NEB WBB: No. 17 Huskers Return Home to Tangle with Penn State
Posted By: Sports
#17/#15 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten)
vs. Penn State Lady Lions (3-13, 0-5 Big Ten)
Thursday, Jan. 15, 6 p.m. (Central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Television: BTN (Kevin Kugler, Stephanie White)
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 Live Stats: Huskers.com
Huskers Return Home to Tangle with Defending Champ Penn State
After a successful two-game Big Ten road swing, the No. 17 Nebraska women’s basketball team returns home to open a two-game conference home stand when the Huskers take on Penn State Thursday.
Tip-off between the Big Red (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten) and the Lady Lions (3-13, 0-5 Big Ten) is set for 6 p.m. (central) at Pinnacle Bank Arena with live national television coverage by the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Stephanie White on the call.
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. Free live audio also will be available on Huskers.com.
After opening Big Ten play with back-to-back losses to No. 23 Minnesota and No. 8 Maryland, the Huskers bounced back with a pair of comeback wins at Michigan State and Illinois last week. NU trailed by six with under four minutes left before rallying for a 71-67 win over the Spartans Thursday. Sunday at Illinois, the Huskers rallied from a six-point deficit with just over eight minutes left to post a 58-53 win.
Close games are nothing new for the Big Red. In fact, nine of Nebraska’s 15 games this season have been decided by single digits, including six games by five points or less.
All-American Rachel Theriot continues to lead the Nebraska backcourt. The 6-0 guard from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, is averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. She is coming off a 27-point performance where she carried Nebraska to victory in the second half. Theriot scored 20 points in the second half, including 11 of NU’s final 15 points.
While Theriot leads the Husker backcourt, Emily Cady provides production and mental toughness for Nebraska in the post. Cady is averaging 13.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Tear’a Laudermill, Hailie Sample and Brandi Jeffery round out a solid and experienced starting five.
Penn State comes to Lincoln as the three-time defending Big Ten regular-season champion, but the Lady Lions have fallen on hard times with the loss of four starters from last year’s squad that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. The Lady Lions shared the conference title with Michigan State last season.
#17 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-3, 2-2 Big Ten)
3 – Hailie Sample – 6-1 – Sr. – F – 7.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg
23 – Emily Cady – 6-2 – Sr. – F – 13.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg
1 – Tear’a Laudermill – 5-9 – Sr. – G – 11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg
13 – Brandi Jeffery – 5-7 – Sr. – G – 7.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg
33 – Rachel Theriot – 6-0 – Jr. – G – 18.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg
Off the Bench
31 – Anya Kalenta – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg
22 – Allie Havers – 6-5 – So. – C – 4.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg
5 – Natalie Romeo – 5-7 – Fr. – G – 4.3 ppg, 2.0 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 – 0.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg
11 – Esther Ramacieri – 5-8 – So. – G – 0.1 ppg, 0.6 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Fr. – F – High School
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
13th Season at NU (253-145); 25th Season Overall (448-285)
Penn State Lady Lions (3-13, 0-5 Big Ten)
12 – Lindsey Spann – 5-6 – RFr. – G – 16.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg
5 – Sierra Moore – 5-11 – So. – G – 11.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
1 – Candice Agee – 6-6 – Jr. – C – 10.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg
10 – Keke Sevillian – 5-7 – So. – G – 2.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg
44 – Tori Waldner – 6-5 – Sr. – F/C – 4.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Off the Bench
15 – Kaliyah Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – G/F – 7.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg
41 – Jenny DeGraaf – 6-1 – So. – G/F – 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
25 – Peyton Whitted – 6-3 – So. – F – 4.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg
11 – Alex Harris – 6-3 – So. – F – 3.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg
14 – Dominique Brooks – 6-4 – Jr. – F – 1.2 ppg, 0.1 rpg
Head Coach: Coquese Washington (Notre Dame, 1992)
8th Season at PSU (145-94); 8th Season Overall (145-94)
Streaks, Stats & Milestones
• Nebraska’s starting five has combined for 375 career starts and has started all 15 games together in 2014-15. Emily Cady (115), Hailie Sample (115), Rachel Theriot (76), Tear’a Laudermill (45) and Brandi Jeffery (24) make up one of the nation’s most experienced starting units. The five also have combined to play in 531 games in their NU careers.
