Coatney's Call: USC Preview
#23 Nebraska at USC
Friday, Nov. 23, 4:05 p.m. (central)
Galen Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: Husker Sports Network (Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
(B107.3 FM-Lincoln; The Wolf 93.3 FM-Omaha)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
There’s no better elixir to recover from a loss than to return home and sprint to a big lead. 23rd-ranked Nebraska rebounded from their first defeat of the season to beat Sam Houston State 85-72 Tuesday night in Lincoln. The Huskers raced to a 31-point lead, paced by National Player-of-the-Year candidate Jordan Hooper. J-Hoop posted her 19th career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Sophomore Emily Cady erupted for a season-high 18 points, while National Player-of-the-Year candidate Lindsey Moore had a superb stat line in limited playing time. Moore only played 21 minutes, but posted 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals without committing a turnover. Next up for Nebraska is a road trip to Los Angeles to face USC Friday afternoon.
Southern California improved to 2-1 on the young season after Wednesday night’s 72-58 home win over Arkansas State. The Trojans lost three players to graduation who started in last year’s 68-50 loss to the Huskers in Lincoln. The top returning scorer for USC is 6-2 junior forward Cassie Harberts. She has started every game in her career and has posted double-doubles in all three games this season, including 15 points and 10 rebounds against Arkansas State. Harberts had three points and four rebounds against NU last year. She leads the team in scoring (19.0 ppg) and rebounding (10.0 ppg).
Ariya Crook, a 5-7 sophomore point guard, did not play in USC’s season-opening 63-52 loss at home to Gonzaga, but had 17 points in her first game, a 65-56 win over Pepperdine. She had six points, five assists and six turnovers Wednesday night against ASU. She had five points last year against NU. Christina Marinacci, a 6-1 co-captain, is the lone senior on the Trojan roster. She led the team in rebounding last year (7.4 rpg) and was named All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention. She had six points and two rebounds against the Huskers in 2011 and currently averages 8.3 points and 8.0 rebounds.
Two true freshmen round out Southern California’s probable starting lineup. Jordan Adams, a 6-1 guard, was a 2012 McDonald’s High School All-American and currently averages 6.3 points per game. Destinie Gibbs, a 5-11 guard, adds 4.7 points per game. Her uncles Dale Carter and Jake Reed both played in the NFL. Carter played collegiately at Tennessee and Reed played at Grambling. A key addition to USC’s bench is 6-4 junior forward Kate Oliver. She sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, but in two previous seasons at Marist, she started all but nine games, averaging 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore for the 21st-ranked Red Foxes who finished 31-3. Oliver was a member of Australia’s Under-17 and Under-19 National Teams.
Fourth-year USC Head Coach Michael Cooper will always be remembered as part of the legendary Los Angeles Lakers “Showtime” teams of the 1980’s. Cooper came to USC after spending eight seasons as the head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. With the Sparks, Cooper won five Western Conference titles and guided the Sparks into the WNBA playoffs seven times, winning the WNBA Championship in 2001 and 2002 He was the 2000 WNBA Coach of the Year in his debut season.
In last year’s Nebraska victory over USC, Hooper and Moore each scored 22 points and Hooper’s 13 rebounds paced three NU players with double-digit boards. In fact, Hooper's huge rebounding night helped the Huskers build a monstrous 66-40 edge on the boards, including 24 offensive rebounds. It was not only Nebraska's highest rebounding total in the Connie Yori-era, it was the highest total ever against a Division I opponent and the biggest mark in more than 30 years. It was the third-best total overall, trailing only 73 boards against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 19, 1980, and 68 rebounds against Wayne State on Jan. 28, 1978. USC and NU are tied in the all-time series 3-3, but Nebraska has won three in a row, including a 72-65 triumph at the Galen Center in 2006. Kiera Hardy produced one of the best performances of her career by scoring 32 points, including the game-clinching three-pointer with 40 seconds left in the game.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women’s basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our broadcast Friday begins with the pre-game show at 3:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 4:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network, including Lincoln affiliate KBBK 107.3 FM (B107.3) and KFFF 93.3 FM (The Wolf 93.3) in Omaha, and available to our entire 25 network stations. All Husker women’s basketball broadcasts are also available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker women’s basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women’s Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!