Duel in the Desert Classic (Dec. 18-20)
Game #1: Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1) vs. Houston Cougars (6-1)
Cox Pavilion (2,500) • Las Vegas, Nev. • Saturday, Dec. 18, 6 p.m. (central)
Live Video: Not Available
Radio: Husker Sports Network (105.3 FM-Lincoln; 93.3 FM-Omaha; Huskers.com-Free)
The Nebraska women's basketball team returns to action with one of its toughest tests of the season, when the Huskers take on Houston in the first of three games at the Duel in the Desert Classic in Las Vegas. Tip-off between the 8-1 Huskers and 6-1 Cougars is set for Saturday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. (central) at the Cox Pavilion.
Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will describe the action on the Husker Sports Network, including WOW 105.3 FM-KLNC in Lincoln and 93.3 FM-KTWI in Omaha. Free live audio is also available on Huskers.com.
The Cox Pavilion is the homecourt of UNLV, and the Huskers defeated the Lady Rebels in the same gym last season. While many of the Huskers will benefit from playing inside the Pavilion, they will be challenged by trying to recover from Finals Week on the Nebraska campus this week. The Huskers complete final exams on Friday morning, before taking a 4 p.m flight to Las Vegas. NU is set to practice at the Cox Pavilion on Friday at 9 p.m. central.
The Cougars will have 11 days rest heading into the game after notching a 71-59 win over UT-San Antonio in Houston on Dec. 7. Houston has produced double-digit victories in five of its six wins, with its lone loss coming at TCU on Dec. 2. The Cougars return six starters from a team that tied for second in Conference USA a year ago and advanced to the 2010 Postseason WNIT. UH is led by 2010 Conference USA Player of the Year Courtney Taylor.
Nebraska's matchup with Houston will be the first of three games in three days against 2010 postseason teams at the Duel in the Desert Classic. After clashing with the Cougars on Saturday, the Huskers take on perennial Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference power Marist on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. (central). Marist (6-2) went 26-8 a year ago and advanced to the NCAA Tournament first round as the MAAC champion.
The Huskers close the tournament with Louisville on Monday at 8:30 p.m. The Cardinals (7-3), coached by former Nebraska assistant Jeff Walz, competed in the WBI Postseason Tournament a year ago. In 2009, Louisville was the NCAA runner-up. The Cardinals will be the seventh 2010 postseason team the Huskers have faced in the first 11 games this season.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-1)
5 - Kaitlyn Burke - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 6.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg
44 - Catheryn Redmon - 6-3 - Sr. - C - 10.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - So. - G - 10.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
24 - Dominique Kelley - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 15.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Off the Bench
13 - Jessica Periago - 6-4 - Sr. - C - 3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
1 - Kellie McCann-Smith - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 4.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg
20 - Katya Leick - 6-1 - So. - F - 5.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg
55 - Adrianna Maurer - 6-3 - Fr. - C - 2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
21 - Harleen Sidhu - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 0.8 rpg
12 - Layne Reeves - 5-11 - So. - G - 3.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - So. - F - 3.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
Ninth Season at NU (161-100); 21st Season Overall (356-240)
Houston Cougars (6-1)
5 - Brittany Mason - 6-0 - Sr. - F - 4.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg
24 - Courtney Taylor - 6-0 - Sr. - F - 17.7 ppg, 12.4 rpg
33 - Lesslee Mason - 6-0 - Sr. - F - 9.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg
11 - Brittney Scott - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 15.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
20 - Porsche Landry - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 17.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg
Off the Bench
22 - Roxana Button - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 8.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg
1 - Zalika Dyson - 6-2 - Fr. - C - 0.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg
25 - Mae Woods - 6-4 - Fr. - C - 2.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg
32 - Allie Henderson - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 0.3 ppg, 1.0 rpg
34 - Jasmine Johnson - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 0.7 ppg, 0.0 rpg
10 - Breana Williams - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 1.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
12 - Megan Workman - 6-0 - So. - G/F - 1.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Head Coach: Todd Buchanan (Murray State, 1995)
First Season at Houston (6-1); Eighth Season Overall (104-105)
Huskers Bounce Bears to Improve to 8-1
Catheryn Redmon led three Huskers in double figures with 16 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots, as Nebraska worked its way to a 66-53 win over Northern Colorado at the Devaney Center Dec. 11.