• Seniors Emily Cady and Hailie Sample are expected to make their 116th career starts against Penn State. They passed two-time WNBA All-Star Anna DeForge (114) at No. 8 on the Husker career starts list at Illinois. Lindsey Moore (2010-13) holds the Nebraska record with 132 career starts.
• National Player-of-the-Year candidate Rachel Theriot became just the seventh Husker in history to reach the 400-assist plateau in her career, when she dished out seven assists against Maryland on Jan. 3. The junior from Middleburg Heights, Ohio, has increased her career total to 411 assists to rank sixth in Nebraska history. Lindsey Moore (2010-13) holds the Nebraska record with 699 assists.
• Rachel Theriot produced her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career with 18 points and 10 assists at Minnesota Dec. 29. Theriot leads the Huskers with 18.1 points and 5.1 assists per game.
• Theriot ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten with her .926 free throw percentage.
• Theriot is 53 points away from becoming the 30th 1,000-point scorer in Nebraska history.
• All-Big Ten candidate Emily Cady has produced six double-doubles this year, including 21 points and 14 rebounds to open Big Ten play at Minnesota. Cady, who owns 28 double-doubles in her career, is averaging 13.3 points and a team-leading 9.5 rebounds per game.
• Brandi Jeffery has transformed herself into one of the Big Ten’s best rebounders as a senior. The 5-7 guard has grabbed 106 rebounds on the year, smashing her previous season best of 65 (2011-12). Jeffery ranks 13th in the Big Ten with 7.1 rebounds per game, including 8.3 rebounds through four Big Ten games. She grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds at Minnesota on Dec. 29. She averaged 1.9 rebounds per game for her career entering the season.
• 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 in Sunday’s win at Illinois. It marked the 11th time in the last 82 contests that NU has committed eight or fewer fouls in a game.
• Nebraska ranks No. 3 nationally with 12.5 personal fouls per game. The Huskers are committing just 11.0 fouls per game in Big Ten play. Penn State is averaging 18.0.
• Nebraska is 22-3 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.
• 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. Shepard suffered a season-ending ACL tear at a game at Lincoln North Star High School on Monday, Dec. 29.
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 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 18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 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 Penn State Lady Lions
Penn State has captured at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title in each of Nebraska’s first three seasons in the conference, posting a combined 40-8 record with two losses to the Big Red over the past three years.
Penn State lost four of its five starters from last season, including All-American Maggie Lucas, and the Lady Lions have struggled to replace a talented group. PSU slipped to 3-13 overall and 0-5 in the Big Ten with a 71-51 loss at home to No. 24 Rutgers on Saturday. The Lady Lions also own Big Ten road losses at No. 23 Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, along with a home loss to Illinois.
Redshirt freshman Lindsey Spann has been the most productive of the new-look Penn State players. The 5-6 guard is averaging 16.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Spann also leads the Lady Lions with 20 three-pointers on the year.
Sophomore Sierra Moore, a 5-11 guard, has added 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and a team-best 3.7 assists per game.
Spann and Moore have both started all 16 games for Penn State, and have been joined five times by sophomore Keke Sevillian. The 5-7 guard has managed 2.4 points and 1.7 boards per game, while dishing out 1.5 assists per game.
Sevillian has moved into the starting five in place of 6-2 sophomore Kaliyah Mitchell, who has averaged 7.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, but has dished out 11 assists compared to 36 turnovers. She is also just 4-for-25 from three-point range. Mitchell does lead the Lady Lions with 25 steals on the year.
Junior Candice Agee, a 6-6 junior center, has contributed 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. She also leads PSU with 28 blocked shots on the year, but carries just 13 assists against 31 turnovers. Agee is shooting an impressive 55.2 percent from the floor, but just 50 percent from the free throw line.
Penn State’s lone senior, Tori Waldner, rounds out the Lady Lions’ probable starting five. The 6-5 post is averaging 4.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
Sophomores Jenny DeGraaf (4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg), Peyton Whitted (4.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Alex Harris (3.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have added to Penn State’s bench. Junior Dominique Brooks rounds out PSU’s regular contributors with 1.2 points per contest.
