NEB WBB: No. 12 Huskers Ready for Top-15 Showdown with No. 9 Duke

sports rotator NU basketball

Posted By: Sports

sports@klkntv.com

#12/#15 Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-0) vs. #9/#8 Duke Blue Devils (5-1)
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Television: BTN (Kevin Kugler, Mary Murphy)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (Matt Coatney, Jeff Griesch)
107.3 FM, Lincoln; 93.3 FM, Omaha
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com

No. 12 Huskers Prepare for Top-15 Showdown with No. 9 Duke
The No. 12 Nebraska women’s basketball team gears up for a top-15 showdown with No. 9 Duke when the two perennial powers meet in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday in Lincoln.

Tip-off between the Huskers (6-0) and Blue Devils (5-1) is set for 6:30 p.m. (central) with tickets available in advance at Huskers.com or by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIG-RED during regular business hours. Tickets also will be available at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office beginning two hours prior to tip-off on Wednesday.

The game will be televised live nationally by the Big Ten Network, with Kevin Kugler and Mary Murphy on the call. Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch will call the action on the Husker Sports Radio Network. The game can be heard live in Lincoln on B107.3 FM and 93.3 FM in Omaha, along with free live audio on Huskers.com.

Wednesday night’s game will be a rematch of the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 clash between the Huskers and Blue Devils in Norfolk, Va. Duke came away with a hard-fought 53-45 win in that game, which marks the only previous meeting in the history of the two schools. Last season, both Nebraska and Duke were seeded among the top four teams in the Lincoln Regional, but both squads were upset in the NCAA second round.

Nebraska reeled off six straight wins to open the season, capping a perfect November with a 63-56 win over previously unbeaten Northern Colorado on Sunday. The Huskers are led by All-America point guard Rachel Theriot, who is averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists after producing three straight 20-point games. Theriot poured in a season-high 25 points against Northern Colorado.

Three-time All-American Elizabeth Williams leads the Blue Devils. The senior ranks among Duke’s top 10 in career points, rebounds and blocked shots, while averaging 14.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game this season. She missed Sunday’s 63-59 loss at No. 7 Texas A&M with an ankle sprain.

#12 Nebraska Cornhuskers (6-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
3 – Hailie Sample – 6-1 – Sr. – F – 5.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
23 – Emily Cady – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 14.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
1 – Tear’a Laudermill – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 11.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg
13 – Brandi Jeffery – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
33 – Rachel Theriot – 6-0 – Jr. – G – 19.5 ppg, 4.8 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 – 4.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 2.2 ppg, 0.6 rpg
30 – Chandler Smith – 6-0 – Fr. – G – 1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg
2 – Kaylee Page – 6-2 – Fr. – F – 0.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – So. – G – 0.2 ppg, 0.4 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Fr. – G – 0.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Fr. – F – High School
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
13th Season at NU (247-142); 25th Season Overall (442-282)

#9 Duke Blue Devils (5-1, 0-0 ACC)
1 – Elizabeth Williams – 6-3 – Sr. – C/F – 14.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg
30 – Amber Henson – 6-4 – Sr. – C/F – 6.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg
4 – Sierra Calhoun – 6-0 – Fr. – G/F – 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg
14 – Ka’lia Johnson – 5-10 – Sr. – G/F – 6.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg
23 – Rebecca Greenwell – 6-1 – RFr. – G – 15.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg
Off the Bench
11 – Azura Stevens – 6-5 – Fr. – F/G – 11.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg
22 – Oderah Chidom – 6-4 – So. – F – 10.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
32 – Erin Mathias – 6-4 – Fr. – F/C – 4.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg
34 – Lynee Belton – 6-3 – Fr. – F/G – 3.2 ppg, 2.6 rpg
21 – Kendall Cooper – 6-4 – So. – F/C – 2.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
35 – Jenna Frush – 5-6 – Sr. – G – 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
12 – Mercedes Riggs – 5-7 – Jr. – G – 0.6 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Joanne P. McCallie (Northwestern, 1987)
8th Season at Duke (207-43); 23rd Season Overall (523-191)

Theriot Named to Preseason Wooden, Wade Watch Lists
Nebraska junior Rachel Theriot was one of 25 candidates on the initial Wade Watch List and one of 30 preseason candidates for the 2015 John R. Wooden Award presented to the nation’s top women’s college basketball player, as both awards released their lists last week.