Sophomore forward Katya Leick added a career-high 15 points to go along with six rebounds, while Jordan Hooper scored all 11 of her points in the second half, while matching Redmon with a team-high eight rebounds. Hooper played just four first-half minutes after picking up her second foul.
Senior guard Dominique Kelley also played just four first-half minutes after picking up her second foul, and like Hooper, played just 19 minutes in the game for NU. Kelley finished with seven points, two rebounds and three assists, while hitting both of her field goal attempts and all three of her free throws.
Freshman guard Kellie McCann-Smith gave the Huskers a lift off the bench by scoring six points while notching a career-high five steals. McCann-Smith also had two rebounds and two assists in a career-high 20 minutes.
Sophomore forward Meghin Williams, who made her first appearance of the season at Creighton on Wednesday night, added four points and a career-high three rebounds in a career-high 11 minutes.
Nebraska led by as many as 19 points in the game, the last time coming on Leick's layup with 1:04 left to make it 64-45. In the last 32 seconds, with reserves on the floor, Northern Colorado forced four NU turnovers in fullcourt pressure and converted them into back-to-back Victoria Timm three-pointers to trim the lead to 11 with 16 seconds left.
Timm led the Bears with 16 points, while adding three rebounds and three steals. Lauren Oosdyke and Kaisha Brown each contributed nine points and four rebounds for the Bears.
Nebraska hit 24-of-55 shots from the field (43.6 percent), including 4-of-17 three-pointers, while hitting 14-of-22 free throws. NU outrebounded Northern Colorado, 45-34, but committed a season-high 27 turnovers. Nine of those turnovers came in the game's final 5:30. The Huskers forced 24 turnovers by UNC.
The Bears hit just 22-of-62 shots from the field (35.5 percent), including 3-of-13 three-pointers. UNC also hit just 6-of-10 free throws.
Redmon provided the Huskers with a major presence inside in the first half, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. Leick added six points off the bench, while McCann-Smith sparked the Huskers with four points and a career-high four steals in the half.
Nebraska carried a 30-19 lead into the locker room despite hitting just 10-of-29 shots from the field, including just 1-of-8 three-pointers. NU did outscore the Bears 7-4 at the free throw line, but hit just 7-of-13 attempts.
The Huskers held the Bears to just 7-of-24 shooting from the field, including just 1-of-7 three-point attempts. UNC also hit just 4-of-7 free throws and committed 16 first-half turnovers. NU also outrebounded the Bears, 22-19.
Scouting The Houston Cougars
Houston heads to Las Vegas with a 6-1 record after a Dec. 7 win over Texas-San Antonio. The Cougars will take on the Huskers after an 11-day layoff from competition.
First-year coach Todd Buchanan has engineered a high-powered Houston attack that has scored 70 or more points in six of its first seven games. UH's lone loss came with a 69-57 setback against 2010 NCAA Tournament qualifier TCU on Dec. 2. The Cougars bounced back with a 72-62 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi before notching the 71-59 win over UTSA.
UH opened the year with an 88-48 win over UT-Arlington, before running to an 82-62 victory over New Mexico State. The Cougars notched a 70-66 win at Louisiana Tech, before erupting for a 93-89 victory at Oral Roberts.
Courtney Taylor, a 6-0 senior forward, has starred for UH early in the season, averaging a double-double with 17.7 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. The 2010 Conference USA Player of the Year is the favorite to repeat as CUSA's top player again in 2011. A four-year starter for the Cougars, Taylor has scored 1,328 points and grabbed 916 career rebounds. She also has 105 career blocks and 167 career steals. Taylor owns 45 career double-doubles.
Porsche Landry, a 5-5 junior guard, has also filled it up early in the year, averaging 17.1 points and a team-leading 4.3 assists per game.
Brittney Scott, a 5-6 senior guard, gives the Cougars three players averaging double figures with 15.7 points and 3.5 assists per contest. The preseason first-team All-Conference USA selection joins Taylor in Houston's 1,000-point club. Scott owns 1,119 career points and is closing in on 200 career assists. The three-year starter is also nearly an 80 percent free throw shooter in her career and has hit 162 career three-pointers.
