Huskers Open Season One at Pinnacle Bank Arena with Gorillas - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Huskers Open Season One at Pinnacle Bank Arena with Gorillas

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Exhibition Game #1
Nebraska Cornhuskers (25-9 Overall, 12-4 Big Ten, 2013 NCAA Sweet 16)
vs. Pittsburg State Gorillas (17-10 Overall, 11-7 MIAA)
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Radio:
Husker Sports Network (PBP-Matt Coatney; Analyst-Jeff Griesch)
1400-KCOW, Alliance; 94.1 KNEB-Scottsbluff
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
Free Live Video: Huskers.com
Promotion: Husker Haunted Hoops
(Free Admission to 8th graders and younger dressed in Halloween Costumes)

Huskers Open Season One at Pinnacle Bank Arena with Gorillas
The Nebraska women's basketball team plays the first game in Pinnacle Bank Arena history when the Huskers face the Pittsburg State Gorillas in an exhibition game Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m.

Season tickets for "Season One" at Nebraska's new home for women's basketball are available now at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED. NU's season ticket sales for women's basketball have increased by more than 50 percent from a year ago, reaching a school-record 3,200 prior to the start of the exhibition season.

Individual single game tickets for Nebraska women's basketball go on sale Thursday, Oct. 24, and will be available on Huskers.com. Tickets also will be available at the door starting 90 minutes before tip-off at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office. Fans in 8th grade and younger in Halloween costumes will be admitted free to Sunday's game as part of Nebraska's annual Husker Haunted Hoops promotion. A costume contest will take place at halftime, and trick or treat opportunities will be available on the concourse.

No live radio in Lincoln or Omaha will be available for Sunday's game, but Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will begin their 13th season together calling all of the action on the Husker Sports Network with free live audio on Huskers.com. KCOW (1400 AM) in Alliance and KNEB (94.1 FM) in Scottsbluff will carry the radio broadcast in Western Nebraska. A free live video stream of the game also will be available on Huskers.com.

Sunday's tip with Pittsburg State will be the earliest start date in school history. Last season's game with the Gorillas marked the previous earliest tip in history (Oct. 29). The game will be the first of 20 home dates for the Huskers in Season One, including a Sunday, Nov. 3, exhibition finale against Nebraska-Kearney and 18 regular-season home games.

The 2013-14 Huskers, who return four starters from last year's squad that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and finished with a 25-9 overall record, were selected as a regional host for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Nebraska will serve as one of four hosts, joining Notre Dame, Louisville and Stanford, for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds, March 29-April 1, on the Road to the NCAA Women's Final Four.

Tentative Projected Lineups
Nebraska Cornhuskers (25-9, 12-4 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 4.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 9.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 17.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg
33 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - So. - G - 6.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 3.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Tear'a Laudermill - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 5.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
10 - Hannah Tvrdy - 5-9 - Fr. - G - High School
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Fr. - G - High School
14 - Katie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 2.0 ppg, 1.2 rpg
21 - Sadie Murren - 5-8 - So. - G - 1.5 ppg, 0.9 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Fr. - C - High School
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
12th Season at NU (215-135); 24th Season Overall (410-275)

Pittsburg State Gorillas (17-10, 11-7 MIAA)
15 - Lizzy Jeronimus - 5-11 - Jr. - F - 18.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg
23 - Kylie Gafford - 6-2 - So. - F - 5.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
22 - Alexa Bordewick - 5-7 - Sr. - G - 6.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg
32 - Hailey Roderique - 5-9 - Jr. - G/F - 6.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
33 - Morgan Westhoff - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 8.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Brigit Hesser - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 3.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg
11 - Y'Cedria Devers - 5-8 - Jr. - F - 3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
34 - Cathy Brugman - 6-0 - Jr. - F - 2.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
00 - Tamiaya Henderson - 6-0 - Fr. - F - High School
1 - Antqunita Reed - 5-9 - Jr. - G - JUCO
10 - Paige Lungwitz - 5-10 - Fr. - G - High School
12 - Haydn Herlocker - 5-7 - Fr. - G - High School
14 - Garrett Burton - 5-7 - RFr. - G - Redshirt
21 - Alex Muff - 6-1 - Sr. - F - K-State Volleyball
24 - Deja Snell - 5-8 - Fr. - F - High Shool
25 - Ashli Burton - 5-7 - RFr. - G - Redshirt
Head Coach: Lane Lord (Tabor, 1993)
Seventh Season at PSU (104-68); Seventh Season Overall 104-68)

Husker Welcome Fans to Haunted Hoops vs. Pittsburg State
For its third consecutive Big Ten season, Nebraska plays on the first date for women's basketball in 2013-14. The Huskers invite fans to come celebrate the start of another season with Husker Haunted Hoops.