Three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year Coquese Washington is in her eighth season leading the Lady Lions. Her 2014-15 team is averaging 63.4 points per game while shooting 40.1 percent from the floor. PSU is hitting just 24.2 percent of its three-point attempts and 63.6 percent of its free throws. The Lady Lions are allowing 69.4 points per contest, while holding foes to just 38.5 percent from the field. However, opponents are knocking down 33.5 percent of their three-pointers. Penn State carries a plus-1.3 rebound margin, but a minus-2.6 team turnover margin with 19.4 turnovers per game.
Nebraska vs. Penn State Series History
Penn State leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 5-2, but the Huskers rolled to a 94-74 victory in the last meeting at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 24, 2014. In that game, No. 16 Nebraska went 16-for-22 from three-point range and Tear’a Laudermill tied a school record with seven threes in the victory over the No. 8 Lady Lions – the highest ranked team the Huskers have defeated in the brief history of Pinnacle Bank Arena. Laudermill finished with a career-high 27 points, while All-American and 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year Jordan Hooper added 19 points, including four threes, and 12 rebounds.
Nebraska also posted its first-ever Big Ten win, as the Huskers rallied for a 71-63 win at State College, Pa., on Dec. 30, 2011. In that game, Hooper pumped in 31 points while grabbing 12 rebounds, as the No. 23 Huskers came back from an 11-point first-half deficit over the No. 16 Lady Lions.
Although Penn State is 0-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the Lady Lions are 2-1 in Lincoln, including an 82-67 win for No. 7 PSU over the No. 20 Huskers in the final Big Ten regular-season game at the Devaney Center on March 3, 2013. Penn State All-American and 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year Maggie Lucas produced one of the best performances in the history of the Devaney Center with 34 points, including a Devaney women’s basketball record eight three-pointers.
Husker Hot Shots – Nebraska’s Starting Five
#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Jr., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (18.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 5.1 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 has started 76 consecutive games for the Huskers.
• Theriot has produced double figures in 14 of NU’s first 15 games this season, averaging 18.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.
• She ranks No. 2 in the Big Ten with her .926 free throw percentage (50-54). Theriot had made 20 consecutive free throws dating back to the first half of the win over Northern Colorado on Nov. 30, before missing her second attempt at Illinois on Jan. 11 She opened the season with 11 straight makes before a second-half miss at UCLA Nov. 28. In between her second-half miss at UCLA and first-half miss in the next game against Northern Colorado, she made 15 straight.
• Theriot’s 411 career assists rank sixth in Husker history. She needs 33 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 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 43 career double-figure scoring performances, including 25 last season and 14 this season. She needs 53 points to become the 30th Husker in history to reach 1,000 career points.
• Theriot has played the full 40 minutes eight times in 15 games this season, including seven times in the past nine games. Over the last 13 games, she has been on the floor for all but 19 minutes. She has played every minute of Big Ten Conference play.
• 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. (13.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.7 apg)
• One of the nation’s most versatile forwards, Emily Cady earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2014. She enters the Penn State game averaging 13.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
• Cady 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 opened Big Ten play with her sixth double-double of the year and 28th of her career with 21 points and 14 rebounds at Minnesota Dec. 29. It was her second 20-point performance of the season.
• With 28 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).
• Cady owns double-doubles against Minnesota, Bakersfield, Creighton, Duke, Northern Colorado and Pepperdine this season.
• She played a major role in NU’s comeback at Michigan State Jan. 8, scoring seven of Nebraska’s last 11 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 30 seconds left to give the Huskers a 69-67 lead. She finished with a team-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.
• 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.
• She 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 is the Big Ten Conference’s active rebound leader with 929 in her career. Senior teammate Hailie Sample ranks third in the conference with 593 career boards.
• 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 1,253 points, 929 rebounds, 259 assists and 121 steals. She is the only player in Nebraska history with 1,200 points, 900 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 career steals.
• Cady ranks ninth in NU history with 93 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 247 points, 74 rebounds and 41 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 1,253 career points rank No. 16 in Husker history. She needs 31 points to catch Janet Smith (1,284, 1979-82) in 15th.
• Cady ranks fifth in Nebraska history with 929 rebounds and needs 83 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. (11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
• 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 11.9 points per game. She has a team-best 29 three-pointers. She is also NU’s top on-the-ball defender.
