Coatney's Call: Pittsburg State Preview
Nebraska vs. Pittsburg State
Exhibition Game #1
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. (central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Video: Huskers.com
Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
(1400 AM-KCOW, Alliance; 94.1 FM-KNEB, Scottsbluff)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
Huskers Host Gorillas In Beautiful New Home
The season is here! I always get excited for the start of Husker women’s basketball, but this year is just a wee bit different. It’s hard to put into words how pumped up I am to be able to broadcast the first-ever basketball game in Nebraska’s new home, the beautiful Pinnacle Bank Arena. I’ll get that opportunity this Sunday afternoon when NU hosts the Pittsburg State Gorillas in an exhibition game at 2 p.m. (central).
How much optimism is there heading into the 2013-14 Nebraska season? Where do I even start?
A good person to begin with is 6-2 senior two-time All-American Jordan Hooper. Already one of the greatest players in school history, J-Hoop spent part of the summer with Team USA, drawing a start in the gold-medal winning championship at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Hooper starts the season 10th in career scoring and second in career three-pointers at Nebraska. Hooper joins three other returning starters from a team that won the second most games in school history last year (25) and advanced to the Sweet 16 for only the second time in school history.
Speaking of Sweet 16’s, the University of Nebraska, the Pinnacle Bank Arena and Lincoln were awarded one of four NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Regionals for March of 2014. This means the final basketball game in Nebraska’s shiny new home this season will end with a team dancing their way into the Final Four. Simply put, the enthusiasm around Husker women’s basketball is at an all-time high.
Sunday’s meeting will mark the fifth straight year the Huskers and Gorillas have met in a preseason exhibition game, with Nebraska winning the previous four meetings. PSU is traditionally a very strong Division II team and return eight players from last season’s squad that finished 17-10. Two seasons ago, the Gorillas had their most successful season in school history, advancing to the Division II Elite Eight with a 27-6 record.
All-American Lizzy Jeronimus, a 5-11 forward, returns after leading the MIAA Conference in scoring last season (18.4 ppg). Her ability to get to the free throw line makes her a particularly dangerous player. She made more foul shots (135) than any Nebraska player even attempted last season except one (Lindsey Moore), and did it in seven fewer games. Jeronimus had nine points in NU’s 78-34 last season.
In 2012, Jeronimus was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year and first team all-MIAA. She also was named the Most Outstanding Player of the South Central Region after averaging 27.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in the three games, including a career-high 35 points in the regional final against Emporia State.
Morgan Westhoff, a 5-8 junior guard, was second on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg) last season and led the Gorillas with 46 three pointers, shooting .400 from beyond the arc. Senior point guard Alexa Bordewick is third on the all-time PSU three-pointer list and averaged 6.1 points per game last year.
Hailey Roderique, a 5-9 junior, started the first 14 games last year before a knee injury ended her season prematurely. She averaged 6.9 points per game. Junior guard Brigit Hesser started eight games after Roderique’s injury and the former walk-on averaged 3.4 points per contest. Y’Cedria Devers, a 5-8 junior, also started eight games and the cousin of three-time U.S. Olympic track and field champion Gail Devers added 3.8 points per game.
Pittsburg State’s lineup may be bolstered by two notable transfers this season. Alex Muff, a 6-1 senior forward, played four years of Division I volleyball at Kansas State and has enrolled in graduate school at PSU. She is expected to add a strong presence down low for the Gorillas. She is the daughter of Pitt State head men's basketball coach, Kevin Muff.
Antqunita Reed is an extremely athletic junior guard who transferred from St. Petersburg College in Florida. She spent her freshman year at Western Kentucky competing as a long jumper in the track and field program.
Seventh-year head coach Lane Lord was named both MIAA Coach of the Year and WBCA/NCAA Division II Region Six Coach of the Year in 2012. His Pitt State teams have posted winning records in each of the past five seasons. Lord turned around a team that previously had won only 32 of 82 regular-season games in a three-year period.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women’s basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Sunday begins with the pre-game show at 1:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 2:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network on select stations around the state, including KCOW 1400 AM in Alliance KNEB 94.1 FM in Scottsbluff. No local radio stations in Lincoln or Omaha will carry NU's exhibition games, but all Husker women’s basketball broadcasts are 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!