Another senior, 6-0 forward Lesslee Mason, has also provided a strong presence with 9.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, while leading UH with 18 blocks and 18 steals. Mason, who transferred to Houston from Ohio State before the 2008-09 season, averaged 8.2 points and 9.0 rebounds as a starter for the Cougars a year ago.
Brittany Mason rounds out the UH starting five. The 6-0 senior forward is averaging 4.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. She is in her third year as a starter for the Cougars as well.
Overall, Houston features six seniors who combined for 479 games and 232 career starts entering the season. The Cougar seniors include Jasmine Johnson, a 5-6 guard out of Omaha Central, who has averaged 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds in 92 career games. Johnson has appeared in just two games this season for Houston.
Junior guard Roxana Button has been Houston's top player off the bench, averaging 8.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 21 minutes per game.
As a team, Houston is averaging 76.1 points per game, while allowing 65 points per contest. The Cougars are shooting 39.4 percent from the field, including a solid 34.1 percent from three-point range, while making six threes per game. UH owns a plus-3.7 team rebounding margin and an even more impressive plus-5.3 team turnover margin, forcing 21 opponent miscues per game.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Houston 2-1, with the last meeting coming on Nov. 22, 2000. The Huskers worked their way to a 65-53 win at the Devaney Center in that game. NU also notched an 87-77 victory over Houston on Dec. 1, 1990. That win came in the first round of the Buckeye Invitational at Ohio State. Nebraska went on to win that tournament. NU lost the first meeting with Houston, 87-82 in overtime on Nov. 26, 1977, in Plainview, Texas.
Kelley Climbing Nebraska Career Scoring List
Nebraska senior Dominique Kelley has joined the Huskers' career top 20 in scoring with 1,077 points heading into the the Duel in the Desert Classic in Las Vegas. Kelley needs just 39 points to match Meggan Yedsena at No. 16 with 1,116 career points. Kelley, a Lincoln Northeast High School graduate, needs 107 points to surpass Lincoln East grad Jan Crouch (1,183 points, 1976-79) in 15th place overall to become the highest scoring Husker in history from the city of Lincoln.
Kelley is the fifth Husker under Coach Connie Yori to join the 1,000-point club. Kelley is averaging 15.4 points per game. Just hours before becoming the 26th Husker in history to join NU's 1,000-point club, Kelley was honored with the first Big 12 Player-of-the-Week award of her career on Nov. 22. She averaged 23.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in leading NU to wins over Miami (Fla.) and Saint Mary's (Calif.) the previous week.
Kelley connected on 24-of-26 of her free throw attempts and hit 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from the field. Kelley erupted for a career-high 25 points while matching her career best of nine rebounds against Miami. She scored 19 of her 25 points in the second period to blow open a close game.
She added 22 points versus Saint Mary's. She hit all 13 of her free throw attempts to help Nebraska overcome a four-point deficit with less than three minutes to play, including six consecutive free throws in the final 25 seconds.
Kelley owns three 20-point scoring efforts this season to push her career total to six. Her most recent 20-point performance came with team highs of 21 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals at Indiana on Dec. 5.
Hooper Becomes Fastest Husker to 100 Points
Jordan Hooper has made an instant impact on the Nebraska lineup and is an early contender for conference and national freshman honors. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., enters the Duel in the Desert Classic averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. She produced her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds at Creighton on Dec. 8.
Against UNLV, she became the first Husker freshman in history to reach 100 points in her first six games, surpassing 2010 first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin's freshman mark of 100 points in seven games (2005-06).
Hooper, a two-time Nebraska High School Player of the Year (2008, 2010), has produced double figures in eight of her first nine career games.
She pumped in a career-high 25 points against UNO on Nov. 26, hitting 12-of-14 shots from the field. Against Miami (Nov. 17), Hooper had 22 points, including 4-of-7 three-pointers. She added 16 apiece against UNLV and Washington State, after opening her collegiate career with 15 points against Vermont.
