, who went 10-of-19 from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point range, opened the second-half with a three-point play to give NU its biggest lead at the time at five. Freshman Emily Cady, who finished with nine points, five rebounds and three steals, added four quick points. Moore pitched in four straight points to push NU's lead to nine at 47-38 with 15:56 left. Moore's three-pointer three minutes later off an assist from Hooper gave the Huskers their first double-digit lead of the night at 54-43 with 12:32 left. Hooper's fourth three-pointer of the game with 8:47 left gave the Huskers their biggest lead at 62-45.
Moore knocked down a career-high 13-of-14 free throws in the game, including 9-of-10 in the second half.
Huskers Crash Rebounding Mark in win over USC
Coming into the 2011-12 season, one of Nebraska's greatest areas of concern was on the glass. With a starting lineup that features one sophomore (Jordan Hooper) and two true freshman forwards (Emily Cady, Hailie Sample), and a regular rotation off the bench that includes an inexperienced sophomore center (Adrianna Maurer) and a redshirt freshman forward (Katie Simon), the Huskers' youth was cause for concern.
In the Huskers' 68-50 win over No. 23 USC on Nov. 18, the young Huskers pulled down more rebounds against an NCAA Division I opponent than any other team in school history.
Nebraska's 66 boards were the most since a school-record 73 rebounds against Division II Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 19, 1980. The only other game NU has ever grabbed more boards came against then-NAIA Wayne State with 68 on Jan. 28, 1978. The last time Nebraska grabbed more than 60 rebounds in any game came against Oral Roberts on Dec. 31, 1990, when NU pulled down 62.
Nebraska produced a 66-40 rebounding edge against the Women of Troy, while tying the third-highest defensive rebounding mark in school history with 42. The Huskers added 24 offensive boards against USC.
NU went to work again rewriting the rebounding record book with a 57-27 edge on the glass against Vermont. The Catamounts came into the game with a plus-5.0 rebounding advantage on the season. Nebraska's plus-30 margin was its largest since a plus-33 edge against Denver on Dec. 30, 2007. NU's 44 defensive rebounds marked the second-highest total in school history, trailing only 49 defensive boards against Sam Houston State in 1990.
Through 12 games, Nebraska carries a plus-9.0 rebound margin and has outrebounded 10 of its 12 opponents. The school record for rebound margin in a season is plus-8.6 in 1997-98. Only four teams in school history have managed a team rebound margin of plus-5.0 (1994-95, +5.9; 1990-91, +5.6; 1993-94, +5.0). Last season, NU was minus-0.3 rebounds per game on the glass.
The Huskers have been particularly dominant on the glass at home, posting a plus-16.0 rebound margin through eight home games. After opening the season with a plus-seven (45-38) rebound margin in a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Huskers notched double-figure rebound margins in four straight home games (Mississippi Valley State, 49-33, +16; USC, 66-40, +26; Savannah State, 44-26, +18; Texas-Pan American, 51-36, +15). The Huskers added a plus-eight margin in the 66-55 win over Creighton, before a 57-27 edge on the glass against Vermont. NU outrebounded South Dakota State (39-31) and also beat Florida State (42-41) and Northern Arizona (51-43) on the boards on the road.
The Huskers were outrebounded at Florida A&M (49-42) Nov. 25, and at Georgia Tech (54-32) Nov. 30.
Moore Making Mark as One of Nation's Best Point Guards
Through 12 games, Lindsey Moore has displayed her continued improvement at point guard by averaging 16.3 points and team bests of 5.9 assists and 2.8 steals in 29 minutes per game. The 2011 honorable-mention All-Big 12 performer from Covington, Wash., is shooting 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line.
Moore, who has scored in double figures in 24 of the past 25 games, erupted for 31 points, nine assists, six rebounds and three steals in a season-high 42 minutes at Northern Arizona. In the double-overtime win over the Lumberjacks, Moore had a hand in 38 of NU's final 43 points. She is coming off a 27-point, six-assist effort in the win over South Dakota State (Dec. 21). She set career highs by hitting 13-of-14 free throws against the Jacks.
With two of the three-highest scoring totals of her career in the past three games, Moore averaged 24.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.3 steals over NU's final three non-conference games.
Moore owns a trio of 20-point performances this season, including a 22-point, six-assist effort in NU's win over No. 23 USC (Nov. 18). She owns nine 20-point efforts in her career.
At Georgia Tech, Moore had 16 points, four assists and five steals. She produced 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in Nebraska's comeback win at Florida State Nov. 27.
Moore had 11 points, two rebounds, four assists and all three of her steals in the second half against the Seminoles. In the final seven minutes, she hit a game-tying three-pointer, grabbed a steal that led to a go-ahead three-pointer, then had assists on game-tying and game-winning baskets before sealing the victory with four straight free throws to close the game.
She also produced her third career double-double with 18 points and 11 assists in the win over Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 15. That performance marked the fourth double-figure assist game of her career.
Last season, Moore averaged 14.1 points and 5.9 assists per game for the season in 37.5 minutes per game, including 17.0 points and 5.9 assists in Big 12 action. Over the final 13 games of her sophomore season, she had a hand in 61 percent (172-282) of NU's made baskets - including 72.5 percent (66-91) in the final four games.
