Huskers Battle Purdue for Big Ten Lead
#16/#18 Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-3, 7-2 Big Ten)
at #15/17 Purdue Boilermakers (18-4, 8-1 Big Ten)
Mackey Arena • West Lafayette, Ind. • Thursday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. (central)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (B107.3 FM-Lincoln; 93.3 FM-Omaha)
Free Internet Audio: Huskers.com
Live Premium Video: BTN.com All-Access (subscription required)
No. 16 Huskers Head to No. 15 Purdue to Battle For Big Ten Lead
The No. 16 Nebraska women's basketball team travels to West Lafayette, Ind., for its first-ever meeting with No. 15 Purdue on Thursday night, as the two teams battle for the top spot in the Big Ten Conference standings.
Tip-off between the Huskers (18-3, 7-2 Big Ten) and the Boilermakers (18-4, 8-1 Big Ten) at Mackey Arena is set for 6 p.m. (central) with live radio coverage provided by the Husker Sports Network. Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will be on the call with flagships B107.3 FM in Lincoln and The Wolf 93.3 FM in Omaha as part of Nebraska's 25-station radio network. Free live audio is also available worldwide on Huskers.com. A live premium video stream also will be available through BTN.com All-Access.
Nebraska heads to Purdue with a three-game winning streak following its 67-47 road win at Illinois on Sunday. The Huskers never trailed against the Fighting Illini on the way to fourth their Big Ten road win. Nebraska is 7-2 overall on the road this season with their only losses to current top-25 teams Ohio State and Georgia Tech.
While the Huskers have been solid on the road, the Boilermakers have been tough at home, running to an 11-1 mark at Mackey Arena, including a perfect 4-0 Big Ten home record. However, Purdue is coming off its first Big Ten setback with a 59-42 loss at Iowa Saturday. NU swept the regular-season series with the Hawkeyes.
Purdue is one of the traditional national powers in Big Ten women's basketball, as the Boilermakers have earned trips to 21 of the last 23 NCAA tournaments, including a second-round bid in 2011. Purdue won the 1999 NCAA title and has advanced to three NCAA Women's Final Fours (1994, 1999, 2001) and 12 NCAA Sweet Sixteens.
Jordan Hooper (19.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg), Lindsey Moore (16.0 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.3 spg) and Emily Cady (10.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) lead a balanced Nebraska offense to Purdue. Hooper, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., is a top contender for Big Ten Player-of-the-Year honors. She leads the Big Ten in rebounding while ranking third in scoring. She also leads the Big Ten with 10 double-doubles on the year.
Moore, a 5-9 junior point guard from Covington, Wash., ranks among the top six players in the Big Ten in scoring, assists and steals. She is a leading contender for All-Big Ten honors. Cady, a 6-2 freshman forward from Seward, Neb., has increased her productivity throughout the season and is averaging 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in conference play to rank as a top contender for Big Ten All-Freshman accolades this season.
#16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-3, 7-2 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 3.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 10.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - So. - F - 19.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 16.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg
5 - Kaitlyn Burke - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 4.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Off the Bench
11 - Tear'a Laudermill - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 5.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg
33 - Rebecca Woodberry - 5-10 - RFr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 4.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
14 - Katie Simon - 6-2 - RFr. - F - 2.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
10th Season at NU (184-120); 22nd Season Overall (379-260)
#15 Purdue Boilermakers (18-4, 8-1 Big Ten)
32 - Sam Ostarello - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 7.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg
40 - Chelsea Jones - 6-4 - Sr. - C - 3.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg
5 - Brittany Rayburn - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 14.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg
15 - Courtney Moses - 5-7 - So. - G - 10.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
22 - KK Houser - 5-6 - So. - G - 9.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Off the Bench
2 - Antoinette Howard - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 7.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
41 - Alex Guyton - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg
43 - Chantel Poston - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 2.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
20 - Dee Dee Williams - 6-0 - So. - G - 1.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg
23 - Liza Clemons - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg
54 - Samantha Woods - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 0.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg
4 - Torrie Thornton - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 0.2 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Sharon Versyp (Purdue, 1989)
Sixth Season at Purdue (129-65); 12th Season Overall (246-130)
Huskers Announce Times, TV for Final Regular-Season Games
The Nebraska women's basketball team announced game times and television information for its final three 2011-12 regular-season contests on Monday, Jan. 30. The Huskers were able to announce the times after the Big Ten Network announced its wildcard selections for the closing week of the 2012 Big Ten Conference campaign.
Nebraska will face Ohio State in a top-20 showdown that could determine the Big Ten Conference regular-season champion on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. (central) at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln. The game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network as the final game of a women's basketball triple-header. The No. 16 Huskers (18-3, 7-2 Big Ten) and No. 11 Buckeyes (20-2, 7-2 Big Ten) are tied for second in the Big Ten standings right now, trailing only No. 15 Purdue (18-4, 8-1). Nebraska travels to West Lafayette, Ind., to face the Boilermakers in a battle for the top spot in the conference standings this Thursday at 6 p.m. (central).