• Laudermill has significantly increased her rebounding production this season, and her role on the glass continues to grow. She is averaging a career-best 3.7 rebounds per game, including 5.1 rebounds over the past nine games. 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 128 makes, which ranks ninth on the Husker career list. She needs one more to catch Nicole Kubik (1997-00) and Amy Stephens (1986-89) in seventh with 129.
• Laudermill (109) is one of four Huskers who have played more than 100 career games, joining Emily Cady-115, Hailie Sample-115 and Brandi Jeffery-110.
• Laudermill notched her eighth career 20-point game and third of the season with 22 points in the win over High Point Dec. 20. She had a season-high 25 points at Alabama on Dec. 7. 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 21 of her last 32 games, after managing double figures in just 11 of her first 77. She owns 32 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. (7.9 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.6 spg)
• Brandi Jeffery is playing the best basketball of her career, averaging 7.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 15 games as a starter to open the season. She has scored in double figures five times this season and 14 times in her career.
• Jeffery (110) is one of four Husker seniors who have played more than 100 career games, joining Emily Cady-115, Hailie Sample-115 and Tear’a Laudermill-109.
• 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 added her fifth double-figure scoring performance of the year with 10 points at Michigan State (Jan. 8).
• Jeffery’s most impressive gains have come on the glass, where she ranks second among the Huskers and 13th in the Big Ten with 7.1 rebounds per game. With 106 rebounds this season she has smashed her previous single-season best (65, 2011-12). She had 62 rebounds last year. She needs just 13 rebounds to match her sophomore and junior season totals combined (119). She has played 438 fewer minutes this season than those two years combined.
• Jeffery also leads the Huskers with 24 steals this season, surpassing her total from 2013-14. She has at least one steal in all but two games for the Huskers and owns 13 steals over the last five contests.
• Over the last seven games, Jeffery is averaging 8.9 rebounds per game, including a career-high 16 rebounds at Minnesota Dec. 29. She is averaging 8.3 rebounds in Big Ten play.
• 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 an 87-28 record and three NCAA tournaments.
• Jeffery owns 464 points, 290 rebounds and 127 career assists. She is just one steal away from 100 in her career.
#3, Hailie Sample, 6-0, Sr., F, Flower Mound, Texas (7.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
• 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 Huskers in field goal percentage (.638) through 15 games and ranks 18th in Big Ten rebounding (6.6 rpg). Her shooting percentage would lead the Big Ten but she is one under the conference minimum requirement of 3.0 made field goals per game.
• She is the Big Ten’s No. 3 active career rebounder with 593, trailing only teammate Emily Cady (929) and Iowa’s Samantha Logic.
• Sample has started 115 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 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 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.
• 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 19 career double-digit scoring games, including nine in 2013-14 and four in 2014-15. She also owns six career double-figure rebound games, including three in 2013-14.
• Sample ranks No. 18 on the Nebraska career rebound list with 593. She needs 88 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 and Sample have started all 115 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 87-28 (.757 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. 17 in The Associated Press Poll after a pair of Big Ten road wins at Michigan State and Illinois last week. The Huskers had slipped to No. 19 after being ranked No. 12 for five consecutive weeks. NU jumped to No. 15 from No. 18 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25. The Huskers opened 2014-15 No. 16 in both polls.
The Huskers climbed to No. 22 in the official NCAA RPI after a road win at Illinois on Jan. 11. NU was as high as No. 5 on Jan. 1. Nebraska’s Strength of Schedule ranks No. 26 nationally by RealTimeRPI.com.
The Big Ten ranks as the No. 1 RPI conference in the country, according to RealTimeRPI.com, with the SEC (2nd), ACC (3rd), Big 12 (4th) and Pac-12 (5th). Seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the NCAA RPI’s top 40, including Maryland (6th), Iowa (20th), Nebraska (22nd), Ohio State (24th), Minnesota (26th), Northwestern (35th) and Purdue (40th). Michigan (54th), Rutgers (56th), Illinois (67th) and Michigan State (87th) give the conference 11 teams in the RPI top 100. Indiana (111th), Wisconsin (130th) and Penn State (242nd) round out the conference.
The Huskers own six top-100 RPI wins, including road wins at Washington State (56th), UCLA (60th), Illinois (67th), Michigan State (87th) and Creighton (97th) along with a home win over Duke (19th).
Bakersfield (117th), High Point (141st), Pepperdine (145th), Alabama (155th) also 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.