NEB WBB: No. 15 Huskers Return Home to Face Fighting Illini
Posted By: Sports
#15/#19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten)
vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (11-9, 2-6 Big Ten)
Thursday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Tickets: Huskers.com / 1-800-8-BIG-RED
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (Matt Coatney, Jeff Griesch)
107.3 FM, Lincoln; 93.3 FM, Omaha; 880 AM, Lexington
Free Live Audio: Huskers.com
No. 15 Huskers Return Home to Face Fighting Illini Thursday
The No. 15 Nebraska women’s basketball team hopes to get back on the winning track at home when the Huskers take on Illinois Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Tip-off between the Huskers (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten) and the Fighting Illini (11-9, 2-6 Big Ten) is set for 7 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone in advance of the game by calling the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8-BIG-RED, or in-person on game day beginning two hours prior to tip-off at the Pinnacle Bank Arena Box Office.
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, 93.3 FM in Omaha and 880 AM in Lexington. Live premium video will be available on BTN Plus.
Nebraska had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 78-72 overtime loss at No. 20 Iowa on Monday night. The Huskers led 61-60 after a clutch Rachel Theriot jumper with 4.5 seconds left, but the Hawkeyes got a Whitney Jennings free throw with 1.3 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Iowa scored on each of its overtime possessions to get its first Big Ten win against the Huskers in nine tries.
Senior Emily Cady led the Huskers with 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to notch the 30th double-double of her career and eighth of the season. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., increased her season averages to 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She is averaging 12.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in Big Ten play, including 19 points and 15 rebounds per contest over the last two games.
Theriot continues to lead the Huskers with 16.9 points and 5.0 assists per game, while senior Tear’a Laudermill is coming on strong in conference play. Laudermill has produced double figures in four straight games to increase her season averages to 12.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, including 13.4 points and 4.1 boards in league play. The 5-9 guard from Moreno Valley, Calif., is averaging 21.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals the past two games.
Illinois comes to Lincoln hoping to snap a five-game losing streak since handing Iowa its only Big Ten loss this season on Jan. 8. The Fighting Illini are coming off a 70-57 loss at Michigan on Monday night.
#15 Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten)
3 – Hailie Sample – 6-1 – Sr. – F – 7.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg
23 – Emily Cady – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 13.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg
1 – Tear’a Laudermill – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 12.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
13 – Brandi Jeffery – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg
33 – Rachel Theriot – 6-0 – Jr. – G – 16.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Off the Bench
5 – Natalie Romeo – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
31 – Anya Kalenta – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 5.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
22 – Allie Havers – 6-5 – So. – C – 4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-8 – Fr. – G – 2.1 ppg, 0.3 rpg
30 – Chandler Smith – 6-0 – Fr. – G – 2.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Fr. – G – 0.3 ppg, 0.6 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – So. – G – 0.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Fr. – F – Redshirting
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
13th Season at NU (256-146); 25th Season Overall (451-286)
Illinois Fighting Illini (11-9, 2-6 Big Ten)
22 – Ivory Crawford – 5-10 – Sr. – F – 15.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
or 10 – Amarah Coleman – 5-11 – Fr. – G – 8.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
32 – Chatrice White – 6-3 – Fr. – C – 14.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg
34 – Jacqui Grant – 6-3 – So. – F – 9.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg
15 – Kyley Simmons – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 9.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
20 – Brittany Carter – 6-0 – Sr. – G – 8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg
Off the Bench
3 – Taylor Tuck – 6-0 – Sr. – G/F – 3.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg
21 – Brooke Kissinger – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 1.9 ppg, 0.6 rpg
25 – Kennedy Cattenhead – 5-10 – RFr. – G – 1.1 ppg, 1.0 rpg
12 – Ashley McConnell – 5-9 – So. – G – 1.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg
2 – Taylor Gleason – 5-8 – So. – G – 0.7 ppg, 1.1 rpg
00 – Sarah Hartwell – 5-10 – Jr. – G – 0.6 ppg, 0.6 rpg
5 – Nia Oden – 5-10 – Sr.- F – 0.8 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Matt Bollant (Winona State, 1994)
3rd Season at Illinois (39-44); 13th Season Overall (321-99)
Streaks, Stats & Milestones
• A win for Nebraska over Illinois would guarantee NU its fourth consecutive winning season. It would also be NU’s fourth straight in the series with Illinois, including a 58-53 victory at Champaign on Jan. 11.
