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Nebraska Cornhuskers

vs. Denver Pioneers
Saturday, December 15, 2018, 4:30 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena - Lincoln, Nebraska
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (4:15 p.m.)
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln-B107.3 FM; Omaha-ESPN 590 AM
Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn
Huskers Wrap Up Home Stand Against Pioneers
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team concludes its three-game non-conference home stand by playing host to the Denver Pioneers on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
• Tip off between the Huskers (4-5) and the Pioneers (7-3) is set for 4:30 p.m. (CT) in Lincoln. Live radio coverage (beginning at 4:15 p.m.) can be heard in Lincoln on B107.3 FM, in Omaha on ESPN 590 AM, in Lexington on 880 AM KRVN, and across the state on many other Husker Sports Network stations. Free live audio can also be found at Huskers.com, on the Huskers App and on TuneIn. A live video stream will be provided by BTN Plus Student U.
• Nebraska has won the first two games in its longest home stand of the season, defeating traditional rival Kansas (58-52, Dec. 5), before rolling to a 96-63 win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). The Huskers have taken the week off from competition for Finals Week at the University of Nebraska before facing the Pioneers.
• Nebraska produced plus-20 rebound margins in the back-to-back wins over the Jayhawks (+21) and Spartans (+28) to become just the third Husker team in history to achieve consecutive plus-20 margins in a season, joining the 2009-10 team and the 1990-91 Husker squad. The 1990-91 Huskers are the only NU team to achieve plus-20 margins in three consecutive games, accomplishing that feat in the first three games of the year.
• The last time Nebraska played Denver in Lincoln, the Huskers worked their way to a 73-38 win (Dec. 30, 2007), including a plus-33 (58-25) rebound margin - the third-largest margin in NU history.
• The 2018-19 version of the Pioneers has produced a 43.3-43.0 (+0.3) rebound margin through their first 10 games of the season, including a 50-32 edge on the glass in a recent win at Southern Utah (Dec. 8). DU was out-rebounded (49-38) in Tuesday’s 66-64 loss at New Mexico State.
• Nebraska got a big performance from 6-5 center Kate Cain in Saturday’s win over San Jose State. The sophomore from Middletown, N.Y., matched her season high with 16 points while grabbing a season-best 17 rebounds for her seventh career double-double and second of the season. Cain, who hit 8-of-9 shots against the Spartans, is shooting a team-best 57.7 percent from the field while averaging 9.2 points and team-bests of 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots.
• The Big Red also received the first career double-double from freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek against San Jose State. The 6-2 forward from Sioux Center, Iowa notched career highs with 14 points and 14 rebounds in just 17 minutes of action against the Spartans. Veerbeek is averaging 7.7 points and 7.0 rebounds on the year after averaging 10.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in just 18.0 minutes in last week’s wins over Kansas and San Jose State.
• In last Wednesday’s win over the Jayhawks, sophomore Taylor Kissinger recorded her second career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. The 6-1 guard pitched in 17 points on 5-of-11 three-point shooting in the win over San Jose State. She averaged 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals last week and is shooting a team-best 55.3 percent (21-38) from three-point range, which ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division I through games Dec. 11.
• Saturday’s game with Denver will feature two of the nation’s hottest three-point shooters, as Denver’s Lauren Loven ranks eighth nationally with her 52.3 shooting percentage (41-77) from long range. Loven is averaging 4.1 made threes per game.
• Freshman guard Sam Haiby also has produced double figures five times this season, including a career-high 20 points at Washington State. Haiby has put up double digits against nationally ranked teams Miami (14), Drake (13) and Louisville (12) along with 17 points at Creighton. She is averaging a team-best 10.9 points to go along with 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
• Junior guard Hannah Whitish had a season-high eight assists to go along with nine points in the win over San Jose State. Whitish is averaging 8.7 points and a team-best 4.2 assists per game.
• Four of Nebraska’s five losses early this season have come against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams, including Final Four participant and 2018 ACC champion Louisville, Creighton (NCAA second round), Miami and Drake. Both the Hurricanes (22nd) and Drake (25th) are currently ranked in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 along with No. 4 Louisville.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-5, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 8.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - So. C - 9.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Jr. - G - 8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 7.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - So. - G - 9.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Off the Bench
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - Fr. - G - 10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 7.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 7.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg
11(out) - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Third Season at Nebraska (32-38); 12th Season Overall (225-147)
Denver Pioneers (7-3, 0-0 Summit League)
23 - Madison Nelson - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 14.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg
15 - Courtney Smith - 6-2 - Jr. - C - 11.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg
3 - Lauren Loven - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 17.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg
12 - Claire Gritt - 5-10 - So. - G - 12.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg
22 - Samantha Romanowski - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 8.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Off the Bench
25 - Sydney Mech - 6-2 - Fr. - G/F - 8.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg
1 - Grace White - 5-10 - So. - G/F - 6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg
32 - Tsimba Malonga - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 6.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg
0 - Abi Curtin - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 2.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
10 - Haley Simental - 5-8 - Sr. - G - 2.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg
33 - Jasmine Jeffcoat - 6-2 - So. - F - 1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
5 - Anna Jackson - 6-0 - Fr. - F - 0.8 ppg, 0.3 rpg
Head Coach: Jim Turgeon (Washburn, 1997)
Second Season at Denver (23-17); Fourth Season Overall (77-27)
Scouting the Denver Pioneers
• Denver comes to Lincoln with a 7-3 record after dropping a 66-64 decision at New Mexico State (5-2) on Tuesday night. The Pioneers were outscored 22-14 in the fourth quarter in Las Cruces.
• The Pioneers own a high-powered offense averaging 83.9 points and 9.5 threes per game on 40.8 percent three-point shooting under the direction of second-year coach Jim Turgeon. Jim is the brother of Maryland men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon, and the uncle of Husker Maddie Simon.
• DU features four players averaging in double figures led by junior Lauren Loven. The 5-7 guard from Scottsdale, Ariz., is averaging 17.0 points per game. Before going 1-for-11 from long range at New Mexico State, Loven was leading the nation in three-pointers made and three-pointers made per game. She ranked second nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.606) and was the only player in the top 15 in percentage with more than 30 makes. Despite going 1-for-11 at NMSU, and 3-for-17 in her last two games, Loven is shooting 53.2 percent (41-77) from three this year.
• Loven scored 20 or more points and hit at least five threes in each of Denver’s first six wins this season. She managed eight points on 2-of-6 shooting in a 71-70 win at Southern Utah (Dec. 8). In DU’s wins, Loven is averaging 20.7 points and 5.6 made threes per game. In the Pioneers’ three losses, she is averaging 7.7 points and 1.3 made threes per game.
• Fellow junior Madison Nelson is nearly averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and a team-best 9.7 rebounds per game. The 6-1 forward from Dover, Minn., had three consecutive double-doubles before being held to 15 points and three rebounds in a loss at Wyoming (Dec. 4). That stretch began with a 23-point, 20-rebound effort in a 117-110 2OT win over Lamar (Nov. 23).
• Sophomore Claire Gritt is averaging 12.2 points and 4.8 boards while leading Denver with 1.8 steals per game. The 5-10 guard ranks second among the Pioneers with 12 threes. Gritt has scored in double figures eight times this season, including a season-high 20 at Northern Colorado (Nov. 16).
• Junior transfer Courtney Smith has averaged 11.8 points and 9.4 rebounds while playing in five games with four starts. She notched a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds in a win over American, then missed the next three games before returning for 15 points and six boards in the loss at Wyoming. Smith, a 6-2 forward from Thorton, Colo., who spent her first two seasons at Northern Colorado, had 12 points and 13 boards in the loss at New Mexico State.
• Sydney Mech, a 6-2 freshman wing out of Englewood, Colo., has pitched in 8.6 points and 4.4 rebounds. She is shooting 50 percent from the field including a red hot 8-for-10 from three-point range and 89.5 percent (17-19) at the free throw line. She did not play at New Mexico State.
• Senior Samantha Romanowski ranks among the top players in the nation with 6.3 assists per game, while adding 8.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals. The 5-9 guard is also averaging 1.4 blocks per game.
• Sophomore guard Grace White (6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and freshman guard Tsimba Malonga (6.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg) give the Pioneers more good, young production from the backcourt off the bench.
• Junior forward Abi Curtain (2.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg), senior guard Haley Simental (2.5 ppg) and sophomore forward Jasmine Jeffcoat (1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg) also have seen significant playing time.
• As a team, Denver owns a plus-10.9 scoring margin, a plus-0.3 rebound margin and a minus-0.3 turnover margin. The Pioneers are shooting 44.2 percent from the field, including 40.8 percent from three-point range and a strong 77.5 percent at the free throw line. DU has held opponents to just 37.2 percent shooting from the field, including 32.3 percent from long range. The opposition has hit just 62.9 percent of their free throws.
Nebraska vs. Denver Series History
• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Denver, 2-0. Saturday’s game will be the first in more than a decade with Denver, dating back to a 76-55 Nebraska win in the Mile High City on Nov. 24, 2008. The previous season, the Huskers defeated the Pioneers 73-38 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Dec. 30, 2007.
• The previous meeting in Lincoln featured Colorado native and eventual Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page getting 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Huskers, along with Lincoln East graduate and two-sport standout (also soccer at DU), Jenna Cole, getting a start for Denver.
• The game also included a plus-33 (58-25) rebound margin for the Huskers, which is the third-largest margin in the 1,351 games in Husker history.
Husker Nuggets
• Nebraska’s plus-28 rebound margin (56-28) against San Jose State (Dec. 8) tied for the 10th-best margin in school history.
• Nebraska’s 64 total rebounds against Kansas (Dec. 5) tied for the fourth-highest total in school history and was NU’s second-best total ever against a Power Five Conference team, trailing only 66 rebounds against USC (Nov. 18, 2011).
• Nebraska had a plus-21 rebound margin (64-43) in the win over the Jayhawks.
• Nebraska’s back-to-back plus-20 rebound margin games marked the first time the Huskers have accomplished the feat since 2009-10, when NU’s first NCAA Sweet Sixteen team went back-to-back against both Idaho State (+23)/Washington State (+21) and against Albany (+26)/Vermont (+22).
• The only other team to achieve back-to-back plus-20 rebound margins was the 1990-91 squad, which opened the season with three consecutive plus-20 margins against Sam Houston State (+28), James Madison (+27) and Robert Morris (+23). The 1990-91 team is the only Husker squad to achieve three straight plus-20 rebound margins.
• Only five Husker teams (2015-16 (3), 2009-10 (4), 1997-98 (6), 1993-94 (3), 1990-91 (3) have produced three plus-20 rebound margins in the same season.
• Nebraska’s 34 points in the fourth quarter against San Jose State tied for the most in any quarter in school history. It joined 34 in the second quarter at Iowa and 34 in the fourth quarter against Florida Atlantic in games last season.
• NU’s 62 points in the second half against San Jose State tied for the fifth-most points scored in any half by the Huskers in school history.
• Freshman Sam Haiby led Nebraska with 13 points in a season-opening loss to Drake (Nov. 7). Haiby is the first Husker freshman to lead NU in scoring in an opener since Kelsey Griffin’s 18 in a loss to South Dakota State (Nov. 19, 2005).

