NEB WBB: Huskers to Honor Griffin Before Battling Michigan - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

NEB WBB: Huskers to Honor Griffin Before Battling Michigan

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Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-5 Overall, 3-3 Big Ten)
Michigan Wolverines (14-6 Overall, 5-2 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Tickets: Huskers.com / 1-800-8-BIG-RED
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 Live Audio: Huskers.com
Television: NET (PBP-Larry Punteney; Analyst-Brenda VanLengen)
Live Premium Video: BTN.com All-Access

Huskers to Honor Griffin Before Wednesday Clash with Michigan
The Nebraska women's basketball team will honor Husker legend Kelsey Griffin Wednesday night in pregame ceremonies before the Big Red takes on Michigan in a key Big Ten battle.

Tip-off between the Huskers (13-5, 3-3 Big Ten) and Wolverines (14-6, 5-2 Big Ten) is set for 7 p.m. (CT) with live statewide television provided by NET. Larry Punteney and Brenda VanLengen will be on the call in a game that also will be streamed live by BTN.com All-Access. Radio coverage will be provided by the Husker Sports Network, including flagships B107.3 FM in Lincoln, the Wolf 93.3 FM in Omaha and 880 AM KRVN in Lexington. Free live audio is available on Huskers.com.

Nebraska is coming off a 63-59 loss at Northwestern on Sunday that came down to the final seconds. It marked NU's fourth Big Ten game decided by four points or less, including a 77-75 loss to nationally ranked Purdue in NU's last game at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 19. The Huskers opened Big Ten play with a 66-65 victory over Northwestern and added an 88-85 overtime win over Minnesota on Jan. 16.

While the Huskers are hungry for a win to close January, the Wolverines will be looking to remain unbeaten in true road games this season while shooting for their fourth straight Big Ten road win. Michigan improved to 3-0 on the road in conference play with a 60-44 win at Wisconsin on Sunday.

Before the Huskers take aim at stopping Michigan's road winning streak, Nebraska will take time out to honor Griffin. The 2010 first-team All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year will join Husker legends Karen Jennings and Maurtice Ivy in having her jersey retired. Griffin was Nebraska's first-ever Senior CLASS Award winner across any sport and the 2010 Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She finished her illustrious college career with 2,033 points and 1,019 rebounds.

While Griffin will make history before the game, two-time All-American and first-team All-Big Ten forward Jordan Hooper could join her in a truly historic night. The 6-2 senior forward needs just five points to catch Griffin on NU's all-time scoring list and 10 rebounds to join Griffin and Jennings as the only Huskers in history with 2,000 points and 1,000 boards.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-5, 3-3 Big Ten)
3 - Hailie Sample - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 5.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg
23 - Emily Cady - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 14.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg
35 - Jordan Hooper - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 19.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg
33 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - So. - G - 13.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
1 - Tear'a Laudermill - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 9.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Off the Bench
13 - Brandi Jeffery - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 4.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 3.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg
21 - Sadie Murren - 5-8 - So. - G - 3.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg
10 - Hannah Tvrdy - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 1.6 ppg, 0.5 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.1 ppg, 0.4 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
12th Season at NU (228-140); 24th Season Overall (423-280)

Michigan Wolverines (14-6, 5-2 Big Ten)
14 - Nicole Elmblad - 5-11 - Jr. - F/G - 12.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg
22 - Cyesha Goree - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 11.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg
34 - Val Driscoll - 6-4 - Sr. - F/C - 4.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg
2 - Siera Thompson - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 13.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg
5 - Shannon Smith - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 14.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Madison Ristovski - 5-10 - So. - G - 9.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
15 - Paige Rakers - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 5.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
20 - Danielle Williams - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 1.3 ppg, 0.2 rpg
54 - Kendra Seto - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 0.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Head Coach: Kim Barnes Arico (Montclair State, 1993)
Second Season at Michigan (36-17); 18th Season Overall (306-222)

Huskers to Honor All-American Griffin with Jersey Retirement
The Nebraska women's basketball program is adding another name and number to its wall of honor inside the new Pinnacle Bank Arena - and this one is a legend.