• Junior All-America guard Rachel Theriot needs two points to become the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska women’s basketball history. She will be playing her 87th game and making her 81st career start.
• Theriot ranks sixth in Nebraska history with 430 career assists. She needs 14 assists to catch Amy Stephens (1986-89) in fifth with 444.
• Theriot ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 2 in NCAA stats with her .937 free throw percentage. • After an 18-rebound effort at Iowa on Monday night, senior forward Emily Cady has pulled within 20 boards of becoming the fifth Husker in history to reach 1,000 career rebounds. The Big Ten’s active career rebound leader with 980, Cady is on track to become just the 17th Big Ten player in history to reach 1,000 boards. All of her rebounds have been as a Big Ten player.
• Cady is expected to move into a tie for fifth on Nebraska’s career starts list on Thursday with the 120th consecutive start of her career. Hailie Sample will move into a tie for eighth with her 119th start.
• An All-Big Ten candidate, Cady owns eight double-doubles this season, including back-to-back double-doubles with 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds at Iowa Monday and 19 points and 12 boards at Wisconsin Jan. 22. Cady, who owns 30 career double-doubles, is averaging 13.1 points and a team-leading 10.2 rebounds per game, including 12.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in Big Ten play.
• Senior Hailie Sample needs two assists to reach 200 in her career. Sample, who has 633 points, 613 rebounds and 198 assists in her career, is on track to become just the fifth Husker in history to reach combined career milestones of 600 points, 600 rebounds and 200 assists. The other members of that distinguished group are 1988 Big Eight Player of the Year Maurtice Ivy (2,131 points, 778 rebounds, 297 assits), two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge (1,859, 804, 392), Kathy Hagerstrom (1,778, 874, 269), and senior teammate Emily Cady (1,302, 980, 275).
• Nebraska’s 2014-15 regular starting five has combined for 393 career starts Emily Cady (119), Hailie Sample (118), Rachel Theriot (80), Tear’a Laudermill (49) and Brandi Jeffery (26) have combined to play in 550 games in their NU careers.
• Tear’a Laudermill is expected to make her 50th consecutive start when the Huskers take on Illinois. Laudermill is 60 points away from joining Nebraska’s 1,000-point club.
• Brandi Jeffery has transformed herself into one of the Big Ten’s best rebounders as a senior. The 5-7 guard has grabbed 122 rebounds, surpassing her combined total of 119 rebounds from 2012-13 and 2013-14. Jeffery ranks 18th in the Big Ten with 6.8 boards per game. She had a career-high 16 rebounds at Minnesota Dec. 29.
• Jeffery needs five points against Illinois Thursday to reach 500 in her career.
• Freshman Natalie Romeo erupted for career highs of 18 points and six three-pointers in Nebraska’s win over Penn State Jan. 15. The 5-7 guard from Martinez, Calif., made her first career start and played a career-high 26 minutes against the Lady Lions. She added nine points in 26 minutes in her second start in a win at Wisconsin Jan. 22.
• Nebraska set a school-record by committing just four personal fouls in the win over Bakersfield Dec. 13. One week later in a win over High Point, the Huskers committed just eight fouls, which tied for the ninth best total in school history. They matched the eight fouls at Illinois Jan. 12. It marked the 11th time in the last 86 contests that NU has committed eight or fewer fouls in a game.
• Nebraska ranks No. 2 nationally with 12.5 personal fouls per game. The Huskers are committing just 11.8 fouls per game in Big Ten play. Illinois is averaging 19.3 fouls per game, including 18.0 in the Big Ten.
• Nebraska is leading the Big Ten with just 11.5 turnovers per game in conference play. The Huskers are the only team averaging fewer than 14 turnovers per game in Big Ten action.
