Huskers Clash with Cougars Sunday
Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-0) vs. Washington State Cougars (1-1)
Bob Devaney Sports Center (13,595) • Lincoln, Neb.
Sunday, Nov. 22 • 2:05 p.m. (Central)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (98.1 FM-KFGE-Lincoln, 93.3 FM-KTWI-Omaha, 880 AM-KRVN-Lexington)
Live Internet Video & Audio: Huskers.com (Free)
Game Promotion: Toys for Tots (Fans encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or cash donation to be collected at entrances by Marines.)
Halftime Entertainment: Air Elite Inc. (Acrobatic Dunk Team)
Huskers Ready For Best Cats So Far in Clash with Cougars
The Nebraska women’s basketball team closes its two-game weekend homestand by playing host to Washington State on Sunday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Tip-off between the Huskers and Cougars in Lincoln is set for 2:05 p.m., with live radio coverage provided by the Husker Sports Network, including 98.1 FM-KFGE in Lincoln, 93.3 FM-KTWI in Omaha, and 880 AM-KRVN in Lexington. Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will also provide the call world-wide on Huskers.com, while a free live video stream will also be available on Huskers.com.
Husker fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or cash donation to benefit the Toys for Tots program. Marines will be collecting donations at the entrances to the Devaney Center.
Sunday’s game will also feature the high-flying halftime entertainment of the Air Elite Inc. dunk team.
The Cougars will represent the toughest cats Nebraska has faced at the Devaney Center so far this season. Although Washington State is young, a talented collection of Cougars are expected to challenge Nebraska, which already owns home wins over the Davidson Wildcats (86-62) and the Idaho State Bengals (88-41).
Washington State comes to Lincoln with a 1-1 record after a 70-63 loss at Kansas State Friday in Manhattan. KSU led by eight at the half, but the Cougars surged to a 43-42 lead with 14:11 left and trailed just 64-61 with 1:06 left. WSU opened with a 64-54 win over UC Davis in Pullman, Wash., on Nov. 15. The Cougars were 11-19 last year and 4-14 in the Pac-10. It was the first time since 2000-01 that the Cougars produced double-digit victories.
Nebraska has featured an explosive offense with balanced scoring and a deep bench through the first three games. Not only does NU showcase four players averaging double figures, the Huskers also have nine individuals averaging four or more points per game, while 11 players are contributing nine or more minutes per game. The Huskers have averaged 87 points per game at home, while allowing just 51.5 points per contest at Devaney.
Nebraska Probable Starters (3-0)
23 - Kelsey Griffin - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 12.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg
40 - Cory Montgomery - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 13.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 2.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
13 - Kala Kuhlmann - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
24 - Dominique Kelley - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 12.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg
The Next Wave
22 - Yvonne Turner - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 13.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
11 - Nicole Neals - 5-6 - Sr. - G - 6.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
44 - Catheryn Redmon - 6-3 - Jr. - C - 6.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg
5 - Kaitlyn Burke - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 2.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg
35 - Jessica Periago - 6-4 - Jr. - C - 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
12 - Layne Reeves - 5-11 - RFr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 1.3 rpg
20 - Katya Leick - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 0.0 ppg, 0.3 rpg
21 - Harleen Sidhu - 6-1 - So. - F - 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
Eighth Season at NU (124-97); 20th Season Overall (319-237)
Washington State Cougars (1-0)
21 - Rosie Tarnowski - 6-1 - So. - G/F - 4.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
3 - Katie Madison - 6-0 - Jr. - C - 5.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
1 - April Cook - 5-8 - So. - G - 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
11 - Jazmine Perkins - 5-10 - So. - G - 9.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg
24 - KiKi Moore - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 17.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg
Off the bench
2 - Ireti Amojo - 5-10 - Fr. - G/F - Injured (Out for Season)
4 - Katie Grad - 5-8 - RFr. - G - 2.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
10 - Danielle LeNoir - 5-6 - So. - G - 2.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg
25 - Lexie Pettersen - 6-1 - So. - F - 0.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
33 - Carly Noyes - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Head Coach: June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978)
Third Season at Washington St. (17-45); 21st Season Overall (331-258)
Montgomery has also pulled down 474 rebounds in her career and is just 26 boards away from becoming just the 16th player in NU history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Fellow Husker senior Kelsey Griffin has also earned a spot among that elite group with 1,384 points and 688 rebounds.
Only five players in Nebraska history have produced 1,400 points and 700 rebounds (Karen Jennings, Maurtice Ivy, Anna DeForge, Deb Powell and Kathy Hagerstrom.
If Montgomery produces points and rebounds at a similar rate as she did last season (470 points, 241 rebounds), she could be on the brink of joining Griffin in that elite group by season’s end.
Griffin Earns Spot on Naismith Trophy Watch List
Nebraska senior Kelsey Griffin was one of 50 players around the country named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Griffin, a 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, is a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection and ranks No. 1 among active career rebounders and No. 3 among active career scorers in the Big 12 Conference.
She earned her third straight selection to the Preseason All-Big 12 team selected by the league coaches this season, becoming just the third player in history to earn that honor, joining former All-Americans Courtney Paris (Oklahoma) and Tiffany Jackson (Texas).
Griffin, who has been projected as a high WNBA draft pick, will also contend for national honors off the court this season. The biological sciences major owns a 3.4 GPA and is expected to be a candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. She was also included among the 30 preseason candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, recognizing student-athlete achievement on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
Turner Becoming Game-Changer Off the Bench
Senior Yvonne Turner has powered the Huskers off the bench through the first three games of the season. The 5-8 guard out of Omaha, Neb., has averaged a team-high 13.3 points per game, while adding 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and a team-best 1.7 steals per game. She also leads the Huskers with 10 three-pointers.
Turner, who had started 64 straight games in the Nebraska backcourt before coming off the bench in the season-opening win over Davidson has supplied an instant spark in all three games.
Against Davidson, Turner entered the game for the first time with 17:34 left in the half. She immediately got a steal against the Wildcats and seconds later knocked down Nebraska’s first three-pointer of the season off an assist from Lindsey Moore.
