Huskers Wrap Up Exhibition Play With UNK
Nebraska Cornhuskers (32-2, 16-0 Big 12 - 2009-10)
Nebraska-Kearney Lopers (9-18, 8-11 RMAC - 2009-10)
Bob Devaney Sports Center (13,595) • Lincoln, Neb. • Sunday, Nov. 7, 2:05 p.m.
Radio: Husker Sports Network (880 AM KRVN - Lexington; 93.3 FM KTWI - Omaha)
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
Premium Video: HuskersNside
The Nebraska women's basketball team closes its two-game exhibition schedule by playing host to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Sunday, Nov. 7.
Tip-off between the Huskers and Lopers at the Bob Devaney Sports Center is set for 2:05 p.m. Tickets for Sunday's exhibition game are available in advance at Huskers.com or by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIGRED or (402) 472-3111. Adult tickets start at just $5.
Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will call the action on the Husker Sports Network, including flagship stations 880 AM-KRVN in Lexington and 93.3 FM-KTWI in Omaha. The game can also be heard free world-wide on Huskers.com, while live video will also be available to HuskersNside subscribers.
Nebraska opened exhibition play with a solid 78-60 victory over visiting Pittsburg State on Halloween at the Devaney Center. Playing in front of an NU home exhibition record crowd of 2,660, freshman Jordan Hooper scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and notched four steals in her collegiate debut. The two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year put up the big numbers despite hitting just 6-of-25 shots from the field.
Katya Leick, who joined Hooper as a first-time starter in the NU lineup, added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while senior center Catheryn Redmon added a double-double of her own with 14 points and 11 boards.
The Huskers were able to overcome 33.3 percent (26-78) shooting from the field by outrebounding the Gorillas, 57-36. NU hauled in 25 offensive rebounds, including 16 in the second half.
Senior guard Dominique Kelley, who has made 98 consecutive regular-season starts for the Huskers, did not play against Pittsburg State, but is hoping to return to the court against UNK. Kelley, an honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick last year, had knee surgery in late-September and has been rehabilitating the past five weeks.
UNK Coach Kevin Chaney will be bringing an experienced Loper team to the Devaney Center for his first game as a collegiate head coach. Chaney replaces former Husker Carol Russell at the helm for the Lopers.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (32-2, 16-0 Big 12)
20 - Katya Leick - 6-1 - So. - F - 1.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
21 - Harleen Sidhu - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 2.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Fr. - F - High School
44 - Catheryn Redmon - 6-3 - Sr. - C - 4.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - So. - G - 6.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Kellie McCann-Smith - 5-9 - Fr. - G - High School
5 - Kaitlyn Burke - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 1.2 ppg, 0.5 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - So. - F - 0.9 ppg, 0.7 rpg
12 - Layne Reeves - 5-11 - So. - G - 1.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg
13 - Jessica Periago - 6-4 - Sr. - C - 1.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg
14 - Katie Simon - 6-2 - Fr. - F - High School
24 - Dominique Kelley - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 12.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg
33 - Rebecca Woodberry - 5-10 - Fr. - G - High School
55 - Adrianna Maurer - 6-3 - Fr. - C - High School
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
Ninth Season at NU (153-99); 21st Season Overall (348-239)
Nebraska-Kearney Lopers (9-18, 8-11 RMAC)
22 - Lee Ann Jameson 5-9 Jr. F 8.4 3.4
23 - Vanessa Leeper 5-10 Jr. F 9.3 4.9
31 - Megan Becker 6-0 Sr. F 12.1 5.8
1 - Nicole Arp 5-6 Fr. G High School
15 - Tessa Kreutzer 5-9 Jr. G 5.0 2.8
Off the Bench
5 - Kelsey Lane - 6-0 - So. - F - 7.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg
10 - Debi Johnson - 5-6 - Jr. - G - 13.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
32 - Kim Rickels - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 1.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
42 - Bailey Halbur - 6-2 - So. - F - 2.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
12 - Kristen Lipps - 5-11 - Fr. - F - High School
20 - Sarah Hix - 5-8 - Fr. - G - High School
35 - Shelby Zimmerman - 5-10 - Fr. - G - High School
44 - Melissa Voichahoske - 6-0 - Fr. - F - High School
Head Coach: Kevin Chaney (San Diego State)
First Season at UNK; First Season Overall
Huskers Power Past Gorillas in Exhibition Opener
Two-time Gatorade Nebraska High School Player of the Year Jordan Hooper produced 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two assists to lead the Huskers to a 78-60 exhibition win over Pittsburg State on Oct. 31.
Playing in front of a Nebraska home exhibition record crowd of 2,660, Hooper was far from the only Husker who put up big numbers, as senior center Catheryn Redmon and sophomore forward Katya Leick both recorded double-doubles with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Huskers, who led 35-33 at the half, rolled to an 18-point victory thanks to 16 offensive rebounds in the second half. For the game, NU pulled down 25 offensive boards and won the rebound battle, 57-36, against the NCAA Division II Gorillas.
Leick and Redmon each grabbed six offensive rebounds, while Hooper and junior forward Harleen Sidhu both secured five caroms from the offensive glass. Sidhu finished with nine points, seven rebounds and two steals.
The lone returning starter available from last year's Big 12 championship and NCAA Sweet 16 team, Lindsey Moore added 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and two steals for NU.
Senior Dominique Kelley sat out Sunday's game after undergoing knee surgery in late-September. The Huskers also played without their other fourth-year guard, Kaitlyn Burke, who also underwent knee surgery in early-October.
Nebraska's success on the offensive glass allowed the Huskers to overcome a 26-for-78 (33.3 percent) shooting performance from the field, including 5-of-18 shooting from three-point range. NU was excellent at the free throw line though, hitting 21-of-26 attempts.
Pittsburg State hit 20-of-56 shots from the field, including 9-of-22 three-pointers, but hit just 11-of-18 free throws. Along with being outrebounded by 21, PSU was minus-seven in the turnover department, as Nebraska committed just six second-half turnovers.
"For our first exhibition game it was OK," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "It was kind of what I expected. I thought we did a really good job of being aggressive on the glass, and that showed that our young players were willing to get after it. That effort is one of the things that you can control, so that was good. We obviously have a long way to go."
Nebraska, which played several stretches of the first half with five on the floor all younger than 20, took a 35-33 halftime lead thanks to 12 first-half points from Hooper. The 6-2 forward added three rebounds, an assist and a steal in her first appearance as a collegian. Moore added six points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Leick pitched in five points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Redmon produced five points, five boards and a block.
The Huskers were able to take a lead into the locker room at the half despite 7-of-15 three-point shooting by the Gorillas in the first half. PSU hit four consecutive three-pointers to ignite a 13-0 run that erased a 10-point Nebraska advantage. Pittsburg State led 25-22 with 6:26 left, before Nebraska regained the lead at the break.
Leick and Sidhu set the tone for the Huskers on the offensive glass in the second half, helping Nebraska pull down six offensive rebounds by the first media timeout. NU's boardwork allowed the Huskers to gradually pull away.
The Huskers built their biggest lead of the game at 78-58 after a pair of Redmon free throws with 1:30 left.