• Nebraska is 24-3 all-time at Pinnacle Bank Arena, including 3-2 against top-25 foes. Before NU’s 75-47 loss to No. 14 Maryland on Jan. 3, the Huskers’ only losses at Pinnacle Bank Arena came with a 77-75 setback to No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 19, 2014, and a 76-72 loss to Washington State on Nov. 30, 2013.
Theriot Named to Wade, Wooden, Naismith Watch Lists
Nebraska junior Rachel Theriot was one of 25 candidates on the Wade Watch List, one of 30 preseason candidates for the Wooden Award and one of 50 contenders for the 2015 Naismith Trophy.
The 6-0 point guard was ranked as the No. 13 player in the nation by ESPN and was a preseason first-team All-Big Ten choice. She is averaging 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.0 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 Illinois Fighting Illini
Illinois comes to Lincoln trying to end a five-game losing streak since beating Iowa, 73-61, in Champaign on Jan. 8. The Illini beat Iowa, but lost senior guard Ivory Crawford to a knee injury early in that contest and have gone winless since, including a 58-53 loss to Nebraska on Jan. 11.
Crawford, who is averaging 15.9 points and 5.3 rebounds, is shooting 50.3 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent (13-34) from three-point range. Crawford has missed three weeks but is set to return soon.
Crawford did not play in the Illini’s Monday night loss at Michigan, which dropped Illinois to 11-9 overall and 2-6 in the Big Ten, including 0-5 without Crawford.
Freshman Amarah Coleman has stepped into the starting five for the past four games in place of Crawford, averaging 13.5 points per game as a starter to increase her season averages to 8.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest. Coleman had 18 points off the bench in the loss to Nebraska.
Senior wing Taylor Tuck, who started and had five points and six rebounds in the loss to Nebraska on Jan. 11, is managing 3.1 points and 1.9 boards per game. Senior forward Nia Oden has also seen increased playing time in Crawford’s absence, averaging 0.8 points and 1.0 rebounds per game on the year.
Freshman Chatrice White leads the Illini to Lincoln. The 6-3 center from Shelby, Neb., is averaging 14.8 points and 7.0 rebounds, including a team-best 13.9 points and 6.0 boards in Big Ten play. Fellow Nebraska native Brooke Kissinger from Minden has managed 1.9 points and 0.6 rebounds as a freshman. Kissinger has played 19 total minutes in Big Ten play.
Senior guards Kyley Simmons (9.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Brittany Carter (8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg) have continued to provide solid contributions in the Illini backcourt, while 6-3 sophomore forward Jacqui Grant has added 9.3 points andd 7.2 rebounds per contest, including 17 points and 10 boards in Monday’s loss at Michigan.
As a team, Illinois averaged 71.9 points per game and shot 41.9 percent, including 31.5 percent from three-point range with Crawford in the starting lineup. Without her, the Illini have managed just 57.4 points per game on 36.3 percent shooting, including 27.9 percent from beyond the arc. Illinois was surrendering 61 points per game, while holding foes to just 37 percent shooting, including 26.4 percent from long range with Crawford, but have allowed 66.6 points on 42.4 percent shooting by opponents without Crawford.
Despite a pair of 6-3 posts and an athletic wing in Crawford, the Illini carry a negative-5.3 rebound margin. However, they make up for it with Bollant’s “Buzz” defense, which has forced an average of 22.4 turnovers per game to give the Illini a plus-5.4 turnover margin.
Nebraska committed just 12 turnovers in its win at Illinois on Jan. 11.
Nebraska vs. Illinois Series History
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Illinois 7-3, including a 58-53 win at Champaign on Jan. 11. Rachel Theriot led the Big Red with 27 points, as Nebraska outscored the Illini 15-4 down the stretch. The Huskers swept Illinois last season, including a 72-65 victory on Jordan Hooper’s Senior Night at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 27. NU is 4-1 against the Illini as Big Ten foes, including a 67-47 win at Illinois Jan. 29, 2012. Nebraska is 4-1 all-time against Illinois in Champaign.
Husker Hot Shots – Nebraska’s Starting Five
#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Jr., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (16.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 5.0 apg)
• A Wade, Wooden and Naismith 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 enters the Illinois game with 998 career points and needs two to become the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Husker history.
