Huskers Collide with Coyotes Saturday
#19/#17 Nebraska Cornhuskers
(8-2 Overall, 0-0 Big Ten)
South Dakota Coyotes
(7-5 Overall, 0-0 Summit League)
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2:30 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Tickets: Huskers.com / 1-800-8-BIG-RED
Radio: 25-Station IMG College Husker Sports Network
(PBP-Matt Coatney; Analyst-Jeff Griesch)
107.3 FM KBBK-Lincoln; 93.3 FM KFFF-Omaha
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
Live Premium Video: BTN.com All-Access (subscription required)
Huskers Collide with Coyotes Before Heading Home for Holidays
The Nebraska women’s basketball team returns to action Saturday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena to take on South Dakota.
Tip-off between the No. 19 Huskers (8-2) and the Coyotes (7-5) is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT). Tickets are available now at Huskers.com or can be purchased during regular business hours Monday-Friday from the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED. Because of commencement exercises at Nebraska on Saturday (9 a.m.) doors to Pinnacle Bank Arena will not open until 1:30 p.m. (60 minutes prior to tip-off).
The game can be heard live on the Husker Sports Network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and The Wolf 93.3 FM in Omaha. Free live audio is available on Huskers.com. Live premium video coverage will be provided to subscribers of BTN.com All-Access.
Nebraska has Finals Week (Dec. 16-20) off from competition after flying to a 63-38 win over Creighton on Dec. 14. Emily Cady led the Huskers with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a strong all-around effort. Fellow junior forward Hailie Sample added a season-high 13 points, while junior guard Brandi Jeffery contributed a season-high 11 points and a career-high-tying four assists.
Nebraska got contributions up and down its lineup, and played its cleanest game of the season with season bests of 10 turnovers, seven personal fouls and six blocked shots.
All-American Jordan Hooper, who had five points and a season-high 15 rebounds against Creighton, leads the Big Ten with 11.2 rebounds per game, while ranking third in the conference with 19.9 points per contest. Hooper, a 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., needs 16 points against South Dakota to reach 1,900 for her career. She enters the game with 1,884 points and 923 rebounds, which both rank among the top 10 totals for active NCAA Division I players.
South Dakota comes to Lincoln following a 76-48 Thursday night win over the College of Saint Mary in Vermillion. The Coyotes, under the direction of former Husker Amy (Gusso) Williams, carry a five-game winning streak to Lincoln, including impressive wins over Utah State, Wyoming and Northern Iowa. USD has averaged 81.4 points over its past five games after averaging 66.6 points in going 2-5 through its first seven contests, including losses to Creighton, Iowa State and Drake.
#19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 13.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 19.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg
33 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - So. - G - 11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
1 - Tear’a Laudermill - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Off the Bench
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 4.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 4.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
21 - Sadie Murren - 5-8 - So. - G - 3.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg
10 - Hannah Tvrdy - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 0.7 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
12th Season at NU (223-137); 24th Season Overall (418-277)
South Dakota Coyotes (7-5, 0-0 Summit League)
33 - Polly Harrington - 5-11 - Sr. - F - 10.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg
44 - Lisa Loeffler - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 6.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg
4 - Tia Hemiller - 5-6 - So. - G - 8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg
35 - Nicole Seekamp - 5-10 - Jr. - G - 15.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg
42 - Heidi Hoff - 5-10 - So. - G - 4.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Off the Bench
23 - Raeshel Contreras - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 11.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg
30 - Margaret McCloud - 6-2 - So. - C - 7.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg
22 - Bridget Arens - 6-0 - Fr. - F - 3.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
5 - Maddy White - 5-11 - Fr. - F - 3.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
24 - Jaylah Jackson - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 1.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg
20 - Taylor Moore - 5-10 - So. - G - 1.4 ppg, 0.3 rpg
2 - Bailey Milne - 5-11 - RFr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
15 - Kelly Stewart - 6-0 - So. - G - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
32 - Emily Smith - 6-3 - Fr. - C - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy (Gusso) Williams (Nebraska, 1997)
Second Season at USD (26-21); Seventh Season Overall (123-86)
Husker Hot Shots - Nebraska’s Starting Five
#35, Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Sr., F, Alliance, Neb. (19.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg)
• Senior All-American Jordan Hooper needs 16 points to become the third player in Nebraska history with 1,900 points and 900 rebounds. Hooper enters the South Dakota game with 1,884 points and 923 rebounds in her career. The only other Huskers to reach the career milestones are first-team All-Americans Karen Jennings and Kelsey Griffin.