Two possessions later, Turner buried another three-pointer to give NU a 17-4 lead with 16:07 left in the half. She finished the game with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from long range in just 16 minutes, as NU had 12 players get double-figure minutes against the Wildcats.
In NU’s win at UNLV, Turner matched teammate Dominique Kelley for game-high scoring honors with 17 points, while adding a game-high-matching four assists. After NU trailed for the first time this season at 6-4, Turner assisted on Cory Montgomery’s three-pointer to give NU a 7-6 lead with 14:45 left in the first half.
Minutes later, after the Huskers had fallen behind 14-10, Turner was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to start a 12-0 NU run with 11:58 left in the half. Turner also capped the run with her first three-pointer of the game to give the Huskers a 22-14 edge with 10:03 left in the opening half.
After UNLV cut NU’s lead back to four points with 7:05 remaining, Turner helped ignite an 11-2 Husker surge into halftime by hitting Kelsey Griffin with an assist on a layup that Griffin converted into a three-point play. Turner also buried her second three-pointer to push NU’s lead to 31-23 with 3:19 left in the opening half.
Against Idaho State, Turner entered the game with 16:49 to play in the first half and within a minute buried Nebraska’s first of 10 three-pointers of the night. She finished the game with 14 points and season highs of five rebounds, three steals and four three-pointers.
Griffin Comes Back Strong As Senior
Senior forward Kelsey Griffin has put together an impressive start to the season in her return to the court after missing the 2008-09 campaign with a foot injury.
The 6-2 All-America candidate from Eagle River, Alaska, has averaged 12 points and 7.7 rebounds in just 20.3 minutes per game in a trio of Husker victories. She opened the season with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in just 18 minutes in an 86-62 win over Davidson on Nov. 13.
Griffin followed that performance with nine points, 13 rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals in a road win at UNLV. Her 13 rebounds marked the second-highest total of her career. She added 14 points, three rebounds and a career-high matching four assists in Nebraska’s run past Idaho State on Thursday.
Offensively, Griffin leads the Big 12 by hitting 14-of-17 field goal attempts, including both of her three-point attempts on the year. Entering the season, Griffin was just 3-of-20 in her career from long range.
In two home games at the Devaney Center, Griffin is 10-for-10 from the field, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. Her numbers taken over one 40-minute game would have been 23.6 points, 15.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. She has averaged 0.59 points and 0.38 rebounds per minute.
Griffin was dominant defensively in the win over UNLV. She not only pulled down 10 defensive rebounds, she also had two steals, a blocked shot and took two charges to account for 15 stops for the Huskers.
Montgomery Gets First Double Of Season vs. Idaho State
Senior forward Cory Montgomery notched her ninth career double-double and first of the season with game highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds in Nebraska’s 88-41 win over Idaho State on Thursday. She hit 7-of-12 shots from the field, while adding an assist and a steal in a strong all-around effort.
Through three games, the 2009 honorable-mention All-Big 12 pick from Cannon Falls, Minn., is shooting 60.7 percent (17-28) from the field, including 40 percent (2-5) from three-point range. She is also 4-of-5 (80 percent) at the free throw line.
She has matched Yvonne Turner for the team scoring lead with 13.3 points per game, while adding 5.7 rebounds per contest.
Kelley Cranks Up Production to Start Junior Season
Junior guard Dominique Kelley has put up big numbers in Nebraska’s first three games by averaging 12.0 points and 6.3 rebounds in just 18.3 minutes per game. The 5-7 hometown favorite out of Lincoln Northeast High School matched backcourt mate Yvonne Turner for game-high scoring honors with 17 points in NU’s win at UNLV.
Kelley scored 12 of her 17 points in the first half, including a pair of three-pointers, to help shoot Nebraska to a 36-23 halftime lead.
She added another strong effort with 12 points and a season-best seven rebounds to help her celebrate her 21st birthday a day early with a win over Idaho State. Kelley is shooting 57.1 percent (12-21) from the field and 66.7 percent (2-3) from three-point range, while connecting on 90.9 percent (10-11) of her free throws. Her 6.3 rebounds per game are nearly double her season average from a year ago.
To look at Kelley’s numbers through the first three games from a different perspective, she is averaging a team-best 0.65 points per minute and 0.35 rebounds per minute. Oklahoma State All-America guard Andrea Riley is leading the Big 12 with 24.3 points per game, while adding 5.0 rebounds per contest, which comes out to 0.64 points per minute and 0.13 rebounds per minute. Riley is also shooting just 33.9 percent (21-62) from the field and just 22.2 percent (4-18) from three-point range.
Kelley averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 26.3 minutes per game as a sophomore starter in 2009-10.
Kelley Focused on Crashing the Boards
Rebounding has been a major focus for the Huskers early in the season, and Dominique Kelley is leading a group of Huskers who are answering the call to crash the Boards
Kelley, a 5-7 junior guard, is averaging 6.3 rebounds per game through three contests. Her average is more than double her career average of 3.1 boards per game through her first 64 starts to open her NU career.
She has grabbed six or more rebounds in each of Nebraska’s first three games this season, after pulling down six or more boards only seven times through her first 64 collegiate contests.
As Nebraska’s most improved rebounder thus far, Kelley has helped the Huskers post a plus-14 team rebound margin through the first three games. Last season, Nebraska carried a negative-1.5 rebounding margin, including a negative-4.4 rebound margin in Big 12 action.
Big Four Bury Big Shots for Big Red
Nebraska’s big four scorers of Kelsey Griffin, Cory Montgomery, Yvonne Turner and Dominique Kelley have all put up solid numbers for the Huskers through the first three games.
Each of NU’s most experienced players have averaged double figures in points and have combined to hit 58.3 percent of their shots from the field. The group combined to connect on 56-of-96 field goal attempts, including 16-of-29 three-point shots (55.2 percent).