Nebraska's clash with Ohio State could also play a major role in seeding at the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, which is scheduled for March 1-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Huskers' game with the Buckeyes will be Senior Day at the Devaney Center, marking the final home game for fifth-year senior starting guard Kaitlyn Burke and senior forward Harleen Sidhu.
Nebraska's game at Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 23, was not chosen for national television by the Big Ten Network. The Huskers' first-ever meeting with the Spartans will tip at 6 p.m. (central) and is available on BTN.com. The Husker Sports Network also will provide radio coverage of the game on its 25-station network of affiliates in Nebraska and free worldwide on Huskers.com.
The Huskers' contest with Wisconsin at the Devaney Center on Sunday, Feb. 19, will be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network. NU's game with the Badgers will be Play4Kay Day at the Devaney Center, supporting the WBCA initiative to promote cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.
Hooper Putting Up Double-Doubles at Record Rate
Jordan Hooper leads the Big Ten and ranks among the top 15 players nationally with 10 double-doubles through 21 games in 2011-12. Hooper, who has scored in double figures in all 21 games this season, also owns 10 double-figure rebounding performances this season.
The 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., has produced double-doubles in back-to-back games with 22 points and 15 rebounds against Iowa on Jan. 26, and 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds at Illinois Jan. 29. Earlier this season, Hooper notched double-doubles in four straight games from Dec. 18 to Jan. 5.
Hooper is just the fifth player in Nebraska history to notch double-figure double-doubles in a season. National Player-of-the-Year finalist Kelsey Griffin set a school record with 20 double-doubles as a senior in 2009-10 to finish with a school-record 40 career double-doubles. Griffin also produced 10 double-doubles as a sophomore in 2006-07.
Nebraska's 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings produced back-to-back seasons with 13 double-doubles as a sophomore (1990-91) and junior (1991-92) on her way to 36 career double-doubles. Jennings' double-double totals are school class records for both sophomores and juniors at NU.
Nafeesah Brown added 16 double-doubles as a senior 1993-94, the second-highest season total in Nebraska history, while her 24 career double-doubles in just two seasons rank third. Carol Garey is the only other player at Nebraska with 10 double-doubles in a season. She accomplished the feat in 1978-79.
With 13 double-doubles in the first 52 games of her career, Hooper already is tied for eighth in school history in career double-doubles. She needs five more to match two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge in seventh on the Husker career chart with 18.
Burke to Join Nebraska Top 10 in Games Played
Husker senior Kaitlyn Burke is expected to make her 22nd straight start and 70th of her career on Thursday night against Purdue, while playing in the 123rd game of her Nebraska career. When the 5-7 guard from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada takes the floor she will join the top 10 on Nebraska's career games played list. Three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection Kiera Hardy (2005-08) and fellow Canadian Chelsea Aubry (2004-07) are currently tied for ninth in the NU record book with 123 games played.
With seven regular-season games remaining, Burke could climb into a tie for second on Nebraska's games played chart with 130. The NU record for career games played is held by Janet Smith (1979-82) with 136.
Hooper's Back-to-Back 15-Board Efforts Rare in NU History
Jordan Hooper produced one of the best weeks on the glass in Nebraska history with her 15-rebound effort againt Iowa Jan. 26, followed by a career-high 16-rebound performance at Illinois on Jan. 29.
Hooper became just the third Husker in history to grab 15 or more boards in back-to-back games, joining Janet Smith and Pyra Aarden in accomplishing the feat. Aarden was the last Husker to pull down 15 or more in consecutive games with 20 rebounds against Bowling Green on Dec. 10, 1994, followed by 15 rebounds against Northern Iowa on Dec. 18, 1994.
Janet Smith, Nebraska's all-time rebounding leader, pulled down 15 or more rebounds a school-record 14 times in her career, including 10 times in 1980-81. Smith grabbed 15 or more in back-to-back games on two occasions in 1980-81, first with 18 rebounds in a home win over Northwest Missouri State (Jan. 28) and then 21 boards against South Dakota (Jan. 30) with both games at the Devaney Center. In the return trips to the same schools she pulled down 17 rebounds at USD (Feb. 14) and Northwest Missouri State (Feb. 17) in consecutive games.
No player in Nebraska history has ever recorded 15 or more rebounds in three consecutive games.
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., leads the Big Ten in rebounding (9.5 rpg) while ranking third in the conference in scoring (19.7 ppg). She also ranks among Big Ten leaders in three-pointers made (4th, 2.2 pg) and three-point percentage (15th, .336), while ranking 12th in free throw percentage (.785). Hooper also leads the conference in defensive rebounding (6.5 drbpg) and ranks second on the offensive glass (3.0 orbpg). Hooper ranks 16th nationally in scoring, while her 10 double-doubles lead the Big Ten and are tied for 15th nationally.
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 sixth in the conference in scoring (16.0 ppg) and second in assists (5.8 apg). She ranks fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6-to-1) and fifth in steals (2.3 spg), while ranking 10th in overall field goal percentage (.466). She also ranks 11th in free throw percentage (.788). Moore ranks 15th nationally in assists and is tied for 98th in scoring.