Drew Roberts led Pittsburg State with 21 points, including four three-pointers. She was the only Gorilla in double figures, as Larissa Richards added eight points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.
New-Look Huskers Ready for Changes in 2010-11
Last year's Nebraska women's basketball team featured a six-player senior class that went out as the most accomplished group in school history. National Player-of-the-Year finalist and first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin powered NU to a top 10 final national ranking, a 32-2 overall record and a Big 12 title with a perfect 16-0 league record. Griffin averaged 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game a year ago. The three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection was the Big 12 Player of the Year and the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner.
Fellow forward Cory Montgomery added first-team All-Big 12 honors by averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game alongside Griffin. Both were selected in the 2010 WNBA Draft. Griffin was a WNBA All-Rookie pick after being chosen No. 3 overall in the draft, while Montgomery was a third-round pick.
Yvonne Turner gave the Huskers three first-team All-Big 12 selections a year ago. She averaged 11.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, while putting her name on the NU career lists for both three-pointers (183) and steals (229). A three-time Big 12 All-Defensive Team selection, Turner was the Co-Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 2010. Nikki Bober, Kala Kuhlmann and Nicole Neals also played major roles in NU's magical 2009-10 season.
The Huskers will try to replace last year's seniors with a talented 2010-11 freshman class, led by Alliance, Neb., native Jordan Hooper. A two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year, Hooper produced more than 2,000 points and 1,300 rebounds in her high school career, while adding approximately 400 steals, 350 blocks and 200 assists.
Freshmen Adrianna Maurer and Katie Simon will be looked to for contributions inside this season, while 2010 Arizona High School Player-of-the-Year Rebecca Woodberry and Washington all-stater Kellie McCann-Smith will bolster the backcourt.
Nebraska's most experienced returning player will be senior guard Dominique Kelley. The 2010 honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick has started 98 straight games for her hometown Huskers. Last year she averaged 12.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, including 18.3 points per game in NCAA Tournament play.
Kelley and fellow fourth-year guard Kaitlyn Burke underwent knee surgery right before the start of fall practice. Burke, who received a medical redshirt last year with a foot injury, started 19 games as a sophomore for the Huskers. Both Kelley and Burke hope to be ready for the start of the regular season on Nov. 13.
Sophomore Lindsey Moore will shoulder much of the load in the backcourt early in the season. As a freshman point guard, Moore started all 34 games for NU and averaged 6.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds. The 2010 Big 12 All-Freshman selection will be a major key in Nebraska's fortunes this season.
Senior Catheryn Redmon will anchor NU's post game. The 6-3 center from Grand Prairie, Texas, ranks No. 3 on NU's all-time block list with 139. She started 24 games as a sophomore and averaged 5.7 points and 5.5 boards per contest. Last year Redmon contributed 4.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Fellow senior Jessica Periago will also be counted on for bigger contributions inside. The 6-4 center from Toulon, France, has appeared in 63 games in her NU career.
Harleen Sidhu, Layne Reeves, Katya Leick and Meghin Williams could play greater roles in 2010-11.
Parking Changes in Place for 2010-11
Since last season, the University of Nebraska has taken over the former State Fairgrounds that surrounded the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The University is in the process of building the new Innovation Campus area, which will bring years of long-term benefits to the University and the state.
With the changes, the parking lots around the Devaney Center are now being controlled by the University, which means parking permits, and pay-by-the-event parking will be in place throughout the season at all athletic events at the Devaney Center.
Season passes for Nebraska women's basketball can be purchased for $54 (18 games at $3/game) from UNL Parking Services by calling (402) 472-1800. Fans can also purchase pro-rated season passes and special 10-event passes for any Innovation Campus event. The 10-event passes are just $27.
Fans who do not want to pre-purchase parking passes for Devaney Center lots can expect to pay $3 to parking lot cashiers at the public lots around the Devaney Center. Fans paying with cash on the day of the event can expect lines entering their lots, so fans are encouraged to arrive early at the Devaney Center.
Devaney Center doors open 90 minutes before tip-off.
Hendricks Training Complex Rising at Devaney
The southwest corner of the Devaney Center is receiving an extensive renovation with the addition of the Hendricks Training Complex in 2010-11. The addition will become the new home for Nebraska men's and women's basketball, including new locker room, team areas, coaches offices and most importantly, practice courts, for both men's and women's basketball.
The Hendricks Training Complex will allow the strength and conditioning areas to triple in size at the Devaney Center, while also allowing for an extensive expansion of the Athletic Medicine Training Room.
The Hendricks Training Complex will be ready to open for Husker student-athletes in 2011-12, just in time for Nebraska's entrance into the Big Ten Conference.
The Hendricks Training Complex was made possible by a generous gift provided by Tom and Mary Hendricks, who were honored with the 2010 Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award on Oct. 16. The Trailblazer Award was first given in 2000 to honor outstanding support and generous contributions to women's athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2007, it was renamed the Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award in honor of Dr. Barbara Hibner, a longtime member of the Nebraska Athletic Department and inaugural recipient of the award, who passed away on March 7, 2007.
Tom Hendricks serves as the executive vice president and co-founder of Tenaska Inc., one of the largest independent power producers in the United States. He is also a University of Nebraska graduate. Tom and his wife, Mary, reside in Pipe Creek, Texas. The family made a generous $10 million donation to jump-start the fundraising effort for the new basketball practice facility. The complex will also providing extensive training benefits to wrestling, men's and women's track and field, swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis and men's and women's golf.
Nebraska-Kearney comes to Lincoln with some new faces in 2010-11, after a 9-18 overall finish last season. Former Husker Carol Russell resigned as head coach following the 2009-10 campaign, and the Lopers will welcome Kevin Chaney to the sideline this season.
Chaney, who has been at the helm at UNK since April 8, brings 16 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Kearney bench. He spent the past two seasons at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, helping the Cougars make the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. He also spent one season at Minnesota-Duluth.
From 2003 to 2006, Chaney was an assistant coach at Nevada. He began his coaching career at Solano Community College in Fairfield, Calif., where he spent nine seaons from 1994 to 2003.
While Chaney will bring new leadership to the UNK program, many of the players will be familiar to Husker fans. Junior guard Debi Johnson returns as UNK's leading scorer after averaging 13.4 points per game last year. Johnson scored 18 points and had seven rebounds to go along with nine turnovers in last year's 89-47 exhibition loss to Nebraska on Nov. 8, 2009.
Lea Ann Jamison, a 5-9 junior forward from Minden, Neb., also produced double figures for the Lopers last season, while playing all 40 minutes against the Huskers. Jamison averaged 8.4 points and 3.4 boards per game as a sophomore last season.
Senior forward Megan Becker returns after averaging 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a junior. Becker did not play against NU last season because of injury. Vanessa Leeper, a 5-10 junior forward, also returns to the Loper lineup after averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 boards per contest a year ago.
Tessa Kreutzer, a 5-9 junior guard from Loomis, Neb., rounds out UNK's returning starters after averaging 5.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest a year ago.
In all, UNK returns six of its top seven scorers from last season's team that struggled to an 8-11 mark in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Freshman point guard Nicole Arp from Kearney could make the greatest impact of UNK's five-player incoming class. Arp was penciled into the Lopers' starting five against the Huskers.