Turner and Montgomery are each averaging 13.3 points per game, while Griffin and Kelley are both adding 12 points per contest. Griffin leads NU on the boards with 7.7 rebounds per game, while Kelley ranks third on the squad with 6.3 boards per contest.
Cat Smash Fever
Junior Catheryn Redmon has picked up where she left off last season in the blocked shot department. Although Redmon has moved to a reserve role with the return of two-time first-team All-Big 12 forward Kelsey Griffin from injury this season, Redmon still leads the Huskers with eight blocks through three games.
The top returning shot-blocker in the Big 12 this year, Redmon produced 67 blocks in 31 games last season to average 2.2 blocks in 23.2 minutes per contest. Through three games in 2009-10, Redmon is averaging 2.7 blocks in just 19.7 minutes per game and continues to climb Nebraska’s career block chart. She needs just four more rejections to match Casey Leonhardt in seventh place with 88, and 20 more blocks will put her among the top four shot-blockers in Husker history.
In addition to her shot-blocking success, Redmon nearly put up a double-double in NU’s road win at UNLV on Nov. 15. She finished with eight points and nine rebounds, including three offensive boards. Redmon owns a team-best eight offensive rebounds through Nebraska’s first three games to hold the team lead in that category.
She ranks second on the team with 7.3 rebounds per game, while adding 6.7 points per contest.
Freshman Moore Helps Huskers to 3-0 Mark as Starter
Lindsey Moore has helped the Huskers to a 3-0 record as Nebraska’s starting point guard in her first three collegiate games. The 5-9 freshman from Covington, Wash., made an immediate impression in the Huskers’ season-opening win over Davidson on Nov. 13 by scoring Nebraska’s first two points of the year on a 15-foot jumper off the opening tip. She finished with five points and a game-high eight assists. She also committed just one turnover against the Wildcats.
Last season, 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, 2007-09, 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.
A 2009 Parade All-American and the Washington High School Player of the Year last season, Moore leads the Huskers with 4.7 assists per game, while adding 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game. She also leads Nebraska in minutes played.
Scouting The Washington State Cougars
Huskers, Cougars Share Coaching Connections
Nebraska shares a pair of strong coaching connections with the Washington State staff. Husker associate head coach Sunny Smallwood spent eight seasons with WSU Coach June Daugherty and her husband, Mike Daugherty, at Washington from 1996-97 through 2003-04. Daugherty and Smallwood guided UW to the 2001 NCAA Elite Eight.
Washington State comes to Lincoln with a 1-1 record after a narrow 70-63 loss at Kansas State on Friday. The Cougars opened the season with a 64-54 win over UC Davis on Nov. 15.
The Cougars, under the direction of third-year head coach June Daugherty, are on the rise in the Pac-10 and feature a young and talented bunch. Washington State’s starting five showcases three sophomores and one true freshman, along with junior center Katie Madison. WSU lists only one senior on their active roster, and she has not played this season. The Cougars’ other junior, Katie Calderwood, also has not seen action. Nine of the 10 Cougars who have earned playing time this season have either been freshmen (4) or sophomores (5).
KiKi Moore, a 5-8 freshman guard out of San Francisco, Calif., leads the Cougars with 17 points, 4.0 assists and 5.5 steals, to go along with 4.5 rebounds through the first two games of her career. She has also averaged 6.0 turnovers. Moore was an ESPN HoopGur1z Top 100 guard a year ago and led her Sacred Heart Cathedral team the USA Today final No. 1 national ranking as a junior in 2007-08.
April Cook, a 5-8 guard out of Carson, Calif., has added 15 points and five rebounds. Cook averaged 14 points per game while starting 29 contests a year ago for WSU.
Jazmine Perkins, a 5-10 sophomore guard out of Berkeley, Calif., has added 9.5 points and a team-best 6.5 rebounds, including 10 points and nine boards at Kansas State. However, Perkins was just 4-for-17 from the field and 1-for-10 from three-point range against the Wildcats. Perkins averaged 13.8 points while starting all 30 games for the Cougars as a freshman in 2008-09.
Sophomore Rosie Tarnowski, a 6-1 guard/forward from Philadelphia, Pa., has managed four points and three rebounds per game after averaging 7.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while making 20 starts for the Cougars a year ago.
Katie Madison, a 6-0 redshirt junior center, rounds out Washington State’s probable starting five. A Vancouver, Wash., native, Madison sat out the 2008-09 season after transferring from the University of Idaho, where she averaged 14.1 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2007-08. She was a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference performer for the Vandals. She has averaged 5.5 points and 6.5 boards through two games.
The Cougars were bolstered off the bench by freshman Ireti Amojo, who has been a member of the German U-16, U-18 and U-20 National Teams, and played alongside current WSU redshirt freshman Katie Grad at Auburn-Riverside High School in in Washington. Amojo and Grad led Auburn-Riverside to a Class 3-A state title in 2007. Amojo was one of WSU’s first off the bench in the opener but suffered a season-ending injury in practice this week.
Carly Noyes, a 6-5 freshman center from Moses Lake, Wash., has also played big minutes off the bench, averaging 19.5 points in her first two games. She has managed 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
Sophomores Danielle LeNoir and Lexie Pettersen round out the Cougar contributors.
Daugherty, a 1978 graduate of Ohio State, began her head coaching career at Boise State. In seven years (1989-96) as the Broncos coaches, she posted a 123-74 record including the 1992 Big Sky Conference regular-season title. She also led the Broncos to a share of the 1994 Big Sky crown with Montana and earned Boise State’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid and first-ever national ranking.
Smallwood was the head coach at Boise High School from 1983 to 1990, while Daugherty was leading the Boise State program. Smallwood left Boise for her first collegiate coaching job at Washington State from 1990 to 1993.
Daugherty also recruited Nebraska assistant coach Kellie Lewis-Jay to Boise State out of Sacramento’s Placer High School. Lewis-Jay played for Daugherty and the Broncos in 1994-95 and 1995-96 before Daugherty took the top job at the University of Washington, where she joined Smallwood on the staff. Smallwood had spent the 1993-94 through 1995-96 seasons on Chris Gobrecht’s Husky staff.