Fans in 8th grade and younger will receive free general admission seating to the Pinnacle Bank Arena if they are dressed in a Halloween costume. Those young fans are also invited to compete in a halftime costume contest on the Pinnacle Bank Arena court.

Huskers' Opener with Gorillas Earliest in School History
Nebraska's Oct. 27 exhibition season opener with Pittsburg State will mark the earliest exhibition date on the calendar the Huskers have ever played. Last season, Nebraska's Oct. 29 opener with the Gorillas was the earliest in history and in the Big Ten. The previous season (2011-12), NU's Oct. 30 tip-off against Pittsburg State was also the earliest tip in the school record book and in Nebraska's first season in the Big Ten.

In 2010-11, the Huskers opened exhibition play against the Gorillas on Halloween Day, after opening the 2009-10 campaign with an exhibition contest against PSU on Nov. 3, 2009.

Nebraska Celebrates Season One at New Arena
Nebraska will celebrate its first season in Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14. The arena, located in the historic Haymarket in downtown Lincoln just steps away from the Nebraska campus, will serve as the new home for Husker men's and women's basketball teams.

The $179 million project was completed in the summer of 2013 after being approved by voters in May of 2010. A ribbon cutting ceremony that included Governor Dave Heineman, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst and Husker coaches Connie Yori and Tim Miles, tipped off the opening of the new arena in late August.

The 470,400-square foot arena project has sparked a revitalization of the Haymarket District, including the addition of several new hotels and upscale housing options. It also has added the Railyard, an outdoor entertainment area adjacent to the arena. The Railyard includes "The Cube" a massive outdoor screen that will serve as a hub for other entertainment options.

In "Season One" at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Husker women's basketball program has experienced more than a 50 percent increase in season ticket sales, surpassing the 3,200 mark. The number shattered NU's previous season ticket record.

The women's program was also selected as one of four NCAA Regional hosts for the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Huskers will play host to the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds at Pinnacle Bank Arena, March 29 through April 1. Nebraska has advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in two of the past four seasons, but Lincoln has not played host to an NCAA Tournament game in men's or women's basketball since 1993.

On the men's side, the Huskers have sold out for the season, guaranteeing a school-record average of more than 15,000 per game in their first year at the arena.

Scouting the Pittsburg State Gorillas
Nebraska opens its fifth consecutive season by taking on Pittsburg State in exhibition play. The Sunday, Oct. 27, game with the NCAA Division II Gorillas from Pittsburg, Kan., will be the earliest game on the calendar in school history.

Pittsburg State returns to Lincoln following a 17-10 season in 2012-13. The Gorillas produced an 11-7 mark in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) last year. In 2011-12, Pittsburg State advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight and finished with a 27-6 record.
Seventh-year head coach Lane Lord owns a 104-68 career record at Pittsburg State. His Gorillas return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year's squad, led by junior Lizzy Jeronimus. The 5-11 forward averaged 18.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and a team-best 2.7 assists as a sophomore. She also led the team with 26 steals a year ago.

Jeronimus fueled PSU's run to the 2012 Elite Eight by earning Division II All-America honors as a true freshman. She averaged 15.8 points and 6.8 boards per game, while adding a team-best 2.9 assists in her first season.

Jeronimus is an aggressive penetrator and playmaker who has hit better than 50 percent of her shots in the first two years of her career, while averaging better than 180 free throw attempts per year.

Fellow junior Morgan Westhoff also returns as Pittsburg State's No. 2 scorer from a year ago. The 5-8 guard averaged 8.7 points per game, while knocking down a team-best 46 three-pointers on the year. Westhoff hit 40 percent of her long-range attempts on the year. Although Westhoff ranked second on the team in scoring, she was not a starter as a sophomore.
Senior Alexa Bordewick is the most veteran member of the Gorilla backcourt. The 5-7 guard averaged 6.1 points per game last year, while ranking second on the squad with 39 threes (.335). As a junior starter, Bordewick averaged 7.8 points per game and knocked down 48 threes on the year.

Junior Hailey Roderique could play a significant role for the Gorillas this year. Roderique was injured midway through the 2012-13 campaign, after starting the first 14 games. She averaged 6.9 points and 4.9 boards per game before the injury.

Kylie Gafford, a 6-2 sophomore forward who started four games as a freshman, adds size for the Gorillas. The graduate of Olathe East High School averaged 5.5 points and 3.1 rebounds per game a year ago. She will look to replace the loss of 6-6 senior center Lauren Brown, who averaged 7.3 points and a team-best 8.1 rebounds per game a year ago. Brown also blocked 53 shots.