Freshmen Contributing Early for Huskers• Nebraska has received production early and often from its 2018-19 freshman class. The four-player class, which was ranked among the top 20 recruiting classes in the nation by ESPN last season, features Sam Haiby (10.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Ashtyn Veerbeek (7.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg), Leigha Brown (7.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Kayla Mershon (2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
• Haiby, a 5-9 guard from Moorhead, Minn., leads Nebraska with 10.9 points per game off the bench. She has led the Huskers in scoring in four games, including against nationally ranked Drake (13) and Miami (14), while also scoring a career-high 20 points at Washington State and adding 17 points at Creighton. She owns five double-figure scoring efforts overall, including 12 points at No. 5 Louisville (Nov. 29).
• Haiby also ranks third among the Huskers in assists (2.4 apg).
• Ashtyn Veerbeek is tied with Leigha Brown for second among the Husker freshmen in scoring with 7.7 points per game, while leading the group and ranking second on the team with 7.0 rebounds. Veerbeek produced her first career double-double with career highs of 14 points and 14 rebounds in a win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). She also ranks second among the Huskers with 12 blocks.
• Leigha Brown set a career high with 18 points in the win over San Jose State (Dec. 8). Brown, who has led the Huskers twice in scoring early in the season, is averaging 7.7 points per game. The 6-1 wing from Auburn, Indiana leads the freshmen with seven three-pointers and has committed a total of just four turnovers over the past eight games.
• Kayla Mershon has pitched in 2.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game for the Huskers, including a career-high seven rebounds in the win over Kansas (Dec. 5). The 6-3 forward from Chanhassen, Minn., also has dished out five assists and has committed a team-best two turnovers through nine games.
• The freshmen have combined for 37.6 percent (256-of-680) of Nebraska’s points in just 32.8 percent of the team’s total minutes (607-of-1,850) on the season. They also have accounted for just 26.5 percent (40-of-151) of Nebraska’s turnovers.
• Nebraska’s four freshmen are combining to average 28.4 points and 14.2 rebounds per game, while NU’s two sophomores (Kate Cain, Taylor Kissinger) have combined to average 18.4 points and 11.7 boards per contest. Nebraska’s six underclassmen have combined for 62.1 percent of NU’s scoring and 58.4 percent of the team’s rebounding through nine games.

Nebraska Streaks
• Sophomore Kate Cain owns the longest streak of consecutive starts by a Husker with 40.
• Junior Nicea Eliely owns Nebraska’s second-longest streak of starts with 35, while senior Maddie Simon has started 33 consecutive games.
• Kate Cain has at least two rebounds in every game of her Nebraska career (41), and she has blocked at least one shot in 39 of 41 games (no blocks in 2018 NCAA Tournament vs. Arizona State and no blocks at Creighton, Dec. 2, 2018).
• Sophomore Taylor Kissinger is 8-for-8 at the free throw line to open the season and owns the longest active free throw streak by a Husker. Kissinger also hit eight consecutive three-pointers over a three-game stretch earlier this season.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three in 321 straight games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008. Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 200 consecutive games.
Nebraska’s History of Home Success
• Nebraska had its streak of 12 consecutive season-opening wins snapped with an 83-77 loss to current top-25 team and two-time defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Drake on Nov. 7. However, the Huskers still have an outstanding history of success at home, including a 3-1 record at Pinnacle Bank Arena to open 2018-19.
• The Huskers were 10-6 at home in 2017-18, winning five of their final six home games.
• The Huskers went 15-4 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2015-16 after going 12-3 (13-3 at home) in 2014-15. The Huskers are 63-25 (.716) all-time at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the building opened for the 2013-14 campaign. The Big Red went 16-2 at home in 2013-14, suffering their only Big Ten loss to Purdue, 77-75, on Jan. 19, 2014. NU’s 16 home wins in 2013-14 tied the school record for single-season home victories.
• The Huskers played the first regular-season game arena history against USA Today No. 25 UCLA (Nov. 8, 2013) and rolled to a 77-49 win over the Bruins. NU’s first win over an AP Top 25 team came with a 76-56 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Feb. 8, 2014. The Huskers added their first-ever win over an AP Top 10 team at the arena with a 94-74 victory over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24, 2014.
• NU won its first-ever Big Ten home game at Pinnacle Bank Arena with a 66-65 thriller over Northwestern Jan. 2, 2014, before an 88-85 win over Minnesota on Jan. 16, 2014, marked the first overtime game.
• NU suffered its first loss at the arena to Washington State (76-72) on Nov. 30, 2013.
• The Huskers are 452-155 (.745) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 188-59 (.761) over the last 16 seasons (including 2018-19), posting double-figure home victory totals 14 times.
• Nebraska played in the Devaney Center from 1976-77 through 2012-13, and added one appearance at Devaney against Utah on Nov. 23, 2014. The Huskers own a 389-130 record at the Devaney Center, including 146-88 (.624) mark in conference play.




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LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska volleyball student-athletes Mikaela Foecke and Lauren Stivrins were named AVCA First-Team All-Americans, and Kenzie Maloney was selected to the AVCA All-America Third Team, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Wednesday.

Foecke, a senior outside hitter from West Point, Iowa, earned her second-career All-America honor after earning second-team accolades last year. Stivrins, a sophomore middle blocker from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Maloney, a senior libero from Louisville, Kentucky, were both honored for the first time. Freshman setter Nicklin Hames received honorable mention.

It marks only the second time since 2006 that the Huskers have had two AVCA first-team All-Americans. The Huskers' three AVCA All-America selections improved their nation-leading total to 90 all-time. A nation-leading total of 45 players have combined for the Huskers' 90 awards.

Foecke leads the Huskers with 3.80 kills per set and is averaging 2.69 digs per set and has 43 service aces this season. Her current kills per set average is Nebraska’s best since 2013 (Kelsey Robinson, 4.45). The Husker co-captain was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season. She has 21 aces in her NCAA Tournament career, the second-highest total in Nebraska history. Only Jordan Larson (36) has more. Foecke had the third and fourth double-doubles of her NCAA Tournament career at the Minneapolis Regional last weekend, and she was named the most valuable player. She ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. The two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).

Stivrins was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and was also the Big Ten Player of the Week once this season. The 6-4 middle blocker is averaging 2.33 kills per set on a team-best .409 hitting percentage, which ranks sixth in the nation. It is NU's highest individual hitting percentage since 2007 (Tracy Stalls, .473). An All-Big Ten selection for the first time as well this season, Stivrins added serving to her repertoire and has 25 aces. Stivrins was named to the Minneapolis All-Regional team last weekend after 11 kills on .526 hitting in the regional final win over Oregon. She had 13 kills with a career-high 10 blocks in a 3-2 win over Penn State on Nov. 2.

Maloney, the Husker co-captain, is averaging a team-best 4.06 digs per set and has played an instrumental role in leading the Huskers to a nation-leading .136 opponent hitting percentage this season. The Louisville, Kentucky native ranks fifth in NU career history in digs with 1,369. Maloney posted a career-high 25 digs twice this season, and she was named the most valuable player of the Husker Invite and the best libero at the Ameritas Players Challenge. Maloney's 36 service aces are the third-most on the team this year. She and Foecke are the only Huskers in school history to play in four NCAA Semifinals, and they will each play in their 22nd NCAA Tournament match on Thursday, the most postseason matches played by any player in program history.

Hames earned honorable mention after recording a school-record 23 double-doubles this season, averaging 10.46 assists and 3.33 digs per set. Her 39 service aces are second-most on the team. Hames was an All-Big Ten Freshman Team member and a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

The Division I TeamSnap/AVCA National Player of the Year will be announced on December 14 at the AVCA All-America/Players of the Year Banquet.

The Huskers are in Minneapolis getting set to take on No. 3 Illinois in an NCAA Semifinal match on Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPN, WatchESPN.com and the Husker Sports Network.