Statistically, UNK was solid a year ago, shooting 41.2 percent from the field, including a strong 34.8 percent from three-point range. The Lopers also hit 77.2 percent of their free throws and outrebounded their opponents by nearly three rebounds per game. However, UNK's Achilles' heel was turnovers. The Lopers committed nearly 20 miscues per contest and suffered through a dismal minus-five turnover margin per game.
The 2010-11 season marks the ninth straight year that the Huskers have met the Lopers in exhibition play. Nebraska is a perfect 8-0 against the Lopers, including last year's 89-47 win in Lincoln. NU is also a perfect 6-0 all-time in regular-season games against UNK, last facing the Lopers in Grand Island in 1982.
Check the Box Score
Nebraska's returning players made major contributions in last year's win over UNK, despite losing three of the five players from the starting lineup to graduation. Kelsey Griffin produced a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes against UNK, while Cory Montgomery added 13 points in 19 minutes. Kala Kuhlmann contributed three points and four assists in 20 minutes as a starter for the Huskers, while Yvonne Turner added 10 points and four assists off the bench. Nicole Neals and Nikki Bober combined for five points and four rebounds.
Dominique Kelley led NU with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 17 minutes, while Lindsey Moore notched eight points and five assists in a team-high 24 minutes of action against UNK.
Catheryn Redmon gave the Huskers major production off the bench with 10 points, seven boards and four blocks in just 13 minutes, while Layne Reeves added seven points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. Jessica Periago contributed four points and a board, while Katya Leick added four points and a pair of rebounds. Meghin Williams also notched two points and three boards in just four minutes.
Overall, NU's returning players combined for 48 points and 21 rebounds. That would have been enough to beat UNK, which produced just 47 points from top to bottom in their lineup.
No Laws, Just Averages
The Huskers enter the 2010-11 season with nine returning players who combined for 901 points, 462 rebounds and 252 assists last year. As a team, Nebraska produced 2,632 points, 1,312 rebounds and 480 assists.
In other words, Nebraska loses 65.8 percent of its scoring, 64.8 percent of its rebounding and 47.5 percent of its assists from a year ago.
The 2009-10 Huskers averaged 77.4 points, 38.6 rebounds and 14.1 assists per game. The 2010-11 Huskers return 26.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists per contest.
To give those numbers a little more perspective, All-American Kelsey Griffin averaged 20.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists a year ago.
Former Huskers Playing Well in Europe
Former Huskers are putting up big numbers playing professionally in Europe this season. WNBA All-Rookie selection Kelsey Griffin earned her first Eurobasket.com Player-of-the-Week Award on Oct. 25, after leading her 2010 Pecs Hungarian team with 21 points and 16 rebounds in a 50-point win. Griffin is averaging 15 points and 8.3 rebounds per game as Pecs' top player. Her team is 8-0 on the season.
Griffin's weekly award came just a few weeks after former Husker and former WNBA player Danielle Page earned a Eurobasket.com player-of-the-week honor. Page, who is also playing professionally in Hungary, also had a big week during Griffin's award-winning week. Page had 20 points and eight boards for her ZTE team.
Last week, Yvonne Turner erupted for 30 points in a loss for her team in Germany, while Cory Montgomery continues to be a leader for her pro team in Spain.
Former Huskers Play Major Roles in WEPAC Fundraiser
Former Huskers Jelena Spiric, Shahidrah Roberts, Brooke Schwartz and Amanda Went played starring roles in the WEPAC Hoops for Hope game televised by Fox Sports Midwest on Friday, Oct. 29.
Spiric, the 2005 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, played well for the White team alongside Roberts in a loss. Spiric and Roberts were teammates of former WNBA stars Sheryl Swoops and Edna Campbell and NCAA legend Jackie Stiles on the White team.
Schwartz and Went, both Nebraska natives who played for NU in the late 1990s and early 2000s, wore stripes for the event, serving as game officials. A fourth person with major ties to both Nebraska and Nebraska-Kearney, Fox Sports Net announcer Brenda VanLengen, served as the play-by-play announcer of the event, alongside former Missouri Coach Cindy Stein.
WEPAC is a united effort by communities in Kansas (Wilmore, Englewood, Protection, Ashland and Coldwater) to raise money for cancer research. The WEPAC game features former players from the Big 12 region. The group also partners with the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
Huskers Battling Injuries in Preseason Workouts
Throughout the fall, Nebraska's workouts and practice sessions have been hindered by injuries to Husker players. In addition to the knee surgeries for Kaitlyn Burke and Dominique Kelley that have held them out during the entire portion of official fall practice since Oct. 4, several other Huskers were hurting in August and September.
Catheryn Redmon, Meghin Williams, Katya Leick and Katie Simon all missed significant practice time with leg or foot injuries. Harleen Sidhu, Layne Reeves, Kellie McCann-Smith and even Lindsey Moore have also missed time recently with minor injuries.
NU Picked Seventh in Big 12 Preseason Poll
Nebraska was picked to finish seventh by the Big 12 coaches in the preseason poll announced by the league office on Oct. 7.
The Huskers, who went 16-0 in the Big 12 last season to capture the conference crown, earned 58 points trailing fellow Big 12 North schools Iowa State (5th, 85) and Kansas (6th, 64). Nebraska, which went 32-2 overall and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010, owns the best Big 12 record among North Division schools over the past five seasons (49-31). During the last five years, NU has never finished lower than seventh in the final league standings.
In Connie Yori's eight previous seasons as Nebraska's head coach, the Huskers have met or exceeded the preseason expectations of the league coaches. In six of the eight votes, Nebraska has achieved a higher final position in the standings than its preseason ranking, including 2009-10 when the Huskers were picked sixth before going unbeaten in the nation's No. 1 RPI conference.
The coaches gave four Big 12 South Division schools the nod with the top-four spots, led by Baylor. The Lady Bears, who advanced to the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four, received 11 first-place votes to amass 121 points. Texas A&M captured the remaining first-place vote and totaled 109 points. The Aggies won the 2010 Big 12 Tournament title before advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Oklahoma, which has made back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances, was the preseason pick to finish third, while Texas was picked fourth. The Longhorns advanced to the 2010 NCAA second round. Iowa State, which tied Oklahoma for second in the 2010 final Big 12 standings and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, was fifth, followed by Kansas and Nebraska.
Oklahoma State, which advanced to the NCAA second round last year, was the coaches' pick to finish eighth, followed by Kansas State, Texas Tech, Missouri and Colorado.
Kelley Earns Preseason All-Big 12 Mention
Senior Dominique Kelley earned honorable-mention recognition from the Big 12 coaches in the preseason all-conference teams released by the league office on Oct. 12.
Kelley, a 5-7 guard out of Lincoln Northeast High School, was one of 13 players to receive at least one vote from the Big 12 coaches for a spot as one of the top five players in the conference heading into the 2010-11 season.
Kelley, who earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 accolades following her junior season, averaged 12.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. She has started 98 consecutive games in her first three seasons at Nebraska, averaging 9.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in her career. She needs just 62 points to become the 26th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points.