Hooper earned her second Big 12 Player-of-the-Week award on Nov. 29, after averaging 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in wins over Washington State and UNO. She earned her first Big 12 Player-of-the-Week award on Nov. 15, after scoring 15 points and pulling down a team-high six rebounds against Vermont. Hooper hit three three-pointers to help the Huskers smash the single-game three-point record with 17 in a 95-38 win over the Catamounts on Nov. 13.
Hooper's debut ranks among the best by a freshman in school history. Only Husker greats Deb Powell (19 points, 7 rebounds), Karen Jennings (18 points, 8 rebounds), Angie Miller (18 points, 8 rebounds) and Kelsey Griffin (18 points, 7 rebounds) had more points and rebounds than Hooper in a season opener as a freshman.
The only other players to score more than Hooper in a season opener as a freshman were Maurtice Ivy (17), Amy Stephens (16) and Stacy Imming (16). All seven of the players to score more than Hooper in a debut went on to score at least 1,000 points as Huskers, including each of the top four scorers in school history (Jennings, Ivy, Griffin, Stephens). Hooper became the fifth Nebraska native to score 15 or more points in her debut as a freshman, joining Ivy, Miller, Imming and Stephens - who was from Hooper's hometown of Alliance.
NU On Record-Setting Three-Point Pace
Nebraska's outside shooting has been a strength for the Huskers in the first nine games of 2010-11. The Huskers followed up a school-record 17-for-33 three-point shooting day in the opener against Vermont with an 8-for-14 effort in the win over Miami. NU added five more threes in a win over Saint Mary's on Nov. 20, before hitting four triples at Washington State on Nov. 22. The Huskers added a 7-for-18 effort from long range against UNO Nov. 26, pumped in 9-of-22 threes in a win over UNLV on Nov. 30, and knocked down 9-of-19 threes at Indiana on Dec. 5. NU added 5-of-13 shooting at Creighton on Dec. 8, and 4-of-17 against Northern Colorado on Dec. 11.
The Huskers have hit 68-of-172 shots beyond the arc - an average of 7.6 threes per game at an impressive 39.5 percent success rate.
Last season, Nebraska hit a school-record 225 threes for a school-record average of 6.6 threes per game. Through nine games, NU is on track to hit 259 threes over a 34-game season. To give that number some perspective, prior to last season, the school-record for three-pointers made in a season was 173. Coach Connie Yori's past seven Husker teams own the top seven three-point shooting seasons in school history.
Last season, Morehead State led NCAA Division I women's basketball with 10.3 made threes per game, while Ohio State led the nation with a 40.2 three-point field goal percentage. Nebraska's 6.6 threes per game ranked 46th nationally, while the Huskers ranked 75th with 34.0 percent success from long range a year ago.
More Bark From Beyond the Arc
Nebraska's nine-game total of 68 three-pointers (68-172) is the best nine-game start in school history. NU hit 67-of-191 threes through the first nine games of 2009-10. NU hit eight or more threes on 15 occasions last year.
The Huskers' success early this season ranks high nationally, as NU's 39.5 three-point field goal percentage ranks seventh in Dec. 12 NCAA statistics, while ranking 23rd with 7.6 made threes per game.
In Nebraska's 10th game of the 2009-10 season, the Huskers went 5-of-12 from three-point range against Northern Illinois. In game 11, NU went 4-of-12 against LSU, before hitting 8-of-25 threes against Albany.
Huskers Smash Three-Point Mark Against Vermont
Sophomore Lindsey Moore set a career high with five three-pointers to spark a school-record 17 threes in Nebraska's 95-38 win over Vermont on Nov. 13. NU's record-setting performance smashed the previous team game record for threes made, which most recently came with 12 three-pointers in a win at Baylor on Jan. 17, 2010.
Moore hit 5-of-8 threes for the game, including four in the first half. Junior guard Kaitlyn Burke added a perfect 4-for-4 shooting effort from long range. Jordan Hooper hit 3-of-7 long-range shots in her collegiate debut.
As a team, Nebraska hit a sizzling 17-of-33 from three-point range (51.5 percent), with seven different Huskers knocking down at least one three (Leick 2-3; Periago, 1-1; Reeves 1-2; McCann-Smith 1-2).
NU's 57-Point Margin vs. Vermont Largest in 12 Years
Nebraska's 57-point victory against Vermont on Nov. 13, 2010, matched a win over South Alabama on Nov. 13, 1998, for the ninth-largest victory margin in school history.