Kelsey Griffin, one of the most accomplished Huskers both on and off the court in program history, will be honored by Nebraska with the retirement of her No. 23 jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 29, when the Huskers take on Michigan. She will join 1993 Wade Trophy Winner and CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Famer Karen Jennings (No. 51) and 1988 Big Eight Player-of-the-Year Maurtice Ivy (No. 30) among Nebraska's retired jersey honorees.

Griffin, a first-team All-American on the court and a national player-of-the-year finalist in 2010, became the face of Nebraska women's basketball for five seasons (2006-10). The lightly recruited 6-2 forward from Eagle River, Alaska, powered Nebraska's rise to national prominence by earning three first-team All-Big 12 Conference awards.

Griffin also led Nebraska to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Her final season as a Husker, she etched a permanent place in Husker history as part of a six-player senior class that led Nebraska to an unbeaten regular season (29-0), 30 consecutive victories, a Big 12 Conference regular-season title and Nebraska's first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. She captured Big 12 Player-of-the-Year honors while leading NU to a 32-2 final record that included a 16-0 Big 12 mark.

She ranks No. 3 on Nebraska's all-time scoring list with 2,033 points, while ranking No. 2 in the Husker record book with 1,019 career rebounds. She joins 1993 Wade Trophy winner and fellow first-team All-American Karen Jennings as the only players in Nebraska history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Griffin also set Nebraska's career record with 40 double-doubles in her four years on the court in Lincoln. Her 127 career starts rank No. 2 in school history.

As a senior, Griffin averaged 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, including 20 double-doubles. She also earned a spot on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team by notching 60 steals, 26 blocked shots and took a remarkable 29 charges on the year.

Griffin was NU's first-ever winner of the Senior CLASS Award, recognizing her achievements in the community and the classroom, while honoring her character and success in competition. She was honored as Nebraska's Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2009-10, before earning the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft.

Griffin earned a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team with the Connecticut Sun in 2010. She completed her fourth professional season with the Sun in 2013, starting all 34 games and averaging career bests of 8.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. In her four-year WNBA career, she has played in 133 games with 61 starts for Connecticut. Griffin also has played professionally in Hungary, Israel and most recently for the Bendigo Spirit in Australia's WNBL. In 2012-13, Griffin led the Spirit to the WNBL title and was named the MVP of the championship series. She has returned to Australia for the 2013-14 campaign, where she is averaging 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while playing alongside former Husker teammate and 2012 Olympian Chelsea Aubry.

Husker Hot Shots - Nebraska's Starting Five
#35, Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Sr., F, Alliance, Neb. (19.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg)
• Senior All-American Jordan Hooper enters Wednesday night's game needing five points to catch Kelsey Griffin (2006-10) at No. 3 on Nebraska's career scoring list at 2,033.

• Hooper needs 10 rebounds to become the fourth Husker in history with 1,000 rebounds, joining Griffin (1,019), Karen Jennings (1,000) and Janet Smith (1,280). She would become the third Husker in history joining Griffin and Jennings with 2,000 points and 1,000 career rebounds. Hooper also would become just the fifth Big Ten player in history to reach those combined milestones.

• Hooper owns 34 career double-doubles and needs two to catch Jennings in second on the NU all-time list and six to match Griffin's school-record 40. Hooper ranks second in the Big Ten behind teammate Emily Cady (9) with eight double-doubles this season.

• Hooper is also a candidate for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors with a 3.45 GPA as a psychology major. She is scheduled to graduate in May. Hooper is also a Senior CLASS Award candidate.

• Hooper ranks No. 10 nationally among all active NCAA Division I players with 2,028 career points. She ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten in scoring and No. 53 nationally with 19.1 points per game this season.

• Through games Jan. 26, Hooper ranked second in the Big Ten and 44th nationally with 9.9 rebounds per game. With 990 career rebounds, Hooper ranks No. 12 among all active NCAA Division I players.

• Hooper is expected to make her 117th consecutive start in Wednesday's game against Michigan.

• With an assist against Northwestern, Hooper set her career single-season high with 23.

• Hooper has scored in double figures in 101 of her 116 career games, including 42 20-point performances. She owns eight career 30-point efforts, including 33 points and 14 boards against Utah State (Dec. 8) and 30 points and 11 rebounds against ORU (Dec. 29) this season. She has grabbed double-digit rebounds on 40 occasions, including 10 times this year.