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Nebraska outside hitter Mikaela Foecke has been selected as the 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Foecke is the fourth Senior CLASS Award winner from Nebraska and the second Husker to win for volleyball after Gina Mancuso took home the award in 2012.

“When I came to the University of Nebraska in 2015, my goals were to not only help Nebraska volleyball win games and championships, but also to become a better student, person and teammate,” said Foecke, who led the Huskers to their fourth consecutive Final Four this season after capturing NCAA national titles as both a freshman and junior. “These past four years have gone by so quickly, and it hasn’t really set in yet that my college career is coming to an end. But when I look back, I am so proud of all that we have accomplished. To win two national championships and two Big Ten championships has been incredible, but what I will really take most from my time at Nebraska is the relationships I have built with my teammates, the coaches, the staff, and of course our amazing fans. Whichever path I take after graduation, I know that the experience of being a student-athlete at Nebraska will have prepared me well for life both on and off the volleyball court.”

Already receiving her fourth-straight first-team AVCA All-North Region honor this season, Foecke will go down as one of the greatest players in one of the top volleyball programs in the country. A two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player, Foecke has earned AVCA All-America honors in each of her first three seasons with the potential for a fourth honor this week, and has earned Big Ten conference honors all four years as well, including unanimous first-team honors as both a junior and senior. Foecke currently ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. She also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).

Also a standout in the classroom, Foecke has received multiple Academic All-Big Ten honors in her career for both court volleyball and beach volleyball. Majoring in animal science, she carries a 3.649 GPA is a five-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll and has received Nebraska’s High Honors (Silver) Academic Medallion twice.

“Mikaela is part of the most decorated senior class in the history of Nebraska volleyball,” said Head Coach John Cook, a two-time AVCA Division I National Coach of the Year. “She and Kenzie Maloney are the only two Nebraska players ever who will have played at four NCAA Final Fours, and she has been the most outstanding player two of the three times we have been there, which is incredible. What separates Mikaela is her dedication to being great in everything she does. She is a phenomenal student with aspirations of being a veterinarian someday. Mikaela has also developed outstanding leadership skills during her time at Nebraska, and there’s no question that she and Kenzie are the biggest reason this young team has made it to the NCAA Semifinals for a fourth time. Mikaela will leave a huge lasting legacy on Nebraska volleyball when her career comes to an end.”

A team captain and its representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Foecke has shown exemplary character throughout her Husker career. A three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader, Foecke has also remained committed to community outreach, helping the Husker volleyball program earn the Nebraska’s Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People’s City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.

“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we are honored to recognize Mikaela Foecke as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “Not only is Mikaela one of the best players to ever wear a Husker uniform, she’s also an incredibly well-rounded student-athlete who excels in every area. We offer our sincere congratulations to Mikaela, her team and the entire university.”

For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

 

First-Team Senior CLASS Award All-AmericansAli Bastianelli, Illinois
Santita Ebangwese, Syracuse
Mikaela Foecke, Nebraska
Jordyn Poulter, Illinois
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Minnesota

Second-Team Senior CLASS Award All-AmericansTami Alade, Stanford
Lauren Bruns, Dayton
Taryn Kloth, Creighton
Haley Libs, Northern Kentucky
Courtney Pence, Illinois State





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• The sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team will make its program-record fourth straight trip to the NCAA Semifinals when they take on No. 3 Illinois on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The match will be televised on ESPN and will be streamed online at WatchESPN.com. Paul Sunderland, Karch Kiraly and Holly Rowe will have the call.

• No. 1 Stanford and No. 4 BYU will play in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. on Thursday, also on ESPN and WatchESPN.com. The semifinal winners will meet in the NCAA Championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.com. Tickets can be purchased at NCAA.com/tickets.
• The Nebraska-Illinois semifinal match will be broadcast on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, including 107.3 FM in Lincoln and AM 590 in Omaha. A live audio stream will be provided at Huskers.com and also on the official Huskers app. John Baylor is in his 25th season doing play-by-play for the Husker volleyball program. Lauren (Cook) West, a former All-America setter for the Huskers, will provide color commentary.

Nebraska’s History in the NCAA Semifinals
• The defending national champion Huskers have advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the fourth straight year, a first in program history. Nebraska became the sixth program in NCAA history to reach at least four straight final fours, joining Stanford (1982-87, 1994-97), Pacific (1983-86), UCLA (1988-92), Penn State (2007-10) and Texas (2012-16). Only Penn State, Texas and Nebraska have accomplished the feat since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1998.
• The Huskers are making their 15th NCAA Semifinals appearance all-time, second-most behind only Stanford (22).
• Nebraska is 8-6 all-time in NCAA Semifinals appearances, including a 5-3 record under John Cook. The last three times the Huskers have won their NCAA Semifinal match, they’ve gone on to win the national title (2006, 2015, 2017).
• Cook is taking Nebraska to the NCAA Semifinals for the ninth time in his 19 seasons as head coach. Cook’s nine NCAA Semifinals appearances are tied for the sixth-most by any coach in NCAA history.
• Cook is just the fifth coach in NCAA history to make nine NCAA Semifinals appearances at one school, joining Andy Banachowski (UCLA, retired), Russ Rose (Penn State), Don Shaw (Stanford, retired) and Dave Shoji (Hawaii, retired).

Huskers’ Senior Class Most Decorated in School History
• Nebraska’s two seniors who have been with the program all four years – Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – are 20-1 in their NCAA Tournament careers, and the duo is a combined 51-2 all-time in the months of November and December. Their 20 postseason victories are the most in a four-year span in Nebraska history.
• Foecke and Maloney will each play in their 22nd NCAA Tournament match on Thursday, the most postseason matches played by any player in program history. The duo have also each played in 72 career NCAA Tournament sets, trailing only Annika Albrecht (75 sets) and Jordan Larson (73 sets) for most career postseason sets played in Nebraska history.

About the Huskers
• Nebraska improved to 28-6 overall and won its 12th straight match last Saturday against No. 14 Oregon in the Minneapolis Regional Final. The Huskers have swept seven straight matches dating back to Nov. 17.
• The win was Nebraska’s 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament win dating back to an NCAA Semifinal loss to Texas in 2016. The 10-match postseason win streak is tied for the longest NCAA Tournament winning streak in program history (NU also won 10 straight matches from 2000-01 and 2015-16).
• NU held Kentucky to a season-low .165 hitting percentage last Friday in the NCAA Regional Semifinal, the 13th time this season Nebraska has held a team to its lowest hitting percentage of the season.
• Nebraska leads the nation in opponent hitting percentage at .136. Nebraska’s opponent hitting percentage is its best mark since holding foes to .126 in the 2005 season. The best defensive team in the John Cook era was the 2004 squad that held opponents to .103 hitting for the season.
• The Huskers have held 26 of their 34 opponents under .200 hitting this year, and 13 have hit below .100.
• Nebraska ranks 12th nationally in blocks per set at 2.79.
• The Huskers rank 16th in the nation in aces per set with 1.67. That is the Huskers’ highest ace total since 2007 (1.82) and is the third-highest mark by a Husker team in the rally scoring era.
• Nebraska has climbed to 17th nationally in hitting percentage with a .265 mark. During its current stretch of seven straight sweeps, the Huskers are hitting .350.

Coaches
• John Cook, Nebraska: 19th year at Nebraska (559-75); 26th year overall (720-148)
• Chris Tamas, Illinois: 2nd year at Illinois (55-14)

Series History
• Nebraska is 25-8-1 all-time against Illinois. The teams split the season series, 1-1. In the first match, a 3-1 Husker win in Champaign on Sept. 29, NU held Illinois to .157 hitting, and Mikaela Foecke had 13 kills and 11 digs while Callie Schwarzenbach had nine kills and eight blocks. Illinois returned the favor in Lincoln on Oct. 27, posting a 3-1 win over the Huskers, which is the Huskers’ last loss before their current 12-match winning streak. Jacqueline Quade had 23 kills for Illinois, which held the Huskers to a .099 hitting percentage that night.

Scouting Illinois
• No. 3 Illinois enters the match with a 32-3 overall record and finished second in the Big Ten with a 17-3 conference record. The Fighting Illini have won 17 straight matches, including seven wins against top-15 opponents in that stretch.
• Illinois is coached by former Husker assistant coach Chris Tamas, who was part of the Husker coaching staff during the 2015 NCAA Championship season along with his wife, Jen. Tamas took over as head coach at Illinois in 2017 and is 1-2 all-time facing Nebraska head coach John Cook.
• Illinois ranks ninth nationally with a .283 hitting percentage. Its opponent hitting percentage of .164 ranks 28th. All-America setter Jordyn Poulter leads the team with 11.61 assists per set. She was the Big Ten Co-Setter of the Year.
• Jacqueline Quade leads the attack with 4.19 kills per set and was an All-Big Ten selection. Megan Cooney adds 2.65 kills per set, and Beth Prince is averaging 2.63 kills per set.
• All-America middle blocker Ali Bastianelli ranks 19th nationally in blocks with 1.40 per set and is providing 2.30 kills per set on .352 hitting.

Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
• Seniors Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney are co-captaining the 2018 Husker squad. Foecke and Maloney are the lone players on the team who have been part of both the 2015 and 2017 NCAA Championship teams, and the duo will look to become the first in program history to win three national championships.
• Foecke, an outside hitter from West Point, Iowa, was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Championship in both 2015 and 2017 after leading the Huskers to their fourth and fifth NCAA titles all-time.
• Foecke became the fourth player in NCAA history to twice be named the MOP - as she also earned the honor in 2015 - and she was the first to earn the honor in non-consecutive years. The other three players to earn two most outstanding player awards were: Lauren Cacciamani (Penn State, 1998 and 1999), Keao Burdine (USC, 2002 and 2003) and Megan Hodge (Penn State, 2007 and 2008).
• Foecke, who was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times this season, leads the Huskers with 3.80 kills per set and adds 2.69 digs per set and 43 service aces this season. Her current kills per set average is Nebraska’s best since 2013 (Kelsey Robinson, 4.45). Foecke was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season. She has 21 aces in her NCAA Tournament career, the second-highest total in Nebraska history. Only Jordan Larson (36) has more.
• Foecke had the third and fourth double-doubles of her NCAA Tournament career at the Minneapolis Regional last weekend, and she was named the most valuable player.
• Foecke ranks third on Nebraska’s career kills list with 1,638, and her 132 career aces are eighth-most in school history. Foecke also has 263 career kills all-time in the NCAA Tournament, second-most in school history behind only Sarah Pavan (304).
• Maloney, a libero from Louisville, Kentucky, was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 2017 and was a PrepVolleyball.com first-team All-American after serving a school-record 13 aces during the NCAA Tournament.
• In her first season as NU’s libero in 2017, Maloney played all 125 sets and averaged 3.62 digs per set and 0.95 aces per set with season totals of 452 digs and 37 aces, second-most on the team.
• Maloney was named to the All-Big Ten team this year. She is averaging a team-high 4.06 digs per set and had a career-high 25 digs in a win at No. 14 Creighton and again at No. 3 Minnesota.
• Maloney became the 11th Husker all-time to reach 1,000 career digs when she did so against Missouri State on Sept. 15. She now has 1,369 career digs, fifth-most in school history.

Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
• After earning All-Big Ten Freshman team honors in 2017, middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and opposite hitter Jazz Sweet are both playing bigger roles as sophomores in the program.
• Stivrins is averaging 2.33 kills per set on a team-best .409 hitting percentage, NU’s highest individual hitting percentage since 2007 (Tracy Stalls, .473). She ranks sixth in the nation. Stivrins was also an All-Big Ten selection.
• Stivrins finished the 2017 season with 2.07 kills per set on .309 hitting and 1.02 blocks per set while playing all 125 sets. She tallied nine kills on .316 hitting against Florida in the NCAA Championship match and had seven kills and a career-high nine blocks in the NCAA Semifinal vs. Penn State.
• Stivrins picked up her first career Big Ten Player of the Week honor after becoming the third Husker in school history to post a 1.000 hitting percentage with at least 10 kills when she went 10-for-10 in a sweep of Northwestern on Sept. 28.
• Sweet also played in all 125 sets last season and had 2.22 kills per set on .273 hitting in her first year as a Husker. Sweet posted 12 kills on .375 hitting against Penn State in the NCAA Semifinal.
• This year, Sweet moved into the starting lineup for the Big Red and is averaging 2.27 kills per set.

Sun Shining for Huskers
• Nebraska added sophomore outside hitter Lexi Sun to its attack in the offseason. The University of Texas transfer was a 2017 first-team All-Big 12 selection and received All-America honorable mention in her freshman season with the Longhorns. A native of Encinitas, California, Sun was the PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year and the All-USA Volleyball Player of the Year as a senior at Santa Fe Christian.
• Sun made her Husker debut on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. She had 13 kills on .346 hitting with five digs, and she followed that the next day with nine kills on .368 hitting with seven digs against Missouri State.
• Sun is playing all six rotations for the Huskers and is averaging 3.17 kills and 2.68 digs per set. She has 27 service aces.

Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
• Eight of the 15 Huskers on the roster are new to the team this season, and five are freshmen.
• True freshman setter Nicklin Hames is averaging 10.46 assists and 3.33 digs per set. Her 39 service aces are second-most on the team. Hames has 23 double-doubles this season, a Nebraska school record in the rally scoring era. Hames was an All-Big Ten Freshman Team member.
• Freshman middle blocker Callie Schwarzenbach was also an All-Big Ten Freshman Team selection. Schwarzenbach leads the team with 1.38 blocks per set, which ranks 21st in the nation. Schwarzenbach has 170 blocks this season, which set a new Nebraska freshman record for blocks in a season, passing Tracy Stalls (160) in 2004.
• Defensive specialist Megan Miller has played in 27 matches and is providing 1.88 digs per set and has 19 aces from the service line. Miller had a career-high 23 digs at No. 15 Michigan on Nov. 10.
• Outside hitter Capri Davis has played in 24 matches and was huge for the Huskers in a 3-2 comeback win at No. 14 Creighton early this season, providing 18 kills.
• Defensive specialist Chen Abramovich made her first collegiate appearance against Wake Forest on Aug. 31.

Smith Makes Return to Huskers
• Senior setter Brooke Smith was part of the Huskers’ 2015 NCAA Championship team and 2016 Big Ten Championship team. She played the 2017 season at Kansas State before transferring back to Nebraska for her senior season this year. Smith was cleared by the NCAA to start playing for the Huskers on Sept. 7 and has played in 12 matches, recording nine assists and one ace. Smith received Nebraska’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award this year for the second time in her career.

Huskers Played School-Record 19 Home Matches
• Nebraska played a school-record 19 regular-season home matches in 2018.
• Nine of the Huskers’ 10 non-conference matches were played at the Devaney Center this season. The only road trip was to Omaha, where NU beat No. 14 Creighton, 3-2, on Sept. 6.
• The 2018 season marked the first time the Huskers didn’t play a non-conference match outside of Nebraska since 2007.

Huskers Record 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
• Nebraska holds an NCAA women’s record 253 consecutive regular-season sellouts. The Huskers celebrated their 250th straight regular-season sellout with a thrilling 3-2 win over No. 7 Penn State on Nov. 2.

Huskers Ranked No. 6 in AVCA Coaches Poll
• Nebraska is ranked No. 6 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
• The Huskers have been ranked No. 1 in 99 all-time polls, the most in NCAA history.
• The Huskers have been ranked in the top 10 a total of 485 times, which is also the most in NCAA history.
• Nebraska has appeared in all 540 AVCA Coaches Polls since it was established in 1982. Nebraska and Stanford are the only two programs to be ranked in every poll all-time.

Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
• Nebraska head coach John Cook is in his 19th season as the Nebraska volleyball head coach in 2018. He has led the Huskers to four national championships, nine final fours, 12 conference championships and 16 top-10 final rankings since 2000. Cook has 720 career wins and is one of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA history.
• Since taking over the program in 2000, Cook has led the Huskers to a nation-leading .882 win percentage in that time (559-75).
• Under Cook, the Huskers have achieved 52 AVCA All-Americans and 19 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, both among the best in the nation. He is a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, earning the prestigious honor in 2000 and 2005, and a seven-time conference coach of the year, including Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and 2017, his first and second Big Ten honors with the Huskers in their Big Ten era (2011-present).
• Cook was named the AVCA North Region Coach of the Year in 2016, his fifth career regional coaching honor and fourth while at Nebraska.
• Cook is one of only four active coaches - and one of six all-time - to be a two-time AVCA National Coach of the Year and was honored in 2008 by USA Volleyball, receiving its All-Time Great Coach Award.
• Cook was inducted into the AVCA Hall of Fame in 2017, joining former Husker volleyball coach Terry Pettit in the hall.
• Cook became the 10th active Division I head coach to reach 700 career wins with the Huskers’ eighth win of the season on Sept. 14 against New Mexico. Cook is one of 27 Division I coaches all-time to have reached the 700-win mark.
• Cook passed former Husker head coach and AVCA Hall of Famer Terry Pettit on the all-time career wins list earlier this season. Pettit finished his career with 694 career wins, which Cook passed on Aug. 31 when Nebraska beat Wake Forest.

Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
• Nebraska is averaging a nation-leading 8,205 fans per match in 2018, which would be the sixth straight season the Huskers have led the nation in attendance.
• Nebraska fans led the nation in attendance for a fifth straight season in 2017, averaging 8,202 fans per match, nearly 2,000 more than any other school. In 2016, the Huskers also led the nation with an average attendance of 8,210 fans per match, a new NCAA attendance record.
• In 2013, the Huskers led the nation in attendance (8,175) for the first time since 1992, ending Hawaii’s 21-year reign as the national leader.
• The Huskers repeated as attendance champions in 2014 with 8,083 fans per match, which included a school-record 8,585 fans at the Oct. 3 win against Penn State.
• Nebraska has ranked in the top three nationally in attendance every season since 1990 (27 straight seasons).

Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
• Ten NCAA women’s volleyball student-athletes, including Nebraska senior outside hitter Mikaela Foecke, were selected on Oct. 25 as finalists for the 2018 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
• A native of West Point, Iowa, Foecke carries a 3.649 GPA majoring in animal science and is a two-time NCAA Championship most outstanding player, making her one of only four volleyball players in NCAA history to accomplish that feat. Foecke was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2017 after leading the Huskers to their second NCAA Championship in three years. Foecke has excelled both on and off the court in her four years at Nebraska, as she is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection and has received Nebraska’s high honors (silver) academic medallion twice.
• The Senior CLASS Award recipient will be announced during the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.





