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Husker Women Fall in OT to Golden Gophers

06-Feb-2017 / huskers.com
Lincoln – The Nebraska women's basketball team took visiting Minnesota to overtime, but the Golden Gophers prevailed in a 79-69 decision over the Huskers on Saturday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Huskers rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to push the Gophers to the limit, hitting game-tying shots three times in the final 1:35, including a jumper by Jessica Shepard with seven seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 66.

But the Huskers hit just 1-of-12 shots in the overtime to slip to 5-18 overall and 1-10 in the Big Ten. Minnesota hit 3-of-7 shots and all six free throws in OT to improve to 12-11 on the season and 3-7 in the conference.

Senior Allie Havers tied a career high with 18 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while adding four rebounds, two assists and two steals in one of the best games of her career.

Shepard added 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Jasmine Cincore gave the Huskers three scorers in double figures with 10 points. She added seven rebounds and a career-high-tying six assists to help the Huskers.

Cincore scored Nebraska’s last two points of the first half and first four points of the third quarter to cap a 16-2 surge that turned a 32-21 deficit into a 37-34 Nebraska lead.

The Huskers took their biggest lead of the game at 41-37 with 6:21 left in the third, before the Gophers responded to take a 52-48 lead to the final period. Nebraska never led in the fourth quarter, but the Huskers hit shots to tie the score on five occasions in the final period.

Carlie Wagner led Minnesota with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-26 shooting including four three-pointers. She added eight rebounds, two assists and three steals. Kenisha Bell added 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Forward Jessie Edwards came off the bench to provide a huge lift for the Gophers with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting. She added eight rebounds and a block.

For the Huskers, freshman Hannah Whitish played a solid floor game with eight points and career highs of eight rebounds and seven assists. She also had a block and two steals.

Junior guard Emily Wood pitched in six points on a pair of threes, and got an open look from the right corner in front of Nebraska’s bench with under a second left that just glanced off the back iron and bounded straight into the air. Had Wood’s shot fallen, the Huskers would have been victorious.

For the game, Nebraska hit 37 percent (27-73) of its shots from the field, including just 7-of-27 threes. NU was 8-of-10 at the free throw line. Minnesota hit 42.7 percent of its shots (32-75), including 6-of-19 threes, and 9-of-11 free throws. The Gophers outrebounded the Huskers 46-44, and won the turnover battle 14-12.

In a back-and-forth first half, Nebraska ended on a 12-2 surge to trim a 32-21 Minnesota lead to just one at 34-33 at the half.

Nebraska led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter thanks to six points from Whitish, four from Havers and a buzzer-beating runner that banked in for Cincore.

The Huskers pushed the lead to 16-13 on the opening possession of the second quarter, before the high-powered Minnesota offense caught fire. Wagner hit back-to-back threes to push Minnesota’s lead to 23-18, before a Maddie Simon three for the Huskers trimmed the margin to 23-21 with 7:03 left.

Nebraska ran into adversity moments later when Shepard picked up her second foul with 5:10 left in the half, before Nicea Eliely was called for her second foul with 4:40 left.

Minnesota took full advantage as Edwards, Wagner and Bell combined for nine straight points to give the Gophers their biggest lead of the half at 32-21.

Havers and Shepard stopped the Gopher surge with back-to-back buckets for the Big Red. After an Edwards basket for the Gophers with 1:26 left, Wood and Riley Cascio Jensen hit back-to-back threes before Cincore closed the half with a steal and a pair of free throws in the closing seconds.

For the half, Nebraska hit 42.9 percent (12-28) of its shots, including 5-of-13 threes. The Huskers also hit all four of their free throws. Nebraska was outrebounded 23-17 in the half, including 11-4 on the offensive glass. Minnesota outscored the Huskers 10-4 on second-chance points in the first half. NU also lost the first-half turnover battle, 7-5.

Havers led the Huskers with eight first-half points, while Whitish added six as eight Nebraska players found the scoring column in the opening 20 minutes.

Minnesota hit 39.5 percent (15-38) of its first-half shots, including 3-of-9 threes, but was just 1-for-3 at the free throw line. Wagner led the Gophers with 10 first-half points, while Edwards added eight and Jasmine Brunson seven.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Thursday when they travel to Wisconsin. Tip-off between the Huskers and Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison is set for 7 p.m.

Huskers Fall to Michigan State

03-Feb-2017 / huskers.com
Lincoln - The Huskers received a career night from freshman Jordy Tshimanga, but Michigan State's hot shooting keyed the Spartans to a 72-61 victory at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Tshimanga, making his second career start, totaled career highs in both points (15) and rebounds (nine) as three Huskers finished in double figures in a losing effort.

