NEB WBB: Huskers Open WNIT with Northern Iowa Thursday

sports rotator NU basketball

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-12, 9-9) vs. Northern Iowa Panthers (22-10, 15-3)

Thursday, March 17, 7 p.m. – Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Radio: Husker Sports Network (Matt Coatney, Jeff Griesch)
B107.3 FM, Lincoln; ESPN 590 AM (Omaha); KRVN 880 AM (Lexington)
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
Premium Video: BTN Plus (Subscription Required) (HSN Audio)

Huskers Open WNIT at Home with Northern Iowa
The Nebraska women’s basketball team opens the 2016 Postseason WNIT by taking on Northern Iowa on Thursday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off between the Huskers (18-12, 9-9 Big Ten) and the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champion Panthers (22-10, 15-3) is set for 7 p.m.

Tickets are available now through the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIG-RED during normal business hours. Tickets are $10 for reserved seats and $5 for General Admission adult seating, while UNL Students will be admitted free with their N-Cards.

The live Husker Sports Network radio call of Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch can be heard on B107.3 FM (Lincoln), ESPN 590 AM (Omaha), KRVN 880 AM (Lexington) and for free on Huskers.com. A live video stream also will be available for subscribers of BTN plus.

The Huskers were one of six Big Ten teams to earn spots in the WNIT and one of 11 conference teams to earn postseason bids. Nebraska is making its fifth consecutive postseason tournament appearance and 12th in the past 13 seasons. The Big Red will be making its sixth appearance in the Postseason WNIT and fifth under Coach Connie Yori. It is Nebraska’s 19th postseason appearance in school history.

Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jessica Shepard leads the Huskers with 19.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The first-team All-Big Ten forward from Fremont, Neb., was limited by a stress reaction in her foot in Nebraska’s 66-63 Big Ten Tournament loss to Rutgers on March 3 in Indianapolis.

Second-team All-Big Ten guard Natalie Romeo led the Big Red with 23 points including 7-of-10 three-point shooting against Rutgers. She owns a school-record 100 threes this season. Romeo notched the second triple-double in school history in her last appearance at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 28.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (18-12, 9-9 Big Ten)
32 – Jessica Shepard – 6-4 – Fr. – F – 19.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg
22 – Allie Havers – 6-5 – Jr. – C – 8.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg
5 – Natalie Romeo – 5-7 – So. – G – 15.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – Jr. – G – 0.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – So. – G – 4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Off the Bench
33 – Rachel Theriot (OUT) – 6-0 – Sr. – G – 10.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg
4 – Kyndal Clark (OUT) – 5-7 – RSr. – G – 4.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Fr. – G – 5.0 ppg, 1.4 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – Fr. – F – 4.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
31 – Anya Kalenta – 6-3 – Sr. – F – 4.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – RFr. – F – 2.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – So. – G – 1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
14th Season at Nebraska (280-165)
26th Season Overall (475-305)

Northern Iowa Panthers (22-10 Overall, 15-3 Big Ten)
5 – Amber Sorenson – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 12.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
42 – Jen Keitel – 6-3 – Sr. – F – 10.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg
2 – Madison Weekly – 5-7 – Jr. – G – 17.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
13 – Sharnae Lamar – 5-2 – Sr. – G – 5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
14 – Stephanie Davison – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 7.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Off the Bench
24 – Mikaela Morgan – 5-10 – Fr. – G – 3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg
11 – Angie Davison – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 2.2 ppg, 1.2 rpg
20 – Hannah Schonhardt – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg
34 – Taylor Hagen – 6-1 – Fr. – F – 1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg
44 – Alyssa Johnson – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 1.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
4 – Lauren Parker – 5-9 – Jr. – G – 1.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
Head Coach: Tanya Warren (Creighton, 1988)
Ninth Season at Northern Iowa (160-129)
Ninth Season Overall (160-129)

Husker Nuggets
• Nebraska is making its sixth all-time appearance in the Postseason WNIT, fifth under Coach Connie Yori and first since 2009. The Huskers are 5-6 all-time in the tournament, dating back to a 1-2 record in the National Women’s Invitational Tournament in Texas.