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All five starters scored in double figures as No. 24/25 Nebraska used a balanced and efficient offensive attack to cruise to a 94-75 victory over Creighton Saturday evening in front of 15,950 fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Nebraska scored 47 points in each half while putting up the third-highest point total in its 52 all-time meetings with Creighton. The Huskers, who led by as many as 22, were up 13 at the half and Creighton never got closer than nine in the second half. Nebraska, which improved to 8-2 with the win, earned its 17th consecutive home win, as the Huskers have won each of their six home games this season by at least 15 points.

James Palmer Jr. paced the Husker offense with 30 points, his second career 30-point effort. Palmer hit 9-of-12 shots from the field, including a career-high six 3-pointers, and he was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Thomas Allen added a career-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Isaiah Roby chipped in 15 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Glynn Watson Jr. added 13 points and a game-high five assists, while Isaac Copeland scored 11 points.

Nebraska shot 53.3 percent from the field, hitting 32 of its 60 shots for its third-most efficient performance of the season. That included knocking down 14-of-27 3-pointers for a season-high 51.9 percent from behind the arc. NU also outrebounded Creighton by four.

Creighton (6-3) was led by Mitch Ballock, who had a career-high-tying 23 points. Ballock was 7-of-10 from beyond the arc – including hitting each of his first six attempts – but the Huskers held him scoreless over the final 14:13. Davion Mintz (15) and Ty-Shon Alexander (10) were also in double figures for the Bluejays, but Nebraska limited Alexander to just one 3-pointer after the sophomore had hit multiple 3-pointers in every game this season.

Palmer got the Huskers going early, as he connected on his first three 3-pointers before Allen and Roby keyed an early 7-0 run, combining for all seven points as Nebraska built a 16-9 lead.

The Huskers led 18-10 when Palmer picked up his second foul, but the Huskers built the lead with the All-American candidate on the bench. NU went on a 19-4 surge, building a 21-point lead at 37-16 after a Nana Akenten 3-pointer with 7:18 left in the first half.

Nebraska led 47-26 after a Watson jumper, but the Bluejays made a run, outscoring the Huskers 8-0 to pull within 13 at the break.

Behind the shooting of Ballock, Creighton continued to chip away, pulling to within 51-42 after his sixth 3-pointer of the evening, but a pair of Roby free throws and Palmer’s 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 55-42 with 16:35 left.

Nebraska continued to extend the lead and led 77-60 before the visitors made one last run, Creighton ran off seven straight points to cut the deficit to 10 on 3-pointer from Mintz, but the answered once again. Creighton was within 81-70 before Isaac Copeland’s 3-pointer started a 13-2 run capped by Palmer’s sixth 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining.

The Huskers take a break for finals before traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D. for a matchup with Oklahoma State on Sunday, Dec. 16. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and will be carried by the Husker Sports Network and televised on BTN.





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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team stifled one of the nation's top offenses to earn a seventh straight trip to the NCAA Regional Finals with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-23) sweep of No. 10 Kentucky on Friday at Minnesota's Maturi Pavilion.

The Huskers won their 11th straight match to improve to 27-6 on the season and will face the winner of No. 2 Minnesota and No. 14 Oregon on Saturday at 5 p.m. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU, WatchESPN.com and Husker Sports Network radio affiliates.

Nebraska out-hit Kentucky .239 to .165, holding the Wildcats to a season-low hitting percentage. It marked the 13th time this season Nebraska has held an opponent to a season-low hitting percentage. Kentucky entered the match hitting .304 this season, the fourth-best mark in the nation, but Nebraska blocked the Wildcats eight times.

Mikaela Foecke had 14 kills and 10 digs while hitting .303, and Lexi Sun had 13 kills and seven digs. Lauren Stivrins added eight kills. Four different Huskers had at least three blocks, led by Callie Schwarzenbach's five and Jazz Sweet's four. Both players also had four kills. Foecke and Stivrins both tallied three blocks.

Nicklin Hames had 38 assists and 11 digs for her 22nd double-double of the season, which ties Jordan Larson for NU's most in a single season in the rally-scoring era.

Nebraska had two more aces (4-2) and four fewer service errors (5-9) than the Wildcats (26-5), who had their 23-match win streak snapped. The Huskers had a 55-49 edge in digs, with Kenzie Maloney, Megan Miller and Hames all posting 11 digs.

Three different Wildcats had seven kills.

Set 1: Sun had two early kills and an ace, as the Huskers rallied from down 3-1 to take an 11-7 lead, while Kentucky committed three service errors and three attacking errors. Two kills by Alli Stumler brought Kentucky within two, but Stivrins and Foecke terminated back-to-back kills to restore a four-point lead, 13-9. A back-row kill by Foecke and a Kentucky miscue made it 15-10 Huskers. After the Wildcats cut it to three, they committed another service error and Stivrins and Foecke stuffed an attack for an 18-13 lead, forcing Kentucky's second timeout. Maloney came out of the timeout with an ace to make it 19-13. Stivrins and Sun tacked on three more kills and combined for a block, and the Huskers increased the lead to 24-15 after an 8-2 spurt. Nebraska won 25-17, holding Kentucky to .100 hitting. Sun had four kills and no errors to lead the Big Red.

Set 2: The Huskers picked up where they left off in set one, taking a 6-1 lead courtesy of two blocks by Sweet, one with Schwarzenbach and one with Stivrins. Foecke blasted three more kills and put the Huskers up 8-2. The Huskers used a timeout after Kentucky pulled within 9-5 via back-to-back blocks. Stivrins immediately earned sideout for the Huskers, and a tough serve by Hayley Densberger forced a Kentucky hitting error to make it 11-5 Huskers. Nebraska led 14-7 after kills by Sun and Sweet, but Kentucky responded with a 3-0 run out of a timeout to get within four, 14-10. The teams traded six sideouts before Avery Skinner and Caitlyn Cooper terminated for Kentucky to get the Wildcats within 17-15. Stivrins ended the Wildcats' 3-0 run with back-to-back slide kills to make it 19-15. Kentucky got back within two at 21-19 but then committed a service error. Sweet found the floor for a kill, and Foecke and Schwarzenbach blocked Wildcat attacks for the final two Husker points to give them a 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.

Set 3: Nebraska fell behind 4-1 but rallied to tie the set at 6-6 with back-to-back kills by Stivrins and Sun. The Wildcats then went on a 5-0 run to take an 11-6 lead, however. A pair of kills by Sun brought NU within three, 12-9, but Kentucky had an answer once again, scoring the next three points for a 15-9 lead. The lead went to seven before Foecke killed consecutive rallies and Miller served an ace to cut it to four, 18-14. After Kentucky got sideout, Stivrins struck for two more kills and Kentucky hit long to get the Huskers within 19-17. Kentucky went back ahead by four, 22-18, but Sun's 13th kill and a block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach cut the deficit back to two, 22-20. Nebraska trailed 23-20 when Sweet connected for kills from both the left and right sides to cut it to one, 23-22, and Foecke terminated to tie the set at 23-23, the first tie since 6-6. Nebraska earned match point at 24-23 after winning a challenge that Kentucky committed a net violation, and Foecke finished the match off with her match-high 14th kill.

Match Notes

  • Nebraska improved to 27-6 overall and won its 11th straight match.
  • The Huskers advanced to an NCAA Regional Final for the seventh straight season and for the 28th time in the Huskers’ 37 all-time NCAA Tournament appearances.
  • Nebraska has made 16 NCAA Regional Final appearances in John Cook's 19 years at Nebraska, more than any other school in that span.
  • NU will play the winner of No. 2 Minnesota and No. 14 Oregon on Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT) for a chance to reach a fourth straight final four. The Huskers have never been to four consecutive NCAA Semifinals.
  • John Cook is 70-14 in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska. Including his seven seasons at Wisconsin, Cook is 78-18 in the postseason.
  • Nebraska won its ninth consecutive NCAA Tournament match to improve to 111-31 (.782) all-time in the postseason, the second-best win percentage behind only Stanford (.796).
  • Nebraska’s two seniors who have been with the program all four years - Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – are 19-1 in their NCAA Tournament careers. The duo is a combined 50-2 all-time in the months of November and December.
  • Foecke had the third double-double of her NCAA Tournament career with 14 kills and 10 digs. The others were in the 2017 NCAA Semifinal (Penn State) and Championship (Florida).
  • NU held Kentucky to a season-low .165 hitting percentage, the 13th time this season Nebraska has held a team to its lowest hitting percentage of the season. Kentucky came into the match hitting .305, which ranked fourth nationally.
  • The Huskers have now held 26 of their 33 opponents under .200 hitting this year, and 13 have hit below .100.
  • Freshman setter Nicklin Hames had her 22nd double-double of the season with 38 assists and 11 digs. That ties Jordan Larson for the single-season school record for double-doubles in the rally-scoring era.





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The No. 24/25 Nebraska men’s basketball team led by double-digits with 10 minutes to play Wednesday night at Minnesota, but the Huskers could not hold the lead down the stretch in an 85-78 loss to the Golden Gophers at Williams Arena.

Nebraska (7-2, 1-1) led for much of the game and was on top 67-56 midway through the second half. But the Husker offense went cold from there and Minnesota’s offense caught fire, as the Gophers (7-2, 1-1) outscored Nebraska 29-11 over the game’s final 10 minutes. During that stretch, Nebraska was just 3-of-12 from the field, while Minnesota was 9-of-16.

The Gophers used a 9-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 77-73 lead with 2:26 remaining, and the Huskers were never able to get closer than two the rest of the way. Minnesota won by shooting 51.8 percent from the field – including 57.1 percent in the second half – becoming the first Husker opponent in 35 games to shoot better than 50 percent.