Theriot 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. The 6-0 point guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has the Huskers off to a 6-0 start and ranked No. 12 by the Associated Press heading into Wednesday’s game.

She was named the College Sports Madness Big Ten Player of the Week on Dec. 1, after averaging 24.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists in NU’s wins over UCLA and Northern Colorado.

Theriot is averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steal as a junior for the Huskers. 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 the Huskers to their first-ever conference tournament title as the Big Ten Tournament MVP, averaging 18.7 points and a tournament-record 10.0 assists per game.

Nebraska has had at least one player on the Wade and Wooden watch lists in five of the last six seasons, including Jordan Hooper, Lindsey Moore and Kelsey Griffin.

Husker Seniors Shooting For Best Seven-Game Start in Careers
With an unbeaten November in 2014, Nebraska’s four-player senior class of Emily Cady, Brandi Jeffery, Tear’a Laudermill and Hailie Sample opened the season with a 6-0 start for the third time in the past four years.

It marks the fifth time in the past six seasons that NU has opened 6-0. However, the Huskers haven’t started 7-0 since the 2009-10 Big Red reeled off 30 consecutive wins to open the year. Only two other teams in school history (1996-97, 9-0; 1992-93, 8-0) have started a season better than 6-0.

Overall, Nebraska has started nine seasons with a 6-0 record (1982-83, 1987-88, 1992-93, 1996-97, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15.

Huskers Have History of Home-Opening Success
Nebraska owns a history of season-opening success on the Huskers’ homecourt. Nebraska improved to 39-2 all-time in home openers, including 2-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, with its 100-65 victory over Pepperdine on Nov. 15, 2014. The Huskers were 35-2 all-time in season openers at the Devaney Center.

From 1981-82 through 2004-05, Nebraska won 24 straight home openers before losing to South Dakota State on Nov. 19, 2005. NU’s only other home-opening loss came to Kansas (88-56) on Nov. 21, 1980.

Nebraska has been strong in its first six home games every season. In fact, NU is 209-34 over the past 41 years in its first six home contests (.860 winning percentage), including 35-6 in the second game of the season. The Huskers stretched their Game No. 2 winning streak to 15 games with an 83-49 win over Alcorn State on Nov. 16, 2014.

Game No. 3 has traditionally provided the toughest test among the first six home contests for the Huskers, but NU has won eight straight in Game No. 3 after a 66-43 run past Utah at the Devaney Center on Nov. 23, 2014. NU improved to 35-6 all-time in game No. 4 with a 63-56 win over Northern Colorado on Nov. 30, 2014.

Last season, the Big Red improved to 35-5 all-time in home Game No. 5 with a 77-42 win over UMass-Lowell on Nov. 27, 2013. The Huskers had their 16-game winning streak in home game No. 6 snapped by Washington State, 76-72, on Nov. 30, 2013.

Scouting the Duke Blue Devils
Duke brings a No. 9 national ranking to Lincoln after suffering its first loss of the season on Sunday at current AP No. 5 Texas A&M. Duke hung with the Aggies in College Station despite playing without three-time All-America center Elizabeth Williams, who sat out with an ankle sprain suffered on Friday in a win over Stony Brook. Williams averaged 14.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 3.2 blocks and 1.0 steal per game through the first five contests before the injury.

Williams, who helped the Blue Devils to a 28-7 overall record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, owns 1,561 points, 839 rebounds and 347 career blocks to rank among Duke’s all-time top 10 in all three categories. She needs just eight more blocks to rank among the top 25 players in NCAA history in career blocks.

Even if the 6-3 Williams would be unable to play against the Huskers, the Blue Devils have no shortage of size. Duke will bring one of the tallest rosters to Lincoln of any team in history, with seven players listed at 6-3 or taller.

Amber Henson, a 6-4 senior center, has started all six games and averages 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Oderah Chidom, a 6-4 sophomore forward, started in place of Williams at Texas A&M. She averages 10.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, including seven points and five boards against the Aggies.

Azura Stevens, a 6-5 freshman, came off the bench to score 15 points and grab seven boards to help the Blue Devils jump to a 33-21 halftime lead at Texas A&M. Another big freshman, 6-3 Lynee Belton added two points and seven rebounds off the bench. Duke also got 10 minutes of solid time from 6-4 sophomore Kendall Cooper at A&M, as five of the eight Blue Devils who played in the game were at least 6-3.