Freshman Cady Heating Up for Huskers
Emily Cady has turned up her production over the last 13 games for the Huskers. The 6-2 freshman forward from Seward, Neb., has averaged 13.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game over the last 13 contests. She also leads the Huskers with nine blocked shots in that span.
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 10.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game by hitting 57-of-114 shots from the field (.500) including 13-of-26 three-point attempts (.500) over the past 13 games. She also has hit 45-of-62 (.726) of her free throws, after opening the year 8-of-16 at the line through the first eight games.
Cady ranks among the top five Huskers in every statistical category, including scoring (3rd), rebounding (2nd), assists (3rd), steals (3rd) and blocked shots (1st). She also ranks among the top 20 rebounders in the Big Ten.
She has been at her best in Big Ten play, averaging 13.7 points and 6.1 rebounds through nine league contests, while hitting 10-of-23 three-pointers (.435). To put Cady's conference numbers in perspective, 2011 Big 12 All-Freshman selection Jordan Hooper averaged 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in 16 conference games a year ago.
Cady Captures First Big Ten Freshman Honor
Nebraska's Emily Cady captured the first Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week award in Husker women's basketball history when she earned the conference honor on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., produced the best week of her Husker career by averaging 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game against Ohio State and Minnesota. Cady erupted for a career-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field at No. 10 Ohio State, before adding 13 points, seven rebounds and a career-high three three-pointers in Nebraska's win over Minnesota.
Burke, Moore Join Husker Three-Point Century Club
Nebraska starting guards Lindsey Moore and Kaitlyn Burke became the eighth and ninth Huskers in history to join the school's three-point century club in the win over Iowa Jan. 26. Moore joined teammate Jordan Hooper (113) in the group of players to hit 100 career threes by knocking down her 100th triple with 15:20 left in the game. Less than 14 minutes later, Hooper and Moore were joined by Burke, who buried a clutch three from the right wing with the shot clock winding down and 1:37 left in the game to give the Huskers a 57-51 lead.
Record Seven Huskers Own Double-Digit Threes This Season
Nebraska leads the Big Ten and ranks 19th nationally with 7.3 three-pointers made per game this season. Unlike some teams that have two or three big guns from long range, nearly all the Huskers can knock it down from beyond the arc. In fact, with Kaitlyn Burke's 10th three of the season coming against Minnesota, the Huskers have a school-record seven players who have hit 10 or more threes on the year.
Sophomore Jordan Hooper leads the Huskers with 46 made threes, while junior Lindsey Moore has pumped in 27. Nebraska's next four highest three-point totals come from freshmen, including Rebecca Woodberry (18), Emily Cady (15), Brandi Jeffery (14) and Tear'a Laudermill (13), while the senior Burke has added 11 of her own.
Three other Huskers have hit two or more threes on the year, including Meghin Williams (2-3, .667), Katie Simon (3-7, .429) and Adrianna Maurer (2-5, .400).
As another example to Nebraska's team approach to three-point shooting, nine of the 10 active Huskers attempted at least one three-pointer in the win over Iowa Jan. 26. The only Husker who didn't was Simon, who played just one minute off the bench in the first half against the Hawkeyes.
Comparing Classes: Freshmen Challenge Best in Husker History
Nebraska's freshman class is stacking up well statistically against the best groups in Husker history. NU's group of six 2011-12 freshmen (Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill, Hailie Sample, Katie Simon, Rebecca Woodberry) have already amassed 601 points, 372 rebounds, 98 assists, 31 blocks and 96 steals through 21 games.
The 2009-10 Husker seniors made up the most successful class in school history with a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances from their freshman year in 2006-07 of their senior year. The 2009-10 seniors won three career NCAA Tournament games and advanced to the 2010 NCAA Sweet 16.
Nebraska's 2006-07 freshmen were led by 2010 All-Big 12 seniors Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner and included fellow freshmen Nicole Neals, Kala Kuhlmann and Nikki Bober. The group of five Huskers combined for 325 points, 158 rebounds, 61 assists, nine blocked shots and 38 steals as freshmen.
A similarly successful freshman class in Husker history was the 1996-97 class of All-Big 12 guards Nicole Kubik and Brooke Schwartz, center Charlie Rogers and forward Naciska Gilmore. That foursome led NU to three straight NCAA tournaments, including a first-round victory in 1998. They combined for 578 points, 286 rebounds, 134 assists, 29 blocks and 155 steals as freshmen.
Huskers Climb Three Spots to No. 16 in AP Top 25
Nebraska moved up three spots to No. 16 in the Monday, Jan. 30 Associated Press Poll, earning a spot in the top 25 for the eighth straight week.
Nebraska is one of four Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25, joining Ohio State (11th), Purdue (15th), Nebraska (16th) and Penn State (19th). Michigan State is also receiving votes in the AP Poll. The Huskers, who achieved a No. 4 ranking in the final 2010 AP Poll, spent one week at No. 24 in the AP rankings in 2010-11 (Nov. 29, 2010).