Daugherty, Smallwood and Lewis-Jay were all on the Washington coaching staff during the 2003-04 season, before Smallwood left to become the associate head coach at California in 2004-05. Lewis-Jay helped Daugherty lead UW to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2006 and 2007, before rejoining Smallwood on Coach Connie Yori’s staff at Nebraska in 2007-08 - the same season Daugherty took over the top job at Washington State.
Huskers Blow Past Idaho State, 88-41
Cory Montgomery led five Huskers in double figures with her first double-double of the season as Nebraska rolled to an 88-41 victory over Idaho State on Thursday night at the Devaney Center.
Montgomery, a senior forward from Cannon Falls, Minn., put up 15 points and 10 rebounds in just 22 minutes, as Nebraska had 10 players contribute double-figure minutes while leading by as many as 52 points.
Senior forward Kelsey Griffin contributed 14 points on 5-of-5 field goal shooting, including a three-pointer, and a career-high four assists in just 20 minutes of action.
Senior guard Yvonne Turner added 14 points off the bench, including a season-high four three-pointers, while adding five rebounds, an assist and a season-high three steals in just 19 minutes. Junior guard Dominique Kelley also produced a strong effort with 12 points and a season-high seven rebounds in just 20 minutes.
Junior center Jessica Periago finished with a career-high matching 11 points, including a career-best three-pointers, while adding four rebounds, an assist and a steal in just 14 minutes off the bench. Junior center Catheryn Redmon pitched in eight points, seven rebounds and a season-high four blocked shots.
As a team, Nebraska hit 49.3 percent (34-69) of its shots from the field, including 10-of-27 three-pointers (37 percent). The Huskers also knocked down 10-of-13 free throws. NU outrebounded Idaho State, 49-26, including 17 offensive rebounds. NU also committed a season-low 17 turnovers, while forcing 22 miscues by the Bengals.
For the game, NU held ISU to just 31.6 percent shooting (18-57), including 1-of-8 from three-point range. The Bengals hit 4-of-5 free throws.
Nebraska closed the first half on a 14-0 run, holding Idaho State scoreless for the final 5:40 of the half, as the Huskers pushed their halftime lead to 42-19 on their way to the victory.
The Huskers had 14 players see at least three minutes of action, including Harleen Sidhu, who played for the first time after missing the first two games with an ankle sprain. The only Husker on the roster who did not play was senior center Nikki Bober, who suffered a torn ACL in her right knee for the second time in the past 10 months on Tuesday in practice.
"We have had some crying sessions the past couple days," Yori said of Bober’s injury. "I am just so sad for Nikki because she doesn’t deserve the kind of luck she has had with her injuries. This is her third ACL since we signed her out of high school and the second one in the last year. She is a great teammate. A great player in practice for us and the best kind of person to have on a team. Knowing the kind of person Nikki Bober is though, she is going to find a way to find a silver lining out of all of this."
Huskers Seek Seventh Straight Postseason Appearance
Nebraska claimed its sixth consecutive postseason tournament bid with a trip to the 2009 Postseason WNIT. The Huskers claimed three straight bids in the WNIT in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning at least one game in all three trips. Nebraska 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.
Nebraska made its sixth trip to the postseason WNIT in 2009, joining bids in 1992 and 1976. The Huskers have also advanced to seven NCAA Tournaments in school history (2008, 2007, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1993, 1988), dating back to the first full season of varsity women’s basketball at Nebraska in 1975-76.
Griffin Ranked Among Nation’s Top Five Power Forwards
Nebraska senior Kelsey Griffin was recognized by ESPN.com as one of the country’s top five power forwards in an article published on-line on Nov. 11. Griffin, a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection and 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate, joined Xavier’s Amber Harris, Gonzaga’s Heather Bowman, Arizona’s Ify Ibekwe and Florida State’s Jacinta Moore on the listing of the top power forwards in the country. Harris and Ibekwe are juniors, while Bowman, Monroe and Griffin are all seniors.
Against Davidson, the 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, made her first regular-season appearance since the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament at College Park, Md. Interestingly, Griffin went head-to-head with a two of the nation’s top 10 big players in College Park.
In the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Griffin took on Xavier’s Harris, who was ranked as the No. 1 power forward, and center Ta’Shia Phillips, who made the list as one of ESPN.com’s top five centers.
Griffin dominated the game with the Musketeers, erupting for 26 points, while adding four rebounds and three steals. She also took three charges against Xavier despite playing with a protective vest around her mid-section to protect a broken rib. Griffin alone outscored Harris (14) and Phillips (9) who combined for 23 points, as Nebraska posted a 61-58 victory. Like Griffin, Harris missed the 2008-09 season with an injury.
Griffin, who became just the third player in Big 12 history joining Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris and Texas’ Tiffany Jackson to earn three preseason first-team all-conference honors, is one of four current players from the league to earn spots on the ESPN.com power rankings.
Oklahoma’s Danielle Robinson was chosen as the nation’s top point guard, while Oklahoma State’s Andrea Riley also made the list at the point. Kansas’ Danielle McCray, the 2009-10 Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, was selected as one of the country’s top five small forwards.
ESPN.com’s selection panel of Mechelle Voepel, Charlie Creme, Melanie Jackson and Graham Hays picked Stanford’s Jayne Appel as the nation’s top center, while Connecticut’s Maya Moore was the country’s top small forward. Virginia’s Monica Wright was tabbed the best shooting guard in the nation entering the 2009-10 season.
Griffin To Contend for National Honors in 2009-10
Two-time first-team All-Big 12 forward Kelsey Griffin will contend for All-America honors on the court, in the classroom and in the community in 2009-10.
After redshirting in 2008-09 while recovering from a left foot injury, Griffin returns as the No. 1 active rebounder (688) and No. 3 active scorer (1,384 points) in the Big 12 Conference. After becoming only the third player in Big 12 history to be named a three-time preseason first-team all-league selection, Griffin will contend for All-America honors on the court.