• Hooper, who ranks No. 6 on NU’s career scoring list with 1,884 points, needs 46 points to catch Kiera Hardy (1,930, 2004-07) at No. 5. Hooper ranks No. 8 nationally among all active NCAA Division I players.
• Hooper ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 45 nationally with 19.9 points per game.
• Through games Dec. 15, Hooper was tied for the Big Ten lead and 19th nationally with 11.2 rebounds per game. With 923 career rebounds, Hooper ranks No. 10 among all active NCAA Division I players.
• Hooper, who owns 31 career double-doubles, is averaging a double-double with 19.9 points and 11.2 rebounds through 10 games. Her five double-doubles this season are tied for 26th nationally.
• Hooper has scored in double figures in 94 of her 108 career games, including 39 20-point performances. She owns seven career 30-point efforts, including her 33-point, 14-board effort in NU’s win over Utah State on Dec. 8. She has grabbed double-digit rebounds on 37 occasions, including seven times this year.
• Hooper is expected to make her 109th career start against South Dakota, which ranks 10th on the Nebraska career list.
#23, Emily Cady, 6-2, Jr., F, Seward, Neb. (13.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg)
• Emily Cady is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.6 points and 9.2 rebounds. She owns four double-doubles this season (Alabama, Southern, Washington State, Utah State) and 12 in her career.
• With 12 career double-doubles, Cady needs one more to crack Nebraska’s top-10 list in that category. Kathy Hagerstrom (1980-83) and Carol Garey (1979-80) are tied for ninth with 13.
• Cady ranks No. 4 in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.594), and No. 3 overall in rebounding (9.2 rpg) and defensive rebounds (7.4 pg). She ranks eighth in free throw percentage (.862).
• With seven rebounds against Creighton, Cady increased her career rebounding total to 575. She moved into 18th place on the NU career list. She needs just five boards against South Dakota to match Catheryn Redmon (580, 2008-11) in 17th on the Husker all-time rebounding list.
• With three blocks against Creighton, Cady increased her career total to 68 to move into the No. 10 spot on the Nebraska career list ahead of Rissa Taylor (66, 1990-93). Cady needs 20 more blocks to catch Casey Leonhardt at No. 9 (88, 2000-01).
#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, So., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.7 apg)
• Rachel Theriot ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.929, 26-28) and No. 4 in assists (5.7 apg).
• Theriot has scored in double figures on six occasions this season, including a career-high 28 points at Utah (Nov. 15), when she added a career-best seven rebounds. Theriot owns 13 career double-figure scoring efforts and one career 20-point game.
• Theriot has produced 118 points through 10 games. Last season, she did not score her 118th point until game 23, when she had six points in a win at Northwestern to reach 122 on Feb. 7. It was her 17th career start.
• Theriot is 26-of-28 at the line in 2013-14. She went 10-for-17 in 34 games with 28 starts in 2012-13.
#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Jr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.5 apg)
• Hailie Sample is expected to join Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady in Nebraska’s starting front line for the 78th consecutive game on Saturday.
• Sample is averaging 7.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. She produced double figures for the third time in the last four games with a season-high 13 points in NU’s win over Creighton on Dec. 14. Sample owns nine career double-figure scoring performances, including a career-high 20 points in last season’s loss at Creighton.
• Over the last four games, Sample is averaging 10.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists while shooting 56 percent from the field and a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line.
• Sample ranks second among the Huskers with 25 total assists (2.5 apg).
#1, Tear’a Laudermill, 5-9, Jr., G, Riverside, Calif. (7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg)
• Tear’a Laudermill has averaged 9.5 points and 2.8 rebounds over the last six games.
• Laudermill scored a season-high 12 points in a win over Southern (Nov. 24). She produced career bests with six rebounds and two blocks in NU’s win over UMass-Lowell (Nov. 27). She added nine points in just 16 minutes against the River Hawks despite battling illness.
• Laudermill’s 11-point effort at No. 18 North Carolina marked her third double-figure scoring effort in the last five games and the seventh of her career. Her back-to-back double-digit efforts against Washington State and North Carolina marked the first time in her career that she produced double figures in consecutive games.
• Nebraska’s front line players Jordan Hooper, Emily Cady and Hailie Sample are expected to make their 78th consecutive starts together against South Dakota. The group is averaging 40.7 points and 25.7 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 194 points in NU’s first 10 games last season. This year, the group has produced 326 points in 10 contests - combining for 13.2 more points per game than 2012-13.