Nebraska climbed three spots in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25 on Tuesday, Jan. 31, coming in at No. 18 with 226 votes. Four Big Ten teams are ranked in the coaches poll, including No. 11 Ohio State, No. 17 Purdue and No. 21 Penn State.
Hooper Claims Three Big Ten Weekly Award in Four Weeks
Nebraska sophomore Jordan Hooper captured her third Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award in a four-week span when she claimed the conference's weekly honor for the second straight week on Monday, Jan. 2.
Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., produced her third 30-point scoring performance in four games with 31 points in Nebraska's 71-63 win at No. 16 Penn State on Dec. 30. She added her third straight double-double with 12 rebounds. Hooper hit 11-of-21 shots from the field, including 4-of-11 three-pointers against the Lady Lions. She also went 5-of-6 at the free throw line, while adding an assist, and a block in 33 minutes.
Hooper owns 11 20-point efforts after producing five in 31 games a year ago. Her 10 double-doubles are seven more than she produced as a freshman, when she earned a spot on the five-player Big 12 All-Freshman Team.
Hooper also was named the National Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com for the first time on Monday, Jan. 2.
Huskers Loving Life on the Line
Nebraska has been making a living at the free throw line this season. The Huskers have outscored 19 of their 21 opponents at the free throw line this year, producing a total edge of 353-216 (+137 points) at the line. If fact, Nebraska has already surpassed its total of made free throws (320) from 31 games a year ago. In 2009-10, the Huskers outscored the opposition 595-304 in 34 games.
Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore are both nearly 80 percent shooters from the line and both have attempted more than 100 free throws. Both Hooper (95) and Moore (93) have made more free throws already this year than any previous season of their careers.
Fifth-year senior Kaitlyn Burke has also set her career high for free throws made in a season with 28. Burke's previous best was set with 18 as a freshman in 2007-08. Junior forward Meghin Williams has hit 13 free throws on the year, surpassing her previous career total (9) in 31 games coming into 2011-12. In fact, with six freshmen on the roster, 10 of Nebraska's 12 players have already established career highs for free throws made in a season. The only Huskers who haven't are Adrianna Maurer and Harleen Sidhu who have been limited by injuries.
Scouting The No. 15 Purdue Boilermakers
Coach Sharon Versyp leads traditional Big Ten women's basketball power Purdue into Thursday's game with Nebraska in West Lafayette, Ind. Versyp owns a 129-65 record in her sixth season as Purdue's head coach, including a 21-12 mark last season. The Boilermakers went 9-7 and finished seventh in the Big Ten last season despite multiple injuries and illnesses, but advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Purdue won the NCAA title in 1999, and has advanced to 21 NCAA tournaments in the past 23 years, including 12 NCAA Sweet Sixteens and Women's Final Four appearances in 1994, 1999 and 2001. Purdue owns seven Big Ten regular-season titles and seven more Big Ten Tournament crowns.
Nebraska will face Purdue for the first time in school history when the Huskers head to Mackey Arena. Purdue enters the game atop the Big Ten standings with an 8-1 conference mark and an 18-4 overall record. However, the Boilermakers will be trying to rebound from their first Big Ten loss, which came in a 59-42 setback at Iowa Saturday.
Prior to the loss to the Hawkeyes, who the Huskers swept in regular-season Big Ten play, Purdue had reeled off 11 straight wins dating back to a 75-62 loss over Central Michigan. But the Boilermakers will be playing their first ranked team in Big Ten action when they face the Huskers.
Purdue wins with defense. The Boilermakers hold opponents to a Big Ten-best 53.9 points per game for the season and have held five conference foes to 55 points or less. On the season, Purdue is 15-0 when holding opponents to 55 points or less, but just 3-4 when the opposition gets more than 55 points. In only one of their four losses (Central Michigan) has Purdue scored 55 points.
Purdue has held the opposition to just 33.6 percent shooting from the field and just 29 percent from three-point range. Opponents have hit just 66.2 percent of their free throws.
Offensively, Purdue is shooting just 39.2 percent, including 30.4 percent from three-point range. The Boilers are a solid 72.6 percent at the free throw line, but have been outrebounded 38.7-38.4 on the year, including a negative-1.9 margin in Big Ten play. Purdue owns a plus-2.9 turnover margin on the season, including plus-4.4 in the conference.
Senior Brittany Rayburn, a 6-0 guard, leads Purdue with 14.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 36.7 percent from three-point range. Earlier this season, Rayburn set an NCAA record by hitting 12 threes in a win at Minnesota. She has scored more than 1,600 career points. Courtney Moses, a 5-6 sophomore guard, joins Rayburn in double figures with 10.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, while Lincoln native and fellow 5-6 sophomore guard KK Houser has added 9.7 points, 2.5 rebounds and team highs of 4.0 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
Forward Sam Ostarello, a 6-2 junior, leads the Boilermakers' inside game with 7.5 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game, while 6-4 senior center Chelsea Jones rounds out the starting five with 3.4 points and 3.8 boards per contest.