Michigan State (14-9, 6-4) shot 56 percent from the field, including 11-of-17 from 3-point range, to snap a three-game losing streak to the Huskers. Miles Bridges' 16 points led five MSU players in double figures, as the Spartans shot 63 percent in the second half, including 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, to pull away down the stretch.

Tai Webster led NU with 18 points and five assists, while Glynn Watson Jr. added 13, but the Huskers were held to 39 percent shooting, including just 4-of-16 from 3-point range. The performance spoiled the jersey retirement ceremony for former Husker great and Cleveland Cavs coach Tyronn Lue at halftime.

Behind the play of Tshimanga, the Huskers jumped to an early 11-9 lead, but MSU responded with an 11-2 run of its own keyed by Bridges to push the lead to 20-13 after a Cassius Winston jumper. Nebraska climbed back in the game behind its inside play, as NU pulled to within 23-19 after a Michael Jacobson jumper.

The Huskers, who shot 36 percent in the opening period, got to within 27-24 after a Webster free throw with 2:56 left in the half, but MSU ran off five straight to equal its largest lead of the half and took a 32-26 lead into the locker room.

Early in the second half, the Huskers made an early charge, using a 9-3 run to slice an eight-point deficit to 37-33 after a pair of Watson jumpers. The Huskers were within 40-37 after a Webster jumper, but MSU used a 10-1 surge to push the lead to 50-38 after 3-pointers from Alvin Ellis IIII and Cassius Winston, Ellis and Winston comined for 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-6 from long range.

NU made one last run, as Jack McVeigh scored six of his points in an 8-3 surge to pull within 53-46 with 11:28 remaining, but NU would get no closer, as the Spartans pulled away with a 17-4 run to push the lead to 20, at 70-50 with 4:14 left. MSU hit 8-of-10 3-pointers in the first 16 minutes of the second half to pull away.

Nebraska returns to action Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers travel to Iowa. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised by BTN.

Husker Football Team Hires New Defensive Coordinator

16-Jan-2017 / huskers.com
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley announced Saturday that Bob Diaco has been hired as the Huskers’ defensive coordinator. The winner of the 2012 Broyles Award, Diaco is regarded as one of the top defensive minds in college football and has a proven track record of success at the highest level.

Diaco comes to Nebraska after three seasons as the head coach at the University of Connecticut. Previous to guiding the Husky program he had a highly successful four-year run as the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Diaco has roots in the Big Ten, twice earning All-Big Ten honors as a linebacker at Iowa in the mid-1990s.

“When we began looking for a new defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco quickly rose to the top of the list,” Riley said. “He has coordinated a top-level defense, has proven himself as a great teacher and recruiter, and we are excited to have him join our football program. Bob is an energetic coach and is ready to get started immediately, beginning with hitting the recruiting trail to find future Blackshirts.”

Diaco said joining Riley’s staff and coaching at a tradition-rich program like Nebraska is an outstanding opportunity.

“I am honored to join Coach Riley and his staff at the University of Nebraska and am excited to become a part of one of the truly great programs in the history of college football,” Diaco said. “Coach Riley has such great respect from everyone in football, and he is building something special here. I started my college football experience in the Big Ten and am thrilled to be back in this conference. I can’t wait to get to work and help build a championship football program.”

In 2015, the Connecticut defense was the key to the Huskies winning three of their final four regular-season games to reach the St. Petersburg Bowl. Diaco was the first head coach in UConn history to take the Huskies to postseason play just two years into their tenure. The Husky defense led the American Athletic Conference in total defense in 2015, ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense (19.5 ppg) and was seventh in the country in red zone defense.

The 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl marked the ninth postseason game for Diaco as a coach, including the 2012 BCS National Championship Game and the 2010 Sugar Bowl. He also played in three bowl games at Iowa.

Diaco was regarded as one of the nation’s top coordinators during his time at Notre Dame from 2010 to 2013, when he led the Irish defense under Head Coach Brian Kelly. In addition to his defensive coordinator role, Diaco also held the title of assistant head coach in 2012 and 2013.

He was the 2012 winner of the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant college football coach in the country and was a semifinalist for the award in 2011. In 2012, Diaco’s Irish defense ranked among the top 10 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 12 different categories as the school played in the BCS National Championship Game and finished with a 12-1 record.

The defense led the way to the BCS title game in 2012, as Diaco’s unit ranked second in the FBS in scoring defense allowing just 12.77 points per game. Notre Dame only allowed 15 offensive touchdowns, four fewer than any other FBS school. The Irish held six opponents without an offensive touchdown and nine foes to one or fewer offensive touchdown.