Moore's scoring binge included a career-high 33 points at Kansas on Feb. 26, 27 points and five assists against No. 23 Iowa State on Jan. 26, a 23-point, nine-assist effort against Colorado March 2, a 23-point, eight-assist performance against Missouri on Feb. 22 and seven total games with 17 or more points.
Over the final seven games of 2010-11, Moore took her game to another level by averaging 20.0 points per game, while shooting a blistering 55.1 percent (54-98) from the field, including 42.9 percent (15-35) from three-point range. She also dished out 7.3 assists per game, including five games with eight or more assists. She also increased her rebounding to 4.6 boards per game during the stretch, while hitting 89.5 percent (17-19) of her free throws.
As a true freshman, Moore was a pass-first point guard that orchestrated one of the best runs in Big 12 history, as the 2010 Huskers rolled to a 30-0 record to start Moore's career and claim NU's lone Big 12 title.
Moore Flying Up Nebraska Career Assist List
In just two seasons and 12 games, Lindsey Moore has climbed into Nebraska's career top five in assists with 408. The 5-9 point guard from Covington, Wash., tied a career high with 11 assists in the win over Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15, and owns 71 assists this season.
In 2010-11, Moore finished with 183 assists, which ranked second on NU's sophomore single-season list, trailing only Meggan Yedsena's 195 in 1991-92. It was the fifth-highest single-season total by a Husker in history.
Moore opened her career with the third-best total by a freshman in school history with 154 in 2009-10. If Moore can average 180 assists over her final two seasons at Nebraska, she can set the NU career record of 696 set by four-year starting point guard Meggan Yedsena from 1990-91 to 1993-94.
Improved Hooper Proving Hard to Handle for Husker Foes
By all accounts Nebraska's Jordan Hooper produced an impressive offseason for the Huskers. The 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., focused on adding more dimensions to her offensive game, while improving at the defensive end. Hooper's inside game at both ends has shown impressive gains, and she has added the ability to penetrate to the basket. All of that could cause opposing teams headaches in 2011-12.
Through 12 games, Hooper is Nebraska's leading scorer and rebounder, nearly averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 9.0 rebounds in just over 25 minutes per game. NU's top returning scorer (14.6 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg) from a year ago, Hooper's freshman season production came in 29.3 minutes per contest.
Hooper erupted for career highs of 32 points and four steals to go along with eight rebounds at Northern Arizona Dec. 10. She tied her season high with five three-pointers against the Lumberjacks. Just 11 days later, Hooper hit for 30 again with game highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds in Nebraska's 80-71 win over South Dakota State. It was Hooper's third career 30-point game (31 at Missouri, Feb. 2, 2011), and her fifth double-double of the young season.
In between 30-point efforts, Hooper struck for 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a win over Vermont. She owns 13 career 20-point performances, including seven this season, and eight career double-doubles.
Hooper notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Georgia Tech Nov. 30. She registered back-to-back double-doubles against Mississippi Valley State and No. 23 USC. She had 22 points and 13 rebounds against the Trojans. She poured in 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes in a win over MVSU Nov. 15. She also buried five threes and tied a career high with three blocks.
Hooper produced the first of three straight 20-point performances with a game-high 22 points and six rebounds in just 26 minutes in the win over Creighton Dec. 8, before her 32-point eruption at Northern Arizona (Dec. 10), 21 points against Vermont (Dec. 18) and 30 points against South Dakota State (Dec. 21). She added 21 points and a team-high eight rebounds in a win at Florida A&M Nov. 25.
Overall, Hooper has scored in double figures in 37 of 43 career games, including all 12 games with 12 or more points this season. She produced one of the best performances by a freshman in school history with her 31-point, eight-rebound effort in just 26 minutes at Missouri on Feb. 2, 2011, when she tied the Husker record with seven three-pointers. She had 28 points and six threes in the second half alone.
In her first season with the Huskers in 2010-11, Hooper made an instant impact by starting every game and leading the Huskers and ranking third among Big 12 freshmen in scoring with 14.6 points per game. She also led all Big 12 freshman in rebounding with 6.6 boards per contest to claim one of five spots on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. She led NU with 67 three-pointers, which were the most ever by a Nebraska freshman, and ranked second among Big 12 freshmen. Among all Big 12 players, Hooper ranked 12th in scoring, 15th in rebounding and sixth in three-pointers with 2.2 per game.
Hooper, a two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year (2008, 2010), owns eight career double-doubles, including 25 points and a career-high 13 rebounds against Houston on Dec. 18, 2010 and 18 points and 10 boards against Louisville on Dec. 20, 2010. She produced her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds at Creighton on Dec. 8, 2010.
Hooper Hitting Threes at Record Rate
In addition to her impressive scoring and rebounding numbers, Jordan Hooper has hit three-pointers at a record-breaking rate since her arrival at Nebraska.
The 6-2 forward shattered the NU single-season freshman record with 67 threes (67-184, 36.4 percent) a year ago, and has already drained 26 more threes through 12 games of 2011-12.
In 43 career games, Hooper has hit 93 three-pointers to rank 10th on the Nebraska career list, right behind fifth-year senior Kaitlyn Burke (94) and junior Lindsey Moore (94) among active Huskers on the career list. Burke and Moore are tied for eighth on the NU career list.
Last season, Hooper tied the Nebraska single-game record with seven three-pointers at Missouri on Feb. 2, 2011. She scored 31 points against the Tigers, including 28 on six threes in the second half alone.