Purdue carries a deep, talented and experienced bench led by 6-0 senior Antoinette Howard, who is averaging 7.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Senior Alex Guyton, a 6-3 forward, has contributed 5.3 points and 2.9 boards per contest, while 5-10 junior guard Chantel Poston is averaging 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest. Dee Dee Williams, a 6-0 sophomore guard, is the ninth Boilermaker to compete in all 22 games this season, pitching 1.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.
Huskers Roll to 20-Point Win at Illinois
Lindsey Moore scored a game-high 20 points and Jordan Hooper produced her 10th double-double of the year with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lead No. 19 Nebraska a 67-47 win at Illinois Sunday.
Moore scored seven straight points in a crucial stretch late in the second half to seal the win for the Huskers. Moore added four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Hooper had the worst shooting game of her young career, going just 4-of-24 from the field and just 1-of-12 from three-point range. Despite her poor shooting day, Hooper still contributed in a big way with a career high on the boards for the second straight game after grabbing 15 rebounds in Thursday's win over Iowa.
Freshman Emily Cady pitched in 17 points and five rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 game at the free throw line. Freshman guard Tear'a Laudermill hit a pair of big three-pointers and junior forward Meghin Williams added six points of her own to go along with four rebounds and two assists off the bench.
Nebraska hit just 33.3 percent (21-63) of its shots from the field, including just 4-of-20 three-pointers, but hit 21-of-25 free throws on the day. The Huskers also dominated the turnover battle, 23-14, but were outrebounded 45-43 on the day.
Illinois got a double-double from Ivory Crawford with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but Crawford hit just 3-of-17 shots from floor. Lydia McCully added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Kersten Magrum gave the Illini three players in double figures with 10 points off the bench.
The Huskers held preseason first-team All-Big Ten forward Karisma Penn to just three points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field in 30 minutes of action, and the rest of the Illini combined for just 12 points. NU held Illinois to just 29.3 percent (17-58) shooting, including just 1-of-9 from three-point range. Illinois did hit 12-of-17 free throws.
The Huskers turned all the little things into a big 18-point lead at halftime. Nebraska forced 15 Illini turnovers and turned the Illinois miscues into 16 points in the first half. The Huskers also pulled down 12 offensive boards and turned them into 20 second-chance points in the first half alone.
Hooper led the Huskers on the glass in the first half, finishing with nine points and 11 boards in the opening 20 minutes. Cady averaged 13 points and three rebounds, while Moore added nine points, three boards, three assists and three steals at the half.
Nebraska led 40-22 despite hitting just 12-of-36 shots from the field and just 3-of-10 three-pointers. The Huskers outrebounded the Illini 24-21, and won the turnover battle 15-6. NU also went 13-of-14 at the free throw line.
Huskers Showing Major Gains from 2010-11
Nebraska could contend for honors as one of the nation's most improved teams in 2011-12. The Huskers, who enter the week at 18-3 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, have won five more games overall and four more conference games than they did a year ago when they finished 13-18 and 3-13 in the Big 12.
The Huskers ranked No. 29 in this week's official NCAA RPI (Jan. 30) after finishing 2010-11 at No. 101 in the final RPI rankings.
Hooper Joins Another Alliance Legend in Husker History
With 31 points and 12 rebounds in Nebraska's win at No. 16 Penn State on Dec. 30, Jordan Hooper produced her third 30-point performance in a four-game stretch. That feat has only been accomplished one other time in Nebraska history, when fellow Alliance, Neb., native Amy Stephens achieved it as a senior in February of 1989.
Stephens, who is the No. 4 scorer in Nebraska history with 1,976 points, is the only Husker in history to score 30 points in three straight games (Feb. 4 at Kansas-37; Feb. 8 vs. Oklahoma-40; Feb. 11 vs. Kansas State-34). She did not reach 30 in a loss at Oklahoma State on Feb. 15, 1989, but pumped in 36 points in a home win over Missouri on Feb. 18 - the second-to-last home game of her Husker career.
Stephens finished second in Nebraska history with nine career 30-point games, trailing only 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings' 12 among all Huskers. Hooper's four career 30-point games already tie her for sixth all-time. at Nebraska. She is one of just seven Huskers in history to score 30 three times in a season.
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 pumped in 31 points Dec. 30 at No. 16 Penn State to give her three 30-point efforts in four games.
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 68 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 1993 Wade Trophy winner, produced 12 30-point games.
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 21 games, and all 12 players on the roster have contributed.
Nebraska's five starters (Jordan Hooper, Lindsey Moore, Emily Cady, Kaitlyn Burke and Hailie Sample) have combined to average 53.5 points (1,123 points/21 games) and 24.8 rebounds (521). The seven Huskers who have come off the bench have combined to average 20.1 points (423) and 13.6 rebounds (285) per contest. Nine of Nebraska's 10 active players (Adrianna Maurer and Harleen Sidhu are out with injury) are averaging double-figure minutes per game. Nebraska has used at least nine players in all 21 games.