Last year in the NCAA Tournament, Kelley helped power the Huskers to their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance by scoring 22 points in a win over No. 22 UCLA, before adding 22 more points in the regional semifinals against No. 19 Kentucky. In three NCAA Tournament games, she matched first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin for NU's scoring lead with 18.3 points per contest.
On the season, Kelley produced double figures 25 times. She owns 49 double-digit efforts in her career, including 42 in the last 65 games. Also an outstanding defender, Kelley ranked second among the Huskers with 15 charges drawn in 2009-10.
Baylor swept the conference preseason honors with sophomore center Brittney Griner claiming preseason player-of-the-year recognition. BU's Brooklyn Pope was named the preseason newcomer of the year, while Odyssey Sims was projected as the preseason freshman of the year in the conference.
Griner was joined on the preseason first-team All-Big 12 squad by senior teammate Melissa Jones, along with Iowa State's Kelsey Bolte, Oklahoma's Danielle Robinson and Texas A&M's Danielle Adams.
Moore Returns at Point Guard After Making NCAA History
Lindsey Moore made history in 2009-10 by becoming the first freshman point guard in NCAA Division I history to lead her team to an unbeaten regular season.
The 5-9 sophomore from Covington, Wash., was surrounded by an all-conference lineup that featured senior first-team All-Big 12 picks Kelsey Griffin, Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner along with honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection Dominique Kelley.
Moore, the 2009 Washington High School Player of the Year, added her own conference honor by being named one of five players on the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. She averaged 6.0 points, 4.5 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, but her production increased throughout the season. In the NCAA Tournament, Moore averaged 9.7 points and 6.0 assists, and will be expected to carry more of the scoring load for a young Husker team in 2010-11.
One of the best play-making point guards in the Big 12, Moore scored a career-high 18 points and canned a career-best four three-pointers in NU's win over No. 13 Iowa State on Feb. 17. On the season, she produced double figures on nine occasions, including 14 points, three assists and three steals at Kansas on March 3.
She had 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds against No. 10 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3. She added 10 points and five rebounds in an NCAA Tournament win over Northern Iowa, before notching nine points and a career-high 11 assists in an NCAA Tournament win over No. 22 UCLA. She also had 10 points against No. 19 Kentucky in the NCAA Sweet 16, and 10 more at Kansas State in the regular-season finale. In the Big 12 title-clinching win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Feb. 24, Moore had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists going head-to-head with OU All-American point guard Danielle Robinson.
Moore produced her first career double-figure scoring effort with 10 points against Washington State on Nov. 22, before scoring 11 points in a win over Creighton on Dec. 9. She had nine points, seven assists and just one turnover in Nebraska's rousing win over No. 5 LSU on Dec. 20.
Moore Ready to Make Rest of Young Huskers Better
One of the best young point guards in the nation, Lindsey Moore dished out 154 assists as a true freshman for the Huskers in 2009-10. Not only did she start all 34 games and lead NU to a Big 12-record-tying 30 consecutive wins, she also produced the third-most assists by a freshman in school history.
Moore ranked fourth in the Big 12 with 4.6 assists per game, while ranking sixth in Big 12 games with a 1.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
In the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Moore distributed a career-high 11 assists to go along with nine points in a win over No. 22 UCLA that sent the Huskers to their first-ever NCAA Sweet 16.
Moore notched eight or more assists five times in 2009-10, including twice in Big 12 play. She registered nine assists in a run past Kansas State on Jan. 23, before dishing out eight assists in NU's first-ever road win at Texas Tech on Jan. 27.
Moore also dished out eight assists in NU's win at Miami on Dec. 5. She added three points, including Nebraska's final two free throws with less than three seconds left to seal the win. She also snagged a pair of steals.
In 2008-09, Kaitlyn Burke was the only Husker to produce eight assists in a game, which came at Long Beach State on Dec. 12, 2008. Over the three previous seasons, (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09), a Husker had produced eight or more assists on only three occasions, including nine from Yvonne Turner at Kansas State on Feb. 27, 2008, and eight from Kiera Hardy at Minnesota on Dec. 5, 2006.
Freshman Hooper Ready to Make Instant Impact
One of the best high school players in the history of Nebraska girls basketball, Jordan Hooper is ready to bring her great basketball name to the women's college game this season.
In her first appearance at the Devaney Center as a Husker, Hooper produced 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals in Nebraska's exhibition win over Pittsburg State.
Hooper, a 6-2 freshman forward, was a two-time Nebraska Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2008, 2010) at Alliance High School. In four years as one of the most athletic and electric players in Nebraska prep history, Hooper amassed more than 2,000 points and 1,300 rebounds, while adding nearly 400 steals, 350 blocks and more than 200 assists.
Last year, the three-time All-Nebraska and Super-State selection, set the Nebraska high school record with 380 total rebounds, while also connecting on 34 three-pointers. She also scored 100 total points in three state tournament games, including 47 in the final high school game of her career.
As a senior at Alliance, she averaged 26.1 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 2.5 assists and 5.0 blocked shots per game on the basketball court. She was also an all-state volleyball player for the Bulldogs and won the Class B long jump title by soaring 18-8 1/4 at the 2010 state track and field championships. Earlier in the season, she actually went 18-10 1/2. Hooper also ran the second leg on Alliance's 4x100-meter relay team that finished fourth in the state, while taking seventh as an individual in the Class B 200-meter dash in a time of 25.95.
Take Cover When the Big Cat Roars
Center Catheryn Redmon continued to fly up Nebraska's career blocked shot chart as a junior, climbing into third all-time with 139 blocks entering her senior season.
Danielle Page (207) and Janet Smith (238) are the only two Huskers in front of Redmon on the career block chart.
Redmon produced an NU junior season record with 63 rejections in 529 minutes in 2009-10. She blocked two or more shots in 19 of NU's 34 contests and averaged 1.9 blocks in just 15.6 minutes per game.
Redmon blocked three shots in NU's first-round NCAA Tournament win over Northern Iowa on March 21, after notching four rejections in the Big 12 Tournament semifinals against No. 11 Texas A&M.
In 2008-09, Redmon produced one of the best single-season block efforts in school history with 67 rejections as a sophomore. She ranked second on the sophomore single-season list, trailing only Janet Smith's 69 blocks in 1979-80. Redmon is just the third Husker to record 60 or more blocks in a season.
Redmon's 2008-09 single-season mark was even more amazing considering she blocked 64 of her 67 shots on the year in her 24 games as a starter, after blocking just three shots in limited action through NU's first seven games of the season. As a starter, Redmon averaged 2.7 blocks per game, including 2.8 in Big 12 Conference action.
Her 2009 conference blocks trailed only All-Americans Courtney Paris from Oklahoma (3.1 bpg) and Danielle Wilson from Baylor (3.0 bpg).
Redmon continued to increase her defensive dominance inside throughout the 2008-09 season, blocking 30 shots in NU's final nine games (3.3 bpg), including one of the top single-game block performances in NU history with a career-high seven rejections in the win over No. 20 Kansas State on Feb. 25.
Redmon's total tied for the second-best mark in school history, trailing only Page's nine blocks against Baylor on Feb. 3, 2007. Redmon added five blocks in a win over Colorado on March 3 and five more at New Mexico in the second round of the WNIT on March 25.