Freshmen Enjoy Strong Starts Early in Season
Nebraska's six freshmen have all seen substantial playing time in the first 12 games this season. Overall, the six newcomers have combined for 357 points (29.8 ppg), 244 rebounds (20.3 rpg), 74 assists (6.2 apg) and 63 steals (5.3 spg) in 1,260 minutes through 12 games. They have helped the Huskers to a top 25 national ranking, an 11-1 start and three wins over current RPI Top 50 teams (USC, Creighton, at Florida State).
The six players they replaced on Nebraska's roster from a year ago combined to average just 25.8 points, 17.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
In all, NU's freshmen make up five of the Huskers' top eight scorers and two of the top three rebounders.
Jeffery, Woodberry, Laudermill Spark Backcourt Off Bench
True freshman Brandi Jeffery has provided the Huskers with a spark off the bench early in her first season. The 5-7 guard from Vacherie, La., has produced double figures in three of her first 12 games, including a 10-point, four-rebound, three-steal effort in a career-high 27 minutes against Texas-Pan American Dec. 4.
Jeffery tied a career high with 12 points and added three steals to help the Huskers in a comeback win at Florida State. She produced her first career double-figure effort with 12 points and three boards in her second career game (Mississippi Valley State, Nov. 15). Through 12 games, Jeffery ranks sixth on the team in scoring with 5.2 points to go along with 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals. She had a career-high six steals against Vermont (Dec. 18).
Redshirt freshman Rebecca Woodberry has also provided big production in the backcourt off the bench for the Huskers. Woodberry, a 5-10 guard from Phoenix, Ariz., ranks fifth on the team in scoring and third in rebounding with 6.1 points and 4.9 boards per game. She had a 13-point, seven-rebound effort against Vermont. Woodberry had 11 points in her career debut, before adding 12 points and six rebounds in NU's second game of the season. Woodberry has scored seven or more points seven times and grabbed five or more rebounds on six occasions.
Arguably Nebraska's most electrifying player off the bench has been true freshman Tear'a Laudermill, who ranks fourth on the team with 6.3 points per game. The 5-9 guard opened her career with 14 points against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and has scored five or more points off the bench in five of her first eight games. She sat out the Texas-Pan American, Creighton and Northern Arizona games with illness and missed the Vermont game with a minor injury. The Riverside, Calif., native is also an explosive defender, recording three steals apiece against Georgia Tech and UAPB. She returned to action with four points, two rebounds and a steal against South Dakota State Dec. 21.
Freshmen Bolstering Huskers Inside
True freshmen forwards Emily Cady and Hailie Sample and redshirt freshman Katie Simon have added punch to Nebraska's inside game in their first seasons on the court for the Huskers.
Cady and Sample have joined each other in the NU starting five for each of the first 12 games, while Simon has been a steady contributor off the bench.
Cady, a 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., produced a career-high 18 points to go along with six rebounds in the win over Vermont. Over the last four games, Cady has averaged 12.8 points and 7.0 rebounds to increase her season averages to 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds to rank third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding among the Huskers.
She produced a breakout performance with 14 points, including the go-ahead layup with 39 seconds left, in a 66-63 win at Florida State. She added five rebounds against the Seminoles. She produced a double-figure scoring effort with 13 points, a game-high seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in Nebraska's 66-55 win over Creighton Dec. 8. Cady just missed the first double-double of her career the next time out, producing nine points and matching her career high with 10 rebounds at Northern Arizona. She added two assists and two steals in a career-high 37 minutes in the double-overtime victory against the Lumberjacks.
In addition to three double-figure scoring efforts, Cady owns a pair of double-digit rebounding marks, including career highs of 10 rebounds in wins over No. 23 USC and at Northern Arizona. Cady also leads the Huskers with 10 blocked shots and ranks third on the team in assists (23) and is tied for fourth in steals (14).
Sample, a 6-1 forward from Flower Mound, Texas, added a career-high 10 rebounds in the win over USC. She just missed her first career double-figure scoring effort with a career-high nine points at Georgia Tech Nov. 30, and she pitched in eight big points in a 72-64 win at Florida A&M Nov. 25. Sample is averaging 3.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. Her 20 total assists rank fourth on the squad.
Simon scored a career-high 11 points in an opening night win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and added nine points in a win over Texas-Pan American Dec. 4. She has scored five or more points off the bench on five occasions, and is shooting a solid 55.9 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from three-point range. The 6-2 forward from Roseville, Calif., is averaging 4.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest.
Burke Named Candidate for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Nebraska's Kaitlyn Burke was named one of 30 candidates nationally for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, honoring the nation's top all-around women's basketball student-athlete, on Friday, Nov. 4.
Burke, a 5-7 shooting guard for Coach Connie Yori's Huskers, is the most experienced member of the women's basketball team and one of the top all-around leaders on the Nebraska campus.
The fifth-year senior from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has played in 113 games for the Huskers since starting her career at NU in 2007-08. She has made 60 starts, including 29 starts a year ago when she averaged 6.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She has averaged 5.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.5 assists through 12 games in 2011-12. She scored a season-high 11 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists in NU's win over Vermont Dec. 18. Burke produced her first double-figure scoring effort of the year with 10 points and five rebounds to help the Huskers to a 66-55 win over Creighton Dec. 8.