Women of Steal
Nebraska's full-court pressure has bothered opponents early in the season. The Huskers have already recorded 191 steals this season, averaging 9.1 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. The school record for steals in a season is 433 in 1979-80.
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), NU's 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 21 games, Nebraska carries a plus-5.2 rebound margin and has outrebounded 15 of its 21 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.
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), Indiana (40-38) and Minnesota (49-41) in Lincoln, and beat Florida State (42-41), Northern Arizona (51-43), No. 16 Penn State (53-46), Iowa (34-28) and No. 10 Ohio State (43-39) on the boards on the road.
The Huskers were outrebounded at Florida A&M (49-42) Nov. 25, at Georgia Tech (54-32) Nov. 30, at Wisconsin (36-32) Jan. 12, and at Illinois (45-43) Jan. 29. NU also lost the battle of the boards at home to Penn State (48-30)Jan. 15, and to Iowa (41-40) Jan. 26.
Moore Making Mark as One of Nation's Best Point Guards
Through 21 games, Lindsey Moore has displayed her continued improvement at point guard by averaging 16.0 points and team bests of 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals in 30 minutes per game. The 2011 honorable-mention All-Big 12 performer from Covington, Wash., is shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 78.8 percent from the free throw line. She ranks 15th nationally and second in the Big Ten in assists.
Moore, who has scored in double figures in 31 of the past 34 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 added 28 points and five assists at Wisconsin on Jan. 12, after producing 27 points and six assists in a win over South Dakota State (Dec. 21). She set career highs by hitting 13-of-14 free throws against the Jacks.
Moore owns six 20-point performances this season, including team highs of 22 points, seven rebounds, 11 assists and three steals in a win at Iowa (Jan. 8). Moore had a hand in NU's final 19 points in a game that was tied at 58 before ending in a 77-72 Husker win. It was her fourth career double-double and second of the year. She also has two double-figure assist games this year and five in her career, including 18 points and 11 assists in a win over Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15. She added 22 points and six assists in NU's win over No. 23 USC (Nov. 18) and is coming off a 20-point effort at Illinois Jan. 29. She owns 12 career 20-point games.
In a win at No. 16 Penn State, Moore had 16 points, four assists, four rebounds and a steal. She added 18 points in the loss to the Lady Lions in Lincoln Jan. 15. 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. She added 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and four steals in a win over Iowa Jan. 26.
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
Lindsey Moore has climbed into Nebraska's career top five in assists with 458 (4th) in less than three seasons at Nebraska. The 5-9 point guard from Covington, Wash., tied a career high with 11 assists in the win at Iowa Jan. 8. It was her second double-figure assist game of the season (Mississippi Valley State-11).
Moore owns 121 assists through 21 games this season and to climb into fifth on NU's junior single-season assist list. She needs just 23 more to catch Jina Johansen (144, 2003-04) and 26 more to reach Amy Stephens (147, 1987-88) in third on that list.
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.
Through 21 games, Hooper is Nebraska's leading scorer and rebounder, nearly averaging a double-double with 19.7 points and 9.5 rebounds in 28 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.
As a sophomore, Hooper has become one of only two players in school history to score 30 points in back-to-back games and one of only three players in school history to pull down 15 rebounds in back-to-back contests.
Hooper ranks third in the Big Ten in scoring and leads the league in rebounding, while also ranking 16th nationally in scoring and 43rd in rebounding. She is tied for 15th in the NCAA statistics with 10 double-doubles.
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. Nine days later, Hooper struck again with 31 points and 12 rebounds in NU's win at No. 16 Penn State. It was Hooper's fourth career 30-point game (31 at Missouri, Feb. 2, 2011).
In between 30-point efforts, Hooper struck for 21 points and a then-career-high 14 rebounds in a win over Vermont. She owns 17 career 20-point performances, including 11 this season. She also carries 12 career double-doubles, with her most recent coming with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds at Illinois Jan. 19. She also had 22 points and a then-career-high 15 rebounds in a win over Iowa Jan. 26. She managed 19 points and 14 rebounds at No. 10 Ohio State Jan. 19, and poured in 23 points in a win over Minnesota Jan. 22.
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.
Overall, Hooper has scored in double figures in 46 of 52 career games, including all 21 in 2011-12. She produced one of the best performances by a freshman in school history with 31 points and eight rebounds 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. It was just the second 30-point game in school history by a freshman, joining 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin's 31 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 27, 2005.
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 13 career double-doubles, including 25 points and a season-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 46 more threes in 2011-12, which is the fourth-best total by a sophomore in Nebraska history. She needs just three more to match current teammate Lindsey's Moore's sophomore total of 49, which ranks No. 3 on the NU class charts.