#23, Emily Cady, 6-2, Jr., F, Seward, Neb. (14.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.1 bpg)
• One of the Big Ten's most versatile forwards, Emily Cady leads the conference through six league games with 11.7 rebounds per contest while ranking in the top 10 in scoring (15.7 ppg) and assists (4.2 apg). She also ranks fifth in the league in free throw percentage in conference play, while ranking in the top 15 in both blocked shots and assist-to-turnover ratio.

• Cady leads the Big Ten with nine double-doubles on the season, including five straight in conference action. Teammate Jordan Hooper ranks second in the league in double-doubles with eight.

• Cady notched her fifth consecutive Big Ten double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Northwestern Jan. 26. She had 13 points and a career-high-tying 16 rebounds against Purdue Jan. 19. That followed a season-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists in the win over Minnesota on Jan. 16. She also had 19 points and 10 rebounds at Illinois to go along with 16 points and 12 boards at Michigan State. She opened Big Ten play with 11 points and nine boards against Northwestern.

• Cady owns 17 career double-doubles and needs one more to catch two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge in eighth with 18 career double-doubles at Nebraska.

• Overall, Cady ranks No. 3 overall in the Big Ten with 9.6 rebounds per game, trailing only Hooper (9.9 rpg) and Amanda Zahui B. from Minnesota (10.7 rpg).

• Cady enters the week with 655 rebounds and needs just four boards to catch Charlie Rogers (659, 1997-2000) in 11th and six rebounds to join the NU career top 10 by tying Angie Miller (661, 1984-87).

• Cady, who owns 889 points and 167 career assists picked up her 100th career steal against Minnesota Jan. 16 to become the ninth Husker in history with 800 points, 600 rebounds, 100 assists and 100 steals in her career.

• Cady ranks 10th in NU history with 78 career blocks. She needs 10 more to catch Casey Leonhardt (88, 2000-01) in ninth on the Husker career chart. Only seven Huskers have 100 career blocks.

#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, So., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(13.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.9 apg)

• One of the best young point guards in the nation, Rachel Theriot is Nebraska's leader with 16.5 points and 6.7 assists in Big Ten play. She is averaging 13.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists on the year.

• She earned the first Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award of her career on Jan. 20, after averaging 26.0 points and 6.5 assists against Minnesota and Purdue. She produced career highs of 33 points and nine assists without a turnover in Nebraska's 88-85 OT win over Minnesota Jan. 16. Theriot scored 21 points after halftime, including 17 in the second half to lead NU back from a 14-point deficit with 13:40 to play. Theriot added four in overtime, including two free throws with 14.9 seconds left to seal the win.

• Theriot ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 24th nationally with 5.9 assists per game, including 6.7 assists per game in Big Ten play. She has produced back-to-back 100-assist seasons.

• Theriot ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten in overall assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0-to-1).

• Theriot is tied with Tear'a Laudermill for the team lead with 20 steals on the season.

• Theriot has scored in double figures 12 times this season. She had a career-high 33 points in an overtime win over Minnesota (Jan. 16). It topped her previous season and career high of 28 points at Utah (Nov. 15), when she added a career-best seven rebounds. Theriot owns 19 career double-figure scoring efforts and two career 20-point games.

• Theriot has scored 237 points and has 106 assists through 18 games. Last season, she scored 211 points and had 101 assists while playing all 34 games, including 28 starts. Theriot's production has come in 266 fewer minutes than 2012-13.

#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Jr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (5.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.6 apg)
• Hailie Sample is expected to join Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady in Nebraska's starting front line for the 86th consecutive game on Wednesday against Michigan.

• Sample is averaging 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds, while ranking third on the team with 2.6 assists per game. She produced double figures for the fourth time this season with 12 points against No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 19. She had a season-high 13 points in a win over Creighton on Dec. 14. Sample owns 10 career double-figure scoring performances, including a career-high 20 points at Creighton last season.

• Sample is tied for 15th in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (2.0 rpg).

• With 14 steals this season, Sample has surpassed her season total of 11 from a year ago.