Burke is tied for No. 8 on Nebraska's career three-point list (94) and joined the top 20 on the Huskers' career assist list with a season-high five at Northern Arizona. She ranks 19th with 235 career assists. She has climbed the NU career charts despite battling numerous injuries, including foot and knee injuries, multiple broken fingers on her shooting hand, and even a broken nose last season.
Burke has taken on an even greater leadership role off the court, serving as the 2011-12 President of Nebraska's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In addition to her significant duties as SAAC President, Burke also finds time to coach a Special Olympics basketball team among numerous outreach activities.
The two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection is also a seven-time selection to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. She carries a 3.541 grade-point average as an advertising and business administration major.
Burke's many talents preceded her to the University of Nebraska. Prior to becoming a Husker, Burke was a multi-sport standout at Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver. Her final year before coming to Nebraska, she was one of the first Canadians to attend the National Elite Development Academy in Ontario. She was a member of the 2005 Canadian Cadet National Team and the Canadian Junior National Team in both 2006 and 2007.
Burke was a childhood actress in several feature films. She starred in Questar's Bear with Me (2000) and Ms. Bear (1997). She also appeared in Disney's Life-Size with Tyra Banks and Lindsay Lohan (2000). She also appeared in A Song from the Heart (1999) and National Lampoon's Dad's Week Off starring Henry Winkler (1997).
From the list of 30 candidates, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in late January. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the women's award winner during the 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four, which will be held April 1 and 3 in Denver.
Kelsey Griffin, a 2010 women's basketball All-American, is the only Husker student-athlete across all sports to be named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner. Griffin claimed the honor following her All-America senior season, when she was also named Nebraska's Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
Huskers Setting Early Pace for Another Big 3FG Season
Nebraska's outside shooting was a strength for the Huskers in 2010-11. The Huskers hit 218-of-658 three-point attempts (33.1 percent) to average a school-record 7.0 threes per game.
In 2009-10, Nebraska hit a school-record 225 threes for a then-school-record average of 6.6 threes per game. Prior to 2009-10, the school-record for three-pointers made in a season was 173. Coach Connie Yori's Husker teams own the top eight three-point shooting seasons in school history.
Through 12 games, it looks like the 2011-12 Huskers have a chance to threaten the record-setting numbers from the past two seasons. Nebraska has averaged 7.7 threes per game in its first 12 contests of 2011-12, including 14-of-26 from beyond the arc against Mississippi Valley State. The 14 threes against the Devilettes marked the second-highest total in school history, trailing only NU's 17 threes against Vermont (17-33) in the 2010-11 season opener. Nebraska hit 10-of-22 threes at Northern Arizona Dec. 10, after opening 2011-12 with nine threes in a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 12). NU added nine threes in a win at Florida State (Nov. 27). Last season, the Huskers hit seven or more threes in a game 17 times, and through 12 games in 2011-12, NU has accomplished the feat seven times (UAPB-9, MVSU-14, at Florida State-9, UTPA-7, Northern Arizona-10, Vermont-8, South Dakota State-8).
Huskers Sign Ohio High School Star in Early Period
Coach Connie Yori announced the signing of Ohio prep star Rachel Theriot to a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Theriot, a 6-0 point guard out of Midpark High School in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is a two-time All-Ohio performer entering her senior season in 2011-12. Last season, Theriot helped Midpark to a 22-3 overall record and a Southwestern Conference title under Coach Stephanie Mentz. Theriot averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game for the Meteors.
In addition to earning third-team All-Ohio Division I honors, she was named one of five players to the Cleveland Plain Dealer All-Star team in 2011. She was also a first-team All-SWC selection and a first-team Northeast Lakes All-District pick. Theriot was ranked as the No. 70 player overall by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and No. 96 by the All-Star Girls Report. She was ranked as the No. 18 point guard in the nation by ESPN/HoopGurlz and has also ranked among ESPN's top 100 high school seniors in the nation.
Theriot played her first two high school seasons for the Walsh Jesuit Warriors for Coach Pete Zaccari. As a sophomore, she led Walsh Jesuit to the Ohio Division II state semifinals after averaging 13.8 points, 5.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. She led the Warriors to a 23-2 record. She hit 38 three-pointers on the year and was an 89 percent free throw shooter. As a freshman, Theriot averaged 11.8 points, 3.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game to help Walsh Jesuit to a 19-7 record.
Theriot played AAU ball for Sports City U and Coach Tom Jenkins. She earned a spot on the Pool A All-Star Team at the Windy City Classic (U.S. Junior National Championships).
Theriot chose Nebraska over Xavier, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, Dayton and Washington among others.
Yori Making Progress After Knee Surgery Complications
Nebraska women's basketball coach Connie Yori experienced a painful end to the offseason and start to the 2011-12 campaign. Complications to a seemingly routine arthroscopic knee surgery on Aug. 19, which included a staph infection and blood clot in her knee, sidelined Yori for several weeks.
The 2010 National Coach of the Year, who enters her 10th season at Nebraska in 2011-12, is gaining overall strength and mobility in her knee and has returned to the Husker program on a nearly full-time basis. She has spent the past two weeks in a nearly full-time role on the practice court with the Huskers, splitting time between a scooter and crutches.
"It is really unbelievable to think that I was in the hospital for the better part of September. It kind of feels like I lost a month of my life with the team," Yori said. "My family, friends and the people in our program have been so supportive."