• Junior guard Brandi Jeffery started NU’s first three games. Jeffery missed the Southern game with an injury but has returned for Nebraska’s last six games. Over the last three games, Jeffery is averaging 7.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal while hitting 9-of-14 shots (.643), including 4-of-7 three-pointers (.571).
• Nebraska ranks No. 7 nationally with 45,406 fans at home this season. The Huskers rank 12th nationally with an average home attendance of 5,676 per game. The Huskers have drawn seven of the top 13 non-conference home crowds in school history this season, including a record 9,750 vs. UCLA (Nov. 8).
Big Red, Big Picture
• Nebraska 2013-14 recruiting class is ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN.
• Nebraska has sold more than 3,400 all-session tickets for the NCAA Lincoln Regional (March 29-31).
• Nebraska will recognize 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 will return to Lincoln from her professional team in Italy.
• Nebraska will retire 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 will have 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, will make 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 in five of the past seven seasons (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013).
• Coach Connie Yori is the winningest coach in Husker history (223 victories) and has won conference coach-of-the-year honors in the Big Ten (2013), Big 12 (2012) and Missouri Valley (2002). She was the national coach-of-the-year in 2010.
Scouting the South Dakota Coyotes
South Dakota carries a 7-5 record into Saturday’s game in Lincoln after the Coyotes cruised to their fifth straight win with a 76-48 run past the College of Saint Mary in Vermillion, S.D., on Thursday. Tia Hemiller led USD with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Nicole Seekamp added a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, as the Coyotes led 43-16 at the half.
South Dakota continued its offensive surge, averaging 81.4 points during its five-game winning streak, which has included impressive wins over Wyoming, Utah State and Northern Iowa. Through the first seven games, USD was 2-5 and averaging 66.6 points per game with losses to Iowa State, Creighton, Drake, UC Irvine and North Dakota.
Second-year coach and former Husker Amy (Gusso) Williams has the Coyotes firing on all cylinders as they come to Lincoln for the first time since Dec. 3, 2009.
Williams, a native of Spearfish, S.D., was a four-year letterwinner at Nebraska from 1994-95 through 1997-98. The 5-6 guard was originally a walk-on before earning a scholarship. She appeared in 57 games for the Huskers before embarking on a coaching career. She served as a graduate assistant at Nebraska-Kearney before earning her master’s degree in sports administration in 2002. She was also an assistant coach at Texas-San Antonio in 2000-01.
Following her stop at UTSA, she spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State. She then spent two seasons at Tulsa, helping the Golden Hurricane to a 26-6 record and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Williams then spent her next five seasons as the first head women’s basketball coach in the history of Rogers State University. In her final season at the NAIA school, she led the Hillcats to the NAIA Final Eight, finishing with a 22-12 record.
In her first season at South Dakota, Williams guided the Coyotes to a 19-16 record and a 10-6 Summit League mark. She also helped USD advance to the semifinals of the Women’s Basketball Invitational.
Nicole Seekamp, a preseason first-team All-Summit League selection, leads the Coyotes with 15.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The 5-10 junior guard from Renmark, South Australia, also leads USD with 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per contest. A solid shooter and skillful penetrator, Seekamp has hit 36.6 percent (15-41) of her three-pointers and 85.7 percent (54-63) of her free throws.
Free throw shooting has arguably been South Dakota’s greatest strength early in the season. The Coyotes have not only hit 73.4 percent of their free throws, they are averaging 24.4 trips to the line per game. Seven Coyotes have attempted 20 or more free throws this season.
Junior Raeshel Contreras has surged recently, averaging 17.3 points per game off the bench in USD’s last three wins. For the season, the 5-7 junior guard ranks second on the team with 11.6 points per game. A high-volume shooter, Contreras leads USD with 55 three-point attempts.
The lone senior on South Dakota’s roster, Polly Harrington leads the Coyotes inside. The 5-11 forward from Kansas City, Mo., who began her college career at Louisville, is averaging 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Lisa Loeffler, a 6-1 junior forward, has added 6.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while guards Tia Hemiller (8.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Heidi Hoff (4.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg) round out USD’s consistent starting five.
