Huskers Face Fresno State in NCAA First Round
No. 4 Seed Nebraska Cornhuskers
(#13/#12, 25-6, 12-4 Big Ten)
vs. No. 13 Fresno State Bulldogs
(22-10, 13-5 Mountain West)
Saturday, March 22, 3:15 p.m. (Central)
Pauley Pavilion - Los Angeles, Calif. (UCLA)
Radio: 25-Station IMG College Husker Sports Network
(PBP-Matt Coatney; Analyst-Jeff Griesch)
107.3 FM KBBK-Lincoln; 93.3 FM KFFF-Omaha; 880 AM KRVN, Lexington
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
National Television: ESPN2 (PBP-Dave Pasch, Analyst-Doris Burke)
NCAA Lincoln Regional Tickets: Huskers.com / 1-800-8-BIG-RED
No. 13 Huskers Head to Los Angeles as No. 4 Seed in NCAA Tourney
The No. 13 Nebraska women’s basketball team heads to Los Angeles as a No. 4 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will square off with Mountain West Tournament champion and No. 13 seed Fresno State in the first round on Saturday at 3:15 p.m. (CT)
Nebraska fans interested in following the Huskers in person to Los Angeles can purchase tickets from NU’s official NCAA block by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIG-RED. All-session reserved tickets for the first- and second-round games at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus are $28, while general admission tickets are $18.
The game will be televised live by ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Doris Burke on the call. The first-round clash between the Huskers and Bulldogs will be carried live on radio by the Husker Sports Network with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on the call on flagships B107.3 FM in Lincoln, 93.3 FM KFFF in Omaha and 880 AM-KRVN in Lexington.
The Big Ten Tournament Champion Huskers enter the game as one of the nation’s hottest teams with 12 wins in their last 13 games, including four wins over top 25 foes. Nebraska ran to its first-ever conference tournament title with wins over Minnesota (80-67), No. 19 Michigan State (86-58) and No. 23 Iowa (72-65) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, March 7-9.
All-American Jordan Hooper headlines a Husker starting five that earned All-Big Ten honors for 2014 Big Ten Coach of the Year Connie Yori. Hooper, the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year, has averaged 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game this season, including 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds to earn a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Rachel Theriot, the Big Ten Tournament MVP, joined Hooper with first-team All-Big Ten honors. The 6-0 sophomore point guard averaged 18.7 points and a tournament-record 10.0 assists to increase her season averages to 14.3 points and 6.9 assists per game. Theriot dished out 18 assists against Minnesota on March 7, and owns a school-record 213 assists on the season.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (25-6, 12-4 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 6.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 12.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 20.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg
33 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - So. - G - 14.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg
1 - Tear’a Laudermill - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 11.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Off the Bench
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 3.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg
21 - Sadie Murren - 5-8 - So. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
10 - Hannah Tvrdy - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.4 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.1 ppg, 0.5 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
12th Season at NU (240-141); 24th Season Overall (435-281)
Fresno State Bulldogs (22-10, 13-5 Mountain West)
15 - Jacinta Vandenberg - 6-6 - So. - C - 5.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
5 - Bree Farley - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 13.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg
11 - Alex Furr - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 5.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
22 - Robin Draper - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 5.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg
33 - Taylor Thompson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 14.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Off the Bench
10 - Alex Sheedy - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
25 - Moriah Faulk - 5-10 - So. - G - 8.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg
42 - Toni Smith - 6-0 - So. - C - 4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg
1 - Raven Fox - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg
20 - Emilie Volk - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 2.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg
21 - Jessy Saint-Felix - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 2.3 ppg, 1.1 rpg
4 - Brittany Aikens - 5-9 - So. - G - 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg
2 - Courtney Gaze - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 0.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg
32 - Natascha Hartvich - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 0.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
Head Coach: Raegan Pebley (Colorado, 1997)
Second Season at Fresno State (46-19); 11th Season Overall (156-174)
Huskers vs. Bulldogs
Nebraska’s NCAA first-round matchup with Fresno State will be the first meeting in history between the two schools in women’s basketball. The Huskers did face one Mountain West Conference opponent this season, as NU ran to a 95-75 win over Utah State on Dec. 8 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln. The only other common opponent for the two teams this season was Washington State. NU dropped a 76-72 decision to WSU on Nov. 30, while Washington State defeated the Bulldogs 92-79 on Nov. 22.
The Pinnacle Awaits - Huskers Playing to Get Home
Nebraska heads to Los Angeles hoping to fight its way to two wins so the Huskers can return home to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the NCAA Lincoln Regional, March 29 and 31. The Big Red, who have not played host to an NCAA Tournament game in Lincoln since 1993, will need to find a way to get past No. 13 seed Fresno State in the first round, before they can think about a second-round matchup with either No. 5 NC State or No. 12 seed BYU.
All four teams in Los Angeles are formidable foes. Fresno State makes the short trip to UCLA riding an eight-game winning streak after running to the Mountain West Conference Tournament title for the second straight year under Coach Raegan Pebley. The Bulldogs are 22-10 overall after going 13-5 in regular-season Mountain West action. Fresno State opened the Mountain West Tournament with an 80-65 win at UNLV, before rolling to an 82-71 win over Nevada. The Bulldogs claimed the tournament title with a 77-68 victory over Colorado State. Fresno State finished No. 97 in the official NCAA RPI.
NC State earned the No. 5 seed in Los Angeles after an outstanding season in the ACC for Coach Wes Moore. If the Huskers can get past Fresno State and NC State can defeat No. 12 seed BYU, it would set up a rematch with Moore, who coached Chattanooga in an NCAA first-round clash with the Huskers last season in College Station, Texas. NU trailed by nine in the second half before rallying for a 73-59 win over Moore’s Mocs.
NC State enters the tournament ranked No. 16 by the AP after closing the year as the No. 18 RPI team in the nation. The Wolfpack went 11-5 in the ACC, including a 3-4 record down the stretch. Two of those four losses came to NCAA No. 1 seed Notre Dame, while also losing to NCAA No. 2 seed Duke and NCAA No. 4 seed North Carolina.
BYU finished as the West Coast Conference runner-up behind NCAA No. 6 seed Gonzaga. Coach Jeff Judkins and the Cougars went 26-6 and finished No. 38 in the final NCAA RPI. BYU handed Gonzaga its only loss in the last 20 games, defeating the Bulldogs 62-52 on Feb. 15, but Gonzaga avenged the loss with a 71-57 victory over the Cougars in the West Coast Conference Tournament on March 11.
Nebraska and BYU shared four common opponents this year. BYU defeated Washington State 80-73 on Nov. 26, before winning 52-51 at Creighton on Dec. 7. The Cougars lost to Utah, 82-74 in double-overtime on Dec. 14, before defeating Utah State, 84-74, on Dec. 21.
Huskers Earn Sixth NCAA Tournament Bid in Last Eight Years
Nebraska will be making its 12th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its sixth in the last eight seasons.
Over the past six years, the Huskers have produced five NCAA Tournament wins under Coach Connie Yori, after the program notched just two NCAA wins in the first 25 years of the NCAA Tournament.
Nebraska’s No. 4 seed is its second-highest in school history, trailing only the No. 1 seed the Huskers earned on their way to their first NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010. NU earned its second NCAA Sweet 16 spot as a No. 6 seed last season following wins over No. 11 seed Chattanooga, which was led by current NC State Coach Wes Moore, and third-seeded Texas A&M in College Station.
The Huskers notched their first NCAA Tournament win under Coach Yori with a 61-58 victory over Xavier at College Park, Md., in 2008.
Nebraska’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game resulted in a 100-82 loss to USC in Los Angeles in 1988. After producing their first NCAA win in their last NCAA home tournament appearance over San Diego in 1993, the Huskers were ousted from the 1993 NCAA Tournament by USC again in Los Angeles.
Nebraska is actually 0-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament in Los Angeles, including a 98-92 setback to No. 6 Kentucky as a No. 11 seed in the first round at Pauley Pavilion in 1999. NU is 0-4 all-time in the state of California in NCAA Tournament play, including a 66-62 loss as a No. 9 seed to No. 8 Colorado State at Stanford in 1996. NU’s 2014 first-round game against Fresno State will mark the first time the Huskers have been a higher seed in an NCAA Tournament game in California.
While the Huskers have not had success in the NCAA Tournament in the state of California, none of those losses have come under Coach Connie Yori. In fact, in regular season play, the Huskers are 8-1 overall in California under Yori with seven consecutive wins dating back to a loss to Penn State in San Diego on Dec. 30, 2002.
Even more impressively, Nebraska is a perfect 16-0 against teams from the state of California in 12 seasons under Coach Yori. Overall, the Big Red have won 18 consecutive games against California teams dating back to a 77-66 loss at UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 3, 2000.
Nebraska Media Schedule in Los Angeles
UCLA will serve as the host of the NCAA first and second rounds at Pauley Pavilion, March 22 and 24. Ryan Finney (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the media coordinator for the event. As the top seed in the four team sub-regional, Nebraska is scheduled to hold the first team press conference, beginning at 10:50 a.m. (PT)/12:50 p.m. (CT) on Friday, March 21. Coach Connie Yori and two players will be available during the formal press conference and all the Huskers will be available to media in the locker room for a half hour beginning with the start of the press conference.
Nebraska will practice from 11:30 a.m. (PT)/1:30 p.m. (CT) to 1 p.m. (PT)/3 p.m. (CT) on Friday. The first 15 minutes of the practice are open for media members to shoot photos or video and the rest of the practice will be closed to media.
Fresno State will hold its pre-tournament press conference at 12:30 p.m. (PT)/2 p.m. (CT). NC State will take the podium Friday at 2 p.m. (PT)/4 p.m. (CT) before BYU wraps up the practice day with 3:30 p.m. (PT)/5:30 p.m. (CT) press conference.
The official NCAA media hotel is the Hotel Angeleno, 170 North Church Lane, Los Angeles, Calif., 90049 (310) 476-6411. Media credential distribution begins on Friday at 9:30 a.m. (PT), Saturday at 11 a.m. (PT), Sunday at 10 a.m. (PT) and Monday at 4 p.m. (PT).
If Nebraska advances to the second round of the tournament, the Huskers will participate in a 30-minute press conference/open locker room from 11:20 a.m. (PT)/1:20 p.m. (CT) until 11:50 a.m. (PT)/1:50 p.m. (CT). The Huskers will practice immediately following the press conference.
Satellite uplink services are not provided during NCAA first and second round games, but will be provided for NCAA Regionals. Media members wishing to obtain news conference footage should plan accordingly.
Laudermill Headed Home for NCAA Tournament
Nebraska junior Tear’a Laudermill gets a free Spring Break trip home for the NCAA Tournament. The 5-9 guard from Riverside, Calif. (Canyon Springs High School) will be followed by family and friends throughout Nebraska’s stay in California.