Four days after the team's return from a successful 11-day summer tour to Scandinavia Aug. 5-15, Yori underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee on Aug. 19. She first injured the knee as a player in the early 1980's, but had not had a surgery on the knee since 1985.
Yori's recovery from her most recent surgery appeared to be going well, and she made a day-long appearance at the Fastbreakers Booster Club Husker Golf Scramble fund-raising event on Monday, Aug. 29. Her rehabilitation appeared to continue on track until mid-day on Wednesday, Aug. 31, when she began having intense knee pain. The pain continued to intensify until Monday, Sept. 5 (Labor Day) when she had a surgical wash to treat Staph infection in her knee.
Yori spent the following week in St. Elizabeth's Regional Medical Center in Lincoln before being released to her home on Sept. 12. Although she returned home, the pain continued to plague her and became so severe on Sept. 16 that she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance back to St. Elizabeth's. Doctors discovered a blood clot in Yori's left knee and began treatment as soon as possible. Yori remained at St. Elizabeth's until Thursday, Sept. 22, when she moved to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.
She has spent the past 13 weeks on the road to recovery. The pain is gradually subsiding in her knee, and she is gaining strength in her leg and the rest of her body from being nearly immobile for approximately three weeks. After a week of intense rehab at Madonna, Yori checked out and returned home in the afternoon on Friday, Sept. 30.
Yori made her way into the Devaney Center for the Huskers' first practice on Oct. 3, just for a few moments. She was in a wheelchair and on heavy pain medication, but she let the Huskers know she was working hard to join them at practice.
"I know a lot of people out there might hear this story and feel sorry for me, but I know there are many more people who are worse off than me," Yori said. "I'm lucky both the infection and the blood clot were focused in my knee area and didn't spread to other parts of my leg or body, or my condition would be a lot more serious."
Because of her nearly complete restriction of movement and heavy pain medications, Yori was unable to work or spend time recruiting for several weeks. Associate Head Coach Sunny Smallwood coordinated Nebraska's workout schedule and led the team in practice in Yori's absence. Graduate assistant manager Bryce Currie was activated to assume an on-court coaching role and the ability to recruit off-campus in place of Yori. Currie is in his second year with the Huskers after spending time at both Washington and Arizona State before coming to Nebraska.
"I am fortunate to have an experienced and talented staff," Yori said. "I have been in constant contact with our staff throughout this time, and our program is in good hands with Sunny Smallwood at the helm."
Huskers Officially Open Hendricks Training Complex Oct. 13
After 17 months of construction, the Hendricks Training Complex was officially dedicated Oct. 13, with more 200 invited guests and dignitaries attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 80,000-square foot facility adjacent to the Bob Devaney Sports Center is the new home for the men's and women's basketball programs, as well as the wrestling program. The two-level facility includes separate practice courts for the men's and women's basketball programs, as well as expanded locker rooms, player lounges, team rooms and offices.
"The completion of the Hendricks Training Complex is a compliment to those donors, season-ticket holders and fans who have supported our basketball programs for many years," NU Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm said. "The facility will help us attract top-tier talent and at the same time provide our student-athletes an experience that will help them reach their full potential.
"The Hendricks Training Complex, along with the new Haymarket Arena (scheduled to open in the fall of 2013), will give us one of the best combinations of facilities in the country and show our commitment to our basketball programs."
While the $18.7 million facility will house the basketball and wrestling programs, many of Nebraska's sports will benefit from the new facility, which includes a 5,000-square foot weight room, a completely renovated athletic training area that tripled the size of the previous area at the Devaney Center and a nutrition station similar to the one in the Osborne Complex.
The building is named for Tom and Mary Hendricks of Pipe Creek, Texas, and their children, Jennifer and Brandon, as they provided the lead gift in this project to benefit Husker student-athletes for years to come.
Throughout the facility, efforts have been made to give student-athletes the best training environment to succeed. Both the men's and women's basketball practice gyms are a court-and-half with six baskets, allowing additional work while the main floor is being used. The courts themselves are made with premium maple flooring with sleeper cushions that absorb shock to minimize injury. Both gyms have advanced acoustics as well as 103-inch plasma screens for breaking down film during practices.
The amenities inside the facility are top-of-the-line, as the main entrance features a two-story abstract net sculpture, as well as a granite fountain imported from China. The facility also features two video walls and 63 TVs.
The men's players lounge, named in honor of Neal and Jamie Hawks, features a 5x8-foot video wall, 400 inches of televisions, custom seating, a pool table and a kitchenette, while the women's lounge features three 65-inch televisions and a unique LED bubble wall. Both the men's and women's basketball programs have custom locker rooms with iPads built into the lockers, as well as custom back-lit displays. The wrestling locker room features 40 custom-built wooden lockers with back-lit displays and a lounge with a pair of 65-inch TVs and a kitchen.
The Hendricks Training Complex is the first project completed in the Expand Their Experience Campaign. For more information on the other facility projects, visit www.ExpandTheirExperience.com.
New Arena Gets Name: Pinnacle Bank Arena to Open in 2013
Lincoln's new arena in the West Haymarket area will be named Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mayor Chris Beutler, Pinnacle Bancorp Chairman Sid Dinsdale and Pinnacle Bank President Mark Hesser announced the naming rights agreement at a news conference Dec. 6 at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. A scale model of the arena with the new name also was unveiled, and it will be on display at the Chamber office, 1135 "M" Street, through December.