#1, Tear'a Laudermill, 5-9, Jr., G, Riverside, Calif.
(9.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg)

• Tear'a Laudermill has averaged 10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals over the past 10 games, including a career-high 18 points and a season-high three steals at Northwestern on Jan. 26.

• Laudermill had scored in double figures in six of the past eight games, including 14 points against No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 19. She hit a pair of big threes in the final two minutes to bring Nebraska back from a 73-67 deficit to tie the game at 73 with 1:22 left. She had 13 points and a season-high-matching three steals at Illinois Jan. 12. She produced 14 points, a career-high-matching five assists, no turnovers and two steals in NU's Big Ten-opening win over Northwestern (Jan. 2). She scored a then-career-high 15 points in NU's win over South Dakota (Dec. 21) and added 11 points, a career-high five assists and a season-high three steals in just 18 minutes against ORU (Dec. 29).

• Laudermill has nine double-figure scoring efforts in the last 14 games. She had just four double-figure efforts in the first 65 games of her career.

• Laudermill owns eight blocked shots this season - all in the last 17 games. She produced five blocked shots in the first 62 games of her career, all coming last season.

• Laudermill is Nebraska's No. 2 active career three-point shooter with 57 makes. Jordan Hooper leads NU with 250 in her career.

Husker Headliners
• Nebraska's front line players Jordan Hooper, Emily Cady and Hailie Sample are expected to make their 86th consecutive starts together on Wednesday against Michigan. The group is averaging 39.1 points and 25.3 rebounds per game this season.

• Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot have combined to step up their production from a year ago. The trio combined for just 343 points in NU's first 18 games (19.1 ppg) last season compared to 597 points in 18 contests (33.2 ppg) this season - combining for 14.1 more points per game than 2012-13.

• Junior guard Brandi Jeffery started NU's first three games. She missed the Southern game with an injury but has returned for Nebraska's last 12 games. Over NU's last six home games, Jeffery has averaged 6.9 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while going 10-of-18 from three-point range.

• Nebraska ranks No. 9 nationally with 73,782 fans at home this season. The Huskers rank 11th nationally with an average home attendance of 5,676 per game. The Huskers drew 10 of the top-16 non-conference home crowds in school history this season, including a record 9,750 vs. UCLA (Nov. 8).

Big Red, Big Picture
• Nebraska 2013-14 recruiting class is ranked No. 9 nationally by ESPN.

• Nebraska has sold nearly 4,000 all-session tickets for the NCAA Lincoln Regional (March 29-31).

• Nebraska recognized 2013 All-American Lindsey Moore during the Oral Roberts game (Dec. 29) for her part in helping the Minnesota Lynx to the 2013 WNBA title. The first-round pick in the WNBA Draft returned to Lincoln from her professional team in Italy to receive a minute-long standing ovation.

• Nebraska will retire 2010 All-American Kelsey Griffin's jersey at the Michigan game (Jan. 29). The 2010 Senior CLASS Award winner and Nebraska Female Student-Athlete of the Year will have her number raised at Pinnacle Bank Arena, but not permanently retired. Current Husker Emily Cady shares Griffin's No. 23. Griffin, a four-year WNBA veteran, will make a return trip to Lincoln from her club team in Australia.

• The Huskers have advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 twice in the last four seasons (2010, 2013).

• NU has earned NCAA Tournament trips in five of the past seven seasons (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013).

• Coach Connie Yori is the winningest coach in Husker history (228 victories) and has won conference coach-of-the-year honors in the Big Ten (2013), Big 12 (2012) and Missouri Valley (2002). She was the national coach-of-the-year in 2010.

Scouting the Michigan Wolverines
Coach Kim Barnes Arico and Michigan carry a 14-6 overall record and a 5-2 Big Ten mark to Lincoln for Wednesday night's battle with Nebraska.

The Wolverines return just one starter and just three letterwinners from last year's squad that went 22-11 overall and 9-7 in the Big Ten on their way to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Barnes Arico's first season in Ann Arbor.

Despite the heavy losses, Michigan is in the hunt for another NCAA bid with a new-look lineup. Junior guard Shannon Smith leads a balanced Wolverine attack with 14.7 points per game. Fellow junior Nicole Elmblad, a 5-11 swing player and the lone returning starter from last year's squad, has added 12.2 points and 8.4 rebounds while producing a team-best six double-doubles on the season.