The first-year starter earned second-team All-Big Ten honors after averaging 11.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. She also led the Huskers with 36 steals on the year and ranked second on the team with 56 made threes.
It will be Laudermill’s second trip to Los Angeles as a Husker. Last season, Nebraska defeated USC, 74-65, on Nov. 23, 2012. Laudermill played a major role in the victory, scoring five points off the bench including the game’s biggest shot - a three-pointer as the shot clock expired with 1:54 left to give the Big Red the lead for good at 64-63.
Laudermill’s family has made frequent trips to different parts of the country to watch her play the past three seasons. Most recently, Tear’a’s father, Theron, mother, Pam, and brother, Theron II, were in attendance for Nebraska’s final two regular-season home games against No. 8 Penn State and Illinois. Against Penn State, Tear’a scored a career-high 27 points and tied the school record with seven three-pointers. She hit her first six threes of the game before finishing 7-of-10.
It was the first time her brother had seen her play a collegiate game in person. Theron II was a senior starter and leading scorer for Cal State San Bernardino in 2011-12. Their father played collegiately at UC Riverside and was an assistant coach on Tear’a’s high school team.
Husker Hot Shots - Nebraska’s Starting Five
#35, Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Sr., F, Alliance, Neb. (20.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg)
• Jordan Hooper earned Nebraska’s first Big Ten Player-of-the-Year award from the conference coaches. She is just the fourth Husker in history to claim a conference player-of-the-year honor joining Kelsey Griffin (Big 12, 2010), Karen Jennings (Big Eight, 1993) and Maurtice Ivy (Big Eight, 1988). NU’s first three conference players of the year are the only Huskers in history to have their jerseys retired.
• Hooper claimed first-team All-Big Ten honors for the third consecutive season. She is one of five Huskers in history to earn three first-team all-conference awards joining Kelsey Griffin (Big 12, 2007, 2008, 2010), Kiera Hardy (Big 12, 2005, 2006, 2007), Karen Jennings (Big Eight, 1991, 1992, 1993) and Maurtice Ivy (Big Eight, 1986, 1987, 1988).
• Hooper was named one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award for women’s basketball on Feb. 12. Fans can vote for Hooper daily at SeniorCLASSAward.com through March 24. Women’s basketball All-American Kelsey Griffin won Nebraska’s first-ever Senior CLASS Award across all sports in 2010. Volleyball All-American Gina Mancuso added an award in 2012.
• Hooper is one of 15 finalists for the Wooden Award in 2014.
• Hooper claimed a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team for the second time (2012, 2014) by averaging 22.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in leading the Huskers to their first-ever conference tournament title in 2014. Hooper notched double-doubles in two tournament games, including 33 points and 12 rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Minnesota and 18 points and 10 boards in the championship game victory over No. 23 Iowa on March 9.
• Hooper needs five rebounds to become the first player in Nebraska history and just the second Big Ten player all-time with 2,300 points and 1,100 rebounds. She is one of only three Huskers in history with 2,000 points and 1,000 boards (Jennings, Griffin) and one of only five Big Ten players in history with 2,000 points and 1,000 boards. She is one of only nine active NCAA Division I players to achieve those combined marks.
• Hooper has pushed her Nebraska career three-point record to 289. Hooper ranks fifth in Big Ten career threes. She needs five threes to catch Michigan State’s Lindsay Bowen (2003-06) in fourth at 294. Hooper needs six threes to match Illinois senior Amber Moore (295). Penn State’s Maggie Lucas (358) broke former Penn State star Kelly Mazzante’s previous Big Ten record of 357.
• Hooper has hit more threes (289) than any forward/center in Big Ten history. She is the active leader by a forward/center in NCAA Division I and one of only two forwards among the top 25 active shooters overall in Division I.
• Hooper ranks No. 2 at Nebraska in career points (2,314), trailing only 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings (2,405) on the Husker list.
• Hooper ranks second on the Nebraska career rebound chart with 1,095. Janet Smith owns the NU career record with 1,280 rebounds.
• Hooper owns 39 career double-doubles. Hooper, who has 13 double-doubles in 2013-14, needs one more to tie Kelsey Griffin’s school record of 40. Hooper and teammate Emily Cady (12) are the first Huskers to produce double-digit double-doubles in the same season.
• Hooper ranks No. 6 in Big Ten history with 2,314 points. She needs 91 points in the NCAA Tournament to tie Karen Jennings’ school record (2,405 points, 1990-93) and catch Purdue’s MaChelle Joseph (2,405 points, 1989-92) in fifth on the Big Ten all-time scoring list.
• Hooper owns 1,095 rebounds and needs 20 more to catch Ohio State’s Tracey Hall (1985-88) in eighth on the Big Ten’s all-time rebounding chart.
• Hooper ranks No. 8 nationally among all active NCAA Division I players with 2,314 career points. She ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten in scoring and No. 36 nationally with 20.3 points per game this season.
• Hooper ranks third in the Big Ten and 71st nationally with 9.2 rebounds per game. With 1,095 career rebounds, Hooper is tied for No. 15 among all active NCAA Division I players.
• Hooper will make her 130th straight start in Nebraska’s first-round NCAA Tournament game, which ranks second on NU’s all-time list. Lindsey Moore (2010-13) owns the Husker career record with 132 starts.
• Hooper has played more minutes (3,952) than any forward or center in Nebraska history. Karen Jennings ranks second among forwards/center in minutes played at NU with 3,369.
• Hooper has increased her single-season high to 40 assists, which is 15 more than her freshman and sophomore seasons combined (25), and 18 more than she distributed in 2012-13 (22). She needs seven more assists to match her career total entering this season.
• Hooper’s 73 career blocks rank 11th in NU history. She is No. 2 on the team with 16 in 2013-14.
• Hooper ranks third on the team with 31 steals this season.
• Hooper has the fewest turnovers (38) of any starting forward or center in the Big Ten. She had only 13 turnovers in conference games.
• Hooper is one of only seven forward/centers among 42 regulars in the Big Ten Conference with a positive assist-to-turnover ratio (40-to-38). Nebraska is the only team with two interior forwards posting positive assist-to-turnover ratios, as Emiy Cady carries 98 assists against just 65 turnovers (1.5-to-1).
• Hooper scored 200 points in 10 career conference tournament games (9 Big Ten, 1 Big 12) to set a Nebraska record. Hooper averaged 20.0 points and 8.2 rebounds in her career in conference tournament games. Hooper’s 82 career rebounds in conference tournament games are also a Husker career record, along with her 68 field goals made, 20 three-pointers made and 56 threes attempted, 44 free throws made and 55 free throws attempted. She has played in more conference tournament games than any other Husker in history.
• Hooper scored 184 points in nine career Big Ten Tournament games, which ranks fifth in Big Ten Tournament history, matching Purdue’s Shereka Wright at No. 5 on the career tournament scoring list with 184 (2001-04, 11 games).
• Hooper’s 33 points against Minnesota were the second-most ever scored by a Husker in a conference tournament game, trailing only Maurtice Ivy’s 35 against Kansas in the 1987 Big Eight Tournament. Hooper’s 14 field goals made against the Gophers were a Nebraska conference tournament record.
• Hooper has scored in double figures in 113 of her 128 career games, including 49 20-point performances. She owns 10 career 30-point efforts, including 33 points and 12 rebounds against Minnesota on March 7. Hooper had 33 points and 14 boards against Utah State (Dec. 8), 31 points and six threes against Indiana (Feb. 16) and 30 points and 11 rebounds against ORU (Dec. 29) this season. She has grabbed double-digit rebounds 44 times, including 14 this year.
#23, Emily Cady, 6-2, Jr., F, Seward, Neb. (12.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.2 apg)
• One of the Big Ten’s most versatile forwards, Emily Cady earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2014. She is tied for third in the Big Ten with 12 double-doubles, while ranking fourth in the league with 9.1 rebounds per game. She ranks 25th overall in scoring (12.6 ppg), fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5-to-1), seventh in free throw percentage (.861), seventh in field goal percentage (.498) and 11th in assists (3.2 apg). In Big Ten games-only, Cady ranked third with her 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio trailing only Husker point guard Rachel Theriot (2.7) and Iowa point guard Samantha Logic (2.2). Cady also ranked eighth in conference play in assists (4.1 apg). She had eight double-doubles in 16 conference games.
• Cady scored 15 points in NU’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal win over Minnesota on March 7 to become the 29th player in Husker history to score 1,000 points. She enters the NCAA Tournament at No. 28 on NU’s career scoring list with 1,026 points. She needs nine points to catch Alexa Johnson (2001-04) in 27th with 1,035 and 10 points to match Stacy Imming (1984-87) in 26th with 1,036. Cady is 22 points away from Cathy Owen (1982-85) in 25th with 1,048 points.
• Cady, who owns 1,026 points, 766 rebounds, 215 assists and 109 steals, is just the third player in Nebraska history with 1,000 points, 700 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 career steals, joining Maurtice Ivy and Anna DeForge.
• Cady owns 20 career double-doubles, which ranks eighth all-time at Nebraska. Cady needs one more double-double to catch Maurtice Ivy (1985-88) and Deb Powell (1982-85) in a tie for sixth with 21.
• Cady enters the NCAA Tournament with 766 rebounds to rank eighth all-time at Nebraska. She needs 12 boards to catch Maurtice Ivy (778, 1985-88) in seventh on the NU all-time list.
• Cady owns the 11th-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5-to-1) of any forward in NCAA Division I.
• The best passing forward in the Big Ten, Cady’s 98 assists lead all conference forwards. Her 1.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio also leads all players in the conference at the position. In Big Ten play, her 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio was better than every starting guard except first-team All-Big Ten point guards Rachel Theriot (Nebraska) and Samantha Logic (Iowa).
• Cady and teammate Jordan Hooper are two of only seven forward/centers among 42 regulars in the Big Ten Conference with positive assist-to-turnover ratios. Nebraska is the only team with two interior forwards posting positive assist-to-turnover ratios.
• Cady ranks 10th in NU history with 83 career blocks. She needs five more to catch Casey Leonhardt (88, 2000-01) in ninth on the Husker career chart. Only seven Huskers have 100 career blocks.
• No player in Husker history has 1,000 points, 900 rebounds, 200 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocks.
#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, So., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (14.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 6.9 apg)
• One of the best young point guards in the nation, Rachel Theriot earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after ranking second among the Huskers with 15.6 points per game in conference play. She also averaged a team-best 7.3 assists in Big Ten action, which ranked second in the league. Overall, Theriot is averaging 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists on the year.