Junior guards Brigit Hesser (3.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Y'Cedria Devers (3.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) each started eight games a year ago for PSU, and give the Gorillas plenty of options in the backcourt. They will try to help make up for the loss of 2013 senior Drew Roberts, who averaged 7.7 points and 2.0 assists. Roberts averaged 10.2 points per game for the Gorillas as a junior starter in 2011-12.

Pittsburg State also will be bolstered by a group of six newcomers, starting with 6-1 senior forward Alex Muff, a transfer from Kansas State. Freshman Tamiaya Henderson, a 6-0 forward, will add more size, while junior college transfer Antqunita Reed could make an immediate impact in the backcourt. Paige Lungwitz, Hadyn Herlocker and Deja Snell round out PSU's class of freshmen, while redshirt freshmen Garrett and Ashli Burton will try to make their first contributions.

Nebraska vs. Pittsburg State Exhibition Series History
Nebraska has never faced Pittsburg State in regular-season action, but the Huskers have taken on the Gorillas in their exhibition opener in each of the past four seasons. Last season, Nebraska cruised to a 78-34 win at the Devaney Center on Oct. 29, 2012. Jordan Hooper led four Huskers in double figures with 17 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes of action.

Brandi Jeffery was the only other starter in double figures with 11 points, while guard Tear'a Laudermill came off the bench to add 12 points. Starters Lindsey Moore, Emily Cady and Hailie Sample combined for just 10 points, while Rachel Theriot did not play in the game because of a foot injury.

Lizzy Jeronimus led Pittsburg State with nine points and was the only Gorilla to finish with more than five points on the day. Nebraska led 44-7 at the half, as Pittsburg State hit just 2-of-17 shots from the field in the opening period. For the game, the Gorillas hit just 24.4 percent (11-45), including 12.5 percent (2-16) from three-point range. The 2013 Gorillas were coming off a trip to the 2012 NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

On Oct. 30, 2011, NU rolled to an 86-55 win behind 24 points and 17 rebounds in 26 minutes from Hooper. Cady added 14 points.

On Oct. 31, 2010, Nebraska notched a 78-60 win over PSU thanks to 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals from then-sophomore point guard Lindsey Moore.

The Huskers opened their exhibition series with Pittsburg State on Nov. 3, 2009, with a 68-54 victory in what was one of NU's closest home games of the year. The 2009-10 Huskers produced a perfect regular season, and the Gorillas were one of just five teams to play Nebraska within 15 points at the Devaney Center.

Huskers to Tip Off with Game One presented by Ameritas
The University of Nebraska Athletic Department announced on Oct. 18 that Ameritas will be the presenting sponsor for the Husker men's and women's basketball regular-season openers at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Game One presented by Ameritas will take place on Friday, Nov. 8, as the Nebraska men's and women's basketball teams host their first regular-season games at Pinnacle Bank Arena, a $179 million facility in Lincoln's Haymarket District. Both basketball games are expected to shatter school single-game non-conference attendance marks, trumpeting the start of the 2013-14 campaign for both programs.

"The Husker basketball season-opening celebration will be a historic day in Lincoln," said JoAnn Martin, Ameritas President and CEO. "We're excited to help make this once-in-a-life time celebration happen in the family friendly atmosphere of the Haymarket District and the new arena."

University of Nebraska Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst said the presence of Ameritas will enhance the atmosphere surrounding the basketball openers.

"We are excited to welcome Ameritas as the presenting sponsor for Game One," Eichorst said. "Ameritas has not only been a long-time supporter of Nebraska Athletics, but also of projects which have benefitted communities across the state. Having Ameritas on board for Game One will help make November 8th a memorable day for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans."

The day begins with a special "Invest 2 Be the Best" pep rally the morning of Nov. 8 inside the arena, which will feature approximately 5,000 middle school youth from Lincoln and surrounding communities. The youth pep rally is one of several special events planned for Nov. 8.
The Husker women, coming off their second NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in four years, will open the day's festivities, as Coach Connie Yori's squad takes on 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifier UCLA at Noon (central) in a game televised statewide on NET. The game with the Bruins will be the first regular-season game in the history of the arena and features a pair of teams that finished in the top 20 of the final 2013 USA Today Coaches rankings.

At 8 p.m., Dunk City will invade the Star City, as Coach Tim Miles and the Husker men take on NCAA Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast in a game that will be televised nationally on BTN. It is the first of five Sweet 16 teams that the Huskers will face at home during the 2013-14 season. Fan are encouraged to be in their seats by 7:30 p.m. for pregame festivities.