A third junior, 6-3 forward Cyesha Goree, has pitched in 11.3 points and a team-best 9.6 rebounds per game to nearly average a double-double on the season. In Big Ten play, Goree ranks second in the league with 11.6 rebounds per game, trailing only Nebraska's Emily Cady (11.7 rpg).

Michigan gets more experience inside with 6-4 senior Val Driscoll, who is averaging 4.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest. Driscoll is also averaging better three blocks per contest in conference action.

The Wolverines have been bolstered by one of the Big Ten's top freshmen with Siera Thompson. The 5-7 guard is averaging 13.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a starter. She has also hit 48-of-102 three-pointers (.471) to lead a Michigan squad that can spread the floor.

Michigan gets more help from sophomore Madison Ristovski. The 5-10 guard is averaging 9.4 points and 3.5 rebounds while coming off the bench in all seven Big Ten contests. Ristovski, who started 10 non-conference games for the Wolverines this season, is shooting 46 percent (29-63) from long range.

Michigan gets more contributions off the bench from 5-11 freshman guard Paige Rakers, who is averaging 5.4 points and 2.0 boards per contest.

A solid all-around team, Michigan owns a plus-9.0 team scoring average and a plus-9.5 team rebounding margin. The Wolverines carry a minus-3.1 team turnover margin, but they are a solid passing team that averages 16 assists per contest.

Michigan is shooting 45.6 percent from the field and a glossy 39.3 percent from three-point range. The Wolverines are also shooting 75.4 percent from the line, including 79.3 percent in Big Ten play.

Nebraska vs. Michigan Series History
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan 7-1, including a 57-39 victory over the Wolverines on Feb. 21, 2013, in Ann Arbor. NU's 39 points allowed marked the fewest points ever scored by a conference opponent in a regular-season road game.

The Huskers are 1-1 against Michigan as Big Ten foes with a 63-52 loss at the Devaney Center on Feb. 9, 2012. That game represents the only win by the Wolverines in the series. The two teams met six times as non-conference opponents between 1980-81 and 2006-07 with the Huskers producing double-digit victories in all six games.

In the first meeting, Nebraska ran to a 118-92 win on Nov. 28, 1980 in the highest scoring game in school history.

Huskers Fall at Northwestern, 63-59
Tear'a Laudermill scored a career-high 18 points and Allie Havers came off the bench with eight points and a career-best 10 rebounds, but Northwestern made the plays down the stretch for a 63-59 win in Evanston.

Nebraska led 55-52 with just over three minutes left, but the Huskers hit just one field goal the rest of the way on a tough shooting night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Huskers finished just 32.3 percent from the floor, including just 27.3 percent (9-33) in the second half. A nearly 80 percent free throw shooting team, the Huskers also hit just 14-of-21 free throws on the day.

Emily Cady added her fifth consecutive double-double and ninth of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds despite being shackled with foul trouble. Rachel Theriot, who had committed just eight fouls in 202 Big Ten minutes entering the game, was whistled for five to foul out for the first time in her career. Jordan Hooper managed 11 points and eight rebounds.

Nia Coffey led Northwestern with a game-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four steals. Christen Inman added 12 points, including the game-winning three with just over 20 seconds left. Ashley Deary pitched in 10 points including two threes after entering the game 1-for-13 in Big Ten play.

Comeback Over Gophers One of Largest in Husker History
Nebraska's 88-85 comeback win over Minnesota in OT on Jan. 16, came after trailing by 14 points with 13:40 left to tie for the second-largest second-half deficit overcome by a Connie Yori-coached Husker team.

In Yori's first season, the Huskers trailed by five at half, then 19 in the second half but came back to win 62-61 at San Diego on Dec. 28, 2002. In 2007-08, Nebraska trailed by eight at half and 14 in the second half before Kelsey Griffin rallied the Huskers for a 73-67 win at Missouri on Feb. 3, 2008.

Double-digit comebacks are nothing new to the Huskers under Coach Yori. In fact, the win over Minnesota marked the 16th time in Yori's 12 seasons at Nebraska that the Huskers have overcome a double-digit deficit to win. In 2011-12, the Huskers overcame double-digit deficits five times to earn wins.