• Theriot is coming off a tremendous performance in the Big Ten Tournament. She averaged 18.7 points and a tournament record 10.0 assists to win MVP honors while leading the Huskers to their first-ever conference tournament title. Theriot hit 56.4 percent of her shots from the field, including 5-of-10 threes and knocked down 7-of-8 free throws. She posted a 4.3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio (30-to-7).
• Theriot’s 30 assists in the Big Ten Tournament were a Nebraska single-season conference tournament record. She produced arguably the best passing game in Big Ten history in Nebraska’s Big Ten quarterfinal win over Minnesota March 7, dishing out a tournament-record-shattering 18 assists against just one turnover. The previous tournament record was 12 set by Helen Darling of Penn State against Illinois in 2000. The most assists by a Big Ten player against a Big Ten opponent came with 16 from Maggie Acuna of Illinois against Wisconsin in 2006.
• Theriot’s 18 assists were the second-most in a game in Nebraska history, trailing only 19 assists by Kathy Hawkins on Feb. 17, 1976 against Kearney State (now Nebraska-Kearney). Theriot’s assists are the most ever by a Husker against an NCAA Division I opponent, and the most in the last 37 seasons, covering nearly 1,200 games.
• Theriot’s 18 assists were the most in an NCAA Division I game this season.
• In two games against Minnesota this season, Theriot produced 47 points (23.5 ppg), 27 assists (13.5 apg) and just one turnover in 84 minutes.
• Theriot had a hand in 53 of Nebraska’s 80 points against Minnesota on March 7 (14 points, 39 points off 18 assists, including three assists on NU’s eight three-pointers. Theriot had 12 assists to Jordan Hooper and added three assists to Emily Cady and single assists to Hailie Sample, Tear’a Laudermill and Allie Havers.
• Theriot’s 35 assists in four career Big Ten Tournament games are the most by a Husker in history, surpassing Lindsey Moore’s 33 in 2012 and 2013 (6 games). Theriot’s 35 career assists trail only Moore in NU conference tournament history, trailing Moore’s 51 (9 games, Big 12/Big Ten, 2010-13).
• Over the last eight games, Theriot has averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. She produced four 20-point efforts during the stretch, 24 points and four assists in Nebraska’s Big Ten Championship Game win over No. 23 Iowa on March 9. She had 26 points, a career-high-tying seven rebounds and four assists in a win at Ohio State Feb. 20. She added 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists with no turnovers in a win over Indiana Feb. 16. She closed the regular season with 24 points, including a career-best 4-for-4 three-point shooting at No. 19 Purdue March 2. She added her third career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 18 assists in a win over Minnesota on March 7 to set a Big Ten Tournament assist record, before finishing with 18 points and eight assists against No. 19 Michigan State in the semifinals on March 8.
• Theriot shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent (25-50) from three-point range in Big Ten play this season. Her three-point shooting percentage led the Big Ten. Over the last eight games, Theriot has hit 62.5 percent (15-24) of her three-pointers, 54.1 percent (60-111) of her field goal attempts and 90.5 percent (19-21) of her free throws. She also has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.7-to-1 (63-17).
• Theriot owns 23 double-figure scoring efforts this season and 28 in her career. She had a career-high 33 points in an overtime win over Minnesota (Jan. 16). She added 28 points at Utah (Nov. 15), when she also had seven rebounds. She owns six career 20-point games, all coming this season.
• Theriot notched her third career double-double and fifth career double-digit assist game with 14 points and 18 assists against Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Her 18 assists were a career high, smashing the 12 assists she had against Michigan State on Feb. 8. She posted her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 assists against Michigan Jan. 29. She added a second double-double with 10 points and 11 assists at Wisconsin Feb. 5. She just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 assists in a win over No. 24 Michigan State Feb. 8.
• Theriot enters the NCAA Tournament with a school single-season record of 213 assists, using her 18 assists against Minnesota to become the first player in Husker history to post 200 assists in a season. Theriot broke the previous NU school record of 195 assists set by Meggan Yedsena in 1991-92 and tied by Lindsey Moore last season.
• Theriot earned Big Ten Player-of-the-Week honors on Jan. 20 and Feb. 25.
• Theriot ranks second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally with 6.9 assists per game, including 7.3 assists per game in Big Ten play. She has produced back-to-back 100-assist seasons and owns 314 in her career, which ranks No. 10 on the Husker career chart. Theriot needs 12 more to catch Kathy Hawkins (1975-77, 326) at No. 9 on the NU all-time assist list.
• Theriot leads the Big Ten in overall assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6-to-1). Her 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in Big Ten games also leads the conference.
• Theriot ranks second among the Huskers with 32 steals on the season.
• Theriot has 444 points and 213 assists through 31 games. Last season, she had 211 points and 101 assists in 34 games, including 28 starts.
• In Big Ten play, Theriot led the league with 39.4 minutes per game. She played the full 45 minutes in NU’s overtime wins over Minnesota (Jan. 16) and Wisconsin (Feb. 5), and the full 40 against Northwestern (Jan. 2), Purdue (Jan. 19), at Michigan (Feb. 13), and Indiana (Feb. 16), at Ohio State (Feb. 20) and Illinois (Feb. 27).
#1, Tear’a Laudermill, 5-9, Jr., G, Riverside, Calif. (11.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 spg)
• Tear’a Laudermill is emerging as a rising star for the Huskers and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. Over the last 13 games, Laudermill averaged 14.7 points and hit 41.4 percent of her three-point attempts. She finished Big Ten play with averages of 13.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. She also led the Big Red with 21 steals in conference action. In the Big Ten Tournament, Laudermill averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals to help the Huskers to their first conference tournament title.
• Laudermill erupted for a career-high 27 points, including a school-record-tying seven three-pointers in Nebraska’s 94-74 win over No. 8 Penn State Feb. 24. She hit her first six threes in the first half and closed the night 7-of-10 to lead Nebraska to the best three-point shooting game (16-22, .727) in NCAA Division I this season.
• Laudermill produced the first three 20-point performances of her career in February, after opening the month with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including four threes in a win at Iowa Feb. 1. She added 21 points on five threes at Wisconsin Feb. 5, before adding her fourth career 20-point game in the last five weeks with 20 points in NU’s Big Ten semifinal win over No. 19 Michigan State on March 8.
• With 356 points this year, Laudermill has surpassed her previous career total (306 in 61 games) entering 2013-14.
• In Big Ten play this season, Laudermill was 39-for-88 (.443) from long range. Last season, she went 12-for-43 (.279) from beyond the arc in Big Ten play.
• Laudermill ranked fourth in Big Ten-only three-point field goal percentage (.443) and tied for fifth in Big Ten three-pointers made (2.4 pg) in conference games-only.
• Laudermill has eight games with 15 or more points in the last 15 contests. Prior to the stretch, she had scored a career-high 15 points just once (Creighton, Dec. 14, 2013) in the first 78 games of her career.
• Laudermill has produced double figures 18 times this season - all in the last 27 games. She had just four double-figure efforts in the first 65 games of her career.
• Laudermill ranks fourth among the Huskers with 11 blocked shots this season. She produced five blocked shots in the first 62 games of her career, all coming last season.
• Laudermill is Nebraska’s No. 2 active career three-point shooter with 93 makes. She needs three more threes to crack NU’s career top 10. Her 56 made three-pointers this season are a career single-season high and trail only Jordan Hooper’s 74 among the Huskers. Laudermill’s 38.4 percent three-point shooting also is a career-best.
• Her 56 threes this season rank as the fourth-most by a junior in school history. She needs one more to catch Yvonne Turner (57, 2008-09) in third on that list. Jordan Hooper (2012-13) and Kiera Hardy (2005-06) share the junior single-season record with 81.
#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Jr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (6.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apg)
• Hailie Sample is expected to join Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady in Nebraska’s starting front line for the 99th consecutive game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
• Sample produced her second career double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds to help Nebraska claim its first-ever conference tournament title with a 72-65 win over No. 23 Iowa on March 9. Sample averaged 7.5 points and a team-leading 10.0 rebounds in the tournament. Her 30 total rebounds and 16 offensive boards led all players in 2014 Big Ten Tournament.
• Sample averaged a whopping 5.3 offensive boards per contest in the Big Ten Tournament. Sample, Hooper and Cady all grabbed six offensive rebounds in the championship game win over No. 23 Iowa to post a season-high plus-31 rebound margin (58-27) against the Hawkeyes.
• Sample’s 15 rebounds in the Big Ten Championship Game were a Nebraska Big Ten Tournament record and tied Nafeesah Brown (vs. Kansas, 1993, Big Eight) for the second-highest rebounding total ever by a Husker in a conference tournament game. Only Shelly Block (16 vs. Oklahoma State, 1987, Big Eight) pulled down more boards in a league tournament game than Sample. Block is the mother of current Husker freshman Hannah Tvrdy.
• Sample carries averages of 6.1 points and 6.3 rebounds, while ranking third on the team with 2.3 assists. She produced double figures for the eighth time this season with 11 points and 15 rebounds against No. 23 Iowa on March 9 to help the Huskers win the Big Ten title. Sample had 12 points, four rebounds and two assists at Michigan Feb. 13, and added 10 points and seven rebounds at Wisconsin Feb. 5. She also had 10 points and six boards at Iowa Feb. 1. She had 12 points against No. 22 Purdue Jan. 19. She had a season-high 13 points in a win over Creighton on Dec. 14, after producing back-to-back double-digit efforts against Washington State and at North Carolina. Sample owns 14 career double-figure scoring performances, including a career-high 20 points at Creighton last season.
• Sample ranks seventh in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (2.5 rpg), and 16th overall in rebounding.
• With 20 steals this season, Sample has surpassed her season total of 11 from a year ago.
• Sample has set single-season career bests in points (190), rebounds (195), assists (70) and blocks (15), while matching her career best with 20 steals.
• Nebraska’s front line players Jordan Hooper, Emily Cady and Hailie Sample are expected to make their 99th consecutive starts together in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The group is averaging 39.1 points and 24.6 rebounds per game this season.
• Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot have combined to step up their production from a year ago. The trio combined for just 610 points in NU’s first 31 games (19.7 ppg) last season compared to 1,026 points in 31 contests (33.1 ppg) this season - combining for 13.4 more points per game than 2012-13.
• Junior guard Brandi Jeffery started NU’s first three games. She missed the Southern game with an injury but has returned for Nebraska’s last 27 games. She is Nebraska’s top guard off the bench and has scored in double figures three times, including 10 points against No. 24 Michigan State Feb. 8.
• Nebraska ranks No. 8 nationally with 110,892 fans at home this season. The Huskers rank 11th nationally with an average home attendance of 6,161 per game. The Huskers drew 10 of the top-16 non-conference home crowds in school history this season, including a record 9,750 vs. UCLA (Nov. 8).