Duke gets added size from 6-1 redshirt freshman guard Rebecca Greenwell, who leads the Blue Devils with 15.3 points and 2.3 steals per game. Her 13 threes also lead the Blue Devils, while she ranks second on the team with 8.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and better than 90 percent (19-21) success at the free throw line. Greenwell carried the scoring load for Duke at Texas A&M, pumping in 23 points, including three three-pointers.

Sierra Calhoun, a 6-0 freshman guard/forward, has added 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds to the Blue Devil starting backcourt. Calhoun is the only other Devil to hit double-digit threes (11), while hitting 94.1 percent (16-17) of her free throws.

Senior Ka’lia Johnson, a 5-10 guard, has stabilized a young backcourt by averaging 6.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and a team-best 4.8 assists. Johnson was the only Blue Devil other than Williams to play in the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 game between Nebraska and Duke. Johnson played four minutes and did not score against the Huskers as a sophomore.

Duke’s size shows up on paper, as the Blue Devils carry a whopping plus-24.0 team rebounding margin despite playing Texas A&M, Alabama, Old Dominion and Marquette already in non-conference play. The Blue Devils also own a plus-26.3 team scoring margin, including a 90-40 season-opening win over Alabama.

The Crimson Tide, who are Nebraska’s next opponent, own a 5-3 record with wins away from home against Kansas, Georgetown and Temple.

Joanne P. McCallie returns for her eighth season leading Duke. The 1987 Northwestern grad owns a 207-43 record at the helm of the Blue Devils, including ACC titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Prior to coaching at Duke, McCallie spent seven seasons as the head coach at Michigan State, where she led the Spartans to the 2005 NCAA Championship game. She owns 523 career wins.

Nebraska vs. Duke History

Duke won the only previous meeting with Nebraska, as the Blue Devils battled to a 53-45 win over the Huskers in the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 in Norfolk, Va. Current senior Elizabeth Williams had 10 points and nine rebounds, while 2014 WNBA first-round pick Tricia Liston led Duke with 17 points and eight boards. NU’s 2013 WNBA first-round pick Lindsey Moore led the Big Red with 11 points, while current Huskers Rachel Theriot and Tear’a Laudermill each managed seven.

The Blue Devils held Husker All-American Jordan Hooper to six points and 11 rebounds, but Hooper was knocked out of the game with a severe ankle sprain in the final eight minutes. The Huskers kept Duke’s lead at two possessions until the closing minute despite Hooper’s absence.

Husker Hot Shots – Nebraska’s Starting Five

#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Jr., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (19.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.0 spg)

• A Wade Trophy and Wooden Award national player-of-the-year candidate, Rachel Theriot claimed preseason All-Big Ten honors in 2014-15 from both the conference coaches and media. Theriot was chosen the No. 13 player in the nation by ESPN in rankings announced on Nov. 5.

• Theriot has produced double figures in all six games this season, averaging 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 steal. She has hit 56.3 percent (40-71) of her field goals, including a Big Ten-best 6-of-9 three-point attempts (.667). She is also 31-for-33 at the free throw line, including a 23-for-25 over the last two games.

• She owns three straight 20-point efforts, including a season-high 25 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists against Northern Colorado Sunday. Theriot had 24 points, a career-high eight rebounds and a season-high seven assists in the win at UCLA Nov. 28, and 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals in a win over Utah Nov. 23.

• She owns nine career 20-point efforts, including a career-high 33 against Minnesota last season. She owns 35 career double-figure scoring performances, including 25 last season.

• Theriot earned honorable-mention All-America accolades from the Associated Press as a sophomore. She joined Jordan Hooper (2nd Team) on the AP All-America squad, marking the second straight season the Huskers had produced a pair of All-Americans (Hooper, Lindsey Moore, HM, 2013).

• Theriot earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after ranking second among the Huskers with 15.6 points per game in conference play. She also averaged a team-best 7.3 assists in Big Ten action, which ranked second in the league. Overall, Theriot finished her sophomore season with 14.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.

• Theriot ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten and fifth nationally with 7.1 assists per game, including 7.3 assists per game in Big Ten play. She led the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7-to-1) and ranked 17th nationally.

• Theriot finished with a Nebraska single-season record 234 assists in 2013-14, smashing the previous mark of 195 set by Meggan Yedsena (1991-92) and matched by Lindsey Moore (2012-13).