However, it was only the eighth time the team trailed by double digits in the second half and won.

Nebraska Celebrates Season One at New Arena
Nebraska celebrates 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 29-31. 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.

Hooper Creating Historic Husker Career
Senior Jordan Hooper is leaving a legacy of success at Nebraska, while making her mark on the national landscape. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., ranks No. 10 among active NCAA Division I scorers with 2,028 career points. She ranks No. 12 among active Division I rebounders with 990 career boards. Hooper also is tied for seventh among active career three-point shooters with 250 makes and is one of only two forwards among the top 25, joining UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

Hooper is one of only 12 active Division I players to achieve career milestones of 1,500 points and 800 career rebounds.

She ranks No. 6 in career field goal attempts (1,799), No. 7 in career three-point field goal attempts (750), No. 13 in career field goals made (700) and No. 27 in career free throws made (378) among all active NCAA Division I players.

Hooper Chasing Big Ten All-Time Elite
Jordan Hooper is bidding to become just the fifth player in Big Ten Conference history to achieve combined career milestones of 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. She enters the Michigan game with 2,028 points and needs 10 rebounds to reach those two elite levels.

In the storied history of Big Ten women's basketball, only four players - Jessica Davenport and Jantel Lavender from Ohio State, Jenna Smith from Illinois and Laura Coenen from Minnesota - have achieved the dual milestones.

Lavender (2008-11) scored 2,818 points and grabbed 1,422 rebounds, while Davenport (2004-07) had 2,303 points and 1,094 rebounds for the Buckeyes. Smith (2007-10) produced 2,160 points and 1,217 rebounds for the Fighting Illini, while Coenen (1982-85) was the first Big Ten player to achieve the marks with 2,044 points and 1,029 rebounds for the Golden Gophers.

Hooper, who is on track to rank among the top 10 career scorers and rebounders in Big Ten history, would join Davenport, Lavender and Smith as the only players in Big Ten history to rank among the top 10 on both lists. All three of those players were chosen in the top 15 in their respective WNBA Drafts.

Hooper Named to Wooden Award Midseason Top 20
Two-time All-American Jordan Hooper was one of 21 players chosen to the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20, when the Wooden National Advisory Board announced its selections on Friday, Jan. 17.

Hooper is a national player-of-the-year candidate for the Wade and Naismith trophies as well in 2013-14. She was also a candidate for all three awards in 2012-13.

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 is 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 2,028 points and pulled down 990 rebounds in starting the first 116 games of her Husker career, is also in position to break the school's three-point record. She enters the Michigan game with 250 made three-pointers, just 17 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, 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.

Hooper was one of three players from the Big Ten to earn mention on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 and the Wade and Naismith preseason lists, joining Penn State's Maggie Lucas and Minnesota's Rachel Banham.

Hooper Named Candidate for Senior CLASS Award
Nebraska's Jordan Hooper has been selected as one of 30 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award for women's basketball.

The Senior CLASS Award announced its list of candidates on Wednesday, Oct. 30. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must display notable achievements in community, classroom, character and competition. The acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the 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.

Hooper, a 6-2 senior forward from Alliance, Neb., is a two-time honorable-mention All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. She has also been a nominee for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. In the community, she has volunteered her time at Belmont Elementary School, Saint Elizabeth's Regional Medical Center and participated on Nebraska's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

On the court, Hooper has led the Huskers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16. She has started 116 consecutive games and is a two-time team captain. She could challenge Nebraska career records for points, rebounds and three-pointers made.

Hooper is one of only two women's basketball student-athletes in the Big Ten Conference to earn a spot on the elite list of 30 Senior CLASS Award candidates, joining Penn State's Maggie Lucas.

The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 midseason by a national media committee for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award. The 10 finalists will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award.

Cady, Theriot Making Strong Early Cases for All-Big Ten Awards
Emily Cady is a two-time honorable-mention All-Big Ten pick who is making an impressive case for bigger honors early in her junior campaign. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., enters the Michigan game as the Big Ten leader with nine double-doubles, including five consecutive games. She also leads the Big Ten in conference games with 11.7 rebounds per game. She ranks 10th in rebounding (15.7 ppg), ninth in assists (4.2 apg), fifth in free throw percentage (.902), 14th in blocked shots (1.3 bpg) and 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4-to-1) in conference play.