Amir Coffey paced the Gopher offense with a career-high 32 points, including 18 in the second half. Jordan Murphy had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, with 12 of his points coming in the second half.

Nebraska shot 45.9 percent on the game, but the Huskers hit only 38 percent of their shots in the second half. It was a balanced night offensively for the Big Red as six Huskers finished with at least nine points. Isaac Copeland had 17 points and Isaiah Roby added 15 points, but both players fouled out down the stretch. Glynn Watson Jr. had 14 points and James Palmer Jr. rounded out Nebraska’s double-figure scorers with 11 points, but he was held scoreless in the second half while missing all seven of his shots. Thomas Allen Jr. and Brady Heiman scored nine points apiece.

Things started out well as Nebraska scored on five of its first six possessions to start the game. A pair of 6-0 runs gave Nebraska a 12-4 lead and forced a Minnesota timeout less than three minutes into the contest. The timeout did not slow down NU’s offense, as the Huskers stretched the lead to 19-10 three minutes later.

The Huskers’ offensive efficiency kept Minnesota at bay, as Nebraska maintained its nine-point advantage when Allen knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 28-19 with 9:19 left in the first half.

But following Allen’s three, Nebraska’s offense hit a lull over the next five minutes, allowing Minnesota to go on a 15-4 run to take a 36-32 lead. Coffey scored 11 straight Gopher points during the run, while Heiman accounted for all four Husker points.

Heiman then delivered a key offensive rebound that sparked a half-ending run for the Huskers. Heiman’s rebound led to a pair of Palmer free throws, snapping NU’s nearly four-minute scoring drought. Palmer went to the line after he drew a foul on Coffey, which forced Coffey to the bench for the final 4:11 of the half with three fouls.

With Coffey on the bench, Nebraska closed the half on a 10-3 run, turning a two-point deficit into a five-point halftime lead. Palmer (six points) and Heiman (four points) combined to score all 10 points during the run, while Nebraska held Minnesota without a field goal for the final 2:57 of the half. Palmer led the Huskers with 11 first-half points, and Nebraska forced eight first-half turnovers which led to a 15-3 Husker advantage in points off turnovers.

After closing the first half on a 10-3 run, Nebraska opened the second half on a 7-1 spurt to build its first double-digit lead at 51-40 two minutes into the period. The Huskers extended the lead to 13 one minute later on a pair of Watson free throws.

Nebraska continued to lead by double digits until the Gophers went on a 6-0 run during a three-minute Husker scoring drought, trimming the lead to 58-50 with 13 minutes remaining. Roby ended the run with a pair of free throws before the teams began trading baskets.

The Huskers led 67-56 at the 10-minute mark following a Nana Akenten 3-pointer. But Nebraska’s offense went cold from there, as the Huskers hit only three field goals and scored just 11 points over the final 10 minutes.

A three-minute scoring drought allowed Minnesota to trim the lead to four before Watson nailed a jumper to put the Huskers on top 71-65 with 4:57 to play. The Huskers then went nearly three more minutes without scoring, but Minnesota was not able to cut into the deficit until a game-changing run.

Trailing by five, Dupree McBrayer hit a 3-pointer and Minnesota knocked down four consecutive free throws to take their first lead of the second half at 74-73. Coffey then capped a 9-0 Gopher run in a span of just 1:49 to give Minnesota a 77-73 lead with 2:24 to play.

Watson snapped the run with a driving basket to pull the Huskers within two but Minnesota scored four of the next five points to build a five-point lead. Copeland responded with a driving layup that brought it back to a one-possession game at 81-78 with 43.8 seconds left. But Nebraska missed a pair of late 3-pointers and Minnesota hit all four of its free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Nebraska returns to action on Saturday, when the Huskers host Creighton at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff between the Huskers and Bluejays is set for 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.





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Lincoln - Taylor Kissinger notched her second career double-double with 11 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, helping Nebraska to one of the top-five team rebounding totals in school history on its way to a 58-52 women's basketball win over Kansas on Wednesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Huskers, who grabbed 64 total rebounds to tie for the fourth-highest total in school history, handed the Jayhawks (6-1) their first loss of the season for the second straight year, while Nebraska improved to 3-5.

Kissinger, a 6-1 sophomore from Minden, Neb., knocked down 3-of-4 three-pointers and dished out a pair of assists while adding a steal to help the Huskers register their second straight home win of the season.

Junior guard Hannah Whitish matched Kissinger with a team-high 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers, while contributing three assists.

Freshmen Ashtyn Veerbeek, Sam Haiby, Kayla Mershon and Leigha Brown also played major roles in the win. Veerbeek pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to help Nebraska dominate the glass, while adding seven points and a career-high three blocks.

Mershon added a career-high seven rebounds while pitching in two points and an assist, and Haiby finished with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal for the Big Red. Brown rounded out the first-year contributors with four points, two boards and a steal.

In the game, all 10 Huskers scored at least one point and grabbed at least one rebound in a true team effort, including five points, a season-high matching eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots for Nicea Eliely. Kate Cain added four points, six rebounds and three blocks, while Maddie Simon managed five points and three boards.

"Our goal coming into tonight's game was to be the hardest working team out on the court. That was our number one objective, and I think our rebounding total and margin and 24 offensive rebounds showed that we were tonight," Nebraska Coach Amy Williams said. "That will continue to be our focus and that is the challenge for us as we move forward this season."

The contributions across the board helped Nebraska overcome 22 turnovers and a minus-11 turnover margin against the Jayhawks, who converted NU's miscues into 19 points. Despite being out-rebounded 64-43, KU also outscored Nebraska 16-12 in second-chance points.

As a team, the Huskers hit 21-of-64 shots from the field (.328), including 6-of-17 (.353) from behind the arc. Nebraska was a season-worst 10-for-18 (.556) at the free throw line.

But Nebraska provided one of its best defensive efforts of the season, holding Kansas to just 25.3 percent (19-75) shooting from the floor, including a dismal 8-for-37 (.216) from three-point range. KU hit just 6-of-11 free throws.

Kylee Kopatich led Kansas with 14 points, including 4-of-9 three-point shooting, while Mariane De Carvalho added 11 points off the bench with a trio of three-pointers to help KU shoot its way back into the game.

The Huskers took their biggest lead of the night at 38-24 with just under five minutes left in the third quarter. Three straight baskets by Cain, Kissinger and Veerbeek capped a 25-5 Big Red surge that traced to the five-minute mark in the second quarter after the beaks in blue had built a 19-13 edge.

But late three-pointers in the third quarter by Kopatich and De Carvalho trimmed Nebraska's margin to 41-34 heading to the fourth. Kansas got another three from De Carvalho to open the final period and after a free throw from Brianna Osorio, Kansas trailed just 41-38 with 8:34 left. Another De Carvalho three just over a minute later kept the margin at three points (44-41), but KU could not get any closer the rest of the way.

Nebraska used a big finish to the second quarter to take a 28-21 lead to halftime. The Huskers closed the half on a 15-2 surge over the last 4:44, including a pair of three-pointers by Kissinger and the final three of the half from Whitish.

Prior to Nebraska's big run at the end of the half, Kansas built its biggest lead of the half of 19-13. The Huskers took the lead to the half despite losing the first-half turnover battle 15-7, as KU scored 10 of its 21 first-half points off NU's miscues.

Nebraska hit 4-of-10 first-half threes, while the Jayhawks went just 2-for-13 from long range in the half. KU also hit just 8-of-37 field goals (.216) in the half, while going just 3-of-7 at the free throw line. NU hit just 9-of-28 field goals (.321), but did connect on 6-of-8 free throws, all in a 1:45 span in the second quarter during Nebraska's rally.

Although Nebraska lost the first-half turnover battle, the Huskers dominated the boards, 31-21, including 12 offensive rebounds.

Kissinger led the Huskers with nine points on 3-of-3 three-point shooting in the half, while also matching Eliely for the team lead with five rebounds. Nine Huskers scored in the half, with Haiby being the only other Husker to hit more than one first-half field goal, going 2-for-4 for four points in the half.

Jessica Washington led KU with six first-half points but went just 2-for-10 from the field, while Kopatich and Christalah Lyons each pitched in five points. Lyons finished with nine points and a game-high five assists on the night.

Nebraska continues its three-game home stand on Saturday when the Huskers take on San Jose State. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Spartans is set for Noon (CT) with tickets available now at Huskers.com.





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Nebraska Head Coach and national championship quarterback Scott Frost is among a group of five 2018 inductees into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame. Frost and the rest of the 2018 class will be honored at events surrounding the Capital One Orange Bowl.

Frost quarterbacked Nebraska to a pair of Orange Bowl victories following the 1996 and 1997 seasons. A 42-17 win over Tennessee in the 1998 Orange Bowl capped a perfect 13-0 season and secured Nebraska’s fifth national championship. The win also closed Tom Osborne’s coaching career with a third national championship.

Frost also led the 1996 Huskers to an Orange Bowl victory, defeating Virginia Tech 41-21 to close out the season with an 11-2 record.

In his two Orange Bowl appearances, Frost completed nearly 60 percent of his passes while rushing 26 times for 122 yards and five touchdowns. Frost and fellow Husker Johnny Rodgers are the only players to rush for five touchdowns in their Orange Bowl careers.

Frost will be the 10th Nebraska player to be inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame. He joins Tommie Frazier, Irving Fryar, Turner Gill, Rich Glover, Ahman Green, Dave Rimington, Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier and Jerry Tagge. The 10 players are joined by coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, who each captured a pair of national championships with Orange Bowl victories.