While USD has started the same five players every game, the Coyotes play a deep rotation that includes Margaret McCloud. The 6-2 sophomore center is averaging 7.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in just 17.5 minutes per game off the bench. Nebraska natives Bridget Arens (Crofton) and Taylor Moore (Milford) have contributed in every game this season, while freshman Jaylah Jackson (Olathe, Kan.) has appeared in 11 of USD’s first 12 contests.
As a team, South Dakota is shooting 40.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three-point range. The Coyotes are nearly plus-six in the rebounding department, but minus-1.5 in the turnover category.
USD is averaging 72.8 points per game, while allowing 67.0 points per contest.
Nebraska vs. South Dakota Series History
Nebraska leads the all-time series with South Dakota, 9-1, with USD’s lone win coming in an 87-85 overtime victory on Feb. 14, 1981, in Vermillion. The Huskers won the last meeting, 77-38 at the Devaney Center on Dec. 3, 2009. That game marked the first between between NU and USD since a 94-56 Husker win in Lincoln on Dec. 12, 1984.
The series between the two schools dates back to a 98-26 win by the Huskers on March 14, 1975 - the first season of Nebraska women’s basketball.
Huskers Soar Past Creighton, 63-38
No. 19 Nebraska held Creighton to just 11 second-half points to pull away for a 63-38 victory over the Bluejays at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers improved to 8-2 on the season, while holding Creighton to its lowest point total in the series since the 1975-76 Huskers surrendered just 31 on Dec. 5, 1975. No other Creighton team had scored fewer than 48 points against Nebraska since 1975, in a series that NU leads 28-11.
Creighton, which advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, jumped to a 10-7 lead in the game’s first four minutes following the second three-pointer of the game by Marissa Janning. CU held a 12-11 lead with 14 minutes left before back-to-back layups by Emily Cady and Brandi Jeffery put the Huskers in front.
A three-pointer by CU’s Sarah Nelson tied the score at 19 with 8:39 left, before back-to-back layups by Cady and Hailie Sample gave the Huskers the lead for good at 23-19 with 7:51 left in the opening half.
Cady, Sample and Jeffery did the most damage throughout the day for the Huskers. Cady, a 6-2 junior forward from Seward, Neb., finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks in a strong all-around game. Sample, a 6-1 junior forward from Flower Mound, Texas, added 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block despite battling illness during the week leading up to the game.
Jeffery, a 5-7 junior guard from Vacherie, La., added 11 big points off the bench to go along with a career-high-matching four assists - all in the first half. She added three rebounds and a pair of steals to lead strong contributions off the bench for the Big Red.
Jeffery, Cady and Sample combined for Nebraska’s final 10 points of the first half, including three-point plays from Cady and Sample off assists from Jeffery to help the Huskers push their lead to 35-27 at halftime.
The Huskers pulled away early in the second half, as Cady, Sample and Tear’a Laudermill fueled a 10-0 run to open the half and push NU’s lead to 45-27 with 14:21 left. The Jays got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way, as the Huskers held CU to just 11 second-half points on 4-for-35 shooting.
After the two early threes from Janning - Creighton’s leading scorer - the Huskers allowed only two more for Janning the rest of the way. She finished with eight points after entering the contest averaging 17 per game.
Jordan Hooper also held CU’s second-leading scorer, Sarah Nelson, to just just six points on a pair of threes, while limiting Nelson to just four rebounds. Nelson held Hooper to just five points, but Hooper yanked down 15 defensive rebounds on the day.
Husker sophomore point guard Rachel Theriot added a solid effort with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal while helping Nebraska dictate the tempo and the attack throughout the contest.
Laudermill scored all seven of her points early in the second half during Nebraska’s decisive run. She added a rebound and two steals for the Huskers.
Freshman center Allie Havers added five points, a rebound and a block off the bench.
As a team, Nebraska hit 44 percent (22-50) of its shots for the game, including 2-of-8 three-pointers. The Huskers were a sparkling 17-of-19 at the free throw line, and outscored CU 17-1 at the stripe. Nebraska committed a season-low seven fouls and a season-low 10 turnovers. The Big Red also blocked a season-high six shots.
Creighton finished the game at 23.1 percent (15-65) from the field, including 4-for-35 in the second half (11.4 percent). Nebraska pushed CU away from the basket throughout the game, as the Jays went 7-for-31 from three-point range (22.6 percent). CU won the rebounding battle 41-39, including a 13-1 edge on the offensive glass. But NU won the turnover battle, 13-10.
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 have sold out for the season, guaranteeing 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 1,884 career points. She ranks No. 10 among active Division I rebounders with 923 career boards. Hooper also ranks seventh among active career three-point shooters with 235 makes and is one of only two forwards among the top 25, joining UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.