Huskers Aim for Second-Best Win Total for Third Straight Season
Nebraska enters the NCAA Tournament with its third consecutive 24-win campaign and its second straight 25-victory season.
A win over Idaho in the first round would give Nebraska 26 wins and the second-highest victory total in school history for the third consecutive season. Before NU’s 24 wins in 2011-12, only one Husker team had produced more than 23 wins in a season - Nebraska’s 2009-10 Big 12 championship team that finished 32-2, including the school’s first trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.
Last season, the 2012-13 Huskers took another step forward by notching 25 wins, including a pair of NCAA Tournament victories to reach the school’s second NCAA Sweet 16.
The 2013-14 Huskers have a chance to keep moving forward after winning the school’s first-ever conference tournament title with three victories at the Big Ten Tournament, March 7-9. Nebraska enters the NCAA Tournament with a 25-6 overall record after going 12-4 in Big Ten play.
The Huskers can do no worse than tie the school record for fewest losses in a season with seven. The 2009-10 Huskers suffered just two losses, once in the Big 12 Tournament and one in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. The 1988 Big Eight champion Huskers finished 22-7. The only other NU team to lose seven or fewer games was Nebraska’s first-ever varsity team in 1974-75, which went 9-7 against primarily lower division (NCAA Division II, III, NAIA) opponents.
Nebraska, which has secured its sixth 20-win season in the past eight years, had managed only five 20-win seasons in the previous 26 years before Yori led the Huskers to 22 wins in 2006-07. It is NU’s 15th 20-win season and third 25-win campaign in the 39th full year of women’s basketball as a varsity sport.
Nebraska owns four 20-win seasons in the last five years, which has included the four top victory totals in school history, including an NU-record 32 wins in 2009-10. Prior to Yori’s arrival in 2002-03, NU’s record for single-season wins was 23 (1978-79, 1979-80, 1992-93, 1997-98).
Scouting the Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State heads to Los Angeles as the No. 13 seed in the NCAA Lincoln Regional for its seventh consecutive trip to the Big Dance, including its second straight under Coach Raegan Pebley.
Pebley led the Huskers to the Mountain West Conference Tournament title with a 77-68 championship game win over Colorado State March 15 in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs advanced to the title game with an 82-71 win over Nevada, after opening the tournament with an 80-65 victory at UNLV on March 11.
Fresno State is 16-5 in its last 21 games, with four losses by two possessions or less. Included in that stretch is a 70-69 loss to San Diego State (Jan. 15), a 68-66 loss at San Jose State (Feb. 8), a 63-60 loss at Nevada (Jan. 22) and a 53-47 loss at Colorado State (Feb. 15).
As a team, Fresno State is averaging 70.6 points per game, while shooting 41.1 percent from the field, including a strong 34.7 percent from three-point range. The Bulldogs average 7.7 made threes per game. They have held opponents to 63.4 points per game and just 38.9 percent shooting, including a dismal 28.2 percent from long range. Fresno State is solid at the free throw line (.739) and carries a plus-1.5 team turnover margin.
The Bulldog starting five consists of just one player taller than six foot in 6-6 center Jacinta Vandenberg. The sophomore from Melbourne, Australia averages 5.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Vandenberg, who averages 22.7 minutes per game has committed 100 fouls in 727 minutes, while blocking 42 shots.
Vandenberg is one of four Australians on the Fresno State roster, which has more Australians than Californians (3). Fellow Australians Bree Farley (13.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Alex Sheedy (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rebounds) provide Australia with two of their top three scorers.
Farley, a 5-10 guard who has joined Vandenberg in the starting five for all 32 games this season, leads Fresno State with 56 threes and a 40.3 shooting percentage from long range. She is one of two seniors on the Bulldog roster. The other is Fresno State’s leading scorer Taylor Thompson, who has averaged 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while also starting all 32 contests. The 5-5 Thompson also leads the Bulldogs with 4.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She has hit 38.3 percent (51-133) of her threes on the year.
Robin Draper (5.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg), a 5-9 junior guard from Fresno, and Alex Furr (5.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg), a 5-5 junior guard from Athens, Texas, round out the Bulldogs’ probable starting five.
Sheedy, a 6-1 forward, has become Fresno State’s top contributor off the bench. A three-year starter, she started 17 games before being sidelined with a lower leg injury from Jan. 22 to Feb. 26. The Bulldogs went 6-4 without Sheedy. She has returned for the last five games, coming off the bench to average 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 24.4 minutes per contest.
Moriah Faulk has also supplied big contributions off the bench, averaging 8.1 points and 5.1 boards per game. The 5-10 sophomore guard has hit 39 threes. Raven Fox (3.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg) and Toni Smith (4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg) have also been consistent contributors for the Bulldogs off the bench.
Huskers, Hooper Dominate Big Ten Postseason Honors
Jordan Hooper became the first Nebraska women’s basketball player to claim Big Ten Player-of-the-Year honors,when the conference announced its annual awards on Monday.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., captured first-team All-Big Ten honors for the third consecutive season, while becoming just the fourth Husker in history to earn a conference player-of-the-year award. She joins 2010 first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin (Big 12), 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings (Big Eight) and 1988 Big Eight Player of the Year Maurtice Ivy on that distinguished list of Huskers.
Griffin, Jennings and Ivy are the only three Huskers in history to have their jerseys retired by the school. Hooper joins the same group as the only three-time first-team all-conference selections in school history, along with three-time first-team All-Big 12 pick Kiera Hardy (2005, 2006, 2007).
“Wow, what an amazing honor,” Hooper said. “It is obviously a tremendous honor to be the Big Ten Player of the Year, especially since it was voted on by the conference coaches. It’s more exciting though that our whole starting five and Coach Yori were honored. That is unbelievable. I think that says a lot about the amount of work we put in to get better throughout the season, and it also says a lot about the ability of our coaches to make us a better team.”
Hooper, who averaged 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, led the Big Red to a 25-6 regular-season record and a 12-4 Big Ten mark. Hooper set the school career three-point record (289), while climbing to No. 2 at Nebraska in career points (2,314) and rebounds (1,095). She is also one of only five players in Big Ten history to reach the combined milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Hooper, one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, headlined a Husker starting five that all earned an all-conference honor. She was joined on the coaches All-Big Ten first team by sophomore guard Rachel Theriot.
The 6-0 point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, ranks second among the Huskers with 14.3 points per game on the season, including 15.6 points per game in conference action. Theriot is also one of the top passers in the Big Ten and Husker history. She has set the school record with 213 assists. Theriot owns the top assist-to-turnover ratio in the Big Ten, while also shooting 50 percent from the field and three-point range during Big Ten play. She also shot nearly 90 percent from the free throw line during the regular season.
Junior forward Emily Cady and junior guard Tear’a Laudermill added second-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches, while junior forward Hailie Sample claimed a spot on the five-player Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
In addition to Nebraska’s starting five claiming All-Big Ten honors, Connie Yori was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by her peers for the second straight season. It is the fourth conference coach-of-the-year award for Yori, who was the 2010 Big 12 Coach of the Year and the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year at Creighton. Yori was also the national coach of the year in 2010.
“I am thrilled for our players,” Yori said. “They put in a ton of work to get better all year long. It is really gratifying to see that hard work recognized and rewarded by the other coaches in the conference.”
Hooper and Theriot both added first-team All-Big Ten honors from the conference media, while Cady and Laudermill both claimed second-team accolades. The media does not name an All-Defensive Team.
Yori Captures Back-to-Back Big Ten Coaching Honors
Nebraska’s Connie Yori was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in voting by conference coaches for the second straight season in 2014. Yori captured her third conference coach-of-the-year award in the last five seasons and her second in the Big Ten. Yori led the 2013-14 Huskers to their second straight unbeaten February, while finishing 12-4 in the Big Ten for the second consecutive year. The Huskers then ran to the Big Ten Tournament title for the first conference tournament title in school history. Nebraska enters the 2014 NCAA Tournament with a 25-6 overall mark.
The 2014 Huskers opened Big Ten play with a 3-3 mark that included a two-point loss to Purdue and a four-point road loss at Northwestern, before rallying for nine straight wins. The Huskers played their final regular-season game for a share of the Big Ten title for the second straight year, after competing for the Big Ten Tournament title in Indianpolis in 2012.
Yori captured Big 12 Coach-of-the-Year honors in 2010 on her way to WBCA, AP, USBWA, Naismith and Kay Yow National Coach-of-the-Year awards. She led the Huskers to the 2010 NCAA Sweet 16 after capturing the Big 12 regular-season title with a perfect 16-0 record. The 2009-10 Huskers, which featured first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin and first-team All-Big 12 picks Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner, finished with a 32-2 overall record.
Before becoming Nebraska’s head coach in 2002-03, Yori claimed Missouri Valley Conference Coach-of-the-Year honors in her final season at Creighton in 2002. In Yori’s first 12 seasons as NU’s coach, her Huskers have earned a total of 37 all-conference awards (12 first team, 4 second team, 11 honorable mention, 5 freshmen, 5 defensive). Jordan Hooper earned Nebraska’s first Big Ten Player-of-the-Year award in 2014, becoming Yori’s second conference player of the year in the last five seasons at Nebraska. Kelsey Griffin claimed Big 12 Player-of-the-Year honors in 2010.
Huskers Claim Second Straight 12-Win Big Ten Campaign
Nebraska (12-4) has posted its second consecutive 12-win Big Ten campaign and its third straight 10-win Big Ten season in its third year in the conference. Nebraska went 12-4 in 2013, after producing a 10-6 conference mark in its first Big Ten season in 2012.
The Huskers have joined Michigan State (13-3), Penn State (13-3) and Purdue (11-5) across the 10-win mark for the third straight year. Nebraska and Penn State are the only two Big Ten teams to post back-to-back 12-win seasons over the past two years.
The Spartans own the longest active streak of double-digit Big Ten wins, dating back 12 seasons to a six-win campaign in 2001-02. Penn State has produced four consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins.
Purdue owns four straight seasons with double-figure league wins.
Huskers Complete Another Perfect February in Big Ten
Nebraska closed February with a perfect 8-0 record, stretching its February winning streak to 16 games. NU’s last February loss came at Michigan State on Feb. 23, 2012. Nebraska is 18-4 overall, including 9-2 at home and 9-2 on the road in February as a member of the Big Ten.
The Huskers were 7-0 in February of 2013 as part of a 10-game overall winning streak last season. This year, the Big Red went 8-0 in February as part of a nine-game winning streak (Jan. 29-Feb. 27). NU also closed February of 2012 with a 71-57 win over No. 8 Ohio State.