The two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 honoree will also contend for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in the classroom while carrying better than a 3.4 GPA as a biological sciences major. In the community, she is a Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate after being named to the 2007 Big 12 Winter Good Works Team.
A projected 2010 WNBA first-round draft pick, Griffin was dominant down the stretch for the Huskers as a junior, averaging 19 points and nine rebounds per game over the Huskers’ last 12 contests in 2007-08.
Griffin finished 2007-08 as the No. 7 scorer (15.3 ppg) and No. 12 rebounder (7.2 rpg) in the Big 12 Conference, despite playing with a cracked rib the entire season, which limited her playing time to just 25.9 minutes per game. Despite being limited by the injury, Griffin ranked among the top three players in the Big 12 in points per minute and rebounds per minute, joining 2006 National Player of the Year Courtney Paris. Griffin trailed only Andrea Riley in points per minutes, while trailing only Paris in rebounds per minute across the league.
In NU’s last 12 games of 2007-08, Griffin scored 20 or more points on six occasions, including a 26-point effort against Xavier’s inside duo of Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips to lead the Huskers to their first NCAA Tournament win in 10 seasons. Griffin notched four double-doubles in those 12 games, including a season-high 14 rebounds at Texas Tech.
Griffin was at her best in Big 12 play, ranking fifth with 16.8 points per game and sixth with 8.2 rebounds per contest, despite being the focus of every opposing defense. She also ranked among the top 10 players in the league in both field goal and free throw percentage. She had season highs of 26 points against Xavier, at home against Colorado and at home against Missouri, carrying NU to victories in all three games.
She opened February as the Big 12 Player-of-the-Week on Feb. 4. She produced 23 points and nine rebounds in a win at Missouri on Feb. 3, after going for 19 points and 11 rebounds against No. 18 Kansas State on Jan. 30. She added 25 points in a comeback win at Colorado on Feb. 6, producing 17 second-half points.
Defensively, Griffin led the Huskers with 20 charges drawn in 2007-08, while adding a career-best 40 steals. She also blocked 25 shots on the year.
Griffin ranks 11th on Nebraska’s all-time scoring list with 1,384 points, seventh on NU’s career rebounding list with 688 and ninth on the Husker career block chart with 70.
Griffin Named Candidate for Lowe’s Senior Class Award
Nebraska’s Kelsey Griffin was officially named one of 30 candidates for the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS award on Nov. 4, honoring players across the nation who excel both on and off the court.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. An acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Griffin, an All-America candidate on the court, in the classroom and in the community this season, is a two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection. The 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, is the Big 12’s No. 3 active scorer (1,384 points) and top active career rebounder (688).
After starting during her first three seasons at Nebraska and leading the Huskers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008, Griffin suffered a foot injury prior to the 2008-09 season and was forced to redshirt.
She made her return to the court after 18 months away from competition in Nebraska’s regular-season opener against Davidson, scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in just 18 minutes of action.
Griffin averaged 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a junior, despite playing the entire season with a broken rib. She led the Huskers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a win over Xavier in College Park, Md. She had 26 points against the Musketeers and also drew three charges.
In Big 12 play, Griffin averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game despite playing just 27 minutes per game because of the rib injury. In fact, her point-per-minute scoring production led the conference, which included 2007 National Player of the Year Courtney Paris from Oklahoma. She trailed only Paris in rebounds per minute in league action. In the final 10 Big 12 games, Griffin averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game.
Griffin is also a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection while carrying better than a 3.4 grade-point average as a biological sciences major. She has aspirations of pursuing a career in medicine following her playing career. In 2007, she was also named to the Big 12 Good Works Team for her commitment to Nebraska’s award-winning Life Skills program.
Griffin is one of four players from the Big 12 to be listed among the 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Griffin is joined by Danielle McCray (Kansas), Ashley Sweat (Kansas State) and Amanda Thompson (Oklahoma).
The list of candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the 2009-10 regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four C’s of classroom, character, community and competition.
Montgomery Aims for Memorable Senior Season
Nebraska Coach Connie Yori likes to call senior Cory Montgomery the forgotten player in the Big 12. Yori also believes the 6-2 forward from Cannon Falls, Minn., is the most underrated player in the league.
Last season, Montgomery was overlooked by league coaches for first- or second-team All-Big 12 honors despite ranking among the top 10 players in the league in both scoring and rebounding with 15.2 points (7th) and 7.8 rebounds per game (8th).
Entering the 2009-10 campaign, Montgomery was again passed over by the Big 12 coaches for preseason All-Big 12 honors, not earning a vote for either first-team or honorable-mention honors despite ranking sixth among active Big 12 players in career rebounding and ninth in career scoring.
Montgomery is out to prove that she belongs among the league’s elite players in 2009-10, while making it a memorable campaign for the Huskers.
Last year, in her first season as a starter, Montgomery was a force inside for the Huskers, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 boards in Big 12 action. She was at her best over the last seven games of the season, as the honorable-mention All-Big 12 selection increased her production to 19.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Her efforts earned her Nebraska’s Offensive Player-of-the-Year Award at the conclusion of the season.
Montgomery capped the regular season with a career-high 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds in a win at Oklahoma State on March 7 for her seventh double-double of the year. She added 20 points and nine boards against Kansas on March 12, before pitching in 17 points and seven rebounds while tying her career high with a trio of three-pointers in a second-round WNIT loss at New Mexico on March 25.
Montgomery produced double figures in 15 of NU’s last 17 games, including seven 20-point efforts. She had a 20-point, nine-rebound night at Kansas on Feb. 28, which followed a 21-point, eight-rebound effort in a win over No. 20 Kansas State on Feb. 25. She also scored 21 points in the first meeting with KSU on Jan. 27. She notched a then-career high with 24 points, while adding nine boards at Colorado on Jan. 31. She added 22 points and a career-best 14 rebounds against No. 8 Baylor (Feb. 4), while playing a career-high 38 minutes. She notched 24 double-figure scoring efforts on the season.