Hooper is one of only nine active Division I players to achieve career milestones of 1,500 points and 800 career rebounds.
She ranks No. 5 in career field goal attempts (1,664), No. 6 in career three-point field goal attempts (699), No. 13 in career field goals made (650) and No. 22 in career free throws made (349) among all active NCAA Division I players.
Hooper Named Candidate for Senior CLASS Award
Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper has been selected as one of 30 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award for women’s basketball.
The Senior CLASS Award announced its list of candidates on Wednesday, Oct. 30. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must display notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. The acronym for “Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School,” the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., is a two-time honorable-mention All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. She has also been a nominee for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. In the community, she has volunteered her time at Belmont Elementary School, Saint Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center and participated on Nebraska’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
On the court, Hooper has led the Huskers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16. She has started 108 consecutive games and serves as a team captain. She could challenge Nebraska career records for points, rebounds and three-pointers made.
Hooper is one of only two women’s basketball student-athletes in the Big Ten Conference to earn a spot on the elite list of 30 Senior CLASS Award candidates, joining Penn State’s Maggie Lucas.
The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 midseason by a national media committee for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award. The 10 finalists will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.
Hooper Named to Wade, Wooden, Naismith Lists Again
Two-time All-American Jordan Hooper has been named a preseason national player-of-the-year candidate for the Wade and Naismith trophies and the Wooden Award again in 2013-14.
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 poised to become 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.
Hooper, who has scored 1,884 points and pulled down 923 rebounds in starting the first 108 games of her Husker career, is also in position to shatter the school’s three-point record. She enters the South Dakota game with 235 made three-pointers, just 32 shy of the school record held by three-time first-team All-Big 12 guard Kiera Hardy (2004-07). Hooper has averaged nearly 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 preseason lists for both the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award, joining Penn State’s Maggie Lucas and Minnesota’s Rachel Banham.
Husker Front Line to Make 78th Straight Start Together
Nebraska’s starting forwards of Jordan Hooper (108), Emily Cady (77) and Hailie Sample (77) have joined each other in the Huskers’ starting five for 77 consecutive games.
The inside trio has been joined in the Husker starting lineup for each of the last 38 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 stepped in the lineup for Jeffery the past seven 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 11 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 269 games.
Big Red Playing Big on Boards
Nebraska has produced a plus-8.4 rebounding margin over its first 10 games of 2013-14, outrebounding the opposition by an average of 42.5-34.1. Jordan Hooper has led the barrage on the boards by averaging 11.2 rebounds, including a 15-rebound game against Creighton, 14-rebound efforts against Washington State and Utah State, 13 rebounds against Alabama, 12 boards at Utah, 11 rebounds against UCLA and 10 against UMass-Lowell. Emily Cady (9.2 rpg) has added four double-digit rebound games of her own with 14 boards against Southern, 13 against Washington State, 11 rebounds against Alabama and 10 against Utah State.
Nebraska’s returning front line of Hooper, Cady and Hailie Sample have combined to average 25.7 rebounds per game, while sophomore point guard Rachel Theriot has added 3.7 boards per contest. The combined total of the four Husker starters (29.4 rpg) is just 4.7 rebounds short of the output of the NU opponents (34.1 rpg).
Free Throws Pay Off Big For Big Red
Nebraska has outscored its first 10 opponents by an average of 19.0-6.3 (+12.7 ppg) at the free throw line. The Huskers have attempted 241 free throws, more than doubling the 102 attempts by their opponents. The Huskers are shooting 78.8 percent at the line as a team.
Rachel Theriot ranks third in the Big Ten with her .929 (26-28) accuracy at the stripe, while Emily Cady (.862, 50-58), Jordan Hooper (.797, 47-59), Tear’a Laudermill (.813, 13-16), Allie Havers (.773, 17-22) and Brandi Jeffery (.833, 5-6) are all making 75 percent or better of their free throws. Hailie Sample has hit 20-of-30 (.667) of her free throws, including 13 consecutive makes over the last five games. Sample, Cady, Hooper and Theriot all have double-digit streaks this season, including Cady’s active streak of 14.
Nebraska’s primary front line players of Hooper (47), Cady (50), Hailie Sample (20) and Havers (17) have outscored NU’s opponents, 134-63 at the line.