During his four seasons in South Bend, the Fighting Irish defense allowed an average of 19.08 points per game, which ranked as the ninth-best average over that time among FBS programs.

Diaco's 2011 defense ranked in the top 30 in both scoring defense (24th, 20.7) and total defense (30th, 344.7). In his first season at Notre Dame in 2010, Diaco switched defensive schemes from a blitzing 4-3 defense the Irish utilized in 2009 and installed a 3-4 no-crease defense. Diaco's defense became immediately better as the Irish allowed 5.69 fewer points per game and 40.5 fewer yards per game in 2010 than 2009.

Diaco spent one season as the defensive coordinator on Kelly’s Cincinnati staff in 2009, helping the Bearcats to a trip to the Sugar Bowl. He also served at Virginia (2006-08) as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Diaco began his coaching career in 1996-97 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Iowa. He then served on the staffs of Western Illinois (1999-2000) as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach, Eastern Michigan (2001-2003) working with the same positions and Central Michigan (2005) as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Diaco was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at Iowa as a linebacker under Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry and was named the team's co-MVP in 1995, starting in all 23 games over his junior and senior seasons.

Diaco and his wife, Julia, have two sons, Angelo and Michael, and a daughter, Josephine.

Diaco’s Coaching Resume
2017 Nebraska, Defensive Coordinator
2014-16 Connecticut, Head Coach
2012-13 Notre Dame, Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach
2011 Notre Dame, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2010 Notre Dame, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
2009 Cincinnati, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
2006-08 Virginia, Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator
2005 Central Michigan, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2004 Western Michigan, Linebackers/Special Teams
2003 Eastern Michigan, Outside Linebackers/Special Teams
2002 Eastern Michigan, Linebackers/Special Teams
2001 Eastern Michigan, Running Backs/Special Teams
1999-2000 Western Illinois, Running Backs/Special Teams
1996-1997 Iowa, Graduate Assistant

Bob Diaco File
Hometown: Cedar Grove, N.J.
College: Iowa, 1995
Playing Career: Iowa, 1992-95

Husker Women's Basketball Team Falls to Illinois

16-Jan-2017 / huskers.com
Champaign, Ill. - Hannah Whitish hit a career-high four three-pointers to finish with a career-high 16 points, but it was not enough to prevent Illinois from pulling away down the stretch for a 79-59 win over the Nebraska women's basketball team on Sunday at the State Farm Center.

Sophomore forward Jessica Shepard added a game-high 25 points on 7-of-17 shooting, while grabbing nine rebounds, but no other Husker scored more than four points. The Huskers hit just 29.2 percent (19-65) of their shots from the field for the game, including just 3-for-16 (.188) in the fourth quarter.

While Nebraska struggled to hit shots, Illinois sizzled in the second half, hitting 19-of-27 (.704) shots from the floor including 5-of-8 three-pointers. The Fighting Illini improved to 8-10 overall, including 8-4 at home, while Nebraska slipped to 5-13 overall. The Huskers are 1-5 in the Big Ten, while Illinois moved to 3-2.

Freshman Petra Holesinska led the Illini with 19 points, while freshman Brandi Beasley added a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. Beasley added seven rebounds and three steals to overcome six turnovers. Sophomore Alex Wittinger also pitched in 17 points, including 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the second half. She also grabbed eight rebounds.

For the game, Illinois finished 56.1 percent (32-57) from the floor, including 7-of-17, while knocked down all eight of its free throws.

Nebraska hit 8-of-29 threes and 13-of-17 free throws, while matching the Illini on the boards and winning the turnover battle, 15-14.

The Huskers were tied with Illinois at 45 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter, before Nebraska went ice cold and the Illini closed the game on a 34-14 surge over the final 14 minutes. NU, which trailed just 34-33 at the half, were outscored 23-16 in the third quarter and 22-10 in the fourth.

Nebraska trailed 34-33 at halftime in a tightly contested and entertaining first half. Whitish led the Huskers with 12 points, including a career-high four three-pointers on just five attempts. She added two rebounds, two assists and a steal in the half.

Shepard also produced double digits in the first half, scoring nine of her 11 points in the second quarter. Shepard added five rebounds. Nicea Eliely added four points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in the first half, including Nebraska's final points of the half.

As a team, Nebraska hit just 32.4 percent (11-34) of its first-half shots, but knocked down 5-of-12 threes and 6-of-8 free throws. The Huskers won the first-half rebounding battle, 20-18, and the first-half turnover contest, 8-5.

Holesinska led the Illini with 14 points and six rebounds in the first half, while Beasley added nine points. The Illini hit 43.3 percent (13-30) of its shots, including just 2-of-9 threes, but knocked down 6-of-6 free throws.