Overall, Montgomery owns 13 career 20-point efforts, including 11 in 2008-09. She also owns nine career double-doubles, including seven in 2008-09, and one this season.
One of the best free throw shooters in the Big 12 and the nation, Montgomery finished second in the league with her 85.6 percent accuracy at the stripe, which ranked 20th in the final NCAA Division I statistical rankings. She also finished fifth on NU’s single-season free throw percentage list.
Although 2008-09 marked her first year as a full-time starter, Montgomery is one of the most experienced Huskers. In 2007-08, she averaged 9.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game as one of the most productive reserves in the Big 12, while also starting four games in place of an injured Kelsey Griffin at the end of the non-conference season.
Montgomery scored in double figures 15 times in 2007-08. She set a season high with 21 points in a win over USC (Dec. 8, 2007), before matching that effort with 21 points and eight boards in 23 minutes off the bench in a victory at Iowa State (Jan. 19, 2008). She also produced her first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Robert Morris (Dec. 2, 2007).
Turner Trying to Turn Up Nebraska’s Pressure
Yvonne Turner solidified her spot as one of the Big 12’s best defenders in 2008-09 by earning her second straight appearance on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and NU’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year Award. She ranked fourth in the Big 12 with 2.2 steals per game, after leading the Big 12 with 2.6 steals per league game in 2007-08.
Her 81 steals in 2007-08 ranked as the second-best total by a Husker sophomore in history, while ranking eighth overall on NU’s single-season steals list. She registered just 67 steals last season, while playing much of the year with an injured shoulder. She also spent more minutes on the floor, and without Kelsey Griffin and Nikki Bober in Nebraska’s inside rotation, the Huskers were forced to back off their defensive pressure because of a lack of depth.
This season, the Huskers have their deepest and most experienced lineup in at least a decade, and Turner and the Huskers are hoping that means more steals and easy transition baskets.
Last season, Nebraska totaled just 208 steals on the year, including just 93 in Big 12 action, after producing 266 steals overall and 121 thefts in Big 12 play in 2007-08.
With 171 career steals, including five in three games this season, Turner is approaching Nebraska’s all-time top 10 on that list, needing 17 steals to catch three-time first-team All-Big 12 guard Kiera Hardy (2004-07) in 10th at 188. Turner owns career highs of eight steals against Florida (Nov. 17, 2007) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Jan. 2, 2008). Those totals rank among the top-10 single-game marks in NU history. She is one of only three Huskers to notch eight or more steals twice in a career.
VT for Three
Yvonne Turner (nickname VT) is off to a hot start from long range for the Huskers this season. Through three games, Turner has drained 10-of-19 three pointers (52.6 percent), while hitting 3.3 three-pointers per game. She has increased her career total to 111 made threes, while improving her career numbers to 32.7 percent (111-339).
Turner ranks sixth in Nebraska history in career three-pointers and needs just 18 more to catch Husker greats Nicole Kubik (1997-2000) and Amy Stephens (1986-89) on the Husker career chart.
Last season, Turner led the Huskers with 57 three-pointers in 2008-09. She hit 44-of-116 three-point attempts (37.9 percent) over the last 22 games, despite missing 19 consecutive long-range attempts following a shoulder injury in the second half against Iowa State. The recurring injury required surgery at the end of the season.
Before the three-game slump, Turner had connected on 47.7 percent (21-44) of her attempts dating back to the Long Beach State game on Dec. 12. After missing her first three attempts against No. 8 Baylor, she knocked down three straight three-pointers in the second half against the Lady Bears.
In Big 12 Conference action, Turner finished in a tie for second with KU’s Danielle McCray with 2.1 made three-pointers per game, trailing only Iowa State senior Heather Ezell’s 2.4 per contest.
Turner finished second on the Husker junior single-season three-point made list, trailing only three-time All-Big 12 selection Kiera Hardy’s 81 in 2005-06. As a junior, Turner averaged 11.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. She is ranked among the top 10 active Big 12 players in both career three-pointers and career steals (171).
Huskers Geared Up for Another Strong Schedule
The past two seasons, Nebraska has faced the two strongest regular-season schedules in school history with both ranking among the top 25 nationally.
Last season, the Huskers faced the No. 23 Strength of Schedule in the country according to CollegeRPI.com, while finishing No. 71 nationally in overall RPI. The 2008-09 Huskers played 19 of their 31 games against 2009 postseason qualifiers, including 11 against NCAA Tournament teams
This season, Nebraska will face another challenging schedule that will feature 15 regular-season games against 2009 postseason qualifiers, including 10 games against 2009 NCAA Tournament teams.
The highlight of Nebraska’s non-conference schedule will come with a Dec. 20 showdown against AP Preseason No. 9 LSU at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln. The Huskers battled the Tigers on New Year’s Day in Baton Rouge, and will be looking to even the two-game home-and-home series when the preseason SEC favorites come to Lincoln. LSU advanced to five consecutive NCAA Final Fours before settling for a trip to the second round with a young squad a year ago.
Nebraska will face preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Creighton on Dec. 9 at the Devaney Center, and will also square off with preseason America East favorite Vermont at Burlington, Vt., on Jan. 4. The Catamounts lost to 2009 national champion Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament first round a year ago. The Huskers face their first tough test against defending Sun Belt champion UALR in the first game of the Saint Mary’s Hilton Tournament in Moraga, Calif., on Nov. 27. UALR returns all five starters from a team that finished with a 26-7 record a year ago.
Once Big 12 play begins, Nebraska will be faced with an NCAA Tournament-caliber atmosphere every night. The Big 12 sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament as top-six seeds in 2009, and all six teams (No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 2 Baylor, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 4 Iowa State, No. 5 Kansas State, No. 6 Texas) closed the regular season in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Top 25.
In addition, Kansas returns five starters from a team that advanced to the WNIT championship game, while Oklahoma State also advanced to the WNIT and Texas Tech was postseason eligible.