• Theriot’s 364 career assists rank eighth in Husker history. She needs 28 assists to catch Anna DeForge in seventh (392) on the career chart and 80 assists to join Nebraska’s career top five.

• Theriot produced four points-assists double-doubles in 2013-14, including 10 points and 12 assists in the Big Red’s first-round NCAA Tournament win over Fresno State. Her 12 assists were the most by a Husker in history in an NCAA Tournament game. It was the fifth time in 2013-14 she dished out 11 or more assists in a game. No other Husker has distributed 11 or more assists more than four times in a career.

• Theriot led Nebraska to its first conference tournament title as the Big Ten Tournament MVP. She averaged 18.7 points and a tournament-record 10.0 assists per game, with 30 total assists and just seven turnovers. She hit 56.4 percent of her shots, including 5-of-10 threes, and went 7-for-8 at the line.

• Theriot’s 30 assists in the Big Ten Tournament were a Nebraska single-season conference tournament record. She produced arguably the best passing game in Big Ten history in Nebraska’s Big Ten quarterfinal win over Minnesota March 7, dishing out a tournament-record-shattering 18 assists against just one turnover. The previous tournament record was 12 set by Helen Darling of Penn State against Illinois in 2000. The most assists by a Big Ten player against a Big Ten opponent came with 16 from Maggie Acuna of Illinois against Wisconsin in 2006.

• Theriot’s 18 assists were the second-most in a game in Nebraska history, trailing only 19 assists by Kathy Hawkins on Feb. 17, 1976 against Kearney State (now Nebraska-Kearney). Theriot’s assists are the most ever by a Husker against an NCAA Division I opponent, and the most in the last 37 seasons, covering nearly 1,200 games. Theriot’s 18 assists were the most in an NCAA Division I game in 2013-14.

• Over the final 15 games of 2013-14, Theriot produced six double-digit assist games. In the first 1,203 games in Nebraska history, every other Husker had combined to produce just 41 double-digit assist games.

• Theriot shot 50 percent from the field and 50 percent (25-50) from three-point range in Big Ten play as a sophomore. Her three-point shooting percentage led the Big Ten.

• In Big Ten play, Theriot led the league with 39.5 minutes per game and her 1,204 minutes were the most played by a Husker in a season in school history, surpassing Lindsey Moore’s 1,170 in 34 games in 2012-13. Theriot went the distance 13 times in 33 games in 2013-14, including the full 45 minutes in both of NU’s overtime wins over Minnesota (Jan. 16) and Wisconsin (Feb. 5).

#23, Emily Cady, 6-2, Sr., F, Seward, Neb. (14.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.2 spg)

• One of the nation’s most versatile forwards, Emily Cady earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2014. She enters the Duke game averaging 14.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

• She produced a career-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, two steals and a block in just 23 minutes in a win over Utah Nov. 23, before adding 18 points and five boards at UCLA Nov. 28.

• Cady is the Big Ten Conference’s active rebound leader with 835 in her career. Senior teammate Hailie Sample ranks third in the conference with 534 career boards.

• Cady is tied for fourth in Nebraska history with 24 career double-doubles, including 16 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s win over Northern Colorado. She nearly opened the season with a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists against Pepperdine, Nov. 15. Cady needs 12 double-doubles to catch 1993 Wade Trophy winner Karen Jennings (36, 1990-93) in third on NU’s career list, and 16 double-doubles to tie the NU record of 40 held by Jordan Hooper (2011-14) and Kelsey Griffin (2006-10).

• In 2013-14, Cady tied Jordan Hooper for second in the Big Ten with 14 double-doubles, while ranking third in the league with 9.2 rebounds per game. Cady ranked 24th in scoring (12.7 ppg), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5-to-1), seventh in free throw percentage (.858), eighth in field goal percentage (.495) and 12th in assists (3.1 apg). In Big Ten games-only, Cady ranked third with a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio trailing only Husker point guard Rachel Theriot (2.7) and Iowa point guard Samantha Logic (2.2). Cady ranked eighth in conference play in assists (4.1 apg). She had eight double-doubles in 16 conference games.

• Cady owns 1,143 points, 835 rebounds, 235 assists and 116 steals. She is just the third player in Nebraska history with 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 career steals, joining Maurtice Ivy and Anna DeForge.