Huskers Seek Eighth Straight Postseason Appearance
Nebraska enters the 2010-11 campaign in pursuit of an eighth straight postseason tournament bid.
The Huskers made their school-record seventh consecutive postseason appearance as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. NU also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2007 and 2008, advancing to the second round of the Big Dance in 2008 with a win over Xavier in College Park, Md. Before Coach Connie Yori's arrival at Nebraska for the 2002-03 season, Nebraska had never earned more than three consecutive postseason berths.
All time, Nebraska has made nine trips to the NCAA Tournament (1988, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010). The Huskers are 5-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers also earned trips to the Postseason WNIT in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009 as part of their seven-season streak, joining WNIT bids in 1976 and 1992.
Nebraska's 2009-10 Big 12 Championship Season
The Huskers made history by winning the 2010 Big 12 regular-season title and advancing to the program's first NCAA Sweet 16 after earning the school's first NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed. The Huskers went on to achieve the first final top 25 national rankings in school history, as Nebraska closed 2009-10 with a No. 4 ranking in the Associated Press Poll and a No. 7 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25. NU also finished No. 4 in the final official NCAA RPI rankings.
Nebraska tied the Big 12 record with a 30-game winning streak that included the first unbeaten regular season (29-0) by a Big 12 men's or women's basketball program in history. NU also became just the second team in history to go through the Big 12 regular season with a perfect 16-0 record.
The Huskers, who opened the season unranked in the national polls and picked sixth by league coaches in the Big 12 preseason rankings, won the school's first Big 12 women's basketball title after an outstanding offseason.
The 2009-10 Huskers lived by the fruits of their hard work and their devotion to producing each and every day at practice. NU's outstanding team chemistry and unselfish attitudes allowed them to achieve great things.
Although Nebraska's run in the NCAA Tournament ended in the Kansas City Regional semifinal at the Sprint Center, Coach Connie Yori and Kelsey Griffin remained in the national spotlight at the NCAA Women's Final Four.
Yori was named the 2010 National Coach of the Year by the WBCA, the Associated Press, and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, while also winning the Naismith Award and the inaugural Kay Yow Award. Yori also captured Big 12 Coach-of-the-Year accolades.
Griffin claimed the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, becoming Nebraska's first winner of the award across all sports. She was also named a first-team All-American by the WBCA, AP, USBWA and the Wooden Award. She was a finalist for the Naismith and Wade trophies and the Wooden Award, while also being named a finalist for the Honda Sports Award. She was also a finalist for the V Foundation Comeback Award and the NCSA Giant Steps Courageous Student-Athlete Award, before being named Nebraska's 2010 Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
Griffin's collegiate career culminated with her No. 3 overall selection by Minnesota in the 2010 WNBA Draft. She was quickly traded to the Connecticut Sun. In her first season with Connecticut in 2010, Griffin earned a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team.
Senior Cory Montgomery was also chosen as the No. 1 pick in the third round of the WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty. Montgomery marked the fourth Husker WNBA Draft pick in school history, joining Griffin, Nicole Kubik and Kiera Hardy. It also marked the first time that two Huskers had been taken in the same draft.
Yori Sweeps National Coaching Awards
Coach Connie Yori completed a clean sweep of every major national coach-of-the-year honor in 2009-10. Yori earned WBCA National Coach-of-the-Year honors after being named the WBCA Region 5 Coach of the Year by her peers. She was later tabbed the U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Coach of the Year, becoming the first Big 12 coach in history to win the award.
A few days later, Yori was named the Associated Press National Coach of the Year, before winning the inaugural Kay Yow Award. She won her fifth major national award the following day when she was named the Big 12's first Naismith National Coach of the Year.
After leading the Huskers to the first Big 12 regular-season title in school history, Yori was named the 2010 Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by her league peers. Yori, who enters her ninth season at Nebraska, has led the Huskers to a school-record seven consecutive postseason tournament appearances. NU was also one of just 19 teams in the NCAA Tournament to post a perfect 100 percent Graduation Success Rate.
The 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year, Yori completed her 20th season as a collegiate head coach in 2009-10.
Huskers Made Mark in 2010 NCAA Statistical Rankings
Nebraska's history-making season left a mark in the NCAA books at the end of 2009-10. NU's 32-2 record gave the Huskers the third-best winning percentage (.941) in the nation, while Nebraska's 19.1 points-per-game scoring margin ranked fourth nationally. The Huskers ranked No. 8 nationally in field goal percentage (.461) and finished 10th in the country in scoring offense (77.4 ppg).
NU also finished among the top 50 teams nationally in seven other statistical categories, including turnovers per game (14.8, 25th), personal fouls per game (14.6, 29th), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.96, 30th), turnover margin (+3.76, 33rd), three-point field goal percentage defense (.288, 35th), rebound margin (+4.6, 44th) and three-point field goals made per game (6.6, 46th).
Nebraska's 30-game winning streak was the second-longest in the nation in 2009-10, and the Huskers will carry the nation's sixth-longest home court winning streak (20 games) into the 2010-11 campaign.
NU's average home attendance of 7,390 also ranked seventh nationally - the highest ranking ever by the Huskers. Nebraska produced three of the top 20 individual crowds in the nation in 2009-10, including the largest home crowd in the country that did not involve either UConn or Tennessee (13,595 vs. Missouri, Feb. 27).
Husker Players Finish High in NCAA Stats
Led by an All-American campaign from Kelsey Griffin, several Huskers finished among the top players in the country in the final NCAA statistical rankings.
Griffin finished eighth nationally with her .596 field goal percentage, and ranked 10th in the country with 20 double-doubles on the year. She also ranked 12th in the nation in scoring by averaging 20.1 points per game. The 6-2 power forward added a No. 22 national ranking by averaging 10.4 rebounds per game.
Point guard Lindsey Moore also made her mark by ranking 40th nationally with a 1.77 assist-to-turnover ratio. Moore's 4.5 assists per game ranked 71st.
Center Catheryn Redmon ranked just outside the national top 50 by averaging 1.9 blocked shots per game. Redmon ranked 51st nationally in blocks despite averaging fewer than 16 minutes per game off the bench.
Huskers Finish Fourth in Official 2010 NCAA RPI
Nebraska finished near the top of the chart with a No. 4 final RPI ranking in 2009-10. Only Connecticut, Stanford and Tennessee ranked ahead of the Huskers.
Big 12 foes Oklahoma (6th), Texas A&M (7th) and Baylor (10th) joined Nebraska in the top 10, while Oklahoma State was 14th, Texas 16th and Iowa State was 21st giving the Big 12 seven teams in the RPI top 25. All seven teams earned top-six seeds in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.
All 12 of the Big 12 teams were among the top 125, including No. 46 Kansas, No. 60 Texas Tech, No. 88 Kansas State, No. 108 Missouri and No. 123 Colorado.
Nebraska notched 20 wins over top-100 RPI teams, including 12 over top-50 RPI clubs and eight over top-25 RPI teams, including four top-25 wins away from the Devaney Center. Overall, 12 of NU's top-100 RPI wins came outside of Lincoln in 2009-10.