The Huskers led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter thanks to three three-pointers from Whitish. Nebraska took its biggest lead earlier in the second quarter to 21-15, before the Illini answered with a 17-5 surge to take their biggest lead at 32-26 with just over three minutes left in the half.

Nebraska continues Big Ten road action this week by traveling to Penn State. Tip-off between the Huskers and Lady Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa., is set for 6 p.m. (CT).

Michigan to Much for Nebraska

16-Jan-2017 / huskers.com
Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Despite a career-high 28 points and nine rebounds from Tai Webster, Nebraska ran into a hot-shooting Michigan team and fell 91-85 Saturday in Ann Arbor.

Webster, who was 12-of-20 from the field in topping his previous career best for the second time this season, was one of three Huskers to finish in double figures. Glynn Watson Jr. added 22 points, including four 3-pointers, while Evan Taylor added 11 for the Huskers, who fell to 9-8 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten.

Nebraska shot 56 percent on the day, including 9-of-18 from 3-point range, but Michigan shot 54 percent, went 11-of-22 from the 3-point line and was 26-of-30 from the foul line, as opposed to 4-of-5 for the Huskers from the charity stripe.

Moritz Wagner scored 23 points to pace four Wolverines in double figures, while Zak Irvin (21) and Derrick Walton Jr. (20) both went over 20 points for the hosts.

Nebraska, which was seeking its first 3-0 conference road start in more than four decades, whittled a nine-point second-half deficit to 69-68 after a Taylor jumper with 5:47 left, but could not get over the hump. Walton Jr, who had 16 of his 20 points after halftime, hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead back to four.

The Huskers would not go away, as a Watson 3-pointer with 4:43 left trimmed the deficit back to 73-71, but Walton answered back with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to extend the margin to 78-71.

Nebraska stayed in range and was within 86-80 after Watson’s fourth 3-pointer and had a chance to cut the deficit to three, but Jack McVeigh’s 3-pointer was off the mark and Michigan held on.

Earlier in the half, Nebraska trailed 54-45 before Taylor’s 3-pointer started a 5-0 run, as Nebraska pulled to within 54-50 after a Glynn Watson steal and layup with 13:08 left. The Huskers kept chipping away, as a pair of Jack McVeigh 3-pointers pulled the Huskers within 59-56 with 11:51 left, but Michigan answered with a 3-pointer from Wilson to make it a six-point game.

In the first half, both teams were effective offensively, as Michigan took a 40-36 lead into the locker room. Nebraska shot 61 percent in the opening half, as Tai Webster led all scorers with 17 first-half points on 7-8 shooting from the field. Michigan shot 50 percent from the field, including five 3-pointers, while Moritz Wagner scored 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointer.

The Huskers, who never led in the opening 20 minutes, were down by as many as eight on three occasions before rallying behind a switch to a 1-3-1 defense. Trailing 30-22, a Webster 3-pointer and a three-point play from Jordy Tshimanga cut the deficit to 30-28. Michigan quickly ran off five straight points, including a 3-pointer from Wagner, before Webster scored six straight points, as his two free throws with 1:48 left in the half pulled the Huskers within 35-34.

Michigan responded with five straight points, including a long 3-pointer from Duncan Robinson, before Webster’s final hoop of the half made it a four-point game.

Nebraska trailed 30-22 before switching things up with a 1-3-1 and running off six straight points on a Webster 3-pointer and a 3-point play from Jordy Tshimanga with 4:45 left in the half.

The Huskers return to action on Wednesday evening, as they host Ohio State. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. (CT) and a limited number of tickets are available by visiting Huskers.com or calling 800-8-BIGRED.

Postgame Notes
*-Nebraska’s field goal percentage (.562) and 3-point percentage (.500) was its second-highest total of the season.

*-Tai Webster finished with career-highs in both points (28) and rebounds (nine). His previous high in points was 23 set three other times. Webster finished in double figures for the 18th straight game dating back to last season *-Today marked the fifth time this season Nebraska had multiple 20-point scorers, but the first time NU lost this season in those five contests.

*-Glynn Watson has scored 20 or more points in three of the Huskers’ five Big Ten contests.

*-Michigan’s 91 is the high by a Husker opponent this season (Iowa 90)

*-Michigan shot .540, the second-highest total against NU this season. Michigan’s .500 from 3-point range was a season high against the Huskers.

*- Isaiah Roby made his first career start, replacing Ed Morrow Jr. (foot) in the Husker lineup. It is the first time since Big Ten play started that NU has adjusted its starting lineup. Roby finished with seven points and three rebounds in 29 minutes.

