Huskers Battle Blue Devils in Sweet Sixteen on Sunday - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Huskers Battle Blue Devils in Sweet Sixteen on Sunday

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No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (#24/#25)
(25-8, 12-4 Big Ten)
vs. No. 2 Duke Blue Devils (#5/#5)
(32-2, 17-1 ACC)
Sunday, March 31, 1:30 p.m. (Central)
Ted Constant Center (Norfolk, Va.)
National TV: ESPN2 (Dave O'Brien-PBP; Stephanie White-Analyst; Jeannine Edwards-Sideline)
Radio: 25-Station IMG College Husker Sports Network (PBP-Matt Coatney; Analyst-Jeff Griesch)
(107.3 FM-KBBK, Lincoln; 93.3 FM-KFFF, Omaha; 880 AM-KRVN, Lexington)
Free Internet Audio: Huskers.com

Huskers Battle Blue Devils Sunday in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
No. 24 Nebraska takes on one of the nation's most talented teams when the Huskers battle the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils at the NCAA Norfolk Regional on the campus of Old Dominion University Sunday.

Tip-off between the No. 6 seed Huskers (25-8, 12-4 Big Ten) and No. 2 seed Blue Devils (32-2, 17-1 ACC) at the Ted Constant Convocation Center is set for 1:30 p.m. (CT), with Dave O'Brien and Stephanie White on the call for ESPN2, while Jeannine Edwards provides sideline coverage.

The Husker Sports Network will provide a live radio broadcast of the game with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch describing the action, including flagships B107.3 FM in Lincoln, 93.3 FM-KFFF in Omaha and 880 AM-KRVN in Lexington. A free live audio stream will be available on Huskers.com.

The Huskers, who have won 13 of their last 15 games, advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the second time in school history with a resounding 74-63 win over No. 9 Texas A&M on Monday night. Nebraska knocked off the third-seeded Aggies on their home court at Reed Arena in College Station. The Huskers and fellow Norfolk Regional participant Kansas, are the only two teams to advance to this year's Sweet Sixteen by beating an opponent on their home court.

All-America candidates Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper led the Huskers through the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in Texas. Hooper, a 6-2 junior forward from Alliance, Neb., averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds while hitting 7-of-13 three-pointers. The two-time first-team All-Big Ten choice and a 2012 honorable-mention AP All-America selection leads the Huskers and ranks among the top five players in the Big Ten in scoring (18.2 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and three-pointers made (2.5 pg) this season.

Moore, a two-time finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists in the first two rounds, including 20 points and 10 assists against Texas A&M.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (25-8, 12-4 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - So. - F - 4.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - So. - F - 9.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 18.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg
00 - Lindsey Moore - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 15.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg
24 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - Fr. - G - 6.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Tear'a Laudermill - 5-9 - So. - G - 5.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - So. - G - 3.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
10 - Meghin Williams - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 2.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg
14 - Katie Simon - 6-2 - So. - F - 1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg
21 - Sadie Murren - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
22 - Courtney Aitken - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 0.0 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
11th Season at NU (215-134); 23rd Season Overall (410-274)

Duke Blue Devils (32-2, 17-1 ACC)
15 - Richa Jackson - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 5.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg
33 - Haley Peters - 6-3 - Jr. - G/F - 12.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
1 - Elizabeth Williams - 6-3 - So. - C - 15.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg
2 - Alexis Jones - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 9.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg
32 - Tricia Liston - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 13.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Chloe Wells - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 5.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg
43 - Allison Vernerey - 6-5 - Sr. - C - 3.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg
5 - Sierra Moore - 5-10 - Fr. - G/F - 2.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
14 - Ka'lia Johnson - 5-10 - So. - G - 2.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
35 - Jenna Frush - 5-6 - So. - G - 0.2 ppg, 0.3 rpg
Out - Knee injury
12 - Chelsea Gray - 5-11 - Jr. - G - 12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Head Coach: Joanne P. McCallie (Northwestern, 1987)
Sixth Season at Duke (173-34); 21st Season Overall (489-182)

Nebraska's NCAA Tournament Facts & Figures
• Nebraska is making its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance (1988, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013).