NU defeated No. 6 Oklahoma (road), No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 10 Baylor (road), No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 16 Texas, No. 18 UCLA (neutral), No. 21 Iowa State (road, home), No. 26 LSU, No. 38 Vermont (road), No. 46 Kansas (road-home), No. 56 UALR (neutral), No. 58 Miami (road), No. 60 Texas Tech (road), No. 67 Creighton, No. 79 Saint Mary's (road), and No. 88 Kansas State (road-neutral-home). NU also produced two wins over RPI No. 108, a win over RPI No. 111 Northern Iowa and two more over RPI No. 123 Colorado.
Nebraska's History of Success at Home
Since the Bob Devaney Sports Center opened in 1976-77, the Huskers are 351-118 (.748) in games played in the arena, including 133-77 (.633) in conference games. Since 2003-04, NU is 87-22 (.799) at the Devaney Center.
NU has posted double-figure home victory totals in seven consecutive seasons, including a perfect 16-0 mark in 2009-10 to stretch the Husker home winning streak to 20 games. NU's longest home winning streak is 29 games.
Big Red Fans Came Out in Droves at Devaney
Nebraska has regularly ranked among the top 30 teams nationally in average home attendance over the past 15 years, but Husker fans flocked to the Bob Devaney Sports Center in record numbers in 2009-10.
Big Red faithful came along for the ride during Nebraska's record-setting season, averaging a school-record 7,390 fans per game - ranking seventh nationally. NU's Big 12 attendance was spectacular, averaging a Big 12-best 11,383 fans per game. Nebraska drew seven consecutive crowds of more than 10,000 to the Devaney Center to end the season, beginning with a then-school-record 13,303 fans for Nebraska's win over Kansas State on Jan. 23 - the 16th-largest crowd in the nation in 2009-10 (including NCAA Tournament play).
Nebraska smashed that record against Missouri Feb. 27, posting the first sellout in school history with 13,595 fans. The NU-MU game featured the largest regular-season crowd in the nation in 2009-10 that did not involve Connecticut or Tennessee.
Over the last seven home games, the Huskers attracted an average of 11,989 fans per game to the Devaney Center. NU's previous single-season average home attendance record was 5,000 fans per game in 1998-99.
Season Ticket Holders for 2010-11 Increase 80%
NU's success at the turnstiles last year has carried over to the 2010-11 season.
Last year, Nebraska entered the season with 1,424 season ticket holders. During a special March Madness season ticket promotion at the end of last season, the Huskers sold more than 1,100 new season tickets for 2010-11, pushing NU's season ticket base beyond 2,500 for the first time in history.
New season tickets can still be purchased at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED or (402) 472-3111. Single-game tickets for all Nebraska women's basketball games are also available.
Fastbreakers Set Social Schedule for 2010-11
The Fastbreakers Booster Club has set the Backboard Banquet and Bus Trip schedules for the 2010-11 season. Fastbreaker members can attend three Backboard Banquet pregame meals (Nov. 30, 5:30 p.m. - UNLV; Jan. 8, Noon - Oklahoma; Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m. - Kansas State). The cost of each meal is $13 and reservations can be made in advance through Rose Sousek in the women's basketball office at (402) 472-6462.
The Fastbreakers will also be offering four bus trips this season, with journeys set for Kansas State (Jan. 22, $40), Colorado (Feb. 5-6, $80), Oklahoma State (Feb. 12-13, $70) and Kansas (Feb. 26, $50). Fastbreakers can sign up at the Fastbreaker tables at the Devaney Center before each game. For more information, please contact Doug Fry at (402) 617-7039.
TV Appearances Aplenty for Huskers in 2010-11
Nebraska will be a regular again on national, regional and local television in 2010-11. The Huskers are scheduled to play three nationally televised games on FSN during the regular season, beginning with a Big 12 North showdown with Kansas on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 2 p.m.
Less than a week later, Nebraska travels to Kansas State to play the Wildcats in another nationally televised game on Saturday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. The Huskers will play their third FSN nationally televised game on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 6, against Colorado at 3 p.m. (central) in Boulder.
Nebraska will also play a pair of games on Fox Sports Midwest, beginning with a Saturday, Feb. 19 home game against Kansas State. Tip-off against KSU is set for 7:05 p.m. The Huskers will also appear on Fox Sports Midwest in their home regular-season finale against Colorado on Wednesday, March 2, at 7:05 p.m.
Nebraska's first television appearance of the season will come on the Big Ten Network at Indiana on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m.
The Huskers will also appear on Fox Sports Southwest (Longhorn Sports Network) at Texas on Tuesday, Feb. 15. In addition to those games in the Fox family, Nebraska's game against Oklahoma in Lincoln will be carried by the Sooner Sports Network on Saturday, Jan. 8. NU's game at Iowa State on Tuesday, Jan. 11 will be carried in Iowa by Mediacom, and the Huskers' game at Oklahoma State on Feb. 12 will be televised by the Cowboy Sports Network.
Last season, Nebraska appeared 14 times on television, including five postseason tournament games. Five games were on FSN and three on ESPN2. The Huskers also played three games on FSN regional TV, one on NET and two as part of opponent local TV packages. NU had 14 games streamed live to HuskersNside and Huskers.com.
Live Video, TV Set for at Least 25 Games in 2010-11
In addition to the extensive television coverage of Nebraska women's basketball, NU's premium subscription video service - HuskersNside on Huskers.com - will provide home and road coverage all season long.
Beginning with NU's exhibition finale against Nebraska-Kearney Sunday, Nov. 7, HuskersNside/Huskers.com are set to provide live video streams of at least 19 NU women's basketball games this year. For just $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year, fans can subscribe to HuskersNside for live women's basketball video, home and away.
Nebraska's first three regular-season games (Vermont, Miami, Saint Mary's) will all have video available, including a free live video stream of the Vermont game on Huskers.com. NU's home game with UNLV (Nov. 30) will be available on HuskersNside, as will the Huskers' road game at Creighton (Dec. 8).
After another Huskers.com free video stream on Dec. 11 against Northern Colorado, HuskersNside will provide a live video stream of the South Florida game on Dec. 30, before another free video stream on Huskers.com of the Florida A&M contest on Jan. 2.
Games against Oklahoma (Jan. 8) and at Iowa State (Jan. 11) will be available on HuskersNside, as will matchups with Iowa State (Jan. 26), Texas Tech (Jan. 29), at Missouri (Feb. 2), Baylor (Feb. 9), Missouri (Feb. 22) and Kansas (Feb. 26). NU's Fox Sports Midwest television games with Kansas State (Feb. 19) and Colorado (March 2) will also be provided for free on Huskers.com.
Huskers Shatter Records with 30-Game Winning Streak
Nebraska had its school-record and Big 12-record-tying 30-game winning streak snapped with an 80-70 loss to NCAA Tournament No. 2 seed Texas A&M in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, March 13.
The loss ended an amazing run through the 2009-10 season for the Huskers, surpassing the previous school-record streak of nine straight wins set in 1996-97. Nebraska also stretched its Big 12 Conference regular-season winning streak to 18 games, which it will carry into 2010-11.
Prior to the 2009-10 season, NU's most wins in a season in school history came with 23 (four times, most recently 1997-98). Nebraska's 29-0 regular-season record also marked the first-ever unbeaten regular season by a league team since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996-97.