Husker women take down Rutgers 62-58

11-Jan-2017 / www.huskers.com

Lincoln – Jessica Shepard notched her ninth double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead three Huskers in double figures, as Nebraska recorded its first Big Ten women's basketball win of the season with a 62-58 victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

While the sophomore Shepard contributed her 19th career double-double, junior Jasmine Cincore pitched in 12 points to produce double digits for the second straight game. Cincore also tied her career high with four steals, while adding three assists in a strong all-around effort. Shepard also recorded three steals, nearly matching her total of four steals from the first 16 games this season.

Freshman Hannah Whitish pitched in 11 points for her fourth double-figure scoring effort in five Big Ten starts. Whitish's two free throws in the closing seconds helped the Huskers seal the win at the line. She also knocked down three three-pointers on the night to help Nebraska improve to 5-12 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten.

Rutgers slipped to 5-13 overall, while falling to 2-3 in the conference. The Scarlet Knights suffered their ninth consecutive road loss this season.

Nebraska led by as many as 11 points twice early in the fourth quarter, the last time on a traditional three-point play from Shepard with 8:15 left that made it 52-41 Big Red. But Shrita Parker and Khadaizha Sanders closed the gap to four points at 60-56 in the final seconds, before Nicea Eliely and Whitish sealed the win at the line. In fact, Nebraska freshmen hit 8-of-10 free throws in the final 3:21 to close the game, starting with a huge offensive rebound and two free throws for Grace Mitchell to give NU a 56-48 lead.

The Huskers then went scoreless for the next 2:45 in the fourth quarter, before Eliely buried a pair of free throws with 36.6 seconds left.

Sanders then answered with her second three-pointer of the quarter to pull Rutgers within 58-53. She finished the quarter with 12 of her 17 points. Whitish then missed a pair of free throws with 27.7 seconds left to open the door for the Scarlet Knights. Parker was fouled 9.6 seconds later but the 92 percent free throw shooter missed the first of two free throws to cut the Husker edge to 58-54. Parker scored 10 of her 12 points in the quarter, as Sanders and Parker combined for all 22 of Rutgers' fourth-quarter points.

Eliely, who finished with eight points in the game, then stepped to the line and knocked down two more free throws with 16.7 seconds left, before Whitish capped the Husker win with two free throws with nine seconds left.

For the game, Nebraska hit 18-of-25 free throws, including 9-of-11 in the final quarter to get the win. The Huskers hit just 37.3 percent (19-51) of their field goals in the game, including just 7-of-23 in the second half. The Huskers were also 6-of-19 (.316) from three-point range. Nebraska won the turnover battle 17-12, outscoring Rutgers in points-off-turnovers 16-6.

In addition to double-digit efforts from Sanders and Parker, Aliyah Jeune scored 15 points for the Scarlet Knights, including 13 in the first half.

Rutgers finished 21-of-48 (.438) from the field, including 7-of-16 (.438) from three-point range. The Scarlet Knights also hit 9-of-14 free throws and outrebounded the Huskers, 32-31.

The Huskers led 44-36 after three quarters, as Shepard produced 17 points and nine rebounds through the first 30 minutes. Cincore added 10 points through three quarters. Cincore and Shepard combined for nine points in the third quarter as the Huskers won the quarter, 13-9.

Nebraska led 31-27 at the half thanks to 13 first-half points from Shepard. The Huskers hit 12-of-28 first-half shots, including 3-of-10 threes and 4-of-6 free throws in the first 20 minutes. NU also won the first-half turnover battle 10-6.

However, Jeune kept the Scarlet Knights close with 13 first-half points of her own. The 6-1 sophomore entered the game averaging just seven points per game but knocked 3-of-4 threes and 5-of-7 shots overall. Jeune’s eight points in the second quarter helped the Scarlet Knights trim a nine-point deficit at 28-19 with five minutes left in the half to just 29-27 before a steal and layup for Eliely gave the Huskers the final two points of the half.

As a team, Rutgers hit 12-of-23 shots from the field, including 3-of-8 threes in the first half. The Scarlet Knights did not attempt a free and were outrebounded 14-13 in the half. Jeune, Kandiss Barber and Desiree Keeling did not start against Nebraska after Rutgers’ lopsided loss at Illinois on Saturday. Those three Scarlet Knights combined for 21 of Rutgers’ 27 first-half points.

Nebraska led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter thanks to five straight points in the final 50 seconds from Cincore. Six different Huskers scored in the opening period, including three points from Shepard and two each from Eliely, Allie Havers, Maddie Simon and Darrien Washington.