Huskers Enjoying Success in First Three Big Ten Seasons
Nebraska has produced three strong seasons to open its women’s basketball participation in the Big Ten Conference. In regular-season Big Ten play, the Huskers have notched a 34-14 record (.708 winning percentage). Nebraska has played for at least a share of the conference title on four occasions (2 regular season, 2 tournament) capturing its first Big Ten title at the 2014 conference tournament in Indianapolis. The Huskers, who went double-overtime in the championship game of their first Big Ten Tournament in Indianaplis in 2012, also played for a share of the regular-season title on the last day of each of the last two years.
The Big Red have found success at home, on the road and at neutral sites against Big Ten foes. The Huskers are 17-7 at home in Big Ten play, including 7-1 in their first year at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska is also 17-7 on the road in conference regular-season play. In the Big Ten Tournament, the Huskers own a 7-2 record, including a 6-1 mark at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. NU went 1-1 at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., in 2013.
Huskers Tie School Record with 16th Home Victory
Nebraska tied a program record by notching its 16th home win in its first season in the new Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14. The Huskers, who went 16-2 on their new home court this season, matched the 16 home wins (16-0) put up by the 2009-10 Huskers and the 1997-98 Big Red squad (16-0). Both of those teams won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament, including the 2009-10 team that advanced to the program’s first NCAA Sweet 16.
This season, for the first time in school history, Nebraska has a chance to play its way back home in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will head to the postseason with an opportunity to win two games and return to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the NCAA Lincoln Regional, March 29 and 31.
Vote Hooper for Senior CLASS Award
Nebraska All-American Jordan Hooper was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award, when selections were announced on Feb. 12. Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., ranks second in Husker history in points, rebounds and double-doubles and is the school record holder with 289 three-pointers. She is one of five players in Big Ten history to achieve the combined milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. A candidate for the Wade, Naismith and Wooden National Player-of-the-Year awards, Hooper is trying to become the second Husker women’s basketball player to win the Senior CLASS Award in the last five years, joining 2010 winner Kelsey Griffin.
The award recognizes outstanding commitment by a senior student-athlete in the areas of competition, character, the classroom and in the community. Fans can vote on the award once per day per device by visiting SeniorCLASSAward.com. Fan votes will join choices by media and coaches as the determining factors in selecting a winner, which will be announced at the NCAA Women’s Final Four.
Husker fans can vote for Hooper now through March 24. As of Noon on March 16, Hooper was leading the fan vote with 34.2 percent of the overall vote among the 10 candidates. Iowa State’s Hallie Christofferson (16.5) and Connecticut’s Stefanie Dolson (15.3) were the only other candidates with more than 10 percent of the overall vote.
Big Red, Big Picture
• Nebraska’s No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament marks the second-best seed the Huskers have ever earned in the Big Dance, trailing only NU’s No. 1 seed in 2010.
• Nebraska’s No. 13 final national ranking in the Associated Press Poll is the second-highest final ranking in school history, trailing only NU’s No. 4 AP finish in 2010. The AP produces its final ranking at the end of the regular season and does not do another poll during or after the NCAA Tournament.
• Nebraska was ranked No. 19 in the final regular-season NCAA RPI heading into the NCAA Tournament.
• Nebraska 2013-14 recruiting class is ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN.
• Nebraska has sold more than 5,800 tickets for the Saturday session of the NCAA Lincoln Regional on March 29 and nearly 5,300 tickets for the Monday Regional Championship Game on March 31.
• Nebraska recognized 2013 All-American Lindsey Moore during the Oral Roberts game (Dec. 29) for her part in helping the Minnesota Lynx to the 2013 WNBA title. The first-round pick in the WNBA Draft returned to Lincoln from her professional team in Italy to receive a minute-long standing ovation.
• Nebraska retired 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin’s jersey at the Michigan game (Jan. 29). The 2010 Senior CLASS Award winner and Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year had her number raised at Pinnacle Bank Arena, but not permanently retired. Current Husker Emily Cady shares Griffin’s No. 23. Griffin, a four-year WNBA veteran, made a return trip to Lincoln from her club team in Australia.
• The Huskers have advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 twice in the last four seasons (2010, 2013).
• NU has earned NCAA Tournament trips six of the past eight seasons (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014).
• Coach Connie Yori is the winningest coach in Husker history (240 victories) and has won conference coach-of-the-year honors in the Big Ten (2013, 2014), Big 12 (2012) and Missouri Valley (2002). She was the national coach-of-the-year in 2010.
NCAA Announces Game Time Changes for Lincoln Regional
The NCAA announced two game time changes on Wednesday, Feb. 12, for Nebraska’s NCAA Lincoln Regional semifinals at Pinnacle Bank Arena on March 29. Tip time for regional semifinal game one has moved to 3:30 p.m., while semifinal game has shifted to 6 p.m.
Those game times were previously announced as 5:30 and 8 p.m. and printed in various advertisements, season schedules and on the actual game tickets. Fans are encouraged to check Huskers.com for current information and any additional event changes before attending the games, March 29 and 31.
Double Trouble: Hooper, Cady Making History Together
Jordan Hooper ranks second in the Big Ten with 13 double-doubles while Emily Cady is tied for third with 12 as the first Husker teammates to produce double-digit double-doubles in the same season.
Hooper, who is coming off her 39th career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in
Nebraska’s Big Ten Championship Game win over Iowa on March 9, has produced double-doubles in two of her last three games. She erupted for 33 points and 12 rebounds in a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal win over Minnesota on March 7.
Hooper trails only 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin’s 40 double-doubles in Husker history. Hooper, who had 14 double-doubles as a sophomore in 2011-12, joins Griffin and 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings (36) as the only Huskers with two double-digit double-double seasons.
Cady, who recorded her 12th double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds in Nebraska’s win over Illinois Feb. 27, owns 20 career double-doubles. Cady’s 12 double-doubles this season make her just the sixth Husker in history to produce 10 or more double-doubles in a season, joining Hooper (14, 2011-12; 13, 2013-14), Griffin (10, 2006-07; 20, 2009-10), Jennings (13, 1990-91; 13, 1991-92); Nafeesah Brown (16, 1993-94), Maurtice Ivy (10, 1985-86) and Carol Garey (10, 1978-79). Nebraska players have produced 10 double-digit double-double seasons.
Hooper Named to Wooden Midseason Top 20, Naismith Top 30
Two-time All-American Jordan Hooper was one of 21 players chosen to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 and the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 in recent weeks. Hooper is also a member of the Wade Watch List in 2014.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., is a two-time WBCA and Associated Press honorable-mention All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. She is just the third player in Nebraska history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in her career, joining 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings and 2010 first-team WBCA All-American Kelsey Griffin. The 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year has scored 2,314 points and pulled down 1,095 rebounds in starting the first 129 games of her Husker career. She also owns the school three-point record with 289. Hooper has averaged more than 72 three-pointers per season at Nebraska, including 81 a year ago when she helped shoot the Huskers to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16.
Over the summer, Hooper helped the USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team to a gold medal in Kazan, Russia. In the championship, Hooper earned a start and scored nine points while grabbing nine rebounds while going head-to-head against several members of Russia’s 2012 Olympic Team.
Hooper was one of three players from the Big Ten to earn mention on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 and the Wade and Naismith preseason lists, joining Penn State’s Maggie Lucas and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham.
Nebraska Celebrates Season One at New Arena
Nebraska celebrates its first season in Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14. The arena, located in the historic Haymarket in downtown Lincoln just steps away from the Nebraska campus, will serve as the new home for Husker men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The $179 million project was completed in the summer of 2013 after being approved by voters in May of 2010. A ribbon cutting ceremony that included Governor Dave Heineman, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst and Husker coaches Connie Yori and Tim Miles, tipped off the opening of the new arena in late August.
The 470,400-square foot arena project has sparked a revitalization of the Haymarket District, including the addition of several new hotels and upscale housing options. It also has added the Railyard, an outdoor entertainment area adjacent to the arena. The Railyard includes “The Cube” a massive outdoor screen that will serve as a hub for other entertainment options.
In “Season One” at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Husker women’s basketball program has experienced more than a 50 percent increase in season ticket sales, surpassing the 3,200 mark. The number shattered NU’s previous season ticket record.
The women’s program was also selected as one of four NCAA Regional hosts for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will play host to the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds at Pinnacle Bank Arena, March 29-31. Nebraska has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in two of the past four seasons, but Lincoln has not played host to an NCAA Tournament game in men’s or women’s basketball since 1993.
On the men’s side, the Huskers sold out the season, producing a school-record average of more than 15,000 per game in their first year at the arena.
Hooper Creating Historic Husker Career
Senior Jordan Hooper is leaving a legacy of success at Nebraska, while making her mark on the national landscape. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., ranks No. 8 among active NCAA Division I scorers with 2,314 career points. She is tied for No. 15 among active Division I rebounders with 1,095 career boards. Hooper is No. 7 among active career three-point shooters with 289 and is one of only two forwards among the top 25, joining UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (264).
Hooper is one of only nine active Division I players, and one of only four from major conferences, to achieve career milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds. She needs just five rebounds to become the first Husker and second Big Ten player in history with 2,300 points and 1,100 rebounds.
She ranks No. 4 in career field goal attempts (2,008), No. 7 in career three-point field goal attempts (844) and No. 11 in career field goals made (802) among all active NCAA Division I players.
Hooper Joins Big Ten All-Time Elite
Jordan Hooper became just the fifth player in Big Ten Conference history to achieve combined career milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, when she pulled down her 1,000th career board in the second half of Nebraska’s win over Michigan on Jan. 29. She enters the NCAA Tournament with 2,314 points and 1,095 career rebounds, joining just four other Big Ten players - Jantel Lavender (2,818 points, 1,422 rebounds, 2008-11) and Jessica Davenport (2,303 points, 1,094 rebounds, 2004-07) from Ohio State, Jenna Smith from Illinois (2,160 points, 1,217 rebounds, 2007-10) and Laura Coenen (2,044 points, 1,029 rebounds, 1982-85) from Minnesota in achieving the dual milestones.
Hooper needs just five more rebounds to join Lavender as the only players in Big Ten history with 2,300 points and 1,100 rebounds.
Hooper ranks among the top 10 career scorers and rebounders in Big Ten history, joining Davenport, Lavender and Smith as the only players in Big Ten history to rank among the top 10 on both lists. All three of those players were chosen in the top 15 in their respective WNBA Drafts.
Hooper ranks sixth in Big Ten career scoring and ninth in career rebounding. She needs 20 rebounds to climb to eighth.
Husker Front Line to Make 99th Straight Starts Together
Nebraska’s starting forwards Jordan Hooper (129), Emily Cady (98) and Hailie Sample (98) have joined each other in the Huskers’ starting five for 98 consecutive games.