• Nebraska has earned its 19th all-time postseason tournament appearance and its 12th in the past 13 years under Coach Connie Yori. The Big Red have made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, including seven in the past 10 seasons under Yori.

• Nebraska has not faced Northern Iowa since beating the Panthers in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis. The Huskers are 6-0 all-time against UNI, including 2-0 in Lincoln.

• Jessica Shepard is the first freshman in Nebraska history to earn first-team all-conference honors. She is also the first player in Husker history to win a true conference Freshman-of-the-Year award. Meggan Yedsena was the 1990 Big Eight Newcomer of the Year after Karen Jennings won the 1989 Big Eight Newcomer-of-the-Year. Both of those Huskers were freshmen. Shepard won a Big Ten-record 10 conference freshman-of-the-week honors this season. She is one of two freshmen nationally on the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30.

• Natalie Romeo earned second-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore and was Nebraska’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. The 5-7 guard from Martinez, Calif., has set a school record with 100 threes this season. She has hit a Nebraska-record eight threes twice this season (at Penn State, Jan. 13; vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 27). Last year, she set NU’s conference tournament record with seven threes in a second-round win over Illinois, and matched that mark by hitting 7-of-10 threes against Rutgers on March 3, 2016.

Starting Five
• No Husker has started all 30 regular-season games for Nebraska in 2015-16, the first time that has happened since Coach Connie Yori’s first year in Lincoln in 2002-03.
• Nebraska has had 10 different starters this season, the most of any of Coach Yori’s 14 Nebraska teams. In 2002-03, nine players started games for the Big Red.
• Three times (2003-04, 2006-07, 2011-12) in 14 seasons, Nebraska’s starting five has hit the floor for every game together, and five more times the Huskers have only featured six different starters in a season (2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2012-13, 2013-14).
• Nebraska has sent eight different starting lineups onto the floor this season.
• The longest stretch Nebraska was able to play this season with a consistent starting five was eight games (Game 2 vs. North Florida, Nov. 16 – Game 9 at California, Dec. 12).

Big Red in the Postseason WNIT
• Nebraska is making its sixth appearance in the Postseason WNIT, dating back to a bid in the 1992 NWIT in Amarillo, Texas.
• The Huskers are 4-4 in the WNIT under Coach Connie Yori. Nebraska made three straight WNIT trips in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning at least one game in all three tournaments, including a 2-1 record in 2006.
• Nebraska’s last Postseason WNIT appearance came with a loss at New Mexico in 2009.
• Two of Nebraska’s Postseason WNIT wins are against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Huskers defeated Drake (73-60, March 18, 2004; 62-59, March 16, 2006) in the first round of both tournaments.
• Nebraska is 2-2 all-time at home in the WNIT with both wins coming against Drake and losses to Oregon State (75-67, March 22, 2004) and Iowa (71-67, March 21, 2005).

Huskers in the Postseason
• Nebraska has advanced to postseason tournament play in 12 of the last 13 years (not 2011).
• The Huskers have made five Postseason WNIT appearances under Coach Connie Yori.
• Nebraska has made seven NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 10 years, including NCAA Sweet Sixteens in 2010 and 2013.
• The Huskers were chosen as an at-large team to the 2016 Postseason WNIT. Round 1 will be played March 16-18, with Round 2 dates (March 19-22), Round 3 (March 23-25), Quarterfinals (March 26-28) and Semifinals (March 30-31). The WNIT Championship Game is set for Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. (CT) with a live national telecast by CBS Sports Network. All games in the WNIT are played at host sites.
• Nebraska made its last appearance in the Postseason WNIT in 2009, a year before advancing to its first-ever NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The Huskers are also expected to compete in the 2016 Preseason WNIT.