Powerful Big 12 Produced Postseason Success in 2009
The Big 12 was rated as the No. 1 RPI league in the nation for the third consecutive season in 2008-09 by CollegeRPI.com. When the field of 64 teams for the NCAA Tournament was announced, six league teams (Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas) earned top-six seeds into the tournament. Three more teams, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma State, claimed spots in the 48-team WNIT field.
The Big 12 matched the Big East Conference by sending four teams to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2009, while Oklahoma and Iowa State both advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight. OU went on to the Final Four. In addition to the league’s success in the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska earned a bye to the second round of the WNIT, while Oklahoma State went 1-1 in the tournament. Kansas advanced all the way to the WNIT championship game.
All 12 conference teams closed the 2008-09 regular season among the top 126 teams in the CollegeRPI.com rankings of the 341 teams in NCAA Division I. Only Missouri and Colorado ranked outside the top 100.
Nebraska Hopes to Benefit From Big 12 Changes in 2009-10
Last season a Nebraska team that was hit hard by injuries battled to a seventh-place tie in the Big 12 Conference standings, finishing with a 6-10 league record against the nation’s strongest conference.
Entering the 2008-09 campaign, the Big 12 returned 48 starters from the 2007-08 season. Overall, only 35 letterwinners were lost from the Big 12 schools from the 2007-08 season, while 98 letterwinners returned for 2008-09.
This season, just 38 starters return for the 2009-10 season across the 12 league schools, including a league-leading six Huskers. A total of just 53 letterwinners are gone from the conference, including just two Huskers, while 96 letterwinners return, including 11 Huskers.
Last season, the top five Big 12 teams (Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Kansas State, Iowa State) all featured lineups with more than 375 career starts, while Nebraska ended the year with far and away the most inexperienced starting five, which had just 202 combined career starts.
Baylor loses more than 350 career starts from its lineup last year, while Kansas State and Texas A&M must compensate for the loss of more than 300 combined career starts. Iowa State must replace nearly 300 starts, while Oklahoma needs to make up for the more than 200 career starts and the amazing scoring and rebounding production of Courtney and Ashley Paris.
While those five Big 12 teams will have drastically new looks in their lineups in 2009-10, the Huskers will be bolstered by the return of Kelsey Griffin to its starting five. Griffin has started 96 games in her NU career. Nebraska also features junior guard Dominique Kelley, who has started 67 straight games to open her career, while senior forward Cory Montgomery made her 34th straight start on Thursday against Idaho State and her 38th career start.
The Husker have added some new wrinkles to their lineup through the first three games with first-time starters in senior guard Kala Kuhlmann and true freshman point guard Lindsey Moore. Those five give NU a starting five with 207 career starts.
However, Nebraska’s experience doesn’t end at the starting lineup. Senior guard Yvonne Turner had made 64 straight starts before coming off the bench against Davidson. Turner has averaged a team-best 13.3 points in three games off the bench, while burying 10-of-19 three-pointers in helping NU start the year 3-0.
While Turner provides an explosive offensive and defensive weapon on the perimeter off the bench, junior Catheryn Redmon gives the Huskers a dominant defensive presence inside. The 6-3 center from Texas started NU’s final 24 games last year, while fellow junior guard Kaitlyn Burke started 19 contests a year ago.
In all Nebraska’s non-starters have combined for 108 career starts.
Take Cover When the Big Cat Roars
Center Catheryn Redmon produced one of the best single-season block efforts in school history with 67 rejections as a sophomore in 2008-09. She ranked second on the sophomore single-season list, trailing only Janet Smith’s 69 blocks in 1979-80. Nebraska’s overall single-season mark was set by Danielle Page with 78 in 2007-08. Redmon is just the third player in history to record 60 or more blocks in a season.
Redmon is off to a great start in the blocked shot category this season, with eight rejections in 59 minutes through the first three games. Last season, Redmon only had one block through the first three games and did not record her eighth block until the ninth game of the season against Cal State Bakersfield.
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 conference blocks trailed only All-Americans Courtney Paris from Oklahoma (3.1 bpg) and Danielle Wilson from Baylor (3.0 bpg). In fact, Redmon is the only top-five shot-blocker returning to the Big 12 in 2009-10, as Kansas State’s Marlies Gipson and Texas’ Ashley Lindsey both departed the league as seniors. Paris was also a senior in 2008-09, while Wilson left the Baylor team following her junior season.
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 rejections at New Mexico in the second round of the WNIT on March 25.
Redmon ranks eighth on Nebraska’s career block list with 84, 14 more than two-time All-Big 12 forward Kelsey Griffin (70).
Redmon Provided Solid Production as Starter
Center Catheryn Redmon started NU’s final 24 games in 2008-09 and averaged 6.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in the lineup. Twenty of Redmon’s starts came against teams that qualified for 2008 postseason play, including 13 2008 NCAA Tournament squads.
Redmon made a name for herself as one of the best shot-blockers in NU history. With 67 blocks, Redmon produced the second-best total by a sophomore in school history and has jumped to eighth on Nebraska’s career list with 80.
She produced arguably the best game of her career with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots at Missouri (Jan. 17), for her third career double-double. She just missed her fourth double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds at Colorado on Jan. 31.
Just two days after Kelsey Griffin underwent season-ending ankle surgery (Dec. 4), Redmon made her first career start against two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender and No. 18 Ohio State. In the first half, Redmon outscored Lavender, 8-6, to help the Huskers to a 10-point halftime lead. The Buckeyes rallied for a late victory against NU, but Redmon posted the first double-figure scoring effort of her career. Three days later, Redmon earned her second career start and provided a memorable effort in a win over Cal State Bakersfield.
Redmon erupted for her first career double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds against the Roadrunners, while adding three blocks and two steals. She produced a double-double in the second half alone with 11 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals after halftime, including seven points, seven boards and both blocks in the final seven minutes.
She added her second career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds at UTEP on Dec. 20, her third straight double-figure rebounding effort. In NU’s win over No. 24 Arizona State on Dec. 28, Redmon scored 10 or her 12 points in the second half to fuel a Husker comeback from a 16-point first-half deficit. She added six rebounds and three blocks against ASU. Redmon added solid numbers in her 2009 Big 12 debut against All-American Courtney Paris. Redmon scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds and had three blocked shots going head-to-head with Paris.