Hooper Named to Preseason Wade Watch List Again
Two-time All-American Jordan Hooper earned a spot on the preseason Wade Watch List for the second consecutive year when the 25 candidates for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's National Player of the Year were announced on Oct. 8.

Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., is a two-time WBCA and Associated Press honorable-mention All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. She enters her senior season poised to become just the third player in Nebraska history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in her career, joining 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings and 2010 first-team WBCA All-American Kelsey Griffin.

Hooper, who has scored 1,685 points and pulled down 811 rebounds in starting the first 98 games of her Husker career, is also in position to shatter the school's three-point record. She enters her senior season with 215 made three-pointers, just 52 shy of the school record held by three-time first-team All-Big 12 guard Kiera Hardy (2004-07). Hooper has averaged nearly 72 three-pointers per season at Nebraska, including 81 a year ago when she helped shoot the Huskers to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16.

Over the summer, Hooper helped the USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team to a gold medal in Kazan, Russia. In the championship game, Hooper earned a start and scored nine points while grabbing nine rebounds while going head-to-head against several members of Russia's 2012 Olympic Team.

Five of Hooper's World University Games teammates joined her on the Wade Watch List, including Baylor senior Odyssey Sims, Louisville senior Shoni Schimmel, Oklahoma senior Aaryn Ellenberg, Connecticut junior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and LSU senior Theresa Plaisance.

Now in its 37th year, The Wade Trophy is named in honor of the late, legendary three-time national champion Delta State University coach, Lily Margaret Wade. Regarded as "The Heisman of Women's Basketball," the award is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Player of the Year by the National Association of Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) and the WBCA.

The preseason list is composed of top NCAA Division I women's basketball players who best embody Wade's spirit from 18 institutions and seven conferences. A committee of coaches, administrators and media from across the United States compiled the list using the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team, and overall playing ability.

Hooper was one of three players from the Big Ten Conference to earn mention on the preseason Wade Watch List, joining Penn State's Maggie Lucas and Minnesota's Rachel Banham.

Nebraska Selected as NCAA Regional Host
The University of Nebraska was awarded one of four regional host sites for the 2014 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, announced by the NCAA on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The Huskers will host the four-team regional at Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln, March 29 through April 1.

"We're excited that Lincoln was selected to host its first NCAA basketball tournament action since 1993," Nebraska Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm said. "We believe it is an amazing opportunity to show off the Pinnacle Bank Arena and showcase Nebraska basketball and the city of Lincoln."

Pinnacle Bank Arena will be the home of Nebraska men's and women's basketball for its inaugural season in 2013-14. The $179 million arena is located in the historic Haymarket district in downtown Lincoln, just steps away from the University of Nebraska campus.
With a capacity of more than 15,000, the arena has sold out for Husker men's basketball for 2013-14 and season ticket sales for women's basketball are up 50 percent from a year ago.
Nebraska women's basketball season ticket holders will get the first opportunity to buy NCAA Regional tickets when they are made available for sale. Game dates, times and ticket prices have not yet been announced, but tickets for preliminary NCAA Tournament rounds are expected to be available for purchase no later than Nov. 16.

"It's an exciting time to be a part of the Nebraska women's basketball program, and the NCAA Regional announcement just keeps that building," Coach Connie Yori said. "We've got a long way to go as a team before we can even think about the possibility of getting back to the Sweet 16 this year, but it is certainly a great opportunity for men's and women's basketball fans to have a chance to watch college basketball being played at a really high level at the end of March in Lincoln."

Yori, who has led Nebraska to five NCAA Tournament bids in the past seven years, including a pair of NCAA Regional trips, was the 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year and the 2010 National Coach of the Year.

"The city of Lincoln and the entire state of Nebraska have a reputation for coming out and supporting big-time events," Yori said. "An NCAA women's basketball regional to cap the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena is certainly a big-time event. Sports fans of all kinds all across the state of Nebraska can start making their plans now."

The last time the University of Nebraska served as a host for the an NCAA men's or women's basketball tournament came on March 17, 1993, when the Husker women defeated San Diego, 81-58, in the first round at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. It is the only game the Nebraska women's basketball team has ever played on its home court in the NCAA Tournament.
Nebraska earned a trip to the NCAA Regional in Norfolk, Va., in 2013. The Huskers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 by knocking off Chattanooga in the first round and home-standing Texas A&M at Reed Arena in the second round. The Huskers earned a No. 6 seed in last year's tournament and finished the year with a 25-9 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten mark.

The other three NCAA Regional sites are Louisville, Ky., Notre Dame, Ind., and Stanford, Calif. The 16 NCAA first- and second-round locations are Baylor, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo, UConn, UCLA and Washington.

The NCAA Women's Final Four will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., April 6-8.

 

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