• Theriot has produced double figures in 17 of NU’s 19 games this season, averaging 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
• She leads the Big Ten and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA Division I stats with her .937 free throw percentage (59-63). Theriot has made nine straight free throws entering the Illinois game. She had a season-best streak of 20 makes from Nov. 30 to Jan. 11. She has added streaks of 15 and 11 straight makes at the line this year.
• Theriot’s 430 career assists rank sixth in Husker history. She needs 14 more to catch former Husker and current Nebraska assistant coach Amy Stephens (444, 1986-89) at No. 5 on the NU career assist chart.
• Theriot owns five points-assists double-doubles, including 18 points and 10 assists at Minnesota in the Big Ten opener on Dec. 29. Last season, she had four double-doubles 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 done it more than four times in a career.
• She owns seven career double-digit assist games. Every other Husker in history has combined to produce just 41 double-digit assist games.
• Theriot closed non-conference play with a season-high 31 points in a win over High Point Dec. 20. It was her second career 30-point performance, joining a 33-point effort in an 88-85 OT win over Minnesota on Jan. 16, 2014.
• Her 27-point effort at Illinois Jan. 11 marked her fifth 20-point performance of the year. In addition to her 31 against High Point, she had 25 points, six rebounds and four assists against Northern Colorado. Theriot had 24 points, a career-high eight rebounds and seven assists in a win at UCLA Nov. 28. She had 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals in a win over Utah Nov. 23.
• Theriot owns 11 career 20-point efforts and 46 career double-figure scoring performances, including 25 last season and 17 this season.
• Theriot has played every minute in 10 of NU’s 19 games this season, including all 45 minutes in the overtime loss at Iowa on Monday. She’s gone the distance in nine of the last 13 games.
• She 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.
• She 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).
• She 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. Theriot 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 more than 1,200 games. Theriot’s 18 assists were the most in an NCAA Division I game in 2013-14.
• 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. (13.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.9 apg)
• One of the nation’s most versatile forwards, Emily Cady earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2014. She enters the Illinois game averaging 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
• In Big Ten play, Cady is averaging a double-double with 12.3 points and 11.6 rebounds to go along with 3.1 assists per game. She is coming off back-to-back double-doubles with 19 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to go along with 19 points and 12 rebounds at Wisconsin Jan. 22. Cady owns eight double-doubles of the year, including three in Big Ten play (21 points, 14 rebounds at Minnesota, Dec. 29).
• Cady owns double-doubles against Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Bakersfield, Creighton, Duke, Northern Colorado and Pepperdine this season.
• With 30 career double-doubles, Cady ranks fourth in school history behind only first-team All-Americans Jordan Hooper (40, 2011-14), Kelsey Griffin (40, 2006-10) and Karen Jennings (36, 1990-93).
• She earned her first career Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award Dec. 16, after averaging 15.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 blocks in wins over Creighton (Dec. 11) and Bakersfield (Dec. 13).
• Cady enters the Illinois game with 980 rebounds, needing 20 boards to become the fifth Nebraska player and just the 17th in Big Ten Conference history to pull down 1,000 career rebounds. She ranks fifth in Nebraska history with 980 rebounds, trailing only Janet Smith (1,280), Jordan Hooper (1,110), Kelsey Griffin (1,019) and Karen Jennings (1,000).
• She is the Big Ten Conference’s active rebound leader with 980 in her career, including 18 rebounds at Iowa Monday.
• 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 nearly produced a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists in a win over Pepperdine Nov. 15. She added 16 points and 10 boards against Northern Colorado Nov. 30.
• Cady owns 1,302 points, 980 rebounds, 275 assists and 126 steals. She is the only player in Nebraska history with 1,300 points, 900 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 career steals.
• Cady ranks ninth in NU history with 97 career blocks. Only seven Huskers have 100 career blocks.
• 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 198 points, 20 rebounds and 25 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’s 1,302 career points rank No. 15 in Husker history. She needs 46 points to catch Cory Montgomery (1,348, 2007-10) in 14th.
• 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.
• 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. (12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.4 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 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 12.8 points per game. She has a team-best 34 three-pointers. She is also NU’s top on-the-ball defender.