Nebraska Streaks
• Natalie Romeo has started 29 consecutive games for the Huskers, the longest active streak among Nebraska players.
• Jessica Shepard (First Team) and Natalie Romeo (Second Team) both earned All-Big Ten accolades when the conference honor teams were announced on Feb. 29. It marks the fifth consecutive season that Nebraska has had at least two players earn first- or second-team honors from the conference.
• Nebraska finished with a 9-9 Big Ten record to mark the fifth consecutive season the Huskers have posted a .500 or better Big Ten record. Nebraska is the only Big Ten team with a .500 or better record in each of the last five seasons. In fact, no other Big Ten team has had four straight .500 marks. The only other team with three straight .500 or better Big Ten seasons is Minnesota, which went 11-7 in both 2015 and 2016 after going 8-8 in 2014.
• Natalie Romeo has played the full 40 minutes in four consecutive games. Romeo played 40 or more minutes in 14 games this season, including a career-high 42 minutes at California on Dec. 12. She played the full 40 minutes in 10 of NU’s regular-season Big Ten games and the Big Ten Tournament game against Rutgers. Romeo has played a team-high 1,052 minutes this season, marking the seventh straight season at least one Husker has played 1,000 minutes.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 129 consecutive games. The Huskers have hit at least one three in 250 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.

Team Stats That Stand Out
• Nebraska is shooting 37.9 percent from three-point range, which ranks as the third-best season percentage in school history, trailing only 41.3 percent (1987-88) and 39.6 percent (1988-89).
• Nebraska’s 170 made threes this season rank ninth in school history. The Huskers need four threes to move up to sixth on NU’s all-time list. Coach Connie Yori’s last 13 Husker teams own the top 13 three-point shooting totals in the NU record book.
• The Huskers lead the Big Ten in assist-to-basket ratio. Nebraska has posted assists on 65.5 percent of its made field goals this season (544 assists/830 field goals).
• NU’s 544 assists rank as the sixth-highest season total in school history. The Huskers need 11 assists to move to No. 5 and 16 assists to move to No. 4.
• Nebraska’s turnover total (5th, 458) and foul total (T4th, 439) rank among the five best season totals in school history.

Big Red Milestones
• In her 14 seasons at Nebraska, Coach Connie Yori has amassed 280 wins to average 20.0 wins per year as the winningest coach in Husker history. No other coach has won 200 games at Nebraska.
• Natalie Romeo owns a school-record 100 three-pointers this season.
• Romeo hit a Nebraska record eight three-pointers in a game twice this season (at Penn State, Jan. 13; vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 27). She set the NU conference tournament record with seven threes against Illinois in 2015, and matched that record with seven more threes against Rutgers at the 2016 Big Ten Tournament on March 3.
• Romeo, who has hit 18 threes in her three career Big Ten Tournament games, needs two three-pointers to match All-American Jordan Hooper for the most three-pointers by a Husker in conference tournament play. Hooper hit 20 threes in 10 conference (1, Big 12; 9 Big Ten) tournament games from 2011 to 2014.
• Romeo recorded just the second triple-double in school history with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in Nebraska’s win over Northwestern on Feb. 28. All-American Lindsey Moore notched the first with 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds against Florida A&M on Jan. 2, 2011.
• Jessica Shepard needs 31 points to become just the 11th player in Nebraska history to score 600 points in a season. Shepard heads to the WNIT with a Nebraska freshman record 569 points. The previous NU freshman mark was 461 by Debra Powell (1981-82).
• Shepard needs 20 rebounds to catch Kathy Hagerstrom (277, 1979-80) in the top spot on Nebraska’s freshman rebound list. Shepard has amassed 257 rebounds in 30 games. Hagerstrom pulled down her 277 in 40 games.
• Shepard produced one of the best individual performances in Nebraska history with a freshman-record 35 points to go along with 20 rebounds in a win at Michigan on Jan. 24. It is the only 30-point/20-rebound performance in Nebraska women’s basketball history.
• Shepard owns the Nebraska freshman record with 10 double-doubles. She had six double-doubles in Big Ten play. She is just the eighth Husker in history to produce 10 double-doubles in a season.

