LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 6 Nebraska volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a 25-19, 25-12, 25-16 sweep of Hofstra in front of a crowd of 8,358 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Friday night. With their ninth straight win, the Huskers (25-6) advanced to Saturday's NCAA Second Round matchup with Missouri at 7 p.m.
Sophomore Laura Stivrins paced an efficient Husker offensive attack with a match-high 12 kills, the first double-figure kill match of her NCAA Tournament career. Stivrins recorded her 12 kills on only 18 swings, hitting .500. Senior Mikaela Foecke finished with nine kills on 22 error-free swings after being held without a kill in the opening set. Sophomore Lexi Sun had nine kills in her Nebraska postseason debut, while classmate Jazz Sweet put down four kills on nine error-free swings to hit .444. Freshman Nicklin Hames set Nebraska to a .352 attack percentage in her postseason debut. Defensively, the Huskers recorded eight blocks. Foecke tied her career high with six stuffs, while Callie Schwarzenbach had four blocks to set the Nebraska freshman record for blocks in a season (163). Senior libero Kenzie Maloney paced Nebraska's floor defense with 12 digs.
Nebraska had 10 more kills, 5.5 more blocks and six more digs than Hofstra, which ended its season with a 25-8 record. The Pride had 15 kills and hit .333 in the opening set but had just 16 kills the rest of the way while hitting a combined .045 in the second and third sets. Laura Masciullo led Hofstra with 10 kills, her 10th straight match with double