With approval of the agreement by the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency (JPA), Pinnacle Bank will pay a base fee of $11.25 million to be the exclusive title sponsor of the arena for a term of 25 years. In addition to the base fee, Pinnacle Bank will pay $20,000 for each year the arena serves as a site for one or more state high school tournaments in volleyball, basketball or wrestling.
The $179 million arena project was approved by voters in May 2010. Pinnacle Bank Arena is expected to open in the fall of 2013. Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams will be the primary tenants of the 470,400-square-foot facility, which can hold nearly 15,000 fans for Husker hoops.
As the exclusive sponsor of the arena and arena site, the new arena website will be named PinnacleBankArena.com.
The agreement also calls for Pinnacle Bank to receive: three exterior signs; the Pinnacle Bank Arena logo on the center-hung scoreboard, public exterior doors and adjacent light pole banners; signs on the main and upper concourses; use of a center court suite and use of the arena for two days per year; and three locations for ATM machines in the arena.
Young Huskers Grow On Scandinavian Summer Tour
The Huskers enjoyed an early start to the 2011-12 campaign by going 3-1 on an 11-day tour of Scandinavia, Aug. 5-15. The tour, which included stops in Stockholm, Sweden, Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark, began with a loss to a talented Swedish National Team, before substantial winning margins over one Norwegian and one Danish club team. Nebraska concluded the trip with an impressive win over the Danish National Team on Aug. 14.
"We definitely got better, and that was exciting and encouraging to see," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Our freshmen are going to help us this year. I've been saying that since our first set of practices in June, but they have continued to get better and learn our system and work hard. All four of our true freshmen could play roles for us throughout the year. We also have a little bit better idea of the things they need to focus on now, so we can start working on them right away. It is definitely going to speed up their development process as players."
Emily Cady, a 6-2 freshman forward from Seward, Neb., drew praise from Yori throughout the team's 10 days of NCAA-allowable practices leading up to the trip. Cady showed that praise was deserved by averaging 13.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, a block and a steal during the four games in Europe.
Brandi Jeffery, a 5-7 guard from Vacherie, La., provided consistent production for the Huskers throughout the tour, averaging 9.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. The 2011 Louisiana High School Player of the Year and Parade All-American scored between eight and 10 points in all four games and grabbed at least one rebound in every contest.
Tear'a Laudermill, a 5-9 guard from Riverside, Calif., expanded her contributions during the trip. In the first two games on the tour, Laudermill had seven points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals combined. In the last two games in Denmark, Laudermill averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals.
Hailie Sample, a 6-1 guard from Flower Mound, Texas, added 4.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists while providing a strong defensive presence on the wing for the Huskers.
In addition to the improvements of the true freshmen, Yori was also pleased with the increased production of sophomore Jordan Hooper. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., averaged 22.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block per game. She capped the tour with 33 points and eight rebounds in the win over the Danish National Team.
"Jordan has gotten better, there is no question about it," Yori said. "She has done a really good job of listening to the coaches after her freshman season and working hard on the weaknesses in her game. She is stronger, a better defender, more aggressive on both offense and defense, and she now has a couple more weapons in her offensive game."
In addition to watching her players grow on the court, Yori said she was impressed by the chemistry, unity and leadership that has developed among the Huskers.
"What a great trip for the players and staff for every reason," Yori said. "From a team standpoint, our players definitely grew closer and continued to develop some great team chemistry. The way they interacted with each other throughout the trip was exciting to see. They naturally bonded with everybody. There were no cliques or people moving in the same groups all the time. They just naturally and genuinely wanted to spend time with everybody. As a coach, that is really rewarding to see."
Moore Took on Iron Woman Role for Huskers
In addition to more than doubling her scoring numbers and increasing her rebounding, assists and three-point totals from 2009-10, Lindsey Moore also took on the role of an iron woman in the Husker lineup.
With injuries to nearly all of NU's guards, Moore hardly came off the floor as a sophomore. In fact, she played a Big 12-leading 37.5 minutes per game. In conference play, Moore averaged a Big 12-high 39.3 minutes per contest on her way to a school-record 1,164 total minutes. She went the distance in 16 games in 2010-11, including 12 regular-season Big 12 games and NU's lone contest in the Big 12 Tournament. Included in that list is a career-high 45 minutes in an overtime win over Kansas on Jan. 16. Over the last 25 games, Moore was on the floor for all but 29 minutes.
As a freshman, Moore led the Huskers in total minutes with 952 (34 games), an average of just 28.0 minutes per game, as Nebraska featured one of the deepest and most balanced lineups in Big 12 Conference history.
Moore's 1,164 total minutes eclipsed Jina Johansen's previous school record of 1,156 minutes played in 32 games (36.1 mpg) in 2004-05. Moore is just the third Husker in Coach Yori's first nine years at Nebraska to play 1,000 minutes in a season (also Kiera Hardy in 2004-05).
Big Ten Network to Provide More Exposure for Huskers
Over the past two seasons, Nebraska has enjoyed its best media exposure in school history with national and regional television appearances and frequent live video streams of its games on Huskers.com. In fact, last season the Huskers had 26 games appear on either television or live video streams.
In 2011-12, Nebraska's exposure increases to another level with coverage provided by the Big Ten Network (BTN), BTN2Go.com and BTN.com.