Fast Five: Husker Quick Hitters
#5, Natalie Romeo, 5-7, So., G, Martinez, Calif. (15.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.4 spg)
Second-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches), Big Ten Sportsmanship Award
• A high-energy guard who brings intensity and toughness to both ends of the court, Natalie Romeo is one of the Big Ten’s most explosive players. She produced a career-high 32 points at Penn State (Jan. 13) when she hit a school-record eight threes. She tied her own three-point record two weeks later in a win over Wisconsin (Jan. 27), capping her third 30-point performance of the season. She added a career-high six rebounds to her 30 points. Romeo opened the year with 30 points by hitting 6-of-9 threes against Arkansas Pine Bluff on Nov. 14. She owns eight 20-point games this season.
• Romeo is one of only seven players in Nebraska history to score 30 or more points twice in the same conference season, joining Karen Jennings (5, 1992, Big Eight; 2, 1991, Big Eight), Maurtice Ivy (4, 1987, Big Eight), Amy Stephens (2, 1989, Big Eight), Nicole Kubik (2, 1999, Big 12), Kelsey Griffin (2, 2010, Big 12) and Jordan Hooper (2, 2014, Big Ten).
• Romeo saw her most extensive action this season at point guard in the win over Northwestern on Feb. 28, when she recorded the second triple-double in Nebraska history with 12 points and career highs of 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
• Romeo owns a Nebraska school record with 100 three-pointers this season. Her 151 threes in her first two seasons are the No. 1 combined total in freshman/sophomore seasons in Nebraska history, well ahead of school career record holder Jordan Hooper’s 134. Romeo’s 151 threes rank seventh in school history and she needs four more to match two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge in sixth (155) and six more to match Tear’a Laudermill in fifth (157).
• Romeo led Nebraska by averaging 20.0 points in a pair of 2015 Big Ten Tournament games, including a season-high 26 points in a win over Illinois March 5. She tied a then-school record with seven threes against the Illini to set Nebraska’s all-time conference tournament record. She also tied the Nebraska NCAA Tournament record with five threes in a 72-69 loss to Syracuse on March 20, 2015.

#11, Esther Ramacieri, 5-8, Jr., G, Repentigny, Quebec, Canada (0.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg)
• Esther Ramacieri has overcome multiple injuries to contribute for the Huskers in Big Ten play. She produced the best performance of her career with five points and six rebounds in Nebraska’s win over Northwestern on Feb. 28.
• Ramacieri added three points, three rebounds and two assists with no turnovers in 17 minutes off the bench against Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament on March 3.
• Ramacieri is averaging 4.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 15.0 minutes over the last two games. She has hit 3-of-4 shots, including 2-of-3 three-pointers.
• The fourth Canadian to play for Nebraska under Coach Connie Yori, Ramacieri owns three career starts, including two this season, with the last coming in a home win over Rutgers on Jan. 16. She also started in place of Rachel Theriot at Penn State on Jan. 13. She had three assists and four rebounds in a career-high 23 minutes in the win over the Lady Lions.
• Ramacieri missed much of the summer and preseason with a knee injury, but was cleared to play for the start of the 2015-16 regular season. She missed NU’s games with NC State, Creighton, Evansville and No. 22 Cal after suffering a concussion outside of competition/practice. She missed the Big Ten opener against Iowa (Dec. 31) with an Achilles strain. She missed five games from Jan. 20 to Feb. 7 with illness, before returning to action at Minnesota (Feb. 11).

#34, Jasmine Cincore, 5-10, So., G, Arlington, Tenn. (4.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.4 apg)
• Jasmine Cincore has emerged as a reliable and consistent conbtributor at both ends of the court throughout her sophomore season. Cincore is one of five Huskers to play in all 30 games this season, and she has made five starts in place of injured All-American Rachel Theriot late in the season.
• Cincore made four straight starts in place of Theriot to end the season, including a career-high 16-point performance against Indiana on Feb. 24. Cincore has played 145 of 160 minutes over the last four games. As a freshman, she played just 97 minutes in 20 games while battling ankle and foot injuries.
• A two-time Tennessee Class 2-AA Player of the Year (2013, 2014), Cincore made her first career start in her 39th career game in Nebraska’s 93-81 win at Michigan Jan. 24. She had eight points, three assists, a block and a steal in 32 minutes against the Wolverines.
• Cincore has spent most of her time on the court this season as a wing but has seen time at both point and shooting guard the last four contests. She is averaging 5.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 26.4 minutes per game over the last 12 contests dating back to her start at Michigan on Jan. 24.
• Cincore had nine points and a pair of threes at No. 5 Ohio State on Feb. 21, and nine points at No. 8 Maryland on Jan. 7. She scored eight points at Michigan and against Southern (Nov. 23), where her father, Wesley, played college basketball. During Nebraska’s 2015 summer tour of Australia, Cincore was NU’s second-leading scorer with 10.0 points per game, while adding 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in four games against Australian pro teams.

