NEB WBB: No. 12 Huskers Close Non-Conference Play with Big South Champs

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#12/#15 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. High Point Panthers (6-4, 2-0 Big South)
Saturday, Dec. 20, 3 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Video:
BTN Plus
Live Radio:
Husker Sports Network – 107.3 FM, Lincoln; 93.3 FM, Omaha
(PBP-Matt Coatney, Analyst-Jeff Griesch)
Free Live Audio:

Huskers Close Non-Conference Play with Big South Champs
The No. 12 Nebraska women’s basketball team returns home for another clash with postseason-caliber competition when the Huskers play host to High Point on Saturday afternoon.

Tip-off between the Huskers (9-1) and the defending Big South regular-season champion Panthers (6-4) is set for 3 p.m. (central) at Pinnacle Bank Arena and tickets are available now at Tickets also can be purchased at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

Live radio coverage will be provided by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch on the call on stations across the network, including B107.3 FM in Lincoln and 93.3 FM in Omaha. Free live audio also will be available on A live premium video stream will be available to subscribers of BTN Plus.

The Huskers take aim at their 10th win of the year after taking Finals Week off from competition at Nebraska. Commencement exercises will be held at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Friday afternoon (graduate) and Saturday morning (undergraduate), before the Huskers and Panthers hit the court.
Nebraska won a pair of close games against traditionally strong mid-major teams Creighton and Bakersfield last week. Senior Emily Cady put up big numbers in the low scoring affairs, averaging 15.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., earned the first Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award of her career on Dec. 16. Cady was a second-team All-Big Ten selection while helping the Huskers to the Big Ten Tournament title last season.

High Point also features an award-winning forward from the state of Nebraska. Stacia Robertson, a fifth-year senior from Grand Island High School, is the two-time defending Big South Player-of-the-Week (Dec. 8, Dec. 15). The 6-2 forward averaged 15.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 5.3 blocks, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals over a three-game stretch to claim the awards. Robertson was a first-team All-Big South selection for the Panthers last season. HPU has won four of its last five games.

#12 Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
3 – Hailie Sample – 6-1 – Sr. – F – 7.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg
23 – Emily Cady – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 13.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg
1 – Tear’a Laudermill – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 11.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg
13 – Brandi Jeffery – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 8.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg
33 – Rachel Theriot – 6-0 – Jr. – G – 17.0 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Off the Bench
31 – Anya Kalenta – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
5 – Natalie Romeo – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 4.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg
22 – Allie Havers – 6-5 – So. – C – 3.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 1.6 ppg, 0.4 rpg
30 – Chandler Smith – 6-0 – Fr. – G – 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Fr. – G – 0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – So. – G – 0.1 ppg, 0.4 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Fr. – F – High School
Head Coach:
Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
13th Season at NU (250-143); 25th Season Overall (445-283)

High Point Panthers (6-4, 2-0 Big South)
4 – Stacia Robertson – 6-2 – RSr. – F – 15.4 ppg, 9.8 rpg
22 – Latrice Phelps – 6-0 – Sr. – F – 9.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg
3 – Kaylah Keys – 5-5 – So. – G – 16.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
23 – Teddy Vincent – 5-10 – So. – G – 3.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg
10 – Lindsay Puckett – 5-10 – RSr. – G – 6.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Off the Bench
14 – DeAnneisha Jackson – 6-2 – So. – F – 10.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg
20 – Ashante Richard – 5-4 – Sr. – G – 4.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg
00 – Kat Harris – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 4.2 ppg, 1.1 rpg
15 – Maja Michalska – 5-7 – So. – G – 2.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg
5 – Hunter Fleming – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 2.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg
33 – Aariel Allen – 5-11 – Jr. – F – 1.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg
40 – Abby Tinsley – 6-0 – Fr. – F – 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
44 – Lydia Harvey – 5-10 – Jr. – G – 0.8 ppg, 1.2 rpg
11 – Katie Vincent – 6-1 – Sr. – F – 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach:
DeUnna Hendrix (Richmond, 2007)
3rd Season at HPU (45-28); 3rd Season Overall (45-28)

Streaks, Stats & Milestones
• Nebraska carries an 11-game home winning streak into Saturday’s game with High Point. NU is 6-0 at home this season (5-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, 1-0 at Bob Devaney Sports Center) after winning its final five home games in its first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2013-14. The Huskers have not lost at home since a 77-75 setback to Purdue on Jan. 19, 2014.
• Nebraska and High Point enter Saturday’s game with a combined 600 starts on their rosters.
• Nebraska’s starting five has combined for 350 career starts and have started all 10 games together in 2014-15. Emily Cady (110), Hailie Sample (110), Rachel Theriot (71), Tear’a Laudermill (40) and Brandi Jeffery (19) make up one of the nation’s most experienced starting units. The five also have combined to play in 506 games in their NU careers.
• High Point also features an experienced starting five, as the defending Big South Conference regular-season champions return all five starters from a year ago. HPU has six players who have started at least 25 games in their careers, and as a team have combined for 250 career starts.
• Nebraska set a school-record by committing just four personal fouls in the win over Bakersfield Dec. 13. It was the ninth time in the last 77 games that NU has committed eight or fewer fouls in a game.
• Connie Yori recorded her 250th win as Nebraska’s head coach with a victory over Bakersfield Dec. 13. Nebraska’s all-time winningest women’s basketball coach, Yori carries a 250-143 record at NU.
• Emily Cady needs eight points on Saturday to reach 1,200 in her career. Cady ranks 17th on Nebraska’s career scoring list with 1,192 points. She ranks eighth among native Nebraskans on the Husker list.
• Brandi Jeffery’s next rebound will give her a single-season career best (66). The 5-7 senior guard enters Saturday’s game ranked 18th in the Big Ten in rebounding. She entered her senior season averaging 1.9 rebounds per game for her career.
• Nebraska signee Jessica Shepard was named one of 20 contenders for the Naismith Girls National High School Player-of-the-Year award by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Dec. 16. Shepard, a 6-4 senior at Fremont (Neb.) High School, is ranked as the top post player in the nation by ESPN.