Huskers a Fixture on FSN in 2009-10
Once Big 12 play heats up in January, Nebraska will become a regular on the Fox Sports family of networks.
The Huskers will play three nationally televised games on FSN during the first half of the 16-game Big 12 Conference schedule. Nebraska makes its national TV debut at Baylor on Saturday, Jan. 17, when the Huskers take on 6-foot-8 dunking machine Brittney Griner and the Lady Bears.
Six days later, Nebraska will be back on FSN at the Bob Devaney Sports Center when the Huskers play host to the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, Jan. 30, Nebraska travels to Boulder to take on Colorado in a game that will be televised by Fox Sports Rocky Mountain, with a 4:30 p.m. central time tip-off. NU’s next contest with Oklahoma State on Feb. 3 at 7:05 p.m. will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest as part of the Huskers’ third-tier television agreement.
Nebraska plays its third national TV contest in its first eight Big 12 games when the Huskers square off with Texas A&M at the Devaney Center on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Noon.
The Huskers return to Fox Sports Midwest for road action at Kansas on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.
Both of Nebraska’s contests on Fox Sports Midwest will also feature a free live video stream on Huskers.com. As many as five of NU’s games will appear for free on Huskers.com throughout the season, while all of Nebraska’s non-nationally televised home games will be available to premium subscribers of HuskersNside.
Many of Nebraska’s road games will also be available through the premium service on HuskersNside.
All of Nebraska’s games will be available with free live audio on Huskers.com.
Huskers Have 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. 20 Kansas State marked the 12th victory over a ranked foe during Yori’s tenure. The Huskers notched two wins over top-25 foes in 2008-09, including a victory over No. 24 Arizona State on Dec. 28.
Included in those victories is a 103-99 triple overtime win over No. 2 and eventual national champion Baylor on Jan. 12, 2005, which marks the highest ranked team Nebraska has ever defeated. The Huskers also posted an 18-point win over No. 9 Kansas State in 2004, and a 29-point win over No. 14 Iowa State in 2005 - NU’s largest victory margin in history over a top-25 foe. Nebraska’s 56-45 win over No. 15 Texas last season at the Devaney Center 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.
Nebraska’s History of Success at Home
Since the Bob Devaney Sports Center opened in 1976-77, the Huskers are 337-118 (.741) in games played in the arena, including 125-77 (.619) in conference games. NU finished 2007-08 with a 14-2 home record, tying for the second-highest home victory total in school history. Nebraska added an 11-4 record at the Devaney Center in 2008-09, marking NU’s sixth consecutive season with 10 or more home wins, the longest stretch in school history.
Nebraska’s success at home is even more remarkable considering the strength of the Huskers’ home schedule the past two years. Nebraska’s only losses at the Devaney Center in 2008-09 came to top-25 foes Oklahoma, Ohio State, Iowa State and Baylor. NU also owns top-25 wins over No. 20 Kansas State and No. 24 Arizona State in 2008-09.
In 2007-08, 11 of NU’s 16 home games came against teams that advanced to the postseason in 2008, with the Huskers rolling to an impressive 9-2 record. Not only did Husker foes advance to postseason play, 10 of the 11 opponents won at least one game in a postseason tournament, including 2008 NCAA Elite Eight qualifier Texas A&M. Included among the five Husker home foes that did not advance to postseason play in 2008, were traditional powers USC and Ole Miss, which was coming off a trip to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2007.
Since 2003-04, NU is 73-22 (.768) at the Devaney Center. The Huskers own six straight home wins dating back to a loss to then-No. 8 Baylor last season.
2009-10 Fastbreaker Backboard Banquet Schedule
The Fastbreakers have announced their Backboard Banquet schedule for the 2009-10 season. Each Backboard Banquet will be held before the game, beginning at 11 a.m. (LSU, Dec. 20; Colorado, Feb. 20). Each meal will be served by Premier Catering and reservations can be made by calling Rose Sousek in the Nebraska women’s basketball office at (402) 472-6462.
Backboard Banquet Schedule - Dinner
Sunday, Dec. 20 (LSU) - 11 a.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20 (Colorado) - 11 a.m.
For more information on the Fastbreakers Backboard Banquets, please visit the new booster club website at NUFastbreakers.com. or call Connie Renken at 450-1785.
Join Fastbreaker Bus Trips to Colorado, Missouri, Kansas
The Fastbreakers are planning three bus trips to Nebraska women’s basketball road games during Big 12 Conference play in 2010. Make plans now to join the Fastbreakers’ trips to Colorado (Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 30-31), Missouri (Saturday, Feb. 13) and Kansas (Saturday, March 6).
The two-day trip to Colorado tips off the booster club’s road trip schedule. The cost of the trip to Boulder is $95 per person, plus the cost of the hotel room. The Huskers and Buffaloes tip off at 4:30 p.m. Central time on Jan. 30.
Two weeks later, the Fastbreakers will head to Missouri for a 1 p.m. tip-off in Columbia against the Tigers. The cost of that trip is $65. The road schedule wraps up with Nebraska’s regular-season finale at Kansas State on Saturday, March 6, at noon. The cost for the trip to Manhattan, Kan., is just $50 per person.
To sign up for the bus trips, Fastbreakers can visit the booster club tables in the Northeast corner of the upper concourse before home games or at halftime. All costs must be paid in advance of the trip, and the club’s cancellation policy will be carefully explained at that time.
For more information on the Fastbreaker Booster Club bus trips this season, please contact Connie Renken (450-1785), Donna Boone (429-9563) or Doug Fry (476-5183).Montgomery Nearing 1,000-Point Plateau
Senior Cory Montgomery is within striking distance of becoming the 24th player in Nebraska women’s basketball history to join the school’s 1,000-point club. The 6-2 forward from Cannon Falls, Minn., enters Sunday’s game with 987 points and needs just 13 points to reach the 1,000 mark.