@RachTheRiot Wreaking Havoc on Opposing Defenses
Rachel Theriot has produced a great start to her first season as Nebraska’s starting point guard. The 6-0 sophomore is averaging 11.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Last season, All-American Lindsey Moore averaged 15.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals per game.
Theriot erupted for a 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 alone, while going 6-for-6 at the line in the game’s final 35 seconds to seal the victory.
Theriot pumped in 17 points and dished out five assists in a win over Alabama, after distributing a career-high 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 for her sixth double-figure scoring effort of the season 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.
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.
Huskers Preseason Pick to Win Big Ten
Nebraska was voted the preseason pick to win the Big Ten regular-season title by both conference coaches and media in 2014. The picks were announced as part of Big Ten Media Day in Chicago, Oct. 31.
The Big Ten coaches and select media panel chose the Huskers to finish on top of the final conference standings, while defending champion Penn State was picked No. 2. Michigan State was No. 3 in a selection process where voters only chose their top three teams. The Big Ten does not do a full preseason ranking of all 12 teams in women’s basketball.
Husker senior Jordan Hooper was a unanimous choice of Big Ten coaches to the preseason All-Big Ten team. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., also earned a spot on the five-player media team. Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas from Penn State was a unanimous choice to both all-conference teams, while Minnesota’s Rachel Banham added a unanimous selection from the league media.
Huskers Claim Highest Preseason Rank in School History
Nebraska opened its 2013-14 campaign with its highest preseason ranking in school history, as the Huskers started the year No. 12 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25, announced Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Nebraska’s preseason ranking by the coaches surpassed its No. 19 ranking by USA Today before the start of the 2012-13 season. The Huskers finished 2012-13 at No. 18 in the coaches poll after advancing to their second NCAA Sweet 16 in the past four years. Nebraska went 25-9 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten.
Huskers to Honor All-American Griffin with Jersey Retirement
The Nebraska women’s basketball program is adding another name and number to its wall of honor inside the new Pinnacle Bank Arena - and this one is a legend.
Kelsey Griffin, one of the most accomplished Huskers both on and off the court in program history, will be honored by Nebraska with the retirement of her No. 23 jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 29, when the Huskers take on Michigan. She will join 1993 Wade Trophy Winner and CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Famer Karen Jennings (No. 51) and 1988 Big Eight Player-of-the-Year Maurtice Ivy (No. 30) among Nebraska’s retired jersey honorees.
Griffin, a first-team All-American on the court and a national player-of-the-year finalist in 2010, became the face of Nebraska women’s basketball for five seasons (2006-10). The lightly recruited 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, powered Nebraska’s rise to national prominence by earning three first-team All-Big 12 Conference awards.
Griffin also led Nebraska to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Her final season as a Husker, she etched a permanent place in Husker history as part of a six-player senior class that led Nebraska to an unbeaten regular season (29-0), 30 consecutive victories, a Big 12 Conference regular-season title and Nebraska’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. She captured Big 12 Player-of-the-Year honors while leading NU to a 32-2 final record that included a 16-0 Big 12 mark.
She ranks No. 3 on Nebraska’s all-time scoring list with 2,033 points, while ranking No. 2 in the Husker record book with 1,019 career rebounds. She joins 1993 Wade Trophy winner and fellow first-team All-American Karen Jennings as the only players in Nebraska history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Griffin also set Nebraska’s career record with 40 double-doubles in her four years on the court in Lincoln. Her 127 career starts rank No. 2 in school history.
As a senior, Griffin averaged 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, including 20 double-doubles. She also earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team by notching 60 steals, 26 blocked shots and took a remarkable 29 charges on the year.
Griffin was NU’s first-ever winner of the Senior CLASS Award, recognizing her achievements in the community and the classroom, while honoring her character and success in competition. She was honored as Nebraska’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2009-10, before earning the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft.
Griffin earned a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team with the Connecticut Sun in 2010. She completed her fourth professional season with the Sun in 2013, starting all 34 games and averaging career bests of 8.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. In her four-year WNBA career, she has played in 133 games with 61 starts for Connecticut. Griffin also has played professionally in Hungary, Israel and most recently for the Bendigo Spirit in Australia’s WNBL. In 2012-13, Griffin led the Spirit to the WNBL title and was named the MVP of the championship series. She has returned to Australia for the 2013-14 campaign, where she plays alongside former Husker teammate and 2012 Olympian Chelsea Aubry.
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, surpassing 3,400.
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.
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.