• Over the last four games, Laudermill is averaging 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game. She has produced double figures in four straight games.
• Laudermill has significantly increased her rebounding production this season, and her role on the glass continues to grow. She is averaging a career-best 3.6 rebounds per game, including 4.1 in Big Ten play. She entered the season averaging just 2.0 rebounds per game in her career.
• She tied a Nebraska single-game record for the second time in her career by connecting on seven threes (7-15), including six in the second half, at Alabama on Dec. 7. Laudermill finished with 25 points. She also hit seven threes, including six in the first half, in Nebraska’s win over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24, 2014. She finished with a career-high 27 points against PSU.
• Laudermill is Nebraska’s No. 1 active career three-point shooter with 133 makes to rank seventh on the Husker career list. She needs 12 threes to catch Kate Galligan (145, 1993-96) in sixth.
• Laudermill (113) is one of four Huskers who have played more than 100 career games, joining Emily Cady-119, Hailie Sample-119 and Brandi Jeffery-113.
• Laudermill notched her ninth career 20-point game and fourth of the season with 24 points in NU’s win at Wisconsin Jan. 22. She had a season-high 25 points at Alabama on Dec. 7, before scoring 22 points against High Point Dec. 20. She added 20 points 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 25 of her last 36 games, after managing double figures in just 11 of her first 77. She owns 36 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. (8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.7 spg)
• Brandi Jeffery is playing the best basketball of her career, averaging 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 18 games with 17 starts this season. Jeffery did not start against Penn State Jan. 15 because of an administrative error. She missed the Wisconsin game Jan. 22 with a minor knee injury.
• Jeffery has scored in double figures seven times, including three double-digit efforts in her last five games. Her 13 points against Purdue Jan. 19 marked the second-highest scoring total of her career. She added six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jeffery owns 16 career double-digit scoring efforts.
• She needs five points to reach 500 for her career. She pulled down her 300th career rebound at Iowa on Monday.
• Jeffery (113) is one of four Husker seniors who have played more than 100 career games, joining Emily Cady-119, Hailie Sample-119 and Tear’a Laudermill-113.
• Jeffery erupted for a career-high 19 points 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). She had 10 points at Michigan State (Jan. 8) and against Penn State (Jan. 15).
• Jeffery’s most impressive gains have come on the glass, where she ranks second among the Huskers and 18th in the Big Ten with 6.8 rebounds per game. With 122 rebounds this season she has surpassed her total of 119 boards from her sophomore (57) and junior (62) seasons combined.
• Jeffery’s 149 points and 568 minutes played are both career single-season bests.
• She also leads the Huskers with 31 steals this season, surpassing her total of 19 from 2013-14. She has at least one steal in all but two games for the Huskers and 20 steals in her last eight contests.
• She entered 2014-15 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 a 90-29 record and three NCAA tournaments.
#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Sr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (7.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.7 apg)
• Hailie Sample earned a spot on the 2014 Big Ten All-Defensive Team. She was Nebraska’s Defensive MVP in 2013-14.
• Sample leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.637) through 19 games. Through her first three seasons, Sample shot just 41.6 percent from the field.
• She is the Big Ten’s No. 3 active career rebounder with 613, trailing only teammate Emily Cady (980) and Iowa’s Samantha Logic (814).
• Sample started the first 115 games of her career before not starting against Penn State on Jan. 15 because of a violation of team policy. She owns 118 career starts to tie for eighth in Husker history.
• 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 added 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field to help lead the Huskers to a 60-54 win over No. 9 Duke Dec. 3. She had a 15-point performance against Purdue Jan. 19. Sample added another outstanding game with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the win at Michigan State Jan. 8. She hit a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left to seal the 71-67 win. She pitched in 13 points and nine rebounds in a win over Bakersfield Dec. 13. She had 10 points and eight rebounds in a win at Wisconsin Jan. 22.
• Sample has been perfect from the floor five times this year, including Duke (6-6), Alcorn State (4-4), at Illinois (3-3), Pepperdine (3-3) and Northern Colorado (1-1).