Theriot Named to Wade, Wooden, Naismith Watch Lists
Nebraska junior Rachel Theriot is one of 25 candidates on the Wade Watch List, one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award and one of 50 contenders for the 2015 Naismith Trophy.

The 6-0 point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, was ranked as the No. 13 player in the nation by ESPN heading into this season and was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten selection. She is averaging 17.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season.

Last season, she proved herself as one of the nation’s top young players, earning honorable-mention All-America accolades from the AP after claiming a first-team All-Big Ten award. In 2013-14, Theriot averaged 14.1 points and 7.1 assists per game while leading the Big Ten with a 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Her 234 assists were a school record. She guided NU to its first conference tournament title as the Big Ten Tournament MVP, averaging 18.7 points and 10.0 assists per game.
Nebraska has had at least one player on the Wade, Wooden and Naismith watch lists in five of the last six seasons, including Jordan Hooper, Lindsey Moore and Kelsey Griffin.

Scouting the High Point Panthers
High Point comes to Lincoln after having a four-game winning streak snapped in an 81-59 loss at VCU on Thursday afternoon. The defending Big South Conference champion Panthers slipped to 6-4 overall under third-year Coach DeUnna Hendrix.

High Point could feature the most experienced starting five the Huskers face all season, with four seniors including a pair of fifth-year players on the court. They add three sophomores with significant starting experience, and as a team have combined for 250 career starts.

The Panthers return all five starters and two reserves with starting experience from last year’s squad that finished 22-11 overall and 16-4 in the Big South to claim the regular-season conference crown.

High Point did not win the Big South Tournament title and settled for a Postseason WNIT bid.

Fifth-year senior Stacia Robertson has provided huge numbers across the board for HPU. The 6-2 forward out of Grand Island High School is averaging 15.4 points and team-bests of 9.8 rebounds, 3.4 blocks and 3.3 steals per game. She also ranks second on the team with 2.9 assists while hitting a team-best 64.0 percent of her shots from the floor.

Robertson, who started her collegiate career at South Dakota in 2010-11 before transferring to High Point, has won back-to-back Big South Conference Player-of-the-Week honors. She was a first-team All-Big South selection in 2014. She averaged 12.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season.

Robertson’s 67 career starts are the most for an HPU lineup that features six players with at least 25 career starts. Fifth-year senior Lindsay Puckett has played in a team-high 101 career games, including 40 starts. She is averaging 6.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest.

Senior Latrice Phelps, a 6-0 forward, has added 9.1 points and 5.0 rebounds while starting all 43 games in her High Point career after transferring from Louisburg Junior College. Ashante Richard, a 5-4 senior guard, has played in 83 career games with 32 starts. She is averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and a team-best 3.6 assists this season, but she did not travel with the team to VCU and is not expected to make the trip to Nebraska. Richard started VCU’s first nine games this season at point guard.

While the seniors provide consistency, production and leadership, sophomore Kaylah Keys provides explosiveness. The Preseason Big South Player of the Year, Keys has averaged 16.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. The 5-5 guard leads the Panthers with 28 threes while connecting on 35.4 percent of her attempts. Keys was the 2014 Big South Freshman of the Year and a first-team All-Big South pick after averaging 17.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists a year ago.

The Panthers get big production off the bench from sophomore DeAnneisha Jackson. The 6-2 forward has averaged 10.5 points and 7.1 rebounds this season, after competing in all 33 games and averaging 7.9 points and 6.2 boards as a freshman.

Sophomore Teddy Vincent, a 5-10 guard, adds starting experience with six starts this season and 20 starts as a true freshman. Vincent, who started in place of Richard at VCU, is averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds, while ranking second among the Panthers with 11 three-pointers. A fourth sophomore, Maja Michalska, adds 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. The 5-7 guard from Piastow, Poland, has played in every game off the bench this season but made seven starts as a freshman a year ago.

High Point also gets help from five first-year players to the program, including 5-10 junior guard Lydia Harvey from Fort Dodge, Iowa and Iowa Central Community College. Harvey ranked ninth in the NJCAA in three-pointers made (77) last season. She has appeared in six games for the Panthers. Junior forward Aariel Allen has added seven appearances.

Kat Harris has seen the most action of the High Point freshmen, averaging 4.2 points in 11 minutes per game. She scored a season-high 12 points against Longwood and added nine points in a narrow 66-62 loss at NC State on Nov. 21.

The Panthers are 6-0 at home, but 0-4 away from their homecourt at the Millis Center in High Point, N.C. Their road losses have come at East Tennessee State, NC State, Davidson and VCU.
HPU is averaging 76.5 points per game at home, but just 63.5 points per game on the road. However, in the road loss at Davidson, Robertson did not play and the Panthers scored just 57 points, while shooting 34.8 percent from the field, including 21.7 percent from three-point range, and 36.4 percent at the free throw line. HPU was outrebounded, 55-36, at Davidson.

For the season, High Point is shooting 43.5 percent from the field, including 29.4 percent from long range, while connecting on 5.5 threes per game. The Panthers have hit 67.3 percent of their free throws. They own a minus-1.3 team rebounding margin and a minus-1.8 team turnover margin.

Nebraska vs. High Point Series History
Saturday’s game will be the first meeting in history between Nebraska and High Point in women’s basketball and the first game against a current member of the Big South Conference.