Frost is joined in the 2018 Orange Bowl Hall of Fame Class by Florida State defensive end Derrick Alexander, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Alabama running back Shaun Alexander and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. The five new inductees are part of a group of 119 inductees into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame.

The five will be honored at the annual AvMed Orange Bowl Coaches Luncheon presented by AutoNation on Friday, December 28 at Jungle Island in Miami the day before the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl, and presented to the crowd during an on-field ceremony.





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The No. 24/25 Nebraska men’s basketball team looks to build on their best start in 15 seasons on Wednesday evening, as the Huskers travel to Minnesota. Tipoff is set for shortly after 8 p.m. (central) from historic Williams Arena.

The matchup between the Huskers and Golden Gophers will be televised nationally on BTN with Cory Provus and Stephen Bardo on the call. Sunday's game will also be available on the BTN2Go and Fox Sports Go apps.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on SiriusXM radio. The pregame show begins one hour prior to tipoff on many of the Husker Sports Network affiliates.
The Huskers are 7-1 on the season following a 75-60 win over Illinois in their Big Ten opener on Sunday night. James Palmer Jr. had a game-high 23 points to lead three Huskers in double figures, as the Huskers raced out to a 13-2 lead and never trailed. The Huskers held Illinois to 40 percent shooting and went 25-of-30 from the foul line against a physical Fighting Illini squad. Isaac Copeland and Glynn Watson Jr. added 16 and 14 markers, respectively. The two wins last week moved NU into the top 25 in both polls released Monday.
Palmer comes off his best week of the season, averaging 21.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in a pair of wins last week. The senior is finding his stride from 3-point range, going 5-of-11 from beyond the arc against Clemson and Illinois. While Palmer has led an attack which has three double figure scorers, Nebraska's forte has been on the defensive end of the court. The Huskers are second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (54.5) and field goal defense (.352) after holding Illinois to 60 points on .404 percent shooting. Illinois was the fifth team NU has held to under 60 points this season.
Minnesota comes into Wednesday's contest with a 6-2 mark after falling at Ohio State Sunday evening. The Gophers already have wins over Oklahoma State, Washington, Texas A&M and Utah and will be playing their first home game since Nov. 12 on Wednesday. The Gophers feature one of the Big Ten's best interior players in Jordan Murphy, who is averaging 14.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.