#32, Jessica Shepard, 6-4, Fr., F, Fremont, Neb. (19.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.9 apg)
First-Team All-Big Ten, Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Big Ten All-Freshman
• Nebraska’s first Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Jessica Shepard is also the first Husker in history to earn first-team all-conference honors as a freshman. During the season, she set a conference record by winning 10 Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week awards. She was also a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 25).
• One of only two freshmen on the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30, Shepard was the USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 22, Jan. 26). Shepard was the espnW and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week (Jan. 25).
• Shepard produced one of the best individual efforts by a Husker in history with a school freshman record 35 points to go along with a career-high 20 rebounds at Michigan Jan. 24. It was the first 30-point/20-rebound game by a Husker in history. She also scored 35 points against Northern Arizona Dec. 19. She owns 16 games with 20 points, including 11 in Big Ten play, 25 double-figure scoring performances and a Nebraska freshman-record 10 double-doubles.
• Shepard, who owns the Nebraska freshman record with 569 points, leads Nebraska in scoring (19.0 ppg) and rebounding (8.6 rpg). She was the top recruit in Nebraska history, as the No. 1 post and No. 3 overall recruit in the nation by ESPN. A first-team Parade All-American as a high school senior despite missing nearly all of her final year (ACL tear, Dec. 29, 2014), Shepard was the 2013 and 2014 Nebraska High School Player of the Year. Shepard averaged 12.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while helping the USA Basketball U18 Team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship.

#22, Allie Havers, 6-5, Jr., C, Mattawan, Mich. (8.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 bpg)
• One of the tallest Nebraska women’s basketball players in history, Allie Havers is playing the best basketball of her career for the Huskers. She owns four straight double-figure scoring efforts and 10 on the season, with eight coming against Big Ten foes. Havers has 17 career double-figure scoring games, including 16 points and 10 rebounds for her second straight double on March 3 against Rutgers at the Big Ten Tournament.
• Havers owns four double-doubles this season, including 13 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Northwestern Feb. 28. She added 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a win over Wisconsin Jan. 27, and her first double-double with 14 points and 12 boards against Evansville Dec. 8.
• Over the last five games, Havers is averaging 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds while hitting 28-of-42 field goals (.667) and 7-of-8 free throws (.875)
• Havers, who ranks among the top 16 players in the Big Ten in both rebounding (16th) and blocked shots (T13th) is expected to make her 21st career start on Thursday against Northern Iowa in the WNIT. She has started 20 of the last 21 games (not Indiana, Feb. 24), after Rachel Blackburn was forced out of the starting lineup with injury and illness beginning the 10th game of the season.
• Havers had a career-high 18 points at No. 22 Cal on Dec. 12. She had 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high five assists in her only return to her home state this season at Michigan on Jan. 24. She played a career-high 39 minutes at Rutgers (Jan. 30).

Scouting The Northern Iowa Panthers
The 2016 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season champions, Northern Iowa earned an automatic bid into the WNIT after suffering a 71-58 loss to Missouri State in the MVC Championship Game in Moline, Ill., on Sunday, March 13. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Panthers that dated back to a 78-75 overtime loss to the Lady Bears on Feb. 5.

Northern Iowa finished the regular season with a 22-10 overall record that included a 15-3 conference mark. UNI went 5-5 in regular-season non-conference play with losses to Iowa, Iowa State, Creighton, South Dakota State and Seton Hall. The Panthers notched wins over South Dakota, Georgia Tech, Tulsa, Akron and Rockhurst.

Tanya Warren, who was a college teammate of Nebraska Coach Connie Yori at Creighton, is a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in her nine seasons in Cedar Falls.

Warren has led the Panthers to two regular-season conference titles and two tournament crowns. She also has guided UNI to six postseason tournament appearances, including the first two NCAA Tournament trips in school history with back-to-back bids in 2010 and 2011.

In the first trip to the Big Dance, Warren’s Panthers faced Yori’s top-seeded Huskers in the NCAA first round at Minneapolis. Nebraska prevailed 83-44. The next season, UNI went 27-6 overall and 17-1 in the Valley and returned to the NCAA Tournament. The 27 wins are the most by an UNI team in school history, while the Panthers’ 22 wins this season are tied for the second most in program history.