The Huskers' 16-0 Big 12 season more than tripled the previous best league start in school history, which came with the 1987-88 Huskers' 5-0 start on their way to the Big Eight regular-season title. The 2010 Big 12 regular-season champion Huskers also amassed their most conference wins in history.
Nebraska's streak is just the seventh of eight or more victories in school history. Three of Nebraska's eight-game winning streaks have come in Yori's eight seasons, including 2003-04 and 2005-06.
2009-10 Huskers Were Nation's Most Improved Team
Nebraska was the nation's most improved team from the 2008-09 campaign to the 2009-10 season. A year after advancing to the WNIT and finishing with a 15-16 overall record, the Huskers went 32-2 overall and 16-0 in the Big 12. NU not only went 16-0 in the nation's No. 1 RPI conference, the Huskers won 12 games by double digits and led 15 of their 16 league opponents by double figures at some point in the game. The Huskers were only outscored by regular-season league foes in three of 32 halves on the year.
The Huskers were plus-17 in the win column and plus-14 in the loss column, giving them a plus-15.5 mark by official NCAA standards.
The most improved team from one season to the next in NCAA Division I history was Valparaiso, which produced a 17-game improvement from 2001 to 2002.
Nebraska's improvement is even more amazing by historical standards, considering the Huskers won 15 games and qualified for the postseason in 2009. NU's 15 wins were the most ever by a nation's most improved team, while the Huskers were the first-ever postseason team from the previous year, to be the nation's most improved team the next season.
Griffin, Montgomery Chosen in 2010 WNBA Draft
The Huskers continued to make history after the completion of the 2009-10 season, when senior forwards Kelsey Griffin and Cory Montgomery were chosen in the 2010 WNBA Draft.
Griffin, a first-team All-American and national player-of-the-year finalist, was invited to attend the draft at the NBA Entertainment Studios in Secaucus, N.J., on April 8. She didn't have to wait long to hear her name announced on draft day, as the Minnesota Lynx chose Griffin with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, making her the top Husker pick in WNBA Draft history. Nicole Kubik was NU's first first-round pick going No. 15 in the 2000 WNBA Draft.
Moments after being selected by the Lynx, Griffin was traded to the Connecticut Sun, as the Lynx received 2011 first- and second-round picks for Griffin. Griffin went on to earn WNBA All-Rookie honors in her first season with the sun in 2010, before continuing her professional career this fall by playing professionally in Hungary.
Montgomery joined Griffin little more than an hour later as a WNBA Draft choice, when she was taken with the No. 25 pick overall by the New York Liberty with the first pick of the third round. Montgomery did not earn a roster spot with the Liberty in 2010, but is playing professionally in Spain.
Montgomery, who joined Griffin on the 2010 first-team All-Big 12 squad, closed her Nebraska career with 1,378 points and 627 rebounds. She and Griffin are among a group of just eight players in Husker history with more than 1,300 points and 600 rebounds. Griffin closed her Husker career with 2,033 points and 1,019 boards.
Yvonne Turner has also continued her basketball career in 2010 by playing professionally, first in Australia and then in Germany. Turner joined Griffin and Montgomery on the first-team All-Big 12 squad. She is also among Nebraska's 1,000-point career scorers.
Huskers Spent Nine Weeks in AP Top 10 in 2009-10
Nebraska achieved its highest ranking in school history when the Huskers climbed to No. 3 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday, Feb. 8. NU maintained that ranking for five weeks, before slipping one spot to No. 4 heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers spent nine straight weeks in the top 10 and 14 straight in the top 25. NU's first-ever top-10 ranking in either poll came with a No. 9 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN poll on Jan. 12.
The Huskers finished the season with a No. 4 ranking in the final AP poll, which was announced before the start of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. NU closed the year with its 10th straight top-10 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN poll, coming in at No. 7 in the final coaches poll on April 7.
2010 Seniors Left Impressive Legacy
Nebraska's senior class was not only the largest in school history, the six Husker seniors also teamed for more appearances than any senior class in NU history.
Despite several season-ending injuries during their respective careers, including two season-ending knee injuries for senior center Nikki Bober, and a foot injury that kept Kelsey Griffin out of the entire 2008-09 campaign, the six seniors combined for 683 career games at Nebraska.
Cory Montgomery led the way with 130 appearances, while Griffin started all 127 games of her NU career. Yvonne Turner added 126 games, while Nicole Neals and Kala Kuhlmann each played 122 career games. Bober rounded out the senior six pack with 56 games.
Prior to the 2009-10 season, only 10 players in the 35-year history of Nebraska women's basketball had played in 120 or more games in a Husker uniform. The group also achieved unprecedented success on the court, averaging 22.5 wins over the past four years while leading NU to four straight postseason appearances, a trio of NCAA Tournament victories and the school's first Big 12 regular-season title.
NU Shows North Division Dominance over Last Five Years
During the past five seasons, Nebraska leads the North Division with a 36-14 regular-season record against the other five Big 12 North foes. Iowa State is 32-18, while Kansas State is 30-20 in that span.
The Huskers completed season sweeps of Iowa State, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State to finish 10-0 in 2009-10 against the North. NU completed its fifth sweep at Kansas State on March 6 (82-72), after beating the Wildcats (71-56) in Lincoln on Jan. 23. Iowa State was 7-3 against the North in 2009-10, while Kansas State and Kansas were 5-5. Colorado was 3-7 and Missouri 0-10.
Huskers First North Team to Go 6-0 vs. South Since 2000
Nebraska capped a 6-0 sweep of the Big 12 South with an 80-64 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma to clinch the 2010 Big 12 regular-season title on Feb. 24. Among their 18 consecutive Big 12 Conference victories entering the 2010-11 season, the Huskers own eight straight regular-season wins against the South.
The win over the Sooners followed a 71-60 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M Feb. 6 and an 88-67 run past No. 10 Oklahoma State in Lincoln Feb. 3. Nebraska produced its largest victory margin in history against a Big 12 opponent with an 89-47 win at Texas Tech Jan. 27, after posting a 65-56 win at No. 9 Baylor on Jan. 17. The Lady Bears were the only South foe to play the Huskers within single digits in 2009-10. NU opened home Big 12 action with a 91-79 win over No. 19 Texas on Jan. 12.
In its six regular-season meetings with Big 12 South foes, Nebraska averaged 80.7 points per game, while surrendering 62.2 points per contest, for an average winning margin of 18.5 points per game.
Nebraska is the first North team in a decade to sweep the South. Iowa State was the last team to accomplish the feat in 1999-2000, while Kansas (1998-99) is the only other North school to notch a sweep. A North school has won five or more games against the South only eight previous times, most recently Kansas State's back-to-back 5-1 marks in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
Huskers Get It Done on Court, In Classroom, In Community
Nebraska not only enjoyed a record-setting run on the court in 2009-10, the Huskers achieved at high levels in the classroom.
Nebraska led the Big 12 with six first-team academic all-conference selections in 2009-10. Five Husker seniors claimed first-team honors, led by Kelsey Griffin. It was the third first-team award of Griffin's career. She was joined as a three-time first-team selection by senior Kala Kuhlmann, while Cory Montgomery added her third academic award, including her second first-team honor. Nicole Neals and Nikki Bober also claimed first-team honors, along with junior center Jessica Periago. The 6-4 center from France earned her second first-team award.
