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Nebraska Women's Basketball History
The 2013-14 Huskers won Nebraska's first Big Ten Tournament title.
Photo Courtesy Scott Bruhn/NU Media Relations
Courtesy: NU Media Relations
03/20/2015
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For the history of Nebraska women's basketball, explore the links below.

Nebraska women's basketball moves into its fifth season of Big Ten Conference competition in 2015-16. The Huskers have earned trips to the NCAA Tournament in each of their four seasons as Big Ten representatives from 2012 through 2015. Nebraska was the conference's automatic bid into the 2014 NCAA Tournament, after capturing the school's first Big Ten Tournament championship.

In Nebraska's first four seasons in the nation's oldest and most-respected conference, the Huskers have played for a pair of regular-season Big Ten titles on the final day of the season and a pair of conference tournament championships. Nebraska has posted four consecutive 20-win seasons, averaging 24 victories per year. The Huskers also are the only Big Ten team to post four consecutive winning seasons in conference play.

The excitement around women's basketball in Nebraska is at an all-time high. Not only have the Huskers made five NCAA Tournament appearances in the past six years, including a pair of trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, Nebraska moved into a sparkling new home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14. The $179 million facility seats more than 15,000 and is located in the heart of Lincoln's historic Haymarket district, just steps away from the Nebraska campus.

In its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Huskers tied the school record with 16 home victories, while ranking eighth nationally in total attendance with more than 110,000 fans attending NU's games at the new arena. Nebraska averaged more than 6,000 fans per game for the second straight season at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2014-15.

In its first season at the new arena, Nebraska also earned the right to host a four-team NCAA Regional in Lincoln, March 29-April 1, 2014. It marked the first NCAA Tournament games for men's or women's basketball in Lincoln since 1993. The site was a resounding success, as more than 17,000 fans attended the two sessions of games in Lincoln, that included UConn, Texas A&M, DePaul and BYU.

In 2014-15, Nebraska's four-player senior class of Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery, Tear'a Laudermill and Hailie Sample became the most successful group in school history. All four-year contributors who came to Nebraska as the highest-ranked recruiting class in history at the time, they became the first Huskers to advance to four straight NCAA tournaments and post four consecutive 20-wins seasons.

The seniors led the Huskers through plenty of challenges in 2014-15, including injuries and illnesses to a handful of players before a season-ending ankle injury to All-America point guard Rachel Theriot at the start of February.

In 2013-14, Nebraska notched the second-best record in school history at 26-7, while finishing third in the Big Ten regular-season standings (12-4) before rolling to three impressive wins to claim the school's first-ever conference tournament title in Indianapolis. The Big Red went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed with a win over Fresno State, before upset by BYU in a narrow 80-76 loss in Los Angeles. The Huskers finished No. 13 in the final AP Poll, No. 17 in the final USA Today/Coaches Top 25 and No. 19 in the final NCAA RPI. It was Nebraska's fourth top 25 ranking in the last five years.

Big Ten Player of the Year Jordan Hooper went on to earn first-team All-America honors from the WBCA and the Senior CLASS Award, while adding second-team honors from the Associated Press. Hooper was also the 13th overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock. Hooper was joined by point guard Rachel Theriot on the All-America and All-Big Ten teams. Theriot garnered honorable-mention All-America accolades from the AP, while claiming first-team All-Big Ten honors. She was also the MVP of the Big Ten Tournament.

In 2012-13, the Huskers rolled to a 25-9 record while finishing as the Big Ten regular-season runner-up (12-4) in 2012-13. After advancing to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, the Huskers earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament in College Station, Texas. Nebraska rolled to a first-round win over Chattanooga, before knocking off No. 9 Texas A&M on its home court at Reed Arena. With the victory, Nebraska advanced to its second NCAA Sweet 16.

Nebraska also finished with a top-25 national ranking, while senior point guard Lindsey Moore claimed the Huskers' second first-round WNBA Draft pick in the past five seasons. Moore, who went with the No. 12 overall pick to the Minnesota Lynx, joined 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin as WNBA first-round picks under Coach Connie Yori. 

During the season, Yori became the winningest head coach in Nebraska history and captured 2013 Big Ten Coach-of-the-Year honors. Her award followed Big 12 and National Coach-of-the-Year accolades in 2010.

Nebraska's impressive 2012-13 season followed on the heels of a 24-9 record that included a 10-6 Big Ten mark in their first conference campaign. The young Huskers, who featured a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup for every game, fought their way to the Big Ten Tournament title game by winning three games in their first appearance in Indianapolis. 

The Nebraska program has enjoyed a growing tradition since its first full season as a varsity sport in 1975-76. Under Coach Yori, the Huskers have advanced to 11 postseason tournament appearances in the past 12 years, including seven NCAA tournaments. Overall, Nebraska has made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2010 and 2013.

In 2010, Nebraska produced a record-breaking season by winning the Big 12 regular-season title while posting a 32-2 overall record that included a 16-0 conference mark. The Huskers tied the Big 12 record by winning 30 consecutive games to open the season, while becoming the first Big 12 men's or women's basketball team in history to complete an unbeaten regular season (29-0). First-team All-American Kelsey Griffin captured NU's first Senior CLASS Award across all sports, while being named the 2010 Big 12 Player of the Year. Griffin, a three-time all-conference selection on and off the court, was also named Nebraska's Female Student-Athlete of the Year.

Karen Jennings, a three-time All-American both on and off the court for the Huskers, owns a special place in college basketball history. The 1993 Wade Trophy winner as the nation's top player, Jennings was also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American-of-the-Year in women's basketball. In 2008, Jennings claimed a place among the nation's elite across all collegiate sports by earning a spot in the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame.

Described by legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg as the home of the best-of-the-best-of-the-best, the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame features just over 100 former student-athletes all time, across all sports who have achieved the highest levels of excellence in competition, in the classroom and in their lives and careers following graduation.

Jennings, Griffin and Hooper are joined by Nebraska's first Big Eight Player of the Year Maurtice Ivy (1988) as a quartet of 2,000-point scorers in Husker history. Overall, Nebraska owns a rich tradition of success on the court, in the classroom and in the community.

Jennings, Ivy and Griffin are the only three Huskers who have been honored with retired jerseys by the school, but the success of individual players beyond Nebraska in recent years bodes well for more to join them in the future. Griffin, who recently completed her fifth WNBA season with the Connecticut Sun, claimed her spot among Nebraska's legends with her jersey retirment in 2014.

Former Husker Anna DeForge is in her 17th professional season in 2014-15. The two-time WNBA All-Star was an honorable-mention All-American during her career at Nebraska.

Former Husker Chelsea Aubry, one of Yori's first Nebraska recruits, became the first Nebraska player to compete in the Olympics in 2012. Aubry, a 6-2 forward from Kitchener, Ontario, was a captain for the Canadians in London and also continues her career professionally overseas in Australia. While Aubry completed her eighth professional season, former Husker forward Danielle Page finished her seventh professional season in Europe in 2014-15.

Page also spent one season in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun, and recently announced plans to compete as a member of the Serbian National Team as it begins pursuit of a spot in the 2016 Olympics.

 

 

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