• NU advanced to its second NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2010, 2013)

• The Huskers advanced to the 2010 NCAA Sweet Sixteen (No. 1 seed Midwest Regional/Minneapolis).

• Nebraska seniors Lindsey Moore and Meghin Williams are the first players in Husker history to play in two NCAA Sweet Sixteen games. Graduate assistant Dominique Kelley also was a starter on NU's 2010 Sweet Sixteen team. Kelley, a Lincoln native and the 2007 Nebraska High School Player of the Year at Lincoln Northeast, led the Huskers with 22 points in a 76-67 Kansas City Regional semifinal loss to Kentucky on March 28 at the Sprint Center. Notre Dame also competed in that regional.

• NU improved to 7-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with its win over No. 9 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas on March 25. The Huskers are 4-2 in the tournament since 2010 and 5-4 under Coach Connie Yori in five appearances.

• NU has advanced to the NCAA second round in 1993, 1998, 2008, 2010 and 2013, with the last three second-round appearances and both NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances coming under Coach Yori.

• Nebraska Coach Connie Yori is 6-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 5-4 at Nebraska. She went 1-2 as Creighton's head coach during NCAA Tournament trips in 1993 (1-1) and 2002 (0-1).

• Yori was the 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year. She was the 2010 Big 12 Coach of the Year and the 2002 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year. She was also the WBCA, Kay Yow, Naismith, AP and USWBA National Coach of the Year in 2010.

• Nebraska was one of six Big Ten teams in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa). The Big Ten went 6-0 in the first round of the tournament, but the Huskers are the lone Big Ten team left standing in the Sweet Sixteen. Penn State, Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State all lost true road second-round games on their opponents' home courts. Iowa fell on its home court to No. 1 seed Notre Dame.

• The Huskers own a 10-7 record against the 2013 NCAA Tournament field, including wins over Texas A&M, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa (3), Florida State, South Florida, Oral Roberts and Chattanooga. NU suffered losses to Penn State (2), Purdue (2), Maryland, Creighton and South Dakota State. The Huskers were 8-6 against teams that advanced to the NCAA second round. NU is 0-1 against teams that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen (Maryland).

• Nebraska entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 16 RPI team in the nation according to the NCAA, with the No. 12 Strength of Schedule nationally, according to RealTimeRPI.com.

• The Big Ten is the nation's No. 2 RPI conference, trailing only the Big 12.

• Nebraska is 20-8 against teams that finished the regular season in the NCAA RPI Top 125.

• Nebraska is one of 25 teams in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field with a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. NU has had a 100 percent grad rate in each of NU's five tournament appearances under Coach Connie Yori.

What to Watch for from Nebraska in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
• A win for Nebraska over second-seeded Duke would give the Huskers their first-ever trip to the NCAA Elite Eight (Regional Final). It would also give NU a win over its highest-ever NCAA Tournament seed. Third-seeded Texas A&M (74-63, March 25, 2013) is the highest seed the Huskers have beaten in the tournament.

• Sunday's game with Duke will mark the first time Nebraska has ever played a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskers have played a pair of No. 1 seeds, including Old Dominion at the Constant Convocation Center on March 15, 1998. NU fell to ODU, 75-60, in the second round in Norfolk. Most recently, Nebraska lost to top-seeded Maryland, 76-64, in College Park, Md., on March 25, 2008.

• A win for Nebraska over No. 5 Duke would be NU's first win over a top-five team since defeating No. 5 LSU, 77-63, at the Devaney Center in Lincoln on Dec. 20, 2009.

• A win for Nebraska over No. 5 Duke would mark the third win in school history over a top-five foe and the first away from the Devaney Center. NU defeated No. 2 Baylor, 103-99 in triple-overtime, on Jan. 12, 2005. The 2005 Lady Bears went on to win their first national title.

• A win for Nebraska over No. 5 Duke would mark the highest ranked team the Huskers have ever beaten away from home. The Huskers' second-round NCAA Tournament win at No. 9 Texas A&M matched the highest ranked team NU has ever beaten on the road. NU also beat No. 9 Baylor, 65-56, Jan. 17, 2010 in Waco, Texas. That was the only game Brittney Griner ever lost at the Ferrell Center.