Cady leads the league with 8.7 defensive rebounds per game and is tied for third with 3.0 offensive boards per contest. She also ranks seventh in minutes played (37.7 mpg) in conference games.

Sophomore Rachel Theriot also has been a dominant player for the Huskers early in the Big Ten season. The 6-0 point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, ranks sixth in conference games-only with a team-leading 16.5 points per game. She leads the Big Ten with 39.8 minutes per game in conference play, while ranking fourth in both assists (6.7 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9-to-1).

Both Cady and Theriot were Big Ten All-Freshman selections early in their careers. Cady was chosen to the All-Freshman Team in 2011-12, while Theriot earned a spot in 2012-13.

Husker Front Line to Make 86th Straight Starts Together
Nebraska's starting forwards of Jordan Hooper (116), Emily Cady (85) and Hailie Sample (85) have joined each other in the Huskers' starting five for 85 consecutive games.

The inside trio has been joined in the Husker starting lineup for each of the last 46 games by Rachel Theriot. Brandi Jeffery started the first three games of 2013-14 with the quartet, after starting the first three games of 2012-13 with Hooper, Cady and Sample before being replaced in the starting five by Theriot. Tear'a Laudermill has taken over the starting role the past 15 games.

Consistent starting lineups are nothing new for the Huskers under Coach Connie Yori. In 2011-12, fifth-year senior guard Kaitlyn Burke joined Moore, Hooper, Cady and Sample in NU's starting lineup for every game. Three times in Yori's first 12 seasons at Nebraska, the Huskers have used the same starting five for every game in a season, including all 33 games in 2011-12. The 2006-07 Huskers featured the same starting five for 32 games on their way to a 22-10 season and the NCAA Tournament. Yori's 2003-04 Huskers also used the same starting five for 30 games on their way to an 18-12 season and a WNIT bid.

A full year with the same starting five is rare in women's college basketball. In fact, Nebraska was the only Big Ten team to feature the same starting five throughout 2011-12, and was one of only three teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament to start the same five every game. Kansas State and BYU were the others.

Over the past nine seasons, Nebraska has used only 22 different starting lineups in 277 games.

Big Red Playing Big on Boards
Nebraska has produced a plus-7.1 rebounding margin over its first 18 games of 2013-14, outrebounding the opposition by an average of 42.3-35.3. Jordan Hooper has led the barrage on the boards by averaging 9.9 rebounds per game, which ranks second in the Big Ten. Hooper owns a 15-rebound game against Creighton, 14-rebound efforts against Washington State and Utah State, 13 rebounds against Alabama, 12 boards at Utah, 11 rebounds against UCLA and ORU, and 10 against Minnesota, Northwestern and UMass-Lowell.

Emily Cady (9.6 rpg) has added nine double-digit rebound games of her own, including a career-high-matching 16 against Purdue on Jan. 19. She added 14 boards against Southern, 13 against Minnesota and Washington State, 12 at Michigan State, 11 rebounds against Alabama and 10 against Utah State, Illinois and Northwestern. She ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding.

Nebraska's returning front line of Hooper, Cady and Hailie Sample have combined to average 25.3 rebounds per game.

Free Throws Pay Off Big For Big Red
Nebraska has outscored its first 18 opponents by an average of 17.1-7.6 (+9.5 ppg) at the free throw line. The Huskers have attempted 394 free throws, nearly doubling the 214 attempts by their opponents. The Huskers are shooting 78.2 percent at the line as a team, which leads the Big Ten.

For the season, Nebraska has outscored the opposition by a total of 231 points, with 171 of those coming at the free throw line.

Rachel Theriot is fifth in the Big Ten with her .878 (43-49) accuracy at the stripe, while Emily Cady (.858, 91-106) ranks eighth. Tear'a Laudermill (.853, 29-34) would also rank in the top 10 in the Big Ten in free throw percentage but does not meet the minimum requirement for attempts per game.

Huskers More Than Fair in Foul Department
Nebraska's dominance at the free throw line starts with the Huskers winning the fight in the foul department. NU leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally by committing just 14.1 fouls per game.