Jeune was the only Scarlet Knight to score more than two points in the opening quarter. She finished with five points on 2-of-2 shooting.

The Huskers return to Big Ten road action on Sunday when they travel to Illinois. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Fighting Illini at the State Farm Center in Champaign is set for 2 p.m.


Huskers Top Hawkeyes in Double Overtime, 93-90

06-Jan-2017 / www.huskers.com
Lincoln – Nebraska improved to 3-0 in conference play for the first time in 41 seasons, but it was far from easy as Nebraska overcame deficits late in regulation and in overtime before pulling out a 93-90 double overtime win over Iowa at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Thursday.

The Huskers (9-6, 3-0 B1G) were down 83-79 with Iowa in possession with under a minute left in overtime but rallied behind the play of Tai Webster. The senior forced Iowa’s Peter Jok to miss and was fouled with 40 seconds left. Webster hit both free throws to pull NU within two. On Iowa’s next possession, Webster stripped Jok and was fouled with 12 seconds left before calmly sinking both shots to tie it at 83. Iowa, which never trailed in overtime, still had a chance to win in overtime, but Jordan Bohannon’s jumper was off the mark.

The Huskers, who had their own chance to win with 1.3 seconds left in regulation but came up empty on two free throw attempts, took the lead for good at 91-90 on a Webster free throw before Jeriah Horne’s two foul shots with 17 seconds left gave the Huskers a three-point lead. NU forced an off-balanced shot and grabbed the rebound, but Evan Taylor, who missed the two shots at the end of regulation, was unable to stretch the lead to a two-possession game with less than 8.1 seconds left, giving Iowa a chance to send it into a third OT, but Brady Ellington’s 3-pointer was off the mark, allowing NU to hold on.

The Husker backcourt was outstanding, as Webster and Glynn Watson combined for 57 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and four steals. Watson tied Jok for game-high honors with a career-high 34 points, including 7-of-8 from 3-point range, while Webster also matched his career high with 23 points while adding seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.

Horne added 12 points, while Michael Jacobson added seven points, a career-high 13 rebounds and three blocked shots.

Jok kept Iowa (9-7, 1-2 B1G) in the game, scoring 30 of his 34 points after halftime to pace four Hawkeyes in double figures.

In the second half, the Huskers seemingly took control, opening the half by scoring six of the first eight points to take a 45-36 lead and force an Iowa timeout. The Hawkeyes came right back, as Jok scored five points in a 12-3 run to pull even at 48 after a Nicholas Baer 3-pointer with 13:20 remaining in regulation

From there, neither team would lead would lead by more than four points the remainder of the contest. Nebraska led 67-64 after a Taylor jumper with 4:56 left, but Jok came right back with a pair of 3-pointers to give the Hawkeyes a 3-point lead. Iowa led 74-72 after Jok’s layup with 2:45 left, but the Huskers were not able to get the tying points until the final seconds of regulation. Down by two, NU got the stop and Watson was fouled with 11 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Horne stole the ball from Jok and got it to Taylor for the go-ahead basket, but he was fouled with 1.3 seconds left. Taylor, who was 12-of-14 entering tonight, missed both shots, as the game went to overtime.

Behind 15 first-half points from Watson, the Huskers took a 37-34 lead into the locker room. Watson hit 6-of-9 shots, including a trio of 3-pointers, as the Huskers shot 48 percent from the field, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range, as the teams traded runs throughout the opening 20 minutes.

Nebraska got on top early, as Watson scored five straight points in a 9-0 run to give the Huskers a 12-6 lead and force an Iowa timeout. The Huskers built a 15-8 lead after a Jeriah Horne 3-pointer, only to Isaiah Moss key a 13-2 Hawkeye run with 11 of his 15 first-half points to give the visitors a 21-17 lead.

Nebraska roared right back with seven straight points, including five from Watson to take a 27-23 lead. NU eventually pushed the lead to 32-27 after an Evan Taylor drive with 2:41 left in the half, but Iowa would run off five straight points, tying the score at 21 on an Ahmad Wagner putback with 1:21 remaining in the opening stanza.

NU is back in action on Jan. 8 when the Huskers welcome Northwestern to the Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip off is set for 1:15 p.m. The game will be televised on BTN. Tickets are available for Sunday’s game by visiting Huskers.com or calling 800-8-BIGRED beginning Friday morning at 8 a.m.