The inside trio has been joined in the Husker starting lineup for each of the last 59 games by Rachel Theriot. Brandi Jeffery started the first three games of 2013-14 with the quartet, after starting the first three games of 2012-13 with Hooper, Cady and Sample before being replaced in the starting five by Theriot. Tear’a Laudermill has taken over the starting role the past 28 games.
Consistent starting lineups are nothing new for the Huskers under Coach Connie Yori. In 2011-12, fifth-year senior guard Kaitlyn Burke joined Moore, Hooper, Cady and Sample in NU’s starting lineup for every game. Three times in Yori’s first 12 seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers have used the same starting five for every game in a season, including all 33 games in 2011-12. The 2006-07 Huskers featured the same starting five for 32 games on their way to a 22-10 season and the NCAA Tournament. Yori’s 2003-04 Huskers also used the same starting five for 30 games on their way to an 18-12 season and a WNIT bid.
A full year with the same starting five is rare in women’s college basketball. In fact, Nebraska was the only Big Ten team to feature the same starting five throughout 2011-12, and was one of only three teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament to start the same five every game. Kansas State and BYU were the others.
Over the past nine seasons, Nebraska has used only 22 different starting lineups in 290 games.
Hooper Smashing Husker Career Three-Point Record
Two-time All-American and 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year Jordan Hooper enters the NCAA Tournament with a Nebraska career record 289 three-pointers. She hit a season-high six threes against Indiana Feb. 16 to pass Kiera Hardy’s previous school record of 267 (2004-07). No other Husker has hit 200 threes.
Hooper, who hit 67 three-pointers in each of her first two seasons as a Husker, knocked down 81 in 2012-13, to match Hardy’s 2005-06 total for the most by a junior in school history. Hooper owns 74 this season, including 25 over NU’s past eight games. Hooper did not attempt a three on her way to a 33-point, 14-rebound effort against Utah State Dec. 8. It is the only game in Hooper’s career without a three-point attempt. She also went without hitting a three in Nebraska’s win over Creighton on Dec. 14. It marked just the second time in her career that she went without a made three in consecutive games, joining a home game against Kansas (0-2) on Jan. 16, 2010, and a road game at Kansas State (0-3) on Jan. 22, 2010 during her freshman season.
This season Hooper has hit three or more threes in a game on 14 occasions, including eight of the last 12 games.
Hooper Puts Up Double-Doubles at Record Rate
Jordan Hooper ranks second all-time at Nebraska with 39 career double-doubles, following her 18-point, 10-rebound effort in the Big Red’s Big Ten Championship Game win over No. 23 Iowa on March 9. It was her second double-double in the Big Ten Tournament, joining a massing 33-point, 12-board performance against Minnesota on March 7.
Hooper’s next double-double will tie her with 2010 first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin (40) for the most in school history.
Hooper leads the Huskers and ranks second in the Big Ten with 13 double-doubles this season. She had 19 points and 12 rebounds in Nebraska’s 94-74 win over No. 8 Penn State Feb. 24. Hooper has five double-doubles over the past 13 games, starting with 25 points and 10 boards in a win over Michigan Jan. 29 and 25 points and 13 boards at Iowa on Feb. 1.
Hooper added two more huge doubles this season with 30 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Oral Roberts on Dec. 29 and 33 points, 14 rebounds in a win over Utah State on Dec. 8.
Hooper, who produced three double-doubles in Big Ten play in 2013, has produced some monstrous doubles in her career. In fact, 22 of her career double-doubles have included 20-point scoring efforts, including six of her 10 career 30-point games.
Her 30th career double-double came with 24 points and 14 rebounds in a loss to Washington State on Nov. 30. Last season in a win at 2013 NCAA second-round participant South Florida, Hooper poured in 24 points and had 14 rebounds. The previous game against 2013 NCAA second-round participant Florida State, Hooper erupted for 36 points and 12 boards in a win on Dec. 8, 2012. She recorded her 20th career double-double with 29 points and 10 boards against Idaho State on Dec. 1, 2012.
In the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, Hooper produced three double-doubles in four games, including 25 points and 10 boards against No. 21 Purdue and 21 points and 10 rebounds against No. 14 Ohio State. Earlier in the 2011-12 season, Hooper had 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in a win at Wisconsin on Feb. 19, 2012. She added 22 points and 15 rebounds against Iowa on Jan. 26, 2012.
Hooper led the Big Ten and ranked among the top 25 players nationally with 14 double-doubles in 2011-12. Hooper, who produced double figures in 32 of Nebraska’s 33 games, recorded 14 double-figure rebounding performances as a sophomore. Hooper’s 14 double-doubles ranked as the third-highest single-season total in school history, trailing only first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin’s 20 in 2009-10, and Nafeesah Brown’s 16 in 1993-94. Griffin and Brown were both seniors when they produced their impressive double-figure totals.
As a sophomore, Hooper became just the fifth player in Nebraska history to post double-figure double-doubles in a season, joining Griffin (10, 2006-07, 20, 2009-10), Brown (16, 1993-94), Karen Jennings (13, 1990-91, 13, 1991-92), Maurtice Ivy (10, 1985-86) and Carol Garey (10, 1978-79). Hooper recorded double-doubles in a personal-best four straight games (Dec. 18, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012).
Big Red Playing Big on Boards
Nebraska has produced a plus-5.8 rebounding margin over 31 games in 2013-14, outrebounding opponents by an average of 40.4-34.6. The Huskers are on track for one of the top five rebounding margins in school history, trailing the plus-8.6 margin put up by the 1997-98 Husker squad that advanced to the second round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament and the plus-5.9 produced by the 1994-95 Huskers.
The 2013-14 Huskers produced their best boardwork this season, as they outrebounded No. 23 Iowa, 58-27 (+31), in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady lead NU’s barrage on the boards, as both rank among the top four players in the Big Ten. Hooper ranks third in the Big Ten with 9.2 rebounds per game and owns 15 double-digit rebound games on the year. Hooper had 15 rebounds against Creighton, 14 against Washington State and Utah State, 13 against Alabama and Iowa, 12 against Minnesota (March 7), Penn State and at Utah, 11 against UCLA and ORU, and 10 against Iowa (March 9), Minnesota, Northwestern and UMass-Lowell.
Emily Cady averaged 9.8 rebounds in Big Ten play and enters the NCAA Tournament with 9.1 boards per game. She owns 14 double-digit rebound games of her own on the year, including a career-high-matching 16 against Purdue on Jan. 19. She added 14 boards against Southern, 13 against Indiana, Minnesota and Washington State, 12 against Illinois and at Michigan State, 11 against Iowa (March 9), Ohio State, Wisconsin and Alabama, and 10 against Utah State, Illinois and Northwestern.
Free Throws Pay Off Big For Big Red
Nebraska has outscored its first 31 opponents by an average of 15.2-8.0 (+7.2 ppg) at the free throw line. The Huskers have made 470 free throws, compared to just 247 by their opponents. The Huskers are shooting 79.3 percent at the line as a team, which leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation.
It is also the best team free throw percentage in school history. Last season, Nebraska produced the second-best team free throw percentage in school history (.755). For the season, Nebraska has outscored the opposition by a total of 388 points, with 233 of those coming at the free throw line. Rachel Theriot is tied for third in the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.889, 64-72), while Emily Cady (.861, 130-151) ranks seventh. Cady’s 130 makes at the line this season are tied for ninth in school history.
Huskers More Than Fair in Foul Department
Nebraska’s dominance at the free throw line starts with the Huskers winning the fight in the foul department. NU leads the Big Ten and ranks third nationally by committing just 13.5 fouls per game.
While the Huskers barely put their opponents in the bonus each game, they consistently force double-bonus free throw situations by the opposition. Nebraska’s opponents are averaging 18.9 fouls per game against the Big Red.
Nebraska’s plus-5.4 differential in fouls per game and its 79.3 percent free throw shooting has allowed the Big Red to outscore its opponents by 223 points at the line this season (7.2 ppg).
Nebraska has continued a non-fouling trend from last season. The Huskers were whistled for just 12.8 fouls per game last season, including 11 fouls per game in Big Ten regular-season games.
@RachTheRiot Wreaking Havoc on Opposing Defenses
Rachel Theriot earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after emerging as one of the top young point guards in the nation in 2013-14. She took her game to another level in the Big Ten Tournament, averaging 18.7 points and a Big Ten-record 10.0 assists to lead the Huskers to their first-ever conference tournament title. She opened the Big Ten Tournament with a tournament record 18 assists and just one turnover to go along with 14 points in a win over Minnesota. She added 18 points and eight assists in NU’s 28-point win over No. 19 Michigan State, before pumping in a game-high 24 points in the championship game win over No. 23 Iowa.
The 6-0 sophomore enters the NCAA Tournament averaging 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. In Big Ten regular-season play, she averaged 15.6 points and 7.3 assists, while adding 3.6 rebounds per game and leading the Big Ten with 39.4 minutes per game. Her 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio led the Big Ten in conference action, as did her 50 percent three-point field goal shooting.
Overall, Theriot ranks second in the Big Ten and fifth in the nation with 6.9 assists per game. Her Big Ten-best 2.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio also ranks 21st nationally. Over Nebraska’s last 13 games, Theriot owns a 3.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while averaging 8.2 assists per game.
Over the last eight games, Theriot has averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.9 assists while posting a 3.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. She has also hit 15-of-24 three-pointers (.625).
Theriot, who owns five double-digit assist games, has produced a trio of double-doubles in Big Ten play, including 14 points and a career-high 18 assists against Minnesota March 7. She had 11 points and 11 assists in NU’s win at Wisconsin Feb. 1. She notched her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 assists in Nebraska’s home game against Michigan on Jan. 29. She just missed another double-double with nine points and 12 assists in NU’s win over No. 24 Michigan State Feb. 8, before adding eight points and 10 assists in the win over Illinois Feb. 27.
On Jan. 16 against Minnesota, Theriot scored a career-high 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 three-pointers, while knocking down all eight of her free throws. She hit Nebraska’s final two free throws with 14.9 seconds left to seal an 88-85 overtime win over the Gophers. Theriot scored 21 points after halftime and played a career-high 45 minutes in the game. She dished out a then-career-high nine assists and did not commit a turnover. She added another nearly flawless effort with 23 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals, a block and no turnovers in Nebraska’s 76-61 win over Indiana Feb. 16. Theriot followed with 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the Huskers’ win at Ohio State Feb. 20, before adding 17 points and eight assists while knocking down all three of her three-pointers in NU’s 94-74 run past No. 8 Penn State. For her effort against the Buckeyes and Lady Lions, Theriot was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time in a six-week span. She closed the regular season with 24 points, including a career-best 4-for-4 effort from three-point range at No. 19 Purdue March 2.