The win over the Catamounts, which came 12 years to the day since the 57-point win over South Alabama on the Devaney Center court, was the largest victory margin for the Huskers since the win over USA. It was also NU's largest winning margin of the Connie Yori era dating back to the 2002-03 season.
Burke Giving Huskers Solid All-Around Guard Play
Junior guard Kaitlyn Burke is making the most of her return to the court after being forced to the sideline with a foot injury last season. Burke, who played just six games a year ago before taking a medical redshirt, played just 34 minutes and hit just 2-of-7 shots and just 1-of-5 three-pointers on the season.
In NU's first nine games this season, Burke has demonstrated the all-around ability that allowed her to play all 64 games for NU in her first two seasons, including 19 starts.
Against Miami, Burke made her first start since Feb. 28, 2009 (at Kansas), and hit all three of her shots from the field, including a pair of three-pointers against the Hurricanes. It was her second straight perfect shooting night to open the season. In the opener against Vermont, Burke went 4-of-4 from the floor, with all four hits coming from long range.
Through two games, Burke was shooting 100 percent from the field (7-7 FG, 6-6 3FG) in a total of 51 minutes. Burke has continued to play well for the Huskers, averaging 6.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists and a team-leading 1.4 steals per game.
For the season, Burke has hit 47.7 percent (21-44) of her field goal attempts, including a solid 34.6 percent (9-26) from three-point range. She also owns a solid 1.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (21 assists, 11 turnovers).
Burke's 66 career three-pointers are tied with senior guard Dominique Kelley for NU's active career lead.
Huskers Have History of Home-Opening Success
Nebraska owns a strong history of season-opening success on the Huskers' homecourt at the Devaney Center. Nebraska improved to 35-2 all-time in home openers with its 95-38 victory over Vermont on Nov. 13.
From 1981-82 through 2004-05, Nebraska reeled off 24 straight home-opening wins before losing to South Dakota State on Nov. 19, 2005. NU's only other home-opening loss came in an 88-56 setback to Kansas on Nov. 21, 1980.
Nebraska has been strong in its first six home games every season. In fact, NU is 189-33 over the past 37 years in its first six home contests (.851 winning percentage).
Last season, NU went 16-0 at home, and has extended its home winning streak to 26 games. In fact, 22 of NU's last 23 home wins have been by double digits.
Huskers Having No Problem Finding Points
After losing six seniors, including first-team All-American Kelsey Griffin, and first-team All-Big 12 picks Cory Montgomery and Yvonne Turner, the Huskers were faced with the major challenge of replacing 65.8 percent of their scoring, 64.8 percent of their rebounding and 47.5 percent of their assists.
In fact, Nebraska returned just 26.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game from last year's NCAA Sweet 16 team. However, finding points, rebounds and assists has not been a problem for the young Huskers.
Through nine games, the Huskers are averaging 75.6 points, 39.7 rebounds and 15.9 assists per game. Last season, NU averaged 77.4 points, 38.6 rebounds and 14.1 assists, while going 32-2 and winning the Big 12 title with a perfect 16-0 record.
The highest team scoring average in Nebraska history came with the 1982-83 Huskers averaging 84.3 points per contest. Only three times in Husker history has a team averaged better than 80 points (1987-88, 82.4 ppg, 1983-84, 81.7 ppg).
Nebraska's 2009-10 season scoring average of 77.4 points per game ranked eighth in school history and was NU's best scoring average since 1997-98.
Back-to-Back 90-Point Efforts Rare in Husker History
Nebraska opened the season with 95 points against Vermont's sagging zone defense, before racing to 99 points against an athletic, hard-pressing run-and-jump man-to-man defense by Miami. It marked the first time that NU had scored 90 or more points in back-to-back games since February of 1998 (at Oklahoma-101, at Missouri-96).
The last time NU scored 90 points in back-to-back games to open a season came in 1987, when the Huskers opened the year with four straight 90-plus efforts on their way to a Big Eight title and the first NCAA bid in school history.