GICC takes care of Northwest

04-Jan-2017 / KRGI Sports Network
Jack Goering proved to be to much for the Northwest boys on Tuesday night as Central Catholic took care of the Vikings 49-28. Central Catholic is playing four games this week as they were coming off a win at Blue Hill Monday night. GICC was led by Goering who had 21 points including 5 three pointers in the first half. The Crusaders had a halftime lead of 32-13. Behind Georing was Collin Toner with 8 points, Aidan Anspauch had 5, and Chase Wenzl 5, Jacob Herbek 4, Maragan Kori 2, Elijah Pirnie 2, Jonah Bales 2. Leading scorer for Northwest was Riley Schliep with 9, Justin Hiser 8, Carter Terry 6, Brady Glause 2, Matt Fredricks 2, and Tanner Lierman 1. Northwest (0-9) will be back in action Friday hosting Columbus Lakeview and Saturday hosting York. The Central Catholic boys at (7-3) will be back on the hardwood on Friday at Kearney Catholic then return home Saturday hosting Doniphan Trumbull

Score By Quarter 
GICC     15  17  6  11 - 49
GINW    8     5   7   8  - 28

Listen to a post game interview below 
Rob Micek after NW 1-3-17 Rob Micek after NW 1-3-17 (File size 2597 KB)

Huskers Fall to Tennessee in Nashville

02-Jan-2017 / www.huskers.com
Nashville - Nebraska fell behind 14-0 midway through the first half and was not able to recover in a 38-24 loss to Tennessee in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Friday afternoon at Nissan Stadium.

With the loss, Nebraska ended the season with a 9-4 record (6-3 Big Ten), while Tennessee improved to 9-4 (4-4 SEC) with the victory.

Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs completed 23-of-38 passes for 291 yards and a touchdown, while adding 11 carries for 118 yards and a Music City Bowl-record three rushing touchdowns. Dobbs finished with 409 total yards and four scores.

Nebraska's Ryker Fyfe, who drew the start in place of injured four-year starting quarterback Tommie Armstrong Jr. for the Huskers, answered with 243 yards on 17-of-36 passing. Fyfe threw a pair of touchdowns to senior receiver Brandon Reilly, who finished with four catches for 98 yards. Fyfe added a nine-yard touchdown run, but was harassed by Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett, who broke the Vols' career sack record previously held by the legendary Reggie White. Barnett notched a nine-yard sack late in the fourth quarter to help seal the win for the Vols. Barnett, who closed his career with 33 all-time sacks, finished the game with six tackles and four quarterback hurries. As a team, Tennessee notched four sacks for 36 yards in the game.

Nebraska, which got a strong effort from running back Devine Ozigbo who finished with seven carries for 66 yards, managed just 61 rushing yards as a team on 28 carries. Overall, the Huskers produced 318 yards of total offense, while Tennesse piled up 521 total yards, including 230 rushing yards on 38 carries.

After a slow start for both teams in a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee took control with back-to-back touchdown runs to jump to a 14-0 lead. John Kelly started the scoring for the Volunteers with his 28-yard gallop that capped a quick-strike four-play, 73-yard drive that took just 1:26 on the game clock.

The Tennessee defense continued to stifle Fyfe and the Huskers on the ensuing drive, before Dobbs sprinted 10 yards for the first of his three rushing touchdowns to give the Vols a 14-0 lead. The Dobbs run capped an 11-play, 66-yard drive that consumed 4:44.

Nebraska responded quickly with a three-play, 80-yard drive that took just 1:12 and culminated with Fyfe's 38-yard touchdown to Brandon Reilly. It was the first of two tremendous touchdown catches for the senior Reilly. His second came with 3:26 left in the third quarter, after Tennessee had pushed its lead to 17 points with a Medley 46-yard field goal to make it 24-7.

The Huskers went to the fourth quarter trailing 24-14, but Dobbs quickly pushed the Volunteer advantage back to 17 at 31-14 with 14:09 remaining.

Fyfe and the Huskers refused to quit, marching 47 yards in six plays to set up Drew Brown's 45-yard field goal. The Husker special teams then came up with a big play, forcing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by the Huskers at the Tennessee 31. The Big Red offense cashed in five plays later with Fyfe's nine-yard touchdown run to narrow the margin to 31-24 with 10:02 remaining.

But Nebraska could not complete the comeback, as Dobbs hit wide receiver Josh Malone with a 59-yard touchdown pass just 1:17 later, capping a four-play, 77-yard drive to make the final margin. Malone led the Vol receivers with 120 yards on five receptions.

Husker women fall short at Iowa

31-Dec-2016 / www.huskers.com
Iowa City - Jessica Shepard scored a game-high 28 points, including five points in the final 1:29 to lead a furious 9-0 Nebraska run to end the game, but it wasn't enough to prevent a 75-72 women's basketball win by Iowa on Saturday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Shepard finished with 28 points and eight rebounds to lead four Huskers in double figures, including a career-high 14 points by freshman point guard Hannah Whitish.