• A win would be Nebraska's ninth over an AP top-25 opponent in the last two seasons and 16th in the last four years, including 11 over AP top-16 foes.

• A win would increase Nebraska's season victory total to 26 - the second-highest mark in school history trailing only 32 wins in 2009-10. The Huskers have recorded the three-highest win totals in school history (32, 2009-10; 25, 2012-13; 24, 2011-12) in the last four seasons.

• A win would give Nebraska 50 wins over the last two seasons, the most victories over two years in program history. Before this season, the most wins in a two-year span for the Huskers came in 2008-09 (15) and 2009-10 (32) when NU amassed 47 wins.

Husker Individual Milestones to Watch
Lindsey Moore, 5-9, Sr., Point Guard, Covington, Wash. (Kentwood)

• Lindsey Moore needs three assists to tie Meggan Yedsena (1991-94) for Nebraska's career assist record. Moore enters the Duke game with 693 career assists, after recording 10 assists in the second-round win at Texas A&M. Moore is averaging 8.5 assists in the NCAA Tournament and 5.7 assists on the season.

• Moore needs six assists to tie Yedsena's Nebraska single-season school record of 195 set in 1991-92. Moore enters the Duke game with 189 assists this season.

• Moore needs seven assists to become the first Husker and just the sixth player in Big Ten history to record 700 career assists. She would also become just the second Big Ten player in history to reach career milestones of 1,600 points and 700 assists, joining Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis (2,010 points, 901 assists, 2009-12).

• Seven assists would also give Moore the first 500-point/200-assist season in school history.

• Moore's active streak of 131 career starts is the longest of any player left in the NCAA Tournament. She has started every game Nebraska has played in her four-year collegiate career.

• Moore will also be playing in and starting her seventh career NCAA Tournament game, the most of any player in Nebraska history. No other Husker has played or started more than six games.

• Moore needs one assist to match her total of 18 in the 2010 NCAA Tournament for the most by a Husker in a single NCAA Tournament. No other Husker has produced double-digit assists in an NCAA Tournament. Moore has produced two double-digit games (11 vs. UCLA, 2010; 10 at Texas A&M, 2013).

• Moore needs one assist to double the previous Nebraska career best of 19 by All-American Nicole Kubik (1997-2000) in NCAA Tournament play. Moore enters the Duke game with 37 NCAA Tournament assists, including the top three single-game totals in NU history (11 vs. UCLA, 2010; 10 at Texas A&M, 2013; 7 vs. Chattanooga, 2013).

• Moore needs seven points to match Nicole Kubik (1997-2000) for the second-highest career scoring total by a Husker in NCAA Tournament history. Moore enters the Duke game with 74 career points. Kubik had 81, while Kelsey Griffin owns the NU record with 101 career NCAA Tournament points.

Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Jr., Forward, Alliance, Neb. (Alliance)

• Jordan Hooper (81) needs four three-pointers to tie the Nebraska single-season record for threes made. Amy Stephens (85, 1988-89) and Kiera Hardy (85, 2004-05) own NU's career mark. Hooper needs one more three to tie Yvonne Turner (82, 2009-10) in third on the Husker single-season list.

• With seven three-pointers in two games, Hooper has already set NU's NCAA Tournament record for a season. Yvonne Turner hit six in three games in 2010.

• Hooper became the first Husker junior in history to reach 1,600 points and 800 rebounds, after producing 21 points and eight rebounds at Texas A&M. She needs four rebounds to catch two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge (1995-98) on the Husker career rebounding list (804). DeForge set the Nebraska single-game NCAA Tournament rebounding mark with 15 against New Mexico in Norfolk, Va., in 1998.

• Hooper needs 13 points to match Kelsey Griffin (55, 2010) and Dominique Kelley (55, 2010) for the most points scored in an NCAA Tournament in school history. Through the first two rounds of the 2013 tournament, Hooper has produced 42 points, already the third-highest total in NU history.