While the Huskers barely put their opponents in the bonus each game, they consistently force double-bonus free throw situations by the opposition. Nebraska's opponents are averaging 20.1 fouls per game against the Big Red.

Nebraska's plus-6.0 differential in fouls per game and its nearly 80 percent free throw shooting has allowed the Big Red to outscore its opponents by 171 points at the line this season (9.5 ppg).

Nebraska has continued a non-fouling trend from last season. The Huskers were whistled for just 12.8 fouls per game last season, including 11 fouls per game in Big Ten regular-season games.

@RachTheRiot Wreaking Havoc on Opposing Defenses
Rachel Theriot has emerged as one of the top young point guards in the nation in 2013-14. The 6-0 sophomore is averaging 13.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. She has been even better in Big Ten play with team bests of 16.5 points and 6.7 assists, while adding 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 steal per game.

Last season, All-American Lindsey Moore averaged 15.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

On Jan. 16 against Minnesota, Theriot scored a career-high 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 three-pointers, while knocking down all eight of her free throws. She hit Nebraska's final two free throws with 14.9 seconds left to seal an 88-85 overtime win over the Gophers. Theriot scored 21 points after halftime and played a career-high 45 minutes in the game. She did not commit a turnover.

Earlier this season, Theriot erupted for a then-career-high 28 points, while matching her career best with seven rebounds in NU's 75-69 win at Utah on Nov. 15. She added four assists while going a career-best 8-for-8 at the free throw line. She scored 19 points and had five rebounds in the second half alone, while going 6-for-6 at the line in the game's final 35 seconds to seal the victory.

In Nebraska's Big Ten-opening win over Northwestern, Theriot produced game highs of 19 points and eight assists while committing just one turnover. She added six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot while playing the full 40 minutes. She also hit two huge shot-clock buzzer-beaters late in the second half and grabbed NU's final defensive rebound. She scored a team-high 19 points and added four assists while playing the full 40 minutes against Purdue on Jan. 19. She hit two free throws in a one-and-one situation with 27.9 seconds left to tie the game at 75.

Theriot added 11 points, six assists and a blocked shot for the third straight game in NU's win at Illinois on Jan. 12. It followed an 11-point, eight-assist night at Michigan State Jan. 9, when she tied a career high with three three-pointers. Theriot has scored in double figures 12 times this season, including nine of the last 12 contests.

Theriot pumped in 17 points and dished out five assists in a win over Alabama, after distributing a career-high nine assists in the season-opening victory over UCLA. She had 13 points and eight assists in a win over Southern Nov. 24, before adding 10 points, six rebounds and six assists against Washington State, Nov. 30. Theriot contributed 12 points and five assists in a loss at No. 18 North Carolina on Dec. 4, before producing 11 points, four rebounds and eight assists in the win over Utah State Dec. 8.

As a starter at shooting guard as a freshman, the Middleburg Heights, Ohio, native averaged 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game and earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors.

Laudermill Excelling as a Starter
Tear'a Laudermill has solidified Nebraska's starting lineup over the last 14 games, producing the most consistent and efficient stretch of her career. The 5-9 junior guard from Riverside, Calif., is averaging 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 20.6 minutes per game as a starter.

In Nebraska's first three games this season, Laudermill averaged 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 21 minutes per game off the bench.

Laudermill's production has steadily increased throughout her Husker career in a similar way that former Husker All-Big 12 guard and current professional Yvonne Turner grew during her career. Laudermill averaged 4.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game as a freshman, before contributing 5.9 points and 1.8 boards per game as a sophomore. This season, she has increased her season averages to 9.2 points and 2.9 boards per game.

The most notable jump though has come in Laudermill's efficiency. As a freshman in 2011-12, Laudermill shot just 27 percent from the field and 52.4 percent at the free line. As a sophomore, Laudermill hit 35.1 percent of her shots from the field and 73.8 percent of her free throws. This season, she is shooting 42.6 percent from the field and a sparkling 85.3 percent at the line.

She has been even better over the past 10 games, averaging 10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.6 steals while hitting 43.8 percent (35-80) of her shots, including 39.5 percent (15-38) of her threes. She also has hit 90.9 percent (20-22) of her free throws in 20.5 minutes per contest.


 

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