Nebraska women's basketball moves into its third season of Big Ten Conference competition in 2013-14 after two strong seasons in the conference.
The excitement around women's basketball in Nebraska is at an all-time high. Not only have the Huskers made a pair of NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in the last four years, but Nebraska moves 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.
The addition of the impressive new arena helped Nebraska earned the right to host a four-team NCAA Regional in Lincoln, March 29-April 1. It will mark the first NCAA Tournament games for men's or women's basketball in Lincoln since 1993.
In 2012-13, the Huskers rolled to the second-best record in school history while finishing as the Big Ten regular-season runner-up in 2012-13. Nebraska closed one of its best seasons with a 25-9 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten mark. 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 in the past four years.
Nebraska also finished with a top-25 national ranking for the third time in the past four years, while senior point guard Lindsey Moore claimed the Huskers' second first-round WNBA Draft pick in the past four 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 nine postseason tournament appearances in the past 10 years, including five NCAA Tournaments. Overall, Nebraska has made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances, including the first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2010.
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.
Griffin and Jennings are joined by Nebraska's first Big Eight Player of the Year Maurtice Ivy (1988) as a trio 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 and Ivy are the only two 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 recently completed her fourth WNBA season with the Connecticut Sun. She earned a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team in 2010, before helping the Sun to the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.
Former Husker Anna DeForge enters her 16th professional season in 2013-14. 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 enters her seventh professional season, former Husker forward Danielle Page enters her sixth professional season in Europe in 2012-13. Page also spent one season in the WNBA with the Connecticut Sun.
For more on the history of Nebraska women's basketball, explore the links below.