• Hooper needs 21 points against Duke to reach 1,700 for her career, joining 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings (1,768, 1990-91-92) as the only players in school history to reach 1,700 career points as juniors. Jennings was a first-team WBCA All-American in 1993 and a three-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American.

• Hooper needs 11 rebounds to become the first player in Nebraska history to produce a pair of 600-point/300-rebound seasons. Hooper, who has 601 points and 289 rebounds this season, had 624 points and 306 boards as a sophomore in 2011-12.

Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Fr., Guard, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (Midpark)

• Freshman Rachel Theriot needs one assist to reach 100 for the season. She would join Lindsey Moore in becoming the first Husker duo to record 100 or more assists in the same season since LaToya Howell (159) and Kiera Hardy (101) accomplished the feat in 2005-06. It would be the eighth time in Husker history that two or more players recorded 100 or more assists in the same season for NU, but just the second time in the past 15 years.

Nebraska First & Second Round NCAA Tournament Notes
• Nebraska's 74-63 win over No. 9 Texas A&M marked the Huskers' first-ever true road win in NCAA Tournament play. The victory also marked the highest-seeded team (No. 3) the Huskers have ever defeated in the NCAA Tournament. NU is 1-4 all-time in the Big Dance in true road games, including losses at USC (1988, 1993), at Old Dominion (1998) and at Maryland (2007).

• Nebraska produced a pair of double-digit wins in College Station (73-59 vs. Chattanooga; 74-63 at Texas A&M) to carry a plus-12.5 scoring margin into the NCAA Norfolk Regional.

• The Huskers notched a plus-10.5 rebound margin in the first two rounds, including a 39-27 edge over No. 9 Texas A&M.

• Nebraska shot 46.7 percent from the field, 46.9 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent (32-38) at the free throw line in Texas, including 14-of-15 against Texas A&M. The Huskers hit 15-of-32 three-pointers, going 7-for-13 against Chattanooga and 8-for-19 against Texas A&M.

• Jordan Hooper (21 vs. Chattanooga, 21 at Texas A&M) and Lindsey Moore (20 at Texas A&M) combined for three 20-point scoring efforts in College Station, Texas. Prior to those 20-point efforts, Huskers had scored 20 points only 10 times in 15 NCAA Tournament games.

• Three Huskers produced double-doubles in College Station. Jordan Hooper opened the NCAA Tournament with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win over Chattanooga. Lindsey Moore added 20 points and 10 assists in the win at No. 9 Texas A&M, while Hailie Sample notched the first double-double of her career with 10 points and 11 boards against the Aggies.

• Hooper averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds in two NCAA Tournament wins. Moore averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists.

• Jordan Hooper hit 7-of-13 (.538) three-pointers in College Station, which are more than any other Husker has ever hit in an NCAA Tournament (season record). Rachel Theriot was 3-for-4 (.750).

• NU outscored Texas A&M and Chattanooga by a combined 32-2 at the free throw line. The Huskers attempted 38 free throws, while holding the Lady Mocs (1-1) and the Aggies (1-2) to just three attempts.

• Nebraska committed just six fouls in the NCAA first-round win over Chattanooga, tying for the second-fewest fouls in any game in school history. It also marked the sixth time this season that NU had been whistled for single-digit fouls, including a school-record five against Ohio State on Feb. 14 and six at Michigan on Feb. 21. It marked the fourth time in the last 10 games that Nebraska has been assessed nine fouls or less.

• The Huskers committed just 16 total fouls in the first and second rounds combined. Chattanooga and Texas A&M combined for 32 fouls.

Scouting the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils (32-2, 17-1 ACC)
Traditional ACC and national power Duke travels just 185 miles down the road from Durham, N.C., to Norfolk, Va., to meet the Huskers, who will cover nearly 1,400 miles to reach Old Dominion.

The Blue Devils are making their 15th NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in the last 16 years (did not advance in 2009), while the Huskers are making their second trip in the last four seasons. Duke earned its 19th NCAA Tournament appearance overall and has won at least one game in every tournament, carrying an impressive 51-19 all-time record in the Big Dance.