Looking Back at Nebraska’s 2013 Sweet 16 Season
No. 24/18 Nebraska women’s basketball team capped one of the best seasons in school history by making its second NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in the past four years in 2013.
Although the sixth-seeded Huskers fell to the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils, 53-45, in the Norfolk (Va.) Regional semifinal game, Nebraska celebrated the second-most victories in school history. NU finished the season with a 25-9 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten regular-season mark. Nebraska’s Big Ten runner-up finish also marked the second-most conference wins in school history.
All nine of Nebraska’s regular-season losses came at the hands of 2013 postseason teams, including seven setbacks to teams that advanced to at least the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Along with advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16, the Huskers closed the 2013 campaign at No. 24 in the final Associated Press Poll (regular season) and No. 18 in the final USA Today/Coaches Top (post-NCAA Tournament). It marked the third time in the past four years the Huskers have finished in the top 25 in both polls. NU climbed seven spots in the final USA Today poll, the second-largest jump from the end of the regular season, trailing only NCAA runner-up Louisville’s leap from No. 17 to No. 3.
Senior point guard Lindsey Moore joined junior forward Jordan Hooper as the first teammates in school history to be named to the AP All-America team in the same season. Moore, a Big Ten All-Tournament selection and second-team All-Big Ten choice for the second straight year, earned the first All-America accolades of her career by claiming honorable mention from the AP. Moore was also a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, presented to the nation’s top point guard, for the second straight year.
Hooper, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten choice, captured honorable-mention All-America accolades from both the AP and the WBCA for the second straight season. Moore and Hooper were both preseason candidates for the Wade, Naismith and Wooden national player-of-the-year awards, becoming the first teammates in history to earn mention on those distinguished lists as well.
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
• Big Ten 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.
Yori Captured Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year Honors
Nebraska’s Connie Yori was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in voting by conference coaches for 2013. Yori captured her second conference coach-of-the-year award in the last four seasons and her first in the Big Ten.
In 2012-13, Yori guided Nebraska to 10 straight conference wins, including a perfect February, as the Huskers finished with a 12-4 Big Ten mark as the regular-season runner-up.
Yori’s young squad overcame a plethora of injuries and a 2-3 Big Ten start to play for a share of the Big Ten title in the regular-season finale against No. 7 Penn State at the Devaney Center. Although Nebraska came up short against the Lady Lions, Yori’s team finished the regular season with a 22-7 overall record that included a Big Ten-best 7-1 road mark in conference play.
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 Sixteen 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 11 seasons as NU’s coach, her Huskers have earned a total of 32 all-conference awards (10 first team, 2 second team, 11 honorable mention, 5 freshmen, 4 defensive).
Yori’s 2012-13 Huskers Notched Another 20-Win Campaign
Coach Connie Yori is in the midst of leading the Huskers to the most successful era in school history. The 2012-13 Huskers earned their second NCAA Sweet 16 selection in the past four years, while rolling to 25 wins - the second-highest victory total in school history. It was Nebraska’s fifth 20-win season in the past seven years.
Prior to Yori leading her 2006-07 Huskers to 22 wins, Nebraska had only managed five 20-win seasons in the previous 26 years. NU has managed 14 20-win seasons in 38 full seasons of women’s basketball as a varsity sport.
Over the past seven seasons, Nebraska has averaged 21.7 wins, including the three highest victory totals in school history - 32 wins in 2009-10, 25 in 2012-13 and 24 wins in 2011-12. Over the past four years, NU has averaged 23.5 wins per year.
Prior to Yori’s arrival in 2002-03, Nebraska’s record for most wins in a season was 23 (1978-79, 1979-80, 1992-93, 1997-98).
Hooper Joins Elite 1,800-Point, 900-Rebound Club
Jordan Hooper reached a truly elite combination with her 33-point, 14-rebound effort against Utah State on Dec. 8. The 6-2 senior from Alliance, Neb., pushed her career rebound total to 908, becoming just the third Husker in history to achieve career milestones of 1,800 points and 900 boards.
Only first-team All-Americans Karen Jennings (1990-93) and Kelsey Griffin (2006-10) have achieved both of those marks, and by the end of this season both will have their Husker jerseys retired.
Hooper added five points and 15 rebounds against Creighton on Dec. 14 to push her career totals to 1,884 points and 923 rebounds. She needs just 16 points to become the third player in NU history with 1,900 points and 900 boards.