Nebraska heads into the 2011-12 season with the possibility of all 29 of its regular-season games appearing either on TV or live video stream. Every Nebraska home game will be available on either BTN or BTN.com, while every Big Ten Conference regular-season contest also will be available on BTN or BTN.com.
Nebraska will appear a minimum of five times (Creighton, Dec. 8; at Iowa, Jan. 8; at Ohio State, Jan. 19; Minnesota, Jan. 22 and Feb. 13) on the Big Ten Network, which reaches nearly 80 million homes nationwide. The Huskers also defeated South Dakota State (Dec. 21) in a game televised by Nebraska Educational Television (NET) that was also available on a subscription-basis on BTN.com.
For a complete television and live-stream listing, visit Huskers.com. Fans can subscribe to BTN.com by visiting http://video.btn.com/allaccess. A yearly subscription for all Nebraska events on BTN.com is just $79.95. Fans can gain access to every Big Ten event stream for just $119.95 per year. Monthly subscriptions are also available.
Due to changes in the television rights policies brought about by Nebraska's shift to the Big Ten Conference, none of Nebraska's regular-season games will be available on HuskersNside.
Husker Sports Network Features New Lincoln Flagship
Nebraska women's basketball games will be heard on the new flagship station in Lincoln - B107.3 FM-KBBK. The strong FM station is the same station that has carried Husker volleyball for the past several seasons and provides fans of Nebraska women's sports with a consistent home for the Huskers.
Women's basketball fans can continue to listen to the Huskers in the Omaha area on Twister 93.3 FM-KTWI. The Husker Sports Network is in its 17th season of producing and marketing the live broadcasts of University of Nebraska women's basketball. Women's basketball play-by-play announcer Matt Coatney and color commentator Jeff Griesch enter their 11th year together as the Huskers' broadcast team.
In addition to the more than 20 stations that carry Nebraska women's basketball games during the season, every game can be heard for free worldwide on Huskers.com.
Fastbreakers Set Dates for Pregame Backboard Events
The Fastbreakers Nebraska Women's Basketball Booster Club has set the dates for three Backboard Events during the 2011-12 season. Fastbreakers can make their plans now to attend this season's Backboard Events with the Huskers at the Coaches Club in the southeast corner of the upper concourse at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Nebraska's Backboard Events tipped off Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m., prior to the Huskers' 68-50 win over No. 23 USC.
The Fastbreakers and the Huskers Athletic Fund host the second Backboard Event of the year prior to Nebraska's Big Ten Conference clash with Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 15. The Lady Lions were one of the top teams in the Big Ten last season and advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The luncheon is set to begin at 12:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 2:05 p.m.
The Backboard Events conclude in 2011-12 when Nebraska tangles with Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 19. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with tip-off set for 1 p.m. The date with the Badgers is also scheduled to be Nebraska's "Play4Kay" game (previously Think Pink / Pink Zone) as the WBCA's cancer awareness game.
Each luncheon is scheduled to begin 90 minutes prior to tip-off of each game and will feature a speaker from the women's basketball staff. The cost of each luncheon is $15 per person, and spots at each luncheon must be reserved in advance, either on-line at www.Huskers.com/donate, by calling the Huskers Athletic Fund at (402) 472-2367 or by mail to the Huskers Athletic Fund at One Memorial Stadium, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, NE 68588-0154. The mail-in form is available on the Huskers.com women's basketball home page by clicking on "Backboard Events" in the right side menu. Full menu details and payment information for each event is included on the form. Please make checks payable to the Huskers Athletic Fund.
Women's Basketball Sets Dates for Annual Bus Trips
Nebraska women's basketball fans can follow the Huskers on three road trips in their first year in the Big Ten Conference in 2011-12. The first women's basketball bus trip is set for Sunday, Jan. 8, when the Huskers head to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The cost of the trip is $50 and includes a meal and movies on the bus. Tickets for the game are just $5 per person. Reservations must be made by Dec. 21.
The second trip runs Feb. 12-14, when the Huskers head to Minneapolis to take on Minnesota. Cost of the trip is $90 and does not include hotel accommodations or game tickets. It does include meals on the bus and a trip to Mall of America. Reservations for the trip must be made by Jan. 15.
The final journey will be an extended stay at the Huskers' first Big Ten Conference Tournament, Feb. 29-March 5. The cost of the bus transportation is $165 per person and does not include tournament tickets or hotel accommodations. Reservations for the bus trip must be made by Feb. 10.
For more information on the women's basketball bus trips, please contact Doug Fry at (402) 617-7039 or visit Huskers.com.
Nebraska's History of Success at Home
The Huskers have opened the 2011-12 season with a perfect 8-0 record at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Since the Devaney Center opened in 1976-77, the Huskers are 370-123 (.751) in games played in the arena, including 136-82 (.624) in conference games. Since 2003-04, NU is 106-27 (.797) at the Devaney Center.
NU has posted double-figure home victory totals in seven consecutive seasons, including a perfect 16-0 mark in 2009-10. The Huskers stretched their home winning streak to 28 games with a win over Florida A&M on Jan. 2. Amazingly, 24 of NU's final 25 wins in the streak were by double digits. No. 19 Oklahoma ended NU's second-longest home streak in school history at 28 games, just one game shy of the NU record. NU was 11-4 at home in 2010-11.