Hooper ranks fourth in the Big Ten with 2.2 three-pointers made per game this season, while ranking 15th (.336) in the Big Ten in three-point percentage
In 52 career games, Hooper has hit 113 three-pointers to rank seventh on the Nebraska 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 21 games this season. Overall, the six newcomers have combined for 601 points (28.6 ppg), 362 rebounds (17.2 rpg), 98 assists (4.7 apg) and 96 steals (4.6 spg) in 2,119 minutes. They have helped the Huskers to a top 20 national ranking, an 18-3 start and three wins over ranked teams at game time (USC, at Florida State, at Penn State).
The six players they replaced on Nebraska's roster from a year ago combined to average 25.8 points, 17.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game.
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 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). Jeffery ranks seventh on the team in scoring with 4.3 points to go along with 2.0 rebounds and 1.3 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 5.0 points and 3.9 boards per game. She erupted for career highs of 14 and four three-pointers on a perfect shooting night from the field at Wisconsin Jan. 12. She also pulled down five boards against the Badgers, but sprained an ankle late in the game and did not play in the loss to Penn State Jan. 15. She only played five minutes at No. 10 Ohio State Jan. 19.
Woodberry added a 13-point, seven-rebound effort against Vermont. She 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 eight times and grabbed five or more rebounds on eight occasions. She owns four double-figure scoring efforts.
Arguably Nebraska's most electrifying player off the bench has been true freshman Tear'a Laudermill, who ranks fifth on the team with 5.1 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 eight of her first 15 games. She missed five games with illness and injury in December, but opened January with nine points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal in NU's win over Indiana on Jan. 5. She added seven points and two rebounds in a loss to Penn State Jan. 15, before hitting a pair of three-pointers to finish with six points in Nebraska's win at Illinois Jan. 29.
Freshmen Cady, Sample, Simon 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 all 21 games, while Simon has been a steady contributor off the bench. Cady and Simon make up one of only two starting freshman combos in the Big Ten, joining Northwestern's Morgan Jones and Karly Roser. Only six other Big Ten freshmen (Samantha Logic-Iowa, Kalpana Beach-Ohio State, Rachel Banham-Minnesota, Ivory Crawford-Illinois, Nicole Elmblad-Michigan, Kiana Johnson-Michigan State, ) have been regular starters this season
Cady, a 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., registered the best game of her career with 24 points and seven rebounds in just 26 minutes at No. 10 Ohio State. Cady added 18 points, nine rebounds and a career-high five steals in Nebraska's win over Indiana on Jan. 5. She pumped in 18 points to go along with six rebounds in a win over Vermont Dec. 18. She added 14 points and four rebounds in a win at Iowa on Jan. 8, and pitched in 13 points, seven rebounds and a career-high three three-pointers in a win over Minnesota Jan. 22. She also had 13 points and blocked to shots against Penn State Jan. 15, after producing 11 points and four boards at Wisconsin Jan. 12. She had nine points and seven rebounds in a win over Iowa Jan. 26, before putting up 17 points and five rebounds at Illinois Jan. 29.
Over the last 13 games, Cady has dramatically increased her production, averaging 13.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals and nearly one block per game. She has scored double figures nine times in the past 13 games and 10 times overall on the season.
Cady ranks third on the team in scoring (10.0 ppg), second in rebounding (5.9 rpg), third in assists (1.5 apg), is tied for second in steals (1.3 spg) and leads the Huskers with 15 blocks on the year. She ranks 19th in the Big Ten in rebounding and is fifth among all conference players on the offensive glass (2.6 orbpg).
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 10 double-figure scoring efforts, Cady owns a trio of double-digit rebounding marks, including career highs of 10 rebounds in wins at No. 16 Penn State, over No. 23 USC and at Northern Arizona.
Sample, a 6-1 forward from Flower Mound, Texas, produced a career-best 10 points to go along with seven rebounds in the win over Minnesota Jan. 22. She added a career-high 10 rebounds in the win over USC. She contributed 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, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. Her 26 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 50 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent (3-7) from three-point range. The 6-2 forward from Roseville, Calif., is averaging 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds per contest.
Senior Burke Leading Huskers On and Off the Court
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. Unfortunately, Burke did not advance to be one of the prestigious award's 10 national finalists when that group was announced Jan. 25.
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 122 games for the Huskers since starting her career at NU in 2007-08. She has made 69 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 4.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists while starting all 21 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. She added three points and season highs of six rebounds and six assists in Nebraska's 71-63 win at No. 16 Penn State on Dec. 30, before scoring seven points to go along with two assists in NU's win at Iowa Jan. 8. She scored all six of her points in the second half, including a pair of clutch one-and-one free throws with 17.3 seconds left in a 75-69 win at Wisconsin Jan. 12. She added eight points on 3-for-3 shooting to go along with four assists against Penn State Jan. 15.
Burke is tied for eighth on Nebraska's career three-point list (100) and joined the top 20 on the Huskers' career assist list with a season-high five at Northern Arizona. She ranks 18th with 257 career assists. She needs 12 more to catch Kathy Hagerstrom in 17th (269). With 52 assists this season, Burke needs 48 more to join the career top 10. 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.