• 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 21 career double-digit scoring games, including nine in 2013-14 and six in 2014-15. She also owns six career double-figure rebound games, including three in 2013-14.
• Sample ranks No. 17 on the Nebraska career rebound list with 613. She needs 68 rebounds to join the Nebraska career top 10.
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 has started all 119 games in her career while Sample has made 118 starts, helping the Huskers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and an average of 25 wins per season.
The Husker seniors are 90-29 (.756 winning percentage) during their four seasons in Lincoln, 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 Rankings
Nebraska moved to No. 15 in The Associated Press Poll after running to double-digit wins over Purdue and Wisconsin last week. NU slipped to No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 after a 78-72 overtime loss at Iowa on Monday. The Huskers opened 2014-15 at No. 16 in both polls.
The Huskers were ranked No. 29 in the official NCAA RPI on Jan. 27. NU was as high as No. 5 on Jan. 1. NU’s Strength of Schedule ranks No. 58 nationally by RealTimeRPI.com.
The Big Ten slipped from No. 1 to No. 4 in conference RPI, trailing the Big 12 (1st), SEC (2nd) and ACC (3rd) while ranking ahead of the Pac-12 (5th). The Big Ten’s conference-wide Strength of Schedule leads the nation, according to RealTimeRPI.com.
Nine Big Ten teams are ranked in the NCAA RPI’s top 55, including Maryland (4th), Iowa (10th), Nebraska (29th), Minnesota (32nd), Ohio State (35th), Michigan (38th), Rutgers (50th), Purdue (51st) and Northwestern (52nd), while Illinois (76th) and Michigan State (89th) give the conference 11 teams in the RPI top 100. Wisconsin (130th), Indiana (140th) and Penn State (201st) round out the conference.
The Huskers own seven top-100 RPI wins, including road wins at Washington State (49th), UCLA (64th), Illinois (76th) and Michigan State (89th) along with home wins over Duke (18th), Purdue (51st) and Creighton (95th).
Wisconsin (130th), High Point (149th), Alabama (162nd) and Bakersfield (165th) rank in the top half of the 349 NCAA Division I teams in the official RPI.
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.
Double Trouble: Cady Climbing Husker Career Chart
Emily Cady ranks fourth in Nebraska history with 30 career double-doubles, including eight double-doubles through 19 games in 2014-15. Cady trails only Nebraska’s first-team All-Americans Jordan Hooper (40, 2011-14), Kelsey Griffin (40, 2006-10) and Karen Jennings (36, 1990-93) on the Husker career double-doubles list. The 6-2 forward from Seward, Neb., tied Hooper for second in the Big Ten with 14 double-doubles in 2013-14. They became the first Husker teammates to both produce double-figure double-doubles in the same season.
As a senior, Cady will try to join Hooper, Kelsey Griffin and Karen Jennings as the only players in Husker history with two double-digit double-double campaigns. Cady is one of just six Huskers in history with 10 or more double-doubles in a season, including Griffin (10, 2006-07; 20, 2009-10), Jennings (13, 1990-91; 13, 1991-92), Nafeesah Brown (16, 1993-94), Maurtice Ivy (10, 1985-86) and Carol Garey (10, 1978-79). Nebraska players have produced 10 double-digit double-double seasons.
Cady Set for 120th Consecutive Start
Nebraska senior Emily Cady has made 119 consecutive starts while fellow senior forward Hailie Sample has started 118 of 119 career games alongside Cady, dating back to the first games of their freshman season at NU in 2011-12.
Junior point guard Rachel Theriot has joined Cady in the starting five for each of the last 80 games, while senior Tear’a Laudermill has made 49 straight starts.
Departed All-American Jordan Hooper graduated from the Husker program and headed to the WNBA after making 131 consecutive starts, while NU used the same starting five in the final 30 games last season.
Consistent starting lineups are nothing new for the Huskers under Coach Connie Yori. In fact, over the past 10 seasons (including 2014-15) Nebraska has used only 25 different starting lineups over 311 games, including the same starting five in 17 of 19 games in 2014-15.
The 2011-12, 2006-07 and 2003-04 Huskers all used the same starting lineup for every game.