• Only one player (Janel McCarville, Minnesota, 1,835 points, 1,206 rebounds, 310 assists) in Big Ten history has ever produced 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 assists in a career. Cady could reach those combined milestones this year, needing 357 points, 165 rebounds and 65 assists. Two other players from current Big Ten institutions, Alyssa Thomas and Marissa Coleman, achieved those combined plateaus at Maryland before the Terrapins joined the Big Ten in 2014-15.

• Cady ranks 10th in NU history with 87 career blocks. She needs one more to catch Casey Leonhardt (88, 2000-01) in ninth on the Husker career chart. Only seven Huskers have 100 career blocks.

• No player in Husker history has 1,000 points, 900 rebounds, 200 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocks.

• Cady’s 1,143 career points rank No. 18 in Husker history. She needs 40 points to catch Jan Crouch (1,183, 1976-79) in 17th.

• Cady ranks sixth in Nebraska history with 835 rebounds and needs 39 boards to catch Kathy Hagerstrom in fifth (874, 1980-83). Cady needs 165 boards to become the fifth Husker in history with 1,000 rebounds, joining Janet Smith (1,280), Hooper (1,110), Griffin (1,019) and Karen Jennings (1,000).

• The best passing forward in the Big Ten, Cady’s 102 assists led all conference forwards in 2013-14. Her 1.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio also led all players in the conference at the position. In Big Ten play, her 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio was better than every starting guard except first-team All-Big Ten point guards Rachel Theriot (Nebraska) and Samantha Logic (Iowa).

#1, Tear’a Laudermill, 5-9, Sr., G, Moreno Valley, Calif. (11.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 spg)

• Tear’a Laudermill emerged as a rising star for the Huskers to earn second-team All-Big Ten honors as a junior. She finished the season with career-best averages of 11.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game, while her 62 three-pointers ranked as the 10th-best season total in NU history.

• Laudermill is continuing to grow her game as a senior, ranking third among the Huskers in scoring with 11.7 points per game. She has a team-best 10 three-pointers (.345), while knocking down 85.7 percent (12-14) of her free throws.

• Laudermill played in her 100th career game when the Huskers defeated Northern Colorado Sunday. All four Husker seniors (Emily Cady, Hailie Sample-106, Brandi Jeffery-101, Laudermill-100) have played in 100 or more games as Huskers.

• Laudermill is Nebraska’s No. 1 active career three-point shooter with 109 makes, which ranks 10th on the Husker career list. She needs one more to catch Kaitlyn Burke (2008-12) in ninth with 110.

• Laudermill notched her sixth career 20-point game with 20 points, including a trio of three-pointers, in NU’s 82-61 win at Washington State on Nov. 19.

• In a pair of preliminary mock drafts for the 2015 WNBA Draft, Laudermill has been ranked among the top 25 players in the nation. She slotted as the No. 10 overall pick by DraftSite.com, while College Sports Madness slotted her as the No. 24 overall pick.

• She has produced double digits in 17 of her last 23 games, after managing double figures in just 11 of her first 77. She owns 28 career double-figure scoring games.

• Laudermill averaged 15.2 points per game over the last 17 contests of 2013-14, including the first five 20-point games of her career. She closed the season with 22 points against BYU, including 12 points in the final 2:30. She added 20 points in NU’s Big Ten semifinal win over No. 19 Michigan State and a career-high 27 points in the Big Red’s home win over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24.

• Laudermill tied a school record with seven threes in Nebraska’s 94-74 win over No. 8 Penn State Feb. 24, 2014. She hit her first six threes in the first half and closed the night 7-of-10 to lead Nebraska to one of the best three-point shooting nights (16-22, .727) in school history.

• Laudermill averaged 13.5 points in 2014 Big Ten play, while shooting a sizzling 44.3 percent from three-point range, which ranked fourth in Big Ten games-only. Her 2.4 three-pointers per game also tied for fifth in league action. She led the Big Red with 21 steals in conference action.

#13, Brandi Jeffery, 5-7, Sr., G, Vacherie, La. (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.2 spg)

• Brandi Jeffery is playing the best basketball of her career, averaging 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in six games as a starter to open the season. She has produced double figures in four of NU’s first six games.

• Jeffery played in her 100th career game when the Huskers defeated UCLA Nov. 28. All four Husker seniors (Emily Cady, Hailie Sample-106, Jeffery-101, Tear’a Laudermill-100) have played in 100 or more games as Huskers.

• Jeffery erupted for career highs with 19 points and eight rebounds in the season-opening victory over Pepperdine on Nov. 15. Her previous career scoring high came with 12 points against both Florida State and Mississippi Valley State in November of 2011.