OPENING NUMBER
1 - Glynn Watson Jr. will reach 300 career assists with his first one on Wednesday evening. Watson also has a career best 3.2-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
25 - Nebraska is bidding for an 8-1 start for only the third time in the past 25 years (1994-95 and 2003-04).
.352 - Nebraska is fourth nationally in field goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 35.3 percent from the field.
.918 - Nebraska is now 34-3 under Tim Miles when scoring 80-or-more points, including 19-1 in the past two-plus seasons.
6 - Number of 20-point games for Husker players this season. James Palmer Jr. has three while Isaac Copeland (two) and Glynn Watson Jr. (one) also have accomplished the feat.
13 - The Huskers have had 13 runs of at least 10-0 in 2018-19, including a 22-0 run against Southeastern Louisiana and a 19-0 run against Western Illinois. The Huskers have allowed one double-figure run this season.
34 - Nebraska has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 34 straight games dating back to last season. NU has held four of its eight foes to under 40 percent.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
Under Richard Pitino, the Gophers are 6-2 on the season and looking to rebound after losing at No. 16 Ohio State in Columbus on Sunday. Minnesota will be playing its third game since last Friday, as the Gophers defeated Oklahoma State at U.S. Bank Stadium before traveling to Columbus. The Gophers have played their last six games away from Williams Arena, including three wins in the Vancouver Showcase and a matchup at Boston College for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Minnesota battled through suspensions and injuries to both Amir Coffey and Dupree McBrayer last season, as both Coffey and McBrayer are back this season. Senior Jordan Murphy has gotten off to a fast start, as he leads the Gophers in scoring (14.6 ppg), rebounding (12.0 rpg) and assists (3.1 apg) while pacing the Big Ten in rebounding. Coffey is averaging 14.3 ppg following a game-high 19 point effort at Ohio State on Sunday, while freshman Gabe Kalscheur is at 11.9 ppg and shooting 54 percent from 3-point range.
SERIES HISTORY
Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 76th time on Wednesday, which is the most between the Huskers and any other Big Ten member. It is NU’s longest-running series in the Big Ten, as it dates back to February of 1902. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 54-21, while the Huskers have won six of the past eight meetings. Nebraska's win last February snapped a streak of nine straight wins by the home team dating back to 2012 and was the Huskers' first win in Minneapolis since 2003. Nebraska is 6-5 against the Golden Gophers as Big Ten members. Prior to joining the Big Ten in 2011-12, NU and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years.
LAST MEETING VS. MINNESOTA
Isaiah Roby scored a career-high 19 points and all five Husker starters reached double figures as Nebraska won its third straight road game with a 91-85 victory over Minnesota on Feb. 6, 2018.
Roby hit 8-of-10 shots from the field and narrowly missed a double-double by grabbing eight rebounds. James Palmer Jr. added 19 points, and he filled up the stat sheet by grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out a career-high nine assists. Anton Gill and Isaac Copeland each scored 12 points, while Glynn Watson Jr. chipped in 10 points.
Nebraska shot 50.8 percent from the field and was 11-of-23 from the 3-point line. Seven different Huskers hit a three and Nebraska was also 18-of-22 from the free-throw line. The Huskers' 91 points were the most in a conference road game since 1999. The win was Nebraska’s first victory at Williams Arena since a 77-60 victory over the Golden Gophers on Dec. 29, 2003.
Nebraska survived a career night from Minnesota’s Nate Mason, who scored 34 points and hit seven 3-pointers.
LAST TIME OUT
James Palmer Jr. had a game-high 23 points to lead three Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska opened Big Ten play with a 75-60 win over Illinois in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams. With the win, the Huskers improved to 7-1 and continued their best start since the 2003-04 season. NU also extended its home win streak to 16 games dating back to last December. Isaac Copeland joined Palmer in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and added five rebounds, while Glynn Watson Jr. added 14 points and three assists.
Nebraska, which jumped out to a 13-2 lead and built a 16-point halftime cushion, saw the lead whittled to 45-36 after an Ayo Dosumnu 3-pointer with 15:07 left, but would get no closer, as Nana Akenten's jumper and two Palmer free throws stretched the lead back to 13. Illinois, which cut the deficit to nine on three occasions in the second half, was within 63-53 before Nebraska took control with a 7-0 run, capped by a Copeland 3-pointer and an Isaiah Roby dunk to make it 70-53 with 3:36 remaining.
HUSKERS JUMP INTO AP TOP 25
On the heels of a 7-1 start, the Nebraska men’s basketball team is ranked 24th in the Associated Press poll released Monday. It marks the first time that the Huskers are nationally ranked by the AP since Nov. 17, 2014. Nebraska is coming off a 2-0 week with a 68-66 win at Clemson, which is receiving votes in Monday’s poll and a 75-60 home win over Illinois. The Huskers are also ranked 25th in the USA Today's coaches poll release Monday afternoon. NU was ranked in the first two polls before losing to Texas Tech on Nov. 20.
The Huskers, whose 7-1 start is the program’s best since the 2003-04 season, are one of seven Big Ten teams ranked by the AP this week. NU is joined by Michigan (5), Michigan State (10), Wisconsin (12), Iowa (18), Ohio State (19) and Maryland (23). In addition, Purdue and Indiana are also receiving votes in Monday’s poll. It marks the second straight week that seven Big Ten teams are ranked. Prior to last week, that had not happened since Feb. 9, 1999.
WORTH NOTING
  • The Huskers are looking for consecutive wins in Minneapolis for the third time in school history and the first in a really long time. Under Ewald O. "Jumbo" Stiehm, the Huskers beat Minnesota on consecutive days Feb. 6 (21-16) and Feb. 7 (14-9) in 1914. Stiehm, who also coached the Husker football team to a 35-2-3 record from 1911-15, was 55-14 during his four seasons at Nebraska (1912-15). Stiehm won eight Missouri Valley titles (5 football, 3 basketball) during his four and a half years at Nebraska. Nebraska also won consecutive games at Minnesota on Jan. 20-21, 1905. For comparison sake, Williams Arena opened on February 4, 1928.
  • The Huskers will be aiming for their second 2-0 Big Ten start in three seasons (also 2016-17), but just their fourth 4-0 conference start in 20 years (also 2004-05 and 2005-06).
  • A win on Wednesday would match the Huskers' longest win streak ever over Minnesota. NU won three straight on two previous occasions, 1934-36 and 2013-15.
  • NU will be looking for its fourth Big Ten road win in the last five conference road tilts dating back to last season.
  • Nebraska is 36-19 all-time as a ranked team dating back to the 1949-50 season.
  • James Palmer Jr. needs 28 points to reach 1,000 for his career. He has scored 714 of his 972 career points at Nebraska and would be the third current Husker with 1,000+ points (Glynn Watson Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr.).
  • Isaiah Roby needs only two blocked shots to become the 10th Husker with 100 career blocks. Roby is averaging 1.4 blocks per game this season.
  • Glynn Watson Jr. comes into the Minnesota game in 20th place on NU's career scoring list with 1,158 points. He is just 24 points shy of passing Brian Carr (1,182) for 19th place. He is also one assist away from 300 for his career and five steals away from 150 in that category.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
Nebraska’s biggest improvements came on the defensive end in 2017-18, going from 13th to sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to second in 3-point percentage defense. NU ranked in the top-75 nationally in both field goal defense (74th) and 3-point percentage defense (32nd) last season. That has continued in the early stages of the 2018-19 season.
  • Although it is early in the season, Nebraska ranks in the top-15 nationally in field goal defense (.352, fourth), scoring defense (54.5 ppg, fourth), 3-point defense (.254, eighth) and blocked shots per game (5.5 bpg, 20th).
  • Nebraska has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 34 straight games dating back to last season, including 17 straight foes held to under 50 percent shooting.
  • NU has limited five of its eight opponents to under 0.85 points per possession. Mississippi Valley State and Southeastern Louisiana were held to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles' seven years at NU. On the season, the Huskers are 18th in Kenpom's adjusted defense.
  • Nebraska held its first two opponents under 40 points, the first time the Huskers held consecutive foes under 40 points since 1949.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 47-5 (.904) when holding opponents under 60 points.
HUSKER OFFENSE GETS INTO HIGH GEAR
Nebraska comes into the Minnesota game averaging 78.2 points per game after averaging 72.3 points per game last year. NU has scored at least 70 points in six of eight contests, including four games of at least 80 points.
  • Nebraska opened the season with four straight games scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
  • The Huskers scored 106 points in the opener against Mississippi Valley State. It was the Huskers' highest total since scoring 107 against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 19, 2005.
  • NU has already had seven players score in double figures, including six against Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 11.
  • The Huskers had three players - James Palmer Jr., Isaac Copeland Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. - with 20-point performances.
  • Nebraska is 35th nationally in offensive efficiency according to KenPom.
  • The quick start is not surprising based on what the Huskers brought back from last year's team that went 22-11.
  • Nebraska returned 73 percent of its scoring and 72 percent of its assists from last season. It marked the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous season.
  • Nebraska's 3,432 returning points ranks 13th nationally entering the 2018-19 season. Among Big Ten programs, only Iowa, which has 4,246 returning points, has more.
NEW NUMBER, SAME GAME FOR PALMER
While senior guard James Palmer Jr. switched from No. 24 to No. 0 in the offseason, the All-American candidate continues to produce at a high level. The 6-foot-6 guard is averaging 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
  • He is first or second on the Huskers in scoring (first) and assists (second) while also averaging 1.0 block per game. He is third in the Big Ten in scoring at 18.3 ppg.
  • Palmer collected his 20-point game of the year in NU's Big Ten opener against Illinois with a game-high 23 points, including 12-of-14 at the foul line and a team-high four assists.
  • He turned in a strong performance in the Huskers' win at Clemson, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half and also snaring a career-high nine rebounds.
  • Finished with a season-high 29 points against Seton Hall, the second-highest scoring night in his career, as he scored 18 of his points in the second half.
  • Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line often, as he ranks in the top-20 nationally in both free throws (48, 17th) and attempts (61, 19th).
  • Palmer has scored his points in bunches with three halves of at least 15 points, including the performance vs. Seton Hall.
  • Palmer has reached double figures in 38 of 41 career games at Nebraska, as he saw his streak of 17 straight games in double figures snapped against Missouri State on Nov. 19.
  • Last season, Palmer averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in leading the Huskers to a 22-11 record and an NIT berth. Last year, Palmer reached double figures in 31 of 33 games in his first season at Nebraska, including eight 20-point efforts. Palmer’s junior year was highlighted by a career-high 34-point effort at Ohio State. Palmer joins Purdue's Carsen Edwards as returning first-team All-Big Ten selections by the conference coaches.
  • Palmer averaged 18.8 points per game in Big Ten play last year, which is the highest average in conference play since Aleks Maric averaged 18.9 ppg in 2006-07. It is also the most by a returning Big Ten player since Tim Frazier in 2012-13.
  • He is one of only five returning power conference players who averaged 17.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 3.0 apg last season
WATSON KEYS HUSKER ATTACK
For Coach Tim Miles, senior Glynn Watson Jr. is a luxury, as he begins his fourth year as Nebraska's starting guard. Watson moved into the role midway through his freshman year and has made his mark in the Husker program. Watson comes into Wednesday's game averaging 14.6 points per game on 51 percent shooting, including 48 percent from 3-point range. He also is averaging 3.6 assists and a career-high 4.8 rebounds per game. Watson also has a career-high 3.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio which is fourth in the Big Ten.
  • Watson played well despite foul trouble against Illinois with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
  • He nearly posted his first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high nine rebounds against Western Illinois.
  • Watson turned in a strong effort against Missouri State with 16 points and four assists.
  • He shined in NU's win over Seton Hall with 14 points and a season-high eight assists.
  • Watson's return marks the 10th time in program history that the Huskers had a returning 1,000-point scorer and the first since Shavon Shields in the 2015-16 campaign.
  • With 1,144 points, Watson is one of two Huskers with 1,000 career points, as Isaac Copeland has 1,158 career points between his time at Georgetown and Nebraska. James Palmer Jr. is 51 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
  • Watson has a career 2.14-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has more steals (145) than turnovers (138) in his career.
  • Watson's older brother Demetri McCamey was an All-Big Ten guard at Illinois during the 2009-10 season.
  • Watson is one of three alumni of St. Joseph to reach 1,000 points at Nebraska, joining Carl Hayes (1,136, 1990-92) and Clifford Scales (1,136, 1988-91). All three played for legendary high school coach Gene Pingatore, who is in his 50th year as coach at St. Joseph and has won over 1,000 games at the school.
ISAAC MAKES IT TOUGH FOR OPPONENTS TO COPE
Isaac Copeland Jr. is back to make the most of his senior year. The 6-foot-9 forward joined the program in January of 2017, but then was unable to practice because of a herniated disc that eventually required surgery. Despite not being able to practice until school started, Copeland finished second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg), setting personal bests in all three areas and earning honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors.
Copeland has improved his numbers across the board in 2018-19, as he averages 15.1 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds per game while shooting 58 percent from the field.
  • Copeland has reached double figures seven times in eight games, including a pair of 20-point efforts.
  • He comes off a 16-point effort in the win over Illinois, hitting 6-of-9 shots from the field and adding five rebounds.
  • Last week, he was named one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award
  • The senior carried NU to a win at Clemson with 16 points, six boards and three assists while his biggest play was a blocked shot which led to James Palmer's dunk after Clemson closed to within five.
  • He earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team, averaging 21.5 points per game on 61 percent shooting, 7.5 blocks and 3.0 assists per game. He was in double figures in both contests, including a season-high 23 points against Missouri State and 20 points and eight boards against Texas Tech.
  • Copeland collected his fifth career double-double in Nebraska's win over Seton Hall with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He had one during his redshirt year at Georgetown (2016-17) and three in 2017-18.
  • He has 11 career 20-point games (7 at Nebraska, 4 at Georgetown), including a pair of 30-point games. Copeland had 30 points on 12-of-14 shooting against North Dakota last year and a career-high 32-point night against Marquette during his sophomore year at Georgetown.
  • A top-20 recruit coming out of high school, his 2014 Brewster Academy team also featured Donovan Mitchell (Utah), Devonte' Graham (Charlotte) and Jonah Bolden (Philadephia).
  • Copeland earned his undergraduate degree in sociology last May and is working on his Master's Degree. He comes from a basketball family, as his father (Ike) played collegiately at East Carolina. As a senior, he helped East Carolina make the NCAA Tournament.
ROBY'S 50-50 CLUB
Junior forward Isaiah Roby is one of only two returning power conference players to total 50 blocks and 50 assists last season, joining Missouri’s Jontay Porter, who will miss the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Last year, Roby led the Huskers in blocked shots and was fourth in assists despite starting just 13 contests. He moved into the starting lineup during the second half of the season, as the Huskers won 10 of their last 12 Big Ten contests.
Roby is also one of four Huskers to have 50 blocks and 50 assists in a season, joining Aleks Maric, Venson Hamilton and Rich King. Roby's 63 blocked shots in 2017-18 ranked 10th in school history and was the most by a Husker since Kimani Ffriend in 2000-01.
Roby has been efficient offensively, averaging 8.3 points per game while leading the Huskers in blocked shots (1.3 bpg) and ranking second in rebounding (5.6 rpg) and steals (1.6 spg).
  • He had eight points along with six boards, three assists and three steals in the win over Illinois on Dec. 2.
  • Roby had his best game of the year in the win over Missouri State with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots in 29 minutes.
  • His dunk against Seton Hall on Nov. 14 marked the fourth time he's had a top-10 play on SportsCenter during his career, including highlight dunks vs. Rutgers (2018) and at Indiana (2016).
  • Nebraska is 18-5 since moving Roby into the starting lineup midway through Big Ten play last season. Roby has all four of his career double-doubles in that stretch.
FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full once again in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets were sold out for the 2018-19 season. It is the fourth time in the past six seasons that the Huskers have sold out their entire season allotment of tickets at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section. Most of the available single-game tickets for the entire season have been sold as well.
Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span.
PROTECTING THE VAULT
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.
  • NU has won its last 16 games at home following the 73-49 win over Western Illinois on Nov. 24. The 16-game win streak is the longest among power conference schools and sixth-longest home win streak nationally. It is NU's longest home win streak since also winning 16 straight spanning the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons.
  • NU has posted a 64-24 (.727) record in Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013.
  • Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play in 2017-18 and won its two Big Ten home games against ranked teams by an average of 15.0 points per game. NU's 9-0 mark - the only unbeaten mark in the Big Ten - marked the first time the Huskers went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season.
  • Nebraska went 16-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2017-18 with the only loss coming in a one-point setback against then-No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 16.




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