The only other times NU managed 90 points in back-to-back games to open a season came in both 1981-82 and 1982-83. During the seven-season stretch from 1981-82 through 1987-88, the Huskers scored 90 or more points 42 times.
In the other 30 years of NU women's basketball, the Huskers have produced 90 points only 56 other times, including the first two games of this season.
In more than 1,000 games of Husker history, NU has scored 90 points on 98 occasions. In the decade that spanned from the 1999-2000 season through the 2008-09 season, the Huskers managed the feat just 12 times.
Nebraska's most recent back-to-back 90-point scoring games were just the 10th back-to-back efforts with 90 or more points in school history, and just the fourth time the feat has been accomplished in the past 20 years.
The 1987-88 Huskers notched a school-record nine 90-point games, matching the nine produced by the 1982-83 Huskers. The 1981-82 squad scored 90 eight times, while the 1983-84 club accomplished the feat on seven occasions. No other Husker team has scored 90 or more points on more than five occasions in any season.
Last year's Huskers hit the 90-point mark three times in 34 games. Before last season, NU had scored 90 points just nine times in Coach Connie Yori's first seven seasons - a span of 218 games. In the last 42 games, Yori's Huskers have hit 90 five times. The Huskers have hit the 80-point mark four times this season. Last season, NU scored 80 or more points on 15 occasions, but in 2008-09 NU scored 80 points just two times in 31 games. In 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Huskers hit 80 seven times. In both of those seasons, NU advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Moore Shows She Can Score in Expanded Offensive Role
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.
Through NU's first nine games of 2010-11, Moore is showing that scoring more is just fine with her. She ranks third on the team with 10.4 points per game, while still producing 5.3 assists per contest. In 33.4 minutes per game, Moore has hit 35-of-77 field goal attempts (45.5 percent), including 11-of-32 three-point tries (34.4 percent).
She opened 2010-11 with 17 points, including a career-high five three-pointers in a win over Vermont. The next time out, she erupted for the best game of her career with 22 points, nine assists and two steals against Miami. She added 15 points and five assists at Washington State on Nov. 22.
She produced a 14-point, six-assist effort at Creighton on Dec. 8, when she played the full 40 minutes for the first time in her career. It was her fourth double-figure scoring performance of the season.
Comparing Moore's early season production this year to the start of her freshman season presents a striking contrast. Last season, it took Moore 20 games to reach 94 total points, finishing her 20th game with 97 points after scoring 11 in a win over No. 10 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3.
Through those 20 contests in 2009-10, she hit just 10-of-52 three-point attempts. In fact, Moore didn't hit her 11th three-pointer of 2009-10 until the 24th game of the season, when she went 4-of-7 in a win over Iowa State on Feb. 17. This season, Moore has hit 11 threes in 15 fewer games.
Although the numbers from early last season to early this season show seemingly lightning fast results, Moore actually expanded her offensive role gradually throughout the 2009-10 season. She produced double figures just two times in the first 19 games, but had seven double-figure efforts in NU's final 15 contests. Also after hitting just 8-of-48 three-point attempts in the first 19 games, she hit 16-of-35 over the final 15 games.
Moore scored a season-high 18 points and canned a season-best four three-pointers in a 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. 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 Ready to Make Rest of Young Huskers Better
One of the best young point guards in the nation, Lindsey Moore has picked up right where she left off last season in the passing department. Through eight games, she is averaging 5.3 assists, including a season-best nine against Miami, Nov. 17. She has dished out five or more assists six times this season.
With six assists against Northern Colorado, she increased her career total 202, and she needs just 100 more to reach the top 10 in career assists in Nebraska history.
Last season, Moore distributed 154 assists as a true freshman for the Huskers. 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.
Take Cover When the Big Cat Roars
Center Catheryn Redmon continues to fly up Nebraska's career blocked shot chart, climbing into third all-time with 161 blocks.
Danielle Page (207) and Janet Smith (238) are the only two Huskers in front of Redmon on the career block chart.
Redmon had a season-high five blocks at Indiana on Dec. 5 and matched that total with five more against Northern Colorado on Dec. 11. She added 16 points and eight rebounds against the Bears.
Redmon had one of the best overall games of her career with 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks at Washington State on Nov. 22. It was her second double-double of the season and fifth of her career.