• She owns three 11-point efforts this season, including road wins at Washington State (Nov. 19) and UCLA (Nov. 28). Jeffery matched her career high with eight rebounds at WSU.

• Jeffery entered her senior season with career averages of 3.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game.

• One of four seniors on the roster, including Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Tear’a Laudermill, Jeffery has helped the Huskers to an 81-25 record and three NCAA Tournaments.

• Jeffery owns 407 points, 217 rebounds and 107 career assists. She is 18 steals away from 100 in her career.

#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Sr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (5.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 0.7 spg)

• Hailie Sample earned a spot on the 2014 Big Ten All-Defensive Team. She was Nebraska’s Defensive MVP in 2013-14.

• She is the Big Ten’s No. 3 active career rebounder with 534, trailing only teammate Emily Cady (835) and Iowa’s Samantha Logic.

• Sample has started 106 consecutive games alongside Cady since the first games of their freshman season in 2011-12.

• Sample produced season highs of 16 points and nine rebounds to go along with a career-high matching three steals at Washington State Nov. 19.

• She is shooting 63.6 percent (14-22) from the field. Entering her senior season, Sample was a 41.6 percent shooter.

• She produced her third career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the 2014 NCAA second-round game against BYU on March 24. It was her second career double-double in the NCAA Tournament and her second double-double in a three-game span, joining 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in Nebraska’s Big Ten Tournament Championship Game win over No. 23 Iowa on March 9, 2014.

• Sample averaged 7.5 points and a team-leading 10.0 rebounds in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament. Her 30 total rebounds and 16 offensive boards led the tournament.

• Sample’s 15 rebounds in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game were a Nebraska Big Ten Tournament record and tied Nafeesah Brown (vs. Kansas, 1993, Big Eight) for the second-highest rebounding total ever by a Husker in a conference tournament game. Only Shelly Block (16 vs. Oklahoma State, 1987, Big Eight) pulled down more boards in a league tournament game than Sample.

• Sample ranked 15th overall in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.4 rpg), while ranking seventh in the Big Ten on the offensive glass (2.5 rpg) in 2013-14.

• Sample owns 16 career double-digit scoring games, including nine in 2013-14. She also owns six career double-figure rebound games, including three in 2013-14.

• Sample ranks No. 23 on the Nebraska career rebound list with 534. She needs five rebounds to catch Chelsea Aubry (539, 2004-07) in 22nd on the NU all-time list. Sample is eight away from 21st (Diane DelVigna, 542, 1979-80) and 11 away from No. 20 (Ann Halsne, 545, 1988-91).

Husker Seniors Pursue Fourth Straight NCAA Bid, 20-Win Season

Nebraska’s four-player senior class of Emily Cady, Hailie Sample, Tear’a Laudermill and Brandi Jeffery form the heart of the Husker lineup in 2014-15, after helping the Big Red to the most successful three-year stretch in school history.

Cady and Sample have started all 106 games in their careers, helping the Huskers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and an average of 25 wins per season.

The Husker seniors are 81-25 (.764 winning percentage) over the past three-plus seasons, the best winning percentage of any class in school history.

In 2014-15, the seniors will try to become the first class in school history to compete in four consecutive NCAA tournaments and the first group of Huskers to produce four straight 20-win seasons. They also have a chance to become the first collection of Husker seniors to reach 100 career wins.

Big Red Moves Up to No. 12 in AP Poll

Nebraska moved up to No. 12 in The Associated Press (Dec. 1) and remained at No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll (Dec. 2) after three weeks of regular-season play. The Huskers opened the 2014-15 season at No. 16 in both polls.

NU closed the 2013-14 campaign at No. 13 in the AP rankings, which did not include NCAA Tournament results. Nebraska, which went 26-7 last season and 12-4 in the Big Ten before winning its first Big Ten Tournament title, ended the season at No. 17 in the final USA Today Coaches Top 25. Both Nebraska’s final AP and Coaches Top 25 rankings were the second-best year-end rankings in school history. The Huskers have finished the season in the AP Top 25 four times in the past five years.

The Huskers finished No. 19 in the official NCAA RPI, which was its third-best RPI finish in history – all in the last five seasons.

Before Nebraska Coach Connie Yori came to Nebraska for the 2002-03 season, the Huskers had never finished a season ranked in the top 25 in either of the major polls or the RPI.