Lincoln - The Nebraska women's basketball team will play its first-ever game as part of ESPN's Big Monday package, when the Huskers play host to Penn State on Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.
ESPN announced Nebraska's game time with the Lady Lions, as part of its Big Monday package on ESPN2. The ESPN2 Big Monday Women's Basketball series begins on Jan. 13 and runs through March 3. It includes 10 games with doubleheader nights on Jan. 27 and Feb. 10. It is the eighth season of Big Monday on ESPN2. Nebraska and Penn State are the only Big Ten teams featured in the series.
The late-February game between the Huskers and Penn State at Pinnacle Bank Arena is Nebraska's first Big Ten Conference game announced this season. A full non-conference and Big Ten schedule will be announced soon.
Nebraska's game with Penn State could have conference championship implications. The Huskers battled the Lady Lions in the final regular-season home game in the history of the Devaney Center last season with a share of the Big Ten title on the line. Penn State came away with the victory to secure sole possession of the regular-season title, while Nebraska finished as the Big Ten runner-up.
The Huskers went on to advance to their second NCAA Sweet 16 in the past four years, while Penn State was one of six Big Ten Conference women's basketball teams to advance to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Nebraska, which produced the second-most victories in school history in 2012-13 by finishing with a 25-9 overall record, returns four starters from the team that finished 12-4 in the Big Ten. Two-time first-team All-Big Ten forward Jordan Hooper headlines the list of Nebraska's returning players. The two-time honorable-mention All-American will be a contender for national player-of-the-year honors as a senior, while challenging Nebraska's career scoring, rebounding and three-point records.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., led the USA Basketball Women's World University Games team to a gold medal this summer in Russia.
Junior forwards Emily Cady (Seward, Neb.) and Hailie Sample (Flower Mound, Texas) have both joined Hooper in NU's starting five for every game each of the past two seasons. Rachel Theriot, a Big Ten All-Freshman selection last season, also returns to Nebraska's starting lineup. Juniors Tear'a Laudermill (Riverside, Calif.), Brandi Jeffery (Vacherie, La.) and Katie Simon (Roseville, Calif.) all add experience, along with sophomore Sadie Murren (Colon, Neb.) for reigning Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year Connie Yori's squad.
Freshmen Allie Havers (Paw Paw, Mich.), Hannah Tvrdy (Seward, Neb.) and Esther Ramacieri (Repentigny, Quebec) add new faces to the 2013-14 Husker roster.
Penn State finished with a 26-6 overall record that included a 14-2 Big Ten mark last season. The Lady Lions will be led by returning Big Ten Player-of-the-Year Maggie Lucas. She will be joined by seniors Dara Taylor, Ariel Edwards and Talia East.
Fans can reserve their spots and select their seats for season tickets right now by visiting Huskers.com/arena. The Nebraska women's basketball team will play 18 regular-season home games and a pair of exhibition games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Season ticket prices are just $160 for the lower bowl of the arena.