Big Red Fans Come Out in Droves at Devaney
After setting a school single-season attendance record in 2009-10, Nebraska continued to rank among the nation's top teams in average home attendance with 4,333 fans per game over 16 home contests in 2010-11. NU ranked 22nd nationally in average home attendance at the close of the regular season.
Nebraska has regularly ranked among the top 30 teams nationally in average home attendance over the past 15 years. Husker fans flocked to the Bob Devaney Sports Center in record numbers in 2009-10, averaging a school-record 7,390 fans per game to rank seventh nationally. NU's Big 12 attendance was spectacular, averaging a Big 12-best 11,383 fans per game. Nebraska drew seven consecutive crowds of more than 10,000 to the Devaney Center to end the season, beginning with a then-school-record 13,303 fans for Nebraska's win over Kansas State on Jan. 23 - the 16th-largest crowd in the nation in 2009-10 (including NCAA Tournament play).
Nebraska smashed that record against Missouri Feb. 27, posting the first sellout in school history with 13,595 fans. The NU-MU game featured the largest regular-season crowd in the nation in 2009-10 that did not involve Connecticut or Tennessee.
Over the last seven home games, the Huskers attracted an average of 11,989 fans per game to the Devaney Center. NU's previous single-season average home attendance record was 5,000 fans per game in 1998-99.
Nebraska entered the 2009-10 season with 1,424 season ticket holders. During a special March Madness season ticket promotion at the end of 2010, the Huskers sold more than 1,100 new season tickets for 2010-11, pushing NU's season ticket base beyond 2,500 for the first time in history.
Nebraska Owns Success Against Top 25 Foes
Nebraska has made a habit of knocking off top-25 opponents during Connie Yori's 10 seasons at the helm. In fact, the Huskers' win over No. 23 USC on Nov. 18 marked Nebraska's 21st win over an AP Top 25 foe under Yori.
Although the Huskers went without a top-25 win in 2010-11, the win over the Women of Troy marked a second straight win over a top-25 team from Los Angeles.Nebraska's 83-70 win over No. 22 UCLA in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament marked the Huskers' 20th win over an AP Top 25 foe during Yori's tenure, including their eighth in 2009-10.
NU's 21-point win over No. 10 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3, 2010 was the Huskers' fifth against a top-10 opponent. Before Yori's arrival, Nebraska had beaten just one top-10 opponent in school history.
Nebraska's three top-10 wins in 2009-10 matched NU's all-time total in 35 seasons.
NU's win at No. 9 Baylor on Jan. 17, 2010, marked the Huskers' first victory against a top-25 team in a true road game under Yori. It was also the Huskers' first-ever true road win over a top-10 opponent.
The Huskers posted six wins over AP Top 15 teams (No. 5 LSU, No. 9 Baylor, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 13 Iowa State) in 2009-10, including three wins over top-10 foes.
The Huskers added a road win over final AP No. 16 Iowa State on Jan. 9, in Ames, while also claiming road wins over previously ranked clubs at Vermont (AP No. 24, Jan. 18), Miami (AP No. 25, Jan. 11), Kansas (as high as No. 18, first nine weeks AP). The Jayhawks, Catamounts and Hurricanes were unranked when they played the Huskers.
The highest-ranked team Nebraska has ever defeated was the 2004-05 Baylor team that went on to win the national title. NU outlasted No. 2 BU, 103-99 in triple overtime on Jan. 12, 2005. The Huskers' 21-point win over No. 10 OSU on Feb. 3, 2010, marked NU's largest victory margin ever over a top-10 team. Nebraska's 29-point win over No. 14 Iowa State in 2005 was NU's largest victory margin in history over a top-25 foe. Nebraska's 56-45 win over No. 15 Texas at the Devaney Center in 2008 also marked the lowest point total ever allowed by the Huskers against a ranked opponent. Before Yori's arrival at Nebraska in 2002-03, the Huskers had not defeated a top-10 team since a 73-67 win over No. 9 Iowa on Dec. 8, 1996, and had never beaten a top-five opponent.
Huskers Played One of Nation's Top Schedules in 2010-11
Nebraska has consistently played one of the nation's top 30 schedules over the past five years, and the 2010-11 season was no different. Nebraska's strength of schedule ranked No. 29 nationally according to CollegeRPI.com. The Huskers finished No. 101 overall in the official NCAA RPI at the end of 2010-11.
The Huskers produced a pair of wins over top 25 RPI teams, including victories over 2011 ACC regular-season champion and No. 12 RPI Miami and RPI No. 24 Texas Tech. NU notched four other top-100 RPI wins, including victories over Kansas (71), Creighton (75), Missouri (80) and Saint Mary's (94).
In addition to games against the Big 12 champion and ACC champion, the Huskers also dropped narrow decisions on neutral courts to Conference USA champion Houston and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Marist. Houston ran to its best season in school history and joined the AP Top 25 at the end of the regular season, while Marist had its school-record winning streak snapped in the NCAA Tournament second round by Stanford. The Red Foxes also closed the regular season in the top 25.
Nebraska played 21 games against top 100 RPI teams. NU played 14 games against 2011 NCAA Tournament teams, with Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Miami, Marist and Louisville all advancing to at least the NCAA second round. The Huskers also played seven games against Postseason WNIT teams and one game against a WBI postseason tournament (Northern Colorado). Overall, 22 of Nebraska's 31 games came against postseason qualifiers.