Northern Iowa is led on the court by junior Madison Weekly. The 5-7 guard is averaging 17.9 points, while ranking second on the team with 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals. The only non-senior in UNI’s starting five is shooting a sizzling 41.5 percent from three-point range while hitting 85-of-205 attempts. The first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference performer is one of four Panthers to start all 32 games this season, while playing a team-high 1,069 minutes.

Senior Amber Sorenson, a 6-2 forward, has added 12.8 points, while ranking second on the team with 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. Sorenson gives the Panthers a potent three-point duo, leading the team with 90 three-pointers while hitting 35.2 percent of her attempts. Sorenson, who set UNI’s season three-point record with 90 threes, joined Weekly with first-team All-MVC honors. The duo combined for 175 of UNI’s 237 threes.

While Weekly and Sorenson joined forces to hit 175-of-461 threes (.380), the rest of the Panthers have connected on 62-of-299 (.207) of their attempts. UNI’s three-point attempts are a whopping 319 (10.0 pg) more than its opponents. As a team, UNI is hitting 31.2 percent of its threes.

Jen Keitel, a 6-3 senior forward, gives Northern Iowa three players averaging in double figures with 10.2 points per game, while leading the team with 6.9 rebounds. The honorable-mention All-MVC choice hit a team-best 125 two-pointers, while adding 7-of-30 three-point shooting. She also leads the squad with 36 blocks.

Senior Sharnae Lamar gives the Panthers their fourth player to start all 32 games this season. The 5-2 point guard is averaging just 5.0 points, but leads UNI with 5.3 assists per game, while adding a team-best 43 steals. Lamar also ranks third on the team with 4.0 rebounds per game.

Senior Stephanie Davison rounds out UNI’s starting five. The 5-10 guard is averaging 7.2 points and 3.6 rebounds, but has hit just 8-of-61 threes (.133). She has made 25 starts. Her sister Angie also has made six starts, hitting 10-of-62 threes (.161) while averaging 2.2 points and 1.2 rebounds.

Mikaela Morgan (3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg), Hannah Schonhardt (1.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg), Taylor Hagen (1.4 ppg, 0.7 rpg) and Alyssa Johnson (1.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg) round out UNI’s regular contributors.

As a team, UNI is averaging just 64.1 points per game, but has surrendered just 57.3 points per contest. The Panthers are 18-2 this season when holding their opposition to 60 points or less. Northern Iowa has been strapped with a minus-3.4 team rebound margin, but owns a plus-3.2 team turnover margin. UNI commits just 11.3 turnovers and just 15.4 fouls per game.

Nebraska leads the all-time series with UNI 6-0, but the two teams have not met in Lincoln since NU’s 87-56 win over the Panthers on Dec. 18, 1994. The Huskers won the first meeting between the schools at the Devaney Center 80-48 on Dec. 28, 1989.

Nebraska’s History of Home Success
Nebraska is 15-3 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season after going 12-3 (13-3 at home) last season. The Huskers are 43-8 all-time at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the building opened for the 2013-14 campaign. The Big Red went 16-2 at home in 2013-14, suffering their only Big Ten loss to Purdue, 77-75, on Jan. 19, 2014. Nebraska’s 16 home wins in 2013-14 tied the school record for single-season home victories.

The Huskers played the first regular-season basketball game in the history of the arena against USA Today No. 25 UCLA (Nov. 8) and rolled to a 77-49 win over the Bruins. NU’s first win over an AP Top 25 team came with a 76-56 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Feb. 8. The Huskers added their first-ever win over an AP Top 10 team at the arena with a 94-74 victory over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24.

NU won its first-ever Big Ten home game with a 66-65 thriller over Northwestern Jan. 2, before an 88-85 win over Minnesota on Jan. 16, 2014, marked the first overtime game in Pinnacle Bank Arena history.

NU suffered its first loss at the arena to Washington State (76-72) on Nov. 30, 2013.

The Huskers are 431-138 (.757) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 168-42 (.800) over the last 13 seasons, posting double-figure home victory totals in each of the last 13 years.
Nebraska played in the Devaney Center from 1976-77 through 2012-13, and added one appearance at Devaney against Utah on Nov. 23, 2014. The Huskers own a 389-130 record at the Devaney Center, including 146-88 (.624) mark in conference play.