Earlier this season, Theriot erupted for a then-career-high 28 points, while matching her career best with seven rebounds in NU’s 75-69 win at Utah on Nov. 15. She added four assists while going a career-best 8-for-8 at the free throw line. She scored 19 points and had five rebounds in the second half, while going 6-for-6 at the line in the game’s final 35 seconds to seal the victory.
In Nebraska’s Big Ten-opening win over Northwestern, Theriot produced game highs of 19 points and eight assists while committing just one turnover. She added six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot while playing the full 40 minutes. She also hit two huge shot-clock buzzer-beaters late in the second half and grabbed NU’s final defensive rebound. She scored a team-high 19 points and added four assists while playing the full 40 minutes against Purdue on Jan. 19. She hit two free throws in a one-and-one situation with 27.9 seconds left to tie the game at 75.
Theriot added 11 points, six assists and a blocked shot for the third straight game in NU’s win at Illinois on Jan. 12. It followed an 11-point, eight-assist night at Michigan State Jan. 9, when she tied a career high with three three-pointers. Theriot has scored in double figures 20 times this season.
Theriot pumped in 17 points and dished out five assists in a win over Alabama, after distributing nine assists in the season-opening victory over UCLA. She had 13 points and eight assists in a win over Southern Nov. 24, before adding 10 points, six rebounds and six assists against Washington State, Nov. 30. Theriot contributed 12 points and five assists in a loss at No. 18 North Carolina on Dec. 4, before producing 11 points, four rebounds and eight assists in the win over Utah State Dec. 8.
As a starter at shooting guard as a freshman, the Middleburg Heights, Ohio, native averaged 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors.
NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Session Tickets Selling Strong
The University of Nebraska was awarded one of four regional host sites for the 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, announced by the NCAA on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The Huskers will host the four-team regional at Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln, March 29 and 31.
All-session tickets went on sale to the general public on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 8 a.m., and sales have been strong. Ticket sales for the Friday, March 29 Regional Semifinal games have reached beyond 5,800 as of Monday, March 17, while ticket sales for the Regional Championship game on Monday, March 31 have surpassed 5,300.
All-session reserved seats are $40, while all-session general admission seating is available for just $25 over three games. The GA seats include lower level seats behind each basket (sections 101 and 112), along with 200 and 300 Level seats. Student tickets are available for just $15 ($5 per game if purchased in advance, all-session).
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Nebraska women’s basketball program, and the NCAA Regional announcement just keeps that building,” Coach Connie Yori said. “We’ve got a long way to go as a team before we can even think about the possibility of getting back to the Sweet 16 this year, but it is certainly a great opportunity for men’s and women’s basketball fans to have a chance to watch college basketball being played at a really high level at the end of March in Lincoln.”
The last time the University of Nebraska served as a host for the an NCAA men’s or women’s basketball tournament came on March 17, 1993, when the Husker women defeated San Diego, 81-58, in the first round at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. It is the only game the Nebraska women’s basketball team has ever played on its home court in the NCAA Tournament.
The other three NCAA Regional sites are Louisville, Ky., Notre Dame, Ind., and Stanford, Calif. The 16 NCAA first- and second-round locations are Baylor, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo, UConn, UCLA and Washington.
The NCAA Women’s Final Four will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., April 6-8.
Huskers Sign Top Recruiting Class in School History
A five-player signing class and a talented walk-on who received other NCAA Division I scholarship offers have given Nebraska the best recruiting class in school history - coming in at No. 9 in ESPN’s class rankings on Nov. 21.
Each of Nebraska’s scholarship recruits ranked among the top 25 nationally by ESPN at their position. Tennessee Class 2-AA Player of the Year Jasmine Cincore, Kansas Class 4A Player of the Year Kaylee Page, California prep stars Natalie Romeo and Darrien Washington, and Washington High School standout Chandler Smith will join Coach Connie Yori’s Huskers. Emily Wood, a walk-on from Salina, Kan., completed the six-player NU freshman class for 2014-15.
Smith, a 6-0 guard from Washington, signed her letter of intent Monday, Nov. 18, after being ranked as the No. 62 player in the nation by ESPN. Her addition propelled the Huskers up seven spots in ESPN’s class rankings for 2014. Page and Romeo headline the Husker class. The 6-2 Page was ranked No. 42 nationally by ESPN, while Romeo was No. 55. Romeo, a 5-7 point guard from the Bay Area, has been ranked as high as the No. 27 player overall nationally by Full Court Press.
Romeo’s club teammate, the 6-2 Washington, was ranked as the No. 16 post player in the nation by ESPN, while Cincore was ranked as ESPN’s No. 24 point guard in the 2014 class, despite being projected as a combo guard for the Huskers.
“We are excited about the potential of this recruiting class, and we hope all six players have outstanding senior seasons in high school this year,” Yori said. “We have built quite a bit of momentum in recruiting the past few years and this class is part of it.”
Nebraska’s previous top recruiting class, which came with current Husker juniors Emily Cady, Hailie Sample, Tear’a Laudermill and Brandi Jeffery, was ranked No. 24 nationally in November of 2010.
Nebraska’s six newcomers will be expected to replace the loss of Jordan Hooper, a two-time All-American who is the only senior on the Huskers’ 11-player roster in 2013-14.
Page, a 6-2 senior at Wamego High School in Kansas, was ranked as the No. 13 wing/shooting guard nationally by ESPN. She averaged 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.3 blocked shots, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a junior. A gifted shooter, Page knocked down 57 three-pointers for the Red Raiders in 2012-13. She helped Wamego to the Kansas Class 4A state championship while playing for her father, Jim Page, who was the Kansas Coach of the Year.
Romeo, ESPN’s No. 12 point guard nationally as a four-year starter at Carondelet High School in California, averaged 21.4 points, 6.7 assists and 6.3 steals per game as a junior to help the Cougars to the North Coast Section Division II title for the third consecutive season. Along the way, she earned East Bay Athletic League MVP and Nor Cal Prep Player-of-the-Year honors in 2012-13, helping Carondelet to a top 20 national ranking as a team. Romeo has been a starter for one of the premier club programs in the nation, the Cal Stars Elite, since she was an eighth grader. As a member of the Cal Stars program, Romeo has earned all-tournament or MVP honors at 16 national tournaments.
Smith’s signing brought even more talent to the Husker 2014 class. Smith plays point guard for her high school and club teams, but was ranked as the No. 18 wing in the country by ESPN. The 6-0 guard from Brewster High School in Washington, averaged 21.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 4.2 steals as a junior to lead the Bears to a Class 1A state championship. She had 26 points and 10 rebounds in the 2013 state title game, after producing 35 points and 12 boards in the 2012 Class 2B championship game.
Cincore brings more athleticism and strength to the perimeter for the Huskers. The 5-8 guard will add a gritty defensive presence along with an expanding offensive game to the NU backcourt. As a junior at Briarcrest Christian in 2012-13, Cincore averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals per game while leading her team to the state semifinals.
Washington adds size and potential to the Nebraska inside game. The 6-2 Washington plays at Skyline High School in the Bay Area and on the Cal Stars Elite. She is relatively new to basketball, but brings excellent athleticism to the court.
Wood, a 5-5 guard from Salina Central High School, turned down scholarship offers from Harvard and Dartmouth and Western Illinois to walk-on at Nebraska. She is a two-time Kansas Class 5A all-state selection and averaged 11.2 points and 2.3 assists per game as a junior. She has hit 132 career three-pointers as a three-year starter at Salina Central.
Hooper Powers Team USA to Gold at World University Games
Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds while making her first international start, powering the USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team to a 90-71 victory in the gold medal game on July 15.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., erupted in her first USA start, pouring in five points, including the game’s first three-pointer, to go along with three early rebounds to fuel the U.S. team’s 13-3 lead to open the game. She also played a major role defensively in helping the United States to its third straight World University Games gold medal.
Hooper scored seven first-quarter points to help the USA take a 22-13 lead at the end of the quarter. She played the entire first period and finished with 31 minutes in the game. In the tournament, Hooper finished with 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game, giving her per 40-minute averages of 16.6 points and 14.9 boards.
Hooper started the second quarter on the bench, and while she was out, the Russian team quickly trimmed the USA margin to 25-21 with 7:46 left in the first half.
Hooper immediately returned to the court and helped shut out the Russians for the next three minutes to ignite a 7-0 USA run. Hooper’s offensive rebound and assist to Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan) in the corner for a three-pointer, gave the USA a 38-25 lead with 2:43 left in the half. It was the first of back-to-back threes by Bradford in a 45-second stretch to send the U.S. squad to halftime with a 41-27 lead. With Hooper keying the defense, the USA allowed six points in the final seven-plus minutes of the half.
Nebraska’s two-time All-American played every minute of the third quarter. She again keyed a U.S. defense that helped the team build a 68-47 lead at the end of three quarters. Hooper’s final bucket came with 7:30 left in the game, giving the USA a 75-55 lead.
2012-13 Nebraska Team Season Highlights
• 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 (second appearance in last four years)
• 25 wins (second-highest victory total in school history) - 25-9 overall record
• 12 Big Ten wins (second-most conference wins in school history) - 12-4 Big Ten record
• Big Ten regular-season runner-up finish / Big Ten Tournament semifinalist
• No. 16 in final NCAA RPI. Nebraska played the No. 12 Strength of Schedule in the nation.
• No. 18 in final USA Today/Coaches Top 25; No. 24 in final AP Poll (regular season)
• No. 16 nationally in average home attendance (5,243)
• 10 victories over 2013 NCAA Tournament teams (10-8)
• Nebraska’s 74-63 win at No. 9 Texas A&M on March 25 marked the Huskers’ first true road NCAA Tournament victory in history and the highest seed (No. 3) NU has ever defeated in the tournament.
• 10-game winning streak (Jan. 20-Feb. 28), second-longest winning streak in school history
• Nebraska closed season with seven-game winning streak in true road games (active streak)
• Big Ten No. 2 RPI Conference in the nation and 6-0 in first-round NCAA Tournament games
• Coach Connie Yori was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year
• Nebraska was one of 25 teams in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field with a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. NU has had a 100 percent grad rate in each of NU’s five tournament appearances under Coach Connie Yori.
Nebraska’s History of Success at Home
Nebraska opened the Pinnacle Bank Arena era with a 16-2 home record in 2013-14, tying the school record for single-season home victories.
The Huskers played the first regular-season basketball game in the history of the arena against USA Today No. 25 UCLA (Nov. 8) and rolled to a 77-49 win over the Bruins. NU its first win over an AP Top 25 team with a 76-56 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Feb. 8. The Huskers added their first-ever win over an AP Top 10 team at the arena with a 94-74 victory over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24.