She produced another strong performance with 14 points and 13 rebounds in NU's win over Miami. Redmon hit 7-of-8 shots from the field against the Hurricanes on her way to her fourth career double-double.
For the season, Redmon is averaging 10.2 points, 6.6 boards and 2.4 blocks while shooting 66.1 percent (41-62) from the field.
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.
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 Keep Streak in Coaches Poll
The Huskers have continued their longest streak in school history with 21 consecutive rankings in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25. NU opened the 2010-11 campaign with a No. 23 preseason ranking and climbed to No. 19 in the third regular-season coaches poll. NU slipped to No. 22 last week, but moved up one spot to No. 21 this week.
Nebraska closed 2009-10 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. 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.
Nebraska rejoined the Associated Press Top 25 on Nov. 29 at No. 24, after being unranked in the preseason poll and the first two regular-season rankings. However, a six-point setback at Indiana dropped the Huskers two spots in the poll to No. 26. NU gained 16 votes in the Dec. 13 poll, but slipped two spots to No. 28.
Last season, the Huskers enjoyed their longest stretch in the poll in history with 14 straight weeks in the top 25, including the final nine weeks in the top 10. NU achieved its highest ranking in school history when the Huskers climbed to No. 3 in the AP 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 finished the season with a No. 4 ranking in the final AP poll, which was announced before the start of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
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 four straight 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.
Huskers Making Mark in Early NCAA Statistical Rankings
Nebraska ranks among the top 35 teams in the nation in seven statistical categories according to the NCAA rankings released on Dec. 12.
The Huskers rank seventh nationally in three-point field goal percentage (39.5 percent). Nebraska also ranks 23rd nationally with 7.6 made threes per game, well ahead of school-record pace (6.6 pg).
NU ranks 12th nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (13.4 fpg), while ranking 16th overall in field goal percentage (46.4).
With a 9-1 record, Nebraska's .889 won-loss percentage is tied for 24th, while the Huskers' 17.2-point-per-game scoring margin ranks 27th. NU's 75.6 points per game rank 34th nationally in scoring offense.
Husker Players Ranking High in NCAA Stats
Several Huskers rank among national leaders in various NCAA statistical categories, led by Dominique Kelley's No. 16 national ranking with her 92.1 free throw percentage. Kelley has hit 58-of-63 free throws through nine games this season. National rankings are released each Monday during the season.
Freshman Jordan Hooper ranks 24th nationally with her 45.7 three-point field goal percentage, while senior center Catheryn Redmon ranks 25th nationally with 2.4 blocked shots per game. Sophomore point guard Lindsey Moore ranks 30th nationally with 5.3 assists per game, while her high school teammate Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga) leads the nation in that category (9.6 apg).
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 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 357-118 (.752) in games played in the arena, including 133-77 (.633) in conference games. Since 2003-04, NU is 93-22 (.809) 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. The Huskers stretched their home winning streak to 26 games with a win over Northern Colorado on Dec. 11. Amazingly, 22 of the last 23 wins have been by double digits. NU's longest home winning streak is 29 games.
Big Red Fans Come 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.
Nebraska opened the 2010-11 season with 3,201 fans on hand at the Devaney Center despite an 11:35 a.m. tip-off on a football Saturday in Lincoln. It was the third-largest season-opening crowd in school history.
The Huskers continue to draw well, attracting the fourth-largest regular-season non-conference crowd in school history with 4,333 fans against Miami at the Devaney Center, despite playing head-to-head across campus from the Nebraska volleyball team's Big 12 match with Oklahoma. NU is averaging 3,323 fans per game through six contests.
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.
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 NU men's and women's basketball, including new locker room, team areas, coaches offices and 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.
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 came on the Big Ten Network at Indiana on Sunday, Dec. 5.
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-delayed to 9:30 p.m., Saint Mary's) all had video available, including a free live video stream of the Vermont game on Huskers.com. NU's home game with UNLV (Nov. 30) was available on HuskersNside. NU's Dec. 8 road game at Creighton is also being streamed live to HuskersNside.
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 carries into 2011 league play.
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 was just the seventh of eight or more victories in school history. Three of Nebraska's eight-game winning streaks have come in Yori's nine 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.
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.
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.