Whitish, who hit a trio of three-pointers on the day, came up just short with a left-wing three in transition after a missed Iowa free throw in the final seconds. Whitish, who went 3-for-5 from long range would have sent the game to overtime against the 10-4 Hawkeyes, who improved to 1-1 in the Big Ten. Nebraska slipped to 4-10 overall and 0-2 in the conference. NU's two conference losses have been by a total of seven points.

Senior Allie Havers added 12 points and seven big rebounds, as Nebraska outrebounded the Hawkeyes 46-38. Nicea Eliely added 11 points, four rebounds and three steals, including a huge steal at halfcourt of Iowa point guard Tania Davis that changed the complexion of the final minute. Eliely's steal led to a free throw for Jasmine Cincore, before she missed the second. But Havers rebounded the miss and was knocked to the floor on her putback attempt before the ball eventually found its way to Shepard in the opposite corner. She knocked down her second three of the game to pull Nebraska within 75-69 with 1:01 left after trailing by 12 with 1:29 remaining.

The Hawkeyes then missed six consecutive free throws, including two from Kathleen Doyle, two from Davis and two from Chase Coley. Whitish hit a free throw with 35 seconds left to cut the margin to 75-70, before Havers added a huge putback with 10.8 seconds left to make it 75-72 and set up the last-shot drama in the closing seconds.

"We're never going to be satisfied with a loss, but I really loved the fight of our team in the final minutes to come back from 12 points down to have a shot to send it to overtime," Nebraska Coach Amy Williams said. "We could have made so many plays to put us in a better position, but I think our players see that and will continue to get better and learn from it."

Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Disterhoft contributed 16 points. Disterhoft, who hit 4-of-9 threes for the Hawkeyes, got last-second threes to end both the second and third quarters to provide the margin of victory for the Hawkeyes. Davis added 11 points and game highs of eight assists and four steals, while Doyle finished with 10 points, six assists and three steals.

Iowa hit 44.6 percent (29-65) of its shots from the floor, including 9-of-12 from Gustafson who hit Iowa's last shot of the game with 1:58 left to give the Hawkeyes their biggest lead at 75-63 before the NU's closing surge. Iowa hit 6-of-21 threes (.286) and 11-of-21 free throws (.524) after opening 11-for-15 from the line.

Nebraska hit 41.4 percent (29-70) of its shots, including 6-of-20 threes. The Huskers hit 8-of-12 free throws including 5-of-8 in the game's final 2:30. The Big Red outrebounded the home-standing Hawkyes 46-38, including a career-high 11 rebounds from Cincore. The Huskers lost the turnover battle 22-15.

The Huskers jumped out to a 45-41 lead early in the third quarter, but Iowa responded with a 17-4 surge to take its biggest lead at the time at 58-49. Shepard responded with five straight points to cut the margin to 58-54 with 12 seconds left, but Disterhoft knocked down a three at the buzzer to send the Hawkeyes to the final quarter with a 61-54 lead.

In a fast-paced but relatively low-scoring first quarter, Nebraska led 7-5 before Iowa closed the quarter on a 12-4 surge to take a 17-11 lead to the second quarter. After opening the quarter 4-for-6, Nebraska went 1-for-7 the rest of the quarter and finished the first period with eight turnovers. However, the Hawkeyes went just 1-for-9 from the field to end the quarter.

The Huskers started hot in the second, with Shepard scoring Nebraska's first 11 points in the quarter. Her layup with 7:56 left gave Nebraska a brief 20-19 lead, but the Hawkeyes responded to push their lead back to 32-24 after back-to-back buckets from Coley with 4:06 left in the half.

Nebraska fought back to tie the score at 36 with 35 seconds left, starting with back-to-back baskets from Havers and eight straight points from Whitish. Her second straight three in a 20-second span came off back-to-back assists from Maddie Simon.

Disterhoft sent Iowa to halftime with a 39-36 lead on a Disterhoft three with six seconds left.

Nebraska finished the half shooting 48.5 percent (16-33) from the floor, including 4-of-9 from three-point range. The Big Red won the first-half rebounding battle 22-15, but lost the 11-6 in the turnover category. Shepard led the Huskers with 13 first-half points, while Havers and Whitish both pitched in eight points. Darrien Washington contributed two points and six first-half rebounds.

Iowa went 17-for-36 from the floor, including 3-of-11 from long range. Gustafson led Iowa with 14 points, while Disterhoft contributed eight points and Tania Davis added seven.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten home action on Wednesday when the Huskers play host to Maryland. Tip-off between the Big Red and the No. 4 Terrapins at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com.
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