Shepard’s Season for the Books
Nebraska freshman Jessica Shepard ranks eighth in the Big Ten in scoring (19.0 ppg) and is tied for fifth in rebounding (8.6 rpg) as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Nebraska’s first-ever first-team all-conference award winner as a freshman.

Shepard is one of only three freshmen, joining Penn State’s Teniya Page (T18th, 15.3 ppg) and Michigan’s Hallie Thome (24th, 14.5 ppg) to rank among the conference’s top-30 scorers.

Shepard is also one of only four freshmen, joining Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah (Northwestern, 11th, 7.7 rpg), Alex Wittinger (Illinois, 12th, 6.9 rpg) and Megan Gustafson (Iowa, T13th, 6.7 rpg) to rank among the Big Ten’s top-20 rebounders. Shepard is fourth in the conference with 3.1 offensive rebounds per game, and ranks 14th in the league in field goal percentage (.517).

Shepard is also one of the best post passers in the Big Ten. Among forwards and centers, Shepard’s 57 assists rank third in the conference.

Shepard Named to Naismith Midseason Top 30
Nebraska’s Jessica Shepard was one of only two freshmen among the Naismith Trophy Midseason Top 30 announced on Feb. 11. She joins Cal’s Kristine Anigwe as the nation’s top freshmen this season.

Shepard is averaging team bests with 19.0 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. The 2016 Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Big Ten selection, Shepard is a two-time Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 25) and a record-setting 10-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She was the espnW National Player of the Week (Jan. 25) and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week (Jan. 25). She is also a two-time USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 22, Jan. 26).

Shepard became the first Husker in history to produce a 30-point, 20-rebound game with a school freshman-record-tying 35 points and a career-high 20 rebounds at Michigan on Jan. 24. Her 569 points through 30 games have smashed the Nebraska freshman season record (previously 461).

Shepard was named the Preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year by College Sports Madness. She was the Big Ten Player of the Week four times by College Sports Madness.

Romeo Shoots Way to All-Big Ten Honors
Nebraska sophomore Natalie Romeo shot her way to second-team All-Big Ten honors by setting a school-record with 100 three-pointers in 2015-16. Her three-point total trailed only 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell (115) and 2016 Big Ten Player of the Year Rachel Banham (110) among conference shooters this season.

Romeo ranks second among the Huskers with 15.8 points per game, while also ranking second on the team with 2.9 assists per game. With injuries to starting senior guards Rachel Theriot and Kyndal Clark, Romeo’s role has expanded during the last month.

In NU’s regular-season finale against Northwestern Feb. 28, Romeo notched the second triple-double in school history with 12 points and career highs of 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Huskers.

Romeo leads Nebraska with 1,052 minutes played (35.1 mpg), while her 43 steals also lead the Big Red.

Here’s a quick look at Romeo’s sensational sophomore season:
• All-Big Ten (Second Team, Coaches; Honorable-Mention, Media 2016)
• Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (2016)
• Three-Time Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll (Nov. 16, Jan. 18, Feb. 29)
• Nebraska single-season record 100 3FG
• Nebraska single-game record eight 3FG (at Penn State, Jan. 13; vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 27)
• Three 30-point games (vs. UAPB, Nov. 14; at Penn State, Jan. 13; vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 27)
• Nebraska season-opening record 30 points vs. UAPB, Nov. 14
• 100 3FG (3rd, Big Ten; 7th, NCAA)
• 3.33 3FG per game (3rd, Big Ten; 6th, NCAA)
• .422 3FG Pct. (2nd, Big Ten; 16th, NCAA)
• 15.8 ppg (16th, Big Ten; 123rd, NCAA)
• Eight career games with six or more threes (Nebraska record – 5 in 2015-16)
• 151 3FG Freshman/Sophomore season combined (Nebraska record)
• No. 7 in Nebraska history with 151 3FG (needs four to tie for No. 6; six to tie for No. 5)
• Second Triple-Double in Nebraska history with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists vs. Northwestern, Feb. 28, 2016.
• One of only 19 NCAA Division I players to record a triple-double this season