During the 2009 fall semester, the women's basketball team posted a cumulative 3.138 GPA. In addition to the high grade-point averages, Montgomery (business administration) and Neals (management) earned their bachelor's degrees from Nebraska in just 3 1/2 years. The two graduate students received their diplomas at the Devaney Center during commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 19. The next day, Montgomery and Neals helped the Huskers roll to a 77-63 win over No. 5 LSU at the Devaney Center.
Nebraska owns a perfect 100 percent score in the Graduate Success Rate published by the NCAA, and every senior that Connie Yori has coached over the past 20 seasons has gone on to earn her degree.
The Huskers have also earned two Nebraska Life Skills Team Awards during Coach Connie Yori's eight seasons in Lincoln, including the inaugural award in 2003-04. Griffin was a leader in Nebraska's community service efforts throughout her career and captured the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Nebraska Owns Success Against Top 25 Foes
Nebraska has made a habit of knocking off top-25 opponents during Connie Yori's eight seasons at the helm. In fact, the Huskers' win over No. 22 UCLA marked their 20th win over an AP Top 25 foe during Yori's tenure, including their eighth in 2009-10. NU's 21-point win over No. 10 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3 was the Huskers' fifth against a top-10 opponent. Before Yori's arrival, Nebraska had beaten just one top-10 opponent in school history.
Nebraska's three top-10 wins in 2009-10 matched NU's all-time total in 35 seasons of women's basketball.
NU's win at No. 9 Baylor on Jan. 17, marked the Huskers' first victory against a top-25 team in a true road game under Yori. It was also the Huskers' first-ever true road win over a top-10 opponent.
The Huskers posted six wins over AP Top 15 teams (No. 5 LSU, No. 9 Baylor, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Oklahoma, No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 13 Iowa State) in 2009-10, including three wins over top-10 foes.
The Huskers added a road win over final AP No. 16 Iowa State on Jan. 9, in Ames, while also claiming road wins over previously ranked clubs at Vermont (AP No. 24, Jan. 18), Miami (AP No. 25, Jan. 11), Kansas (as high as No. 18, first nine weeks AP). The Jayhawks, Catamounts and Hurricanes were unranked when they played the Huskers.
The highest-ranked team Nebraska has ever defeated was the 2004-05 Baylor team that went on to win the national title. NU outlasted No. 2 BU, 103-99 in triple overtime on Jan. 12, 2005. The Huskers' 21-point win over No. 10 OSU on Feb. 3, 2010, marked NU's largest victory margin ever over a top-10 team. Nebraska's 29-point win over No. 14 Iowa State in 2005 was NU's largest victory margin in history over a top-25 foe. Nebraska's 56-45 win over No. 15 Texas at the Devaney Center in 2008 also marked the lowest point total ever allowed by the Huskers against a ranked opponent. Before Yori's arrival at Nebraska in 2002-03, the Huskers had not defeated a top-10 team since a 73-67 win over No. 9 Iowa on Dec. 8, 1996, and had never beaten a top-five opponent.
NU Offense Hit 80 Points with Frequency in 2009-10
With an offense that ranked among the best in school history, Nebraska hit 80-plus points 16 times in 34 games in 2009-10. Three of NU's 16 80-plus games in 2009-10 crossed the 90-point mark, including a 107-54 win over Washington State (Nov. 22), a 94-50 win at Vermont (Jan. 4) and a 91-79 win over Texas (Jan. 12).
In 2008-09, Nebraska managed 80 points on only two occasions, in the first game (Weber State, 96-47) and last game (Oklahoma State, 82-74) of the regular season.
Huskers Shattered School Three-Point Record in 2009-10
Nebraska crushed the single-season school record with 225 three-pointers made in 34 games in 2009-10. The Huskers, who eclipsed the previous record of 173 made threes in 2006-07, passed the old mark in the season's 25th game.
Under Coach Connie Yori, Nebraska has produced each of the top seven seasons in three-point field goals made in school history. As a team, NU hit 6.6 threes per game in 2009-10 to rank 46th nationally, crushing the previous school mark of 5.5 threes per game in 2008-09. The Huskers hit eight or more threes 13 times in 2009-10.
Nebraska knocked down a school-record-tying 12 three-pointers in the road win at No. 9 Baylor on Jan. 17. NU's 34 attempts against the Lady Bears were also a school record. The Huskers hit 11-of-23 three-pointers against Washington State, which was just one shy of the school record set in the 2008-09 season opener against Weber State. NU added 11-of-31 threes in a run past No. 10 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3. The Huskers also connected on 10 threes in just 20 attempts in an NCAA first-round win over Northern Iowa, while adding 10 more threes against Idaho State.
Nebraska Forced Fresh Look at Levels of Production
Basketball fans are accustomed to charting individual statistics by game, but the depth, experience and style of play of the 2009-10 Huskers caused some folks to take a fresh look at the numbers.
For example, no Husker averaged more than 28.0 minutes per game, but NU's individual numbers still rivaled all-conference levels of production.
Big 12 Player-of-the-Year and 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin made the strongest case for considering production per minute, rather than per game. Griffin averaged 20.1 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. Those numbers become significantly more impressive considering she played just 27.9 minutes per game.
Taken over 40 minutes, Griffin averaged 28.9 points, 14.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 steals. In addition to her 60 steals as a senior, Griffin added 26 blocked shots and drew a team-leading 29 charges. She also shot 59.6 percent from the field, which ranked among national leaders.
With 685 points and 354 rebounds in 948 minutes, Griffin averaged 0.72 points and 0.37 rebounds per minute.
The following is a brief listing of Nebraska players and their averages taken over 40 minutes in 2009-10:
Kelsey Griffin - 28.9 points, 14.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.5 steals
Dominique Kelley - 20.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals
Cory Montgomery - 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals
Yvonne Turner - 17.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.7 steals
Harleen Sidhu - 16.8 points, 12.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals
Katya Leick - 12.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals
Meghin Williams - 12.3 points, 9.2 rebounds
Catheryn Redmon - 10.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.8 blocks
Lindsey Moore - 8.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.9 steals
Kala Kuhlmann - 8.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals
Layne Reeves - 7.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals
Nicole Neals - 7.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals
Jessica Periago - 5.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.7 blocks
Nebraska Establishes Kathy Branchaud Memorial Scholarship
Nebraska has established the Kathy Branchaud Memorial Women's Basketball Scholarship Fund to honor the life of the former player and Fastbreaker Booster Club board member, who passed away Feb. 11, 2010 at age 58, following a two-year battle with cancer.
The Kathy Branchaud Memorial Scholarship will be presented to sophomores, juniors or seniors on the Nebraska women's basketball team. Senior recipients must demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a post-graduate education at the University of Nebraska. Candidates must maintain a 3.2 or above cumulative grade-point average and a preference will be given to the player with most improved rebounding percentage from the previous season.
To contribute to the Kathy Branchaud Memorial Women's Basketball Scholarship Fund, please contact the Nebraska Athletic Development Office at (402) 472-2367.