A CoSIDA Academic All-America nominee, the two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection carries a 3.570 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 Pace for Another Big 3FG Season
Through 21 games, it looks like the 2011-12 Huskers have a chance to threaten their record-setting three-point numbers from the past two seasons. Nebraska has averaged a Big Ten-best 7.3 threes per game, which ranks 19th nationally.
Nebraska's 151 made threes rank as the seventh-highest season total in school history and the Huskers need just four more threes to climb to sixth and 10 more to reach the top-five team totals in NU history. The Huskers' 485 attempts already rank in the single-season top five.
The Huskers have hit seven or more threes in 11 of their 21 games to open 2011-12 (UAPB-9, MVSU-14, at Florida State-9, UTPA-7, Northern Arizona-10, Vermont-8, South Dakota State-8, at Iowa-10, Penn State-7, at Ohio State-7, Minnesota-8).
NU hit a season-best 14 three-pointers on 26 attempts against Mississippi Valley State, which marked the second-highest total in school history. It trailed only the 17 threes the Huskers hit against Vermont (17-33) to open the 2010-11 season. Nebraska also connected on 10-of-19 threes in a win at Iowa on Jan. 8, after hitting 10-of-22 threes at Northern Arizona on Dec. 10.
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. NU hit seven or more threes in 17 of 31 games. 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.
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 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). She chose Nebraska over Xavier, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, Dayton and Washington among others.
Huskers Earning Reputation as Comeback Kids in Big Ten
Nebraska's young group of Huskers has shown the ability to battle back from adversity home and away early in their first Big Ten season. In fact, NU came back from at least three-possession deficits in four of its first seven Big Ten victories, including double-digit comebacks at Penn State and Wisconsin and in the Huskers' lone home Big Ten win over Indiana.
In the first meeting with Penn State, the Huskers trailed by 11 on two occasions in the first half, before tying the game at halftime. In the second half, NU trailed by nine at 56-47 with 11 minutes left before rallying for the eight-point win at the preseason Big Ten-favorite Lady Lions.
In a 62-48 win over Indiana on Jan. 5, the Huskers trailed 16-6 early before building a 22-point second-half lead on their way to victory.
In a 77-72 victory at Iowa Jan. 8, NU trailed by eight points on two occasions in the second half, the last coming at 46-38 with 14 minutes left, before executing down the stretch for a five-point road win.
Jan. 12 at Wisconsin, the Huskers trailed by 11 on two occasions in the first half, the last at 38-27 with just over one minute left. After battling back to take a second-half lead, the Huskers trailed by seven at 61-54 with nine minutes left before making the plays at crunch time to bring home a 75-69 win.
In all three Big Ten road wins, Nebraska trailed by three possessions between the nine- and 15-minute marks in the second half. In all three road wins, the Huskers made a decisive play between the 13- and 18-second marks. At Penn State, Jordan Hooper's long three sealed the Lady Lions' fate to make it 69-63 NU with 16.5 seconds left. At Iowa, Hooper's baseline jumper with 13 seconds left put the Huskers up 75-70. At Wisconsin, Kaitlyn Burke's two free throws in a one-and-one situation with 17.3 seconds left gave NU a 71-67 lead.
To put Nebraska's recent double-digit comebacks in perspective, the Huskers have won four games this season (also Florida State) when trailing by 10 or more points. In Coach Connie Yori's previous nine seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers had produced a total of 10 double-digit come-from-behind victories.
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 is in 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 full-time basis.
"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 18 weeks on the road to recovery. The pain has gradually subsided 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.
"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."
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.
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.
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 all 29 of its regular-season games scheduled to appear 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 seven times (Creighton, Dec. 8; at Iowa, Jan. 8; Ohio State, Jan. 19 and Feb. 26; Minnesota, Jan. 22 and Feb. 13; Wisconsin, Feb. 19) 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 The Wolf 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 set the dates for three Backboard Events in 2011-12, which are held in the Coaches Club in the southeast corner of the upper concourse at the Devaney 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 held the second Backboard Event prior to Nebraska's Big Ten Conference clash with Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 15. The luncheon began at 12:30 p.m., prior to a 2:05 p.m. tip.
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.
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 was Sunday, Jan. 8, when the Huskers headed to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
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 11-1 record at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Since the Devaney Center opened in 1976-77, the Huskers are 373-124 (.751) in games played in the arena, including 139-83 (.626) in conference games. Since 2003-04, NU is 109-28 (.796) at the Devaney Center.
NU has posted double-figure home victory totals in eight 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.
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 at No. 16 Penn State (Dec. 30) marked Nebraska's 22nd win over an AP Top 25 foe under Yori, including the Huskers' second this season. NU also knocked off AP No. 23 USC Nov. 18.
Nebraska's 83-70 win over No. 22 UCLA in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament marked the Huskers' eighth top-25 win 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.
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.
NU has attracted more than 5,000 fans per game for each of its first four Big Ten home games, including a season-high 7,752 fans for the Penn State game Jan. 15. The Huskers are averaging 6,084 fans per game in Big Ten play and 3,896 fans through 12 home contests overall. The Huskers rank 23rd nationally in attendance.
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.