While Duke has never won a national title, the Blue Devils have advanced to four NCAA Women's Final Fours (1999, 2002, 2003, 2006), including championship games in 1999 and 2006.

Three-time ACC Coach-of-the-Year Joanne P. McCallie (2010, 2012, 2013) led the 32-2 Blue Devils to ACC regular-season (17-1) and tournament titles. Duke has won 12 ACC regular-season crowns in the past 16 years. McCallie, the 2005 AP National Coach of the Year at Michigan State, will try to lead Duke to its fourth straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance with a win over Nebraska.

All-American Elizabeth Williams leads an extremely talented and deep Duke squad into the tournament. Williams, a 6-3 sophomore center, earned first-team All-ACC honors and All-ACC Tournament accolades. She was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season. She enters the Norfolk Regional averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while adding a whopping 97 blocks to go along with 39 steals. Williams was the National Freshman of the Year last season and earned All-America honors from the AP and USBWA while being named a finalist for the Wooden Award. In 2010-11, she was the Wooten National High School Player of the Year. The Virginia Beach native was also a two-time Virginia Player of the Year, while earning high school All-America honors from the WBCA, McDonald's and Parade.

While Williams dominates the inside for Duke, 6-1 junior guard Tricia Liston fills it up from outside. Liston, a two-time Illinois High School Player of the Year and a Parade All-American, set the Duke record with 76 three-pointers this season. She is shooting a sizzling 46.1 percent from long range and a staggering 93.4 percent from the free throw line, while averaging 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Haley Peters, a 6-3 junior guard/forward, gives the Blue Devils great size and versatility. The 2010 New Jersey High School Player of the Year and a McDonald's and Parade All-American, Peters adds 12.2 points per game while leading the team with 7.6 boards per game. Peters leads the Blue Devils in minutes played, while shooting better than 50 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from three-point range.

Fellow junior Richa Jackson, the 2010 Oklahoma Player of the Year and a McDonald's and WBCA All-American, adds 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Jackson, a 6-0 forward, joined the starting five following a season-ending injury to junior All-American Chelsea Gray. A 5-11 junior point guard, Gray was averaging 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.6 steals, before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Wake Forest Feb. 17.

Since the injury to Gray, Duke has a produced an 8-1 record, dropping only a 69-65 decision at Miami Feb. 28. Jackson has stepped up her averages to 6.9 points and 4.7 rebounds since Gray's departure.

Freshman Alexis Jones, the 2012 Texas High School Player of the Year and a McDonald's and WBCA All-American, has poured on the production in Gray's absence. Jones, a 5-8 point guard, is averaging 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals while starting all 34 games this season. Since Gray went down, Jones is averaging 14.3 points, 5.0 boards, 6.4 assists and 1.3 steals.

Chloe Wells, a 5-7 junior guard, has also played a more significant role since Gray's injury. Wells is averaging 5.2 points and 1.6 rebounds on the year, but pumped in 13 points off the bench to help Duke rally from a 16-point second-half deficit to beat Oklahoma State, 68-59, and advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Allison Vernerey, a 6-5 senior center from France, adds 3.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and impressive defense with 36 blocks and 26 steals on the year. Sierra Moore (2.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg) and Ka'lia Johnson (2.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) a pair of 5-10 guards, add more depth for the Blue Devils.

As a team, Duke is averaging 75.1 points per game, while surrendering just 53.2 per contest for a dominant plus-21.9 scoring margin. The Blue Devils also carry an impressive 7.8 rebounding margin and a plus-4.1 team turnover margin. An efficient offensive team with weapons from all areas, Duke is shooting 45.8 percent from the field, including a spectacular 41.1 percent from three-point range. Duke also shoots a solid 74.2 percent from the free throw line.

With Williams and Vernerey patrolling the paint and quick guards applying perimeter pressure, Duke held the opposition to 33.9 percent shooting from the field, including just 28.6 percent from long range on the year.

In the nine games since Gray's injury, Duke's scoring has slipped a bit to 71.6 points while opponents have increased their scoring to 61.1 points per contest.

Source: UNL Media Relations

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