NU won its first-ever Big Ten home game with a 66-65 thriller over Northwestern Jan. 2, and an 88-85 overtime win over Minnesota on Jan. 16. It marked the first overtime game in Pinnacle Bank Arena history.
NU suffered its first loss at the new arena to Washington State (76-72) on Nov. 30. The Huskers took their first home Big Ten loss with a 77-75 setback on a last-second shot against No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 19.
The Huskers ended the 2013-14 regular season with five consecutive home wins, starting with an 84-51 victory over Michigan on Jan. 29.
The Huskers have improved to 404-132 (.754) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 140-36 (.795) over the last 11 seasons at home, posting double-figure home victory totals in each of the last 11 seasons, including 16-2 in 2013-14. NU went a perfect 16-0 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2009-10.
Nebraska played in the Devaney Center from 1976-77 through 2012-13, posting a 388-130 record, including 146-88 (.624) mark in conference play. NU went 13-4 at home in 2012-13.
Big Ten Network Provides Major Exposure for Huskers
For the third consecutive season, Nebraska expects to have every regular-season and postseason game available in national television/video form for Husker fans to follow all the action.
In 2013-14, at least seven regular-season Nebraska women’s basketball games will be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network, including each of NU’s first five Big Ten Conference contests.
Nebraska’s early round games in the Big Ten Conference Tournament also will be televised by BTN.
If the Huskers can advance to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis, that game will be televised by ESPN. It would give Nebraska three appearances on the ESPN family of networks in just over two weeks, following a Feb. 24 clash with Penn State and NU’s regular-season finale at Purdue on March 2. Both those games will be televised live nationally by ESPN2. Nebraska’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at North Carolina on Dec. 4 was streamed live world-wide by ESPN3.
Nebraska’s first nationally televised game of the season came at Utah on Nov. 15, when the Huskers appeared on the Pac-12 Network. NU made two appearances on Nebraska Educational Television (NET) in 2013-14. The first game in the history of Pinnacle Bank Arena appeared on NET when the Huskers battled the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 8. Nebraska was back on NET again against Michigan on Jan. 29.
Both of Nebraska’s NET games were streamed live to the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN aka BTN.com All-Access). Throughout the season, BTDN will provide video streams to at least 16 games for BTN.com All-Access subscribers. Nebraska’s inaugural exhibition game at Pinnacle Bank Arena against Pittsburg State on Oct. 29 was streamed live for free on Huskers.com. NU’s Nov. 30 game with Washington State also was streamed live on Huskers.com.
For the first time in school history in 2011-12, all 33 games played by the Huskers were delivered by national television or live video streams to Husker fans. In 2012-13, Nebraska enjoyed its highest level of national TV exposure in school history, while adding two outstanding alternative video streaming sources. NU’s game with Duke was the 34th game of 2012-13 available world-wide to fans and the 16th nationally televised game. It was NU’s fourth game on ESPN2. The Huskers had 10 nationally televised games on the Big Ten Network, one on CBS and one on the Pac-12 Network.
The Big Ten Network distributed 10 other Nebraska women’s basketball games through live video streams on BTN.com, including two that were televised live in the state of Nebraska by NET. HuskersNside, the live video area on Huskers.com, took care of the rest of NU’s games in 2012-13.
Husker Sports Network, Huskers.com Carries NU World-Wide
The Husker Sports Network enters its 20th season of producing and marketing the live broadcasts of Nebraska women’s basketball in 2013-14. Women’s basketball play-by-play announcer Matt Coatney and color commentator Jeff Griesch are in their 13th season together as the Huskers’ broadcast team.
The Husker Sports Network and Nebraska women’s basketball have teamed up for well over a decade to take every game, home and away, around the world for free on Huskers.com.
In addition to carrying every women’s basketball game free on Huskers.com, the Husker Sports Network flagship stations B107.3 FM-KBBK (Lincoln) and The Wolf 93.3 FM-KFFF (Omaha) provide strong FM signals for Husker women’s basketball and volleyball. 880-AM-KRVN (Lexington) also provides a huge AM signal statewide in central Nebraska, while more than 20 stations have joined the Husker Sports Network’s women’s basketball coverage across the state.
Fastbreakers Offer Travel Opportunities to Follow Huskers
The Fastbreakers Nebraska Women’s Basketball Booster Club has offereda pair of opportunities to follow the Huskers on the road this season.
The first trip was organized is for Nebraska’s Feb. 1 showdown with Iowa in Iowa City, which resulted in an 80-67 victory, with hundreds of Husker fans on hand at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The second trip joined the Huskers at the 2014 Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, March 6-9.
For complete information on the travel opportunities, visit the Nebraska women’s basketball home page on Huskers.com and click on “Fastbreakers Travel” in the right side menu options. Fans can also e-mail Gary Schuster at email@example.com.
Husker Home Attendance Surges Past 110,000
In 18 home games, the Huskers attracted 110,892 fans including 10 of the top-16 largest home non-conference crowds in school history. NU drew 5,000 or more fans for 14 of its first 18 home games, including four consecutive crowds of more than 7,000 to close its first regular season at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Big Red drew only seven crowds of 5,000 or more in 10 home non-conference games, after drawing just five home non-conference crowds of 5,000 or more in 37 seasons at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska’s total home attendance of 110,892 ranks No. 9 nationally, while NU’s average home attendance of 6,161 ranks 11th.
Nebraska attracted almost 15,000 fans to Pinnacle Bank Arena in its season-opening weekend, including a non-conference school-record crowd of 9,750 for a season-opening win over UCLA on Nov. 8. The Huskers added a crowd of 4,924 for a Veterans Day win over Alabama on Nov. 11.
The 14,674 fans over two games nearly matched the 15,221 fans who attended Nebraska’s eight home non-conference games in Coach Connie Yori’s first season in 2002-03.
Nebraska’s average home attendance of 5,658 marked the best single-season non-conference average in school history, crushing the 4,049 fans per game the Huskers averaged during home non-conference action in 2012-13. With just one more home non-conference game than a year ago, the Big Red attracted 20,139 more fans than last season (36,436), which was also a school non-conference record.
Growing interest in Nebraska women’s basketball is not new. In fact, 13 of the 21 largest non-conference home crowds in school history have come over the last 21 non-conference home games for the Big Red.
Game One Featured Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally
Game One presented by Ameritas at Pinnacle Bank Arena featured more than just a top-25 showdown between the Nebraska and UCLA women’s basketball teams on Nov. 8.
The special day-long celebration of the regular-season openers for both the Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball teams at their new downtown arena tipped off with an energy-filled pep rally featuring an all-star cast of speakers and entertainers.
The Nebraska Life Skills Sportsmanship Pep Rally on the morning of Nov. 8 on the new home court of the Huskers reached more than 4,500 middle-school youth from nearly 50 schools across Nebraska.
Students from Centennial to Crete, Norris to North Bend Central, Seward to Sandy Creek and Wahoo to Wilber-Clatonia joined students from several private schools in Lincoln for a morning of motivational messages and exciting basketball action. The sportsmanship pep rally, which was organized with assistance from the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame, included messages from nationally recognized speakers.
Nebraska’s men’s basketball coach Tim Miles, baseball coach Darin Erstad, two-time NCAA and Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs, along with NCAA discus champion Chad Wright all delivered inspirational messages. Amanda Burau from Nebraska’s national champion women’s bowling team, Mattie Fowler from the Huskers’ Women’s College World Series softball team and Shavon Shields from the men’s basketball team added impressive messages, along with former women’s basketball player Meghin Williams. Acrodunk, a nationally acclaimed high-flying dunk team, added a spectacular performance.
The Huskers’ tip time was moved to noon to accommodate the students’ attendance at the pep rally and their return to their home schools.
Comeback Over Gophers One of Largest in Husker History
Nebraska’s 88-85 comeback win over Minnesota in OT on Jan. 16, came after trailing by 14 points with 13:40 left to tie for the second-largest second-half deficit overcome by a Connie Yori-coached Husker team.
In Yori’s first season, the Huskers trailed by five at half, then 19 in the second half but came back to win 62-61 at San Diego on Dec. 28, 2002. In 2007-08, Nebraska trailed by eight at half and 14 in the second half before Kesley Griffin rallied the Huskers for a 73-67 win at Missouri on Feb. 3, 2008.
Double-digit comebacks are nothing new to the Huskers under Coach Yori. In fact, the win over Minnesota marked the 16th time in Yori’s 12 seasons at Nebraska that the Huskers have overcome a double-digit deficit to win. In 2011-12, the Huskers overcame double-digit deficits five times to earn wins.
However, it was only the eighth time the team trailed by double digits in the second half and won.
Nebraska Overtime Facts
• Nebraska is 20-18 all-time in overtime games, including 11-9 at home, 6-6 in true road games and 3-3 on neutral courts in overtime. The Huskers are 2-0 in overtime this season with both games coming in Big Ten play (Minnesota, Jan. 19; at Wisconsin, Feb. 5).
• Nebraska is 7-4 all-time in 12 seasons under Coach Connie Yori in overtime, including 4-2 at home and 1-0 in Pinnacle Bank Arena. Yori-coached NU teams are 1-1 in double-overtime and 2-0 in triple overtime.
• Nebraska is 4-1 in multi-overtime games, including 2-1 since 2005-06. The lone loss came to Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game, 74-70 in double-overtime in 2012.
• NU’s last overtime contest came with a 71-70 victory at Wisconsin on Feb. 5. The Huskers also defeated Minnesota 88-85 in overtime on Jan. 16. It marked the first overtime game in the history of Pinnacle Bank Arena. Nebraska’s first overtime game in the history of the Bob Devaney Sports Center also came against Minnesota - a 68-67 win for the Huskers on Dec. 30, 1977.
• Nebraska has never played back-to-back overtime games at home. The Huskers have played back-to-back overtime games only once in school history, an 83-81 loss to Texas A&M in College Station on Dec. 30, 1985, before returning to Lincoln for an 80-75 win over Eastern Kentucky at the Devaney Center on Jan. 2, 1986.
• Nebraska’s most frequent overtime opponent is Purdue. The Huskers and Boilermakers have played three overtime games in five all-time meetings, all coming in the past three seasons. NU’s six total overtimes against Purdue are also the most against any team in school history. In 10 all-time games with Wisconsin, the Huskers also have played three overtime contests, including the 71-70 win over the Badgers on Feb. 5. It was NU’s first OT win against UW. The Huskers also battled Missouri in three single-overtime games among the 71 all-time contests in that series.
• The Huskers have played nine all-time overtime games against Big Ten opponents and own a 4-5 record, including 2-0 this season. NU is 3-2 against Big Ten opponents since joining the conference for the start of the 2011-12 season.