Hooper Closing in on Husker Career Three-Point Record
Senior Jordan Hooper owns 235 career three-pointers, just 32 shy of the Husker career record set by Kiera Hardy (267, 2004-07).
Hooper became the first Husker junior to reach 200 career threes in 2012-13. Hardy ended her junior campaign in 2005-06 with 196.
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 ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 2.0 threes per game in 2013-14, but did not attempt a three-pointer on her way to a 33-point, 14-rebound performance 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-pointer 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. She has never gone three straight games in her career without hitting a three. Hooper has attempted only three total threes over the past two games.
Hooper Puts Up Double-Doubles at Record Rate
Jordan Hooper ranks third all-time at Nebraska with 31 career double-doubles, following her 33-point, 14-rebound effort in a win Utah State on Dec. 8. It was her fifth double-double of the season and third in the past four games.
Hooper, who also posted an NCAA Tournament first-round double-double against Chattanooga, has notched double-doubles in six of her last 13 games.
Hooper, who produced three double-doubles in Big Ten play in 2013, has produced some monstrous doubles in her career. In fact, 18 of her career double-doubles have included 20-point scoring efforts, including four of her seven 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-doubles 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 from Dec. 18, 2011, to Jan. 5, 2012.
Nebraska’s History of Success at Home
Nebraska has opened the Pinnacle Bank Arena era with a 7-1 home record in 2013-14, including a 77-49 win over UCLA (Nov. 8). NU added a 62-48 victory over Alabama (Nov. 11), a 78-55 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 21), an 87-64 win over Southern (Nov. 24) and a 77-42 victory over UMass-Lowell (Nov. 27).
NU lost its first-ever game to Washington State (76-72) at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Nov. 30, but bounced back with a 95-75 win over Utah State on Dec. 8. The Huskers added a 63-38 win over Creighton on Dec. 14.
The Huskers have improved to 395-131 (.751) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 131-35 (.789) over the last 11 seasons at home, posting double-figure home victory totals in each of the last 10 seasons. 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. An eighth regular-season game (Illinois, Feb. 27) could be picked up by BTN, and 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 will come at Utah on Nov. 15, when the Huskers appear on the Pac-12 Network. NU also will make 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 will be back on NET again against Michigan on Jan. 29.
Both of Nebraska’s NET games will be 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 is expected to be 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 is offering a pair of opportunities to follow the Huskers on the road this season.
The first trip being organized is for Nebraska’s Feb. 1 showdown with Iowa in Iowa City. The second trip will join 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fastbreakers Prepare for More Fun with Pregame Parties
The Fastbreakers Women’s Basketball Booster Club has set the dates for four Pregame Parties in Lincoln for the 2013-14 season.
With the new development in the Haymarket District, the Fastbreakers invite fans to take a tour of some of the new restaurants in the area at these fun new events. Each Pregame Party will begin two hours prior to the tip-off for select games, and wrap up 30 minutes before the game begins to allow fans to get to their seats in time for the game.
Pregame Parties will feature great food and drink specials at each location, lots of door prizes, and a different Husker spirit item provided for each fan in attendance. There is no cost to attend (food and drink will be available for purchase), and no RSVP is required. At the season’s end, fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite location, where next year’s events will be held.
The first Pregame Party was held on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Courtyard Marriott Bistro, just two blocks from Pinnacle Bank Arena. The party began at 5 p.m., prior to the game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which tipped off at 7 p.m.
The second Pregame Party was held on Sunday, Dec. 8 (game vs. Utah State). NU’s upcoming Pregame Parties will be Thursday, Jan. 16 (game vs. Minnesota) and Saturday, Feb. 8 (game vs. Michigan State).
Locations will be announced on Huskers.com, Twitter, Facebook and at Husker Women’s Basketball games. Questions can be directed to the Huskers Athletic Fund at (402) 472-2367 or 800-8-BIG RED, or at email@example.com.
Home Attendance Set to Pass 50,000 on Saturday
Through eight home games, the Huskers have attracted 45,406 fans including seven of the top 13 largest home non-conference crowds in school history. NU has drawn 5,000 or more fans for five of its first eight home games at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The Big Red drew only five home non-conference crowds of 5,000 or more in 37 seasons at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska’s total home attendance of 45,406 ranks No. 7 nationally, while NU’s average home attendance of 5,676 ranks 12th.
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.
Growing interest in Nebraska women’s basketball is not new. In fact, 12 of the 20 largest non-conference home crowds in school history have come over the last 20 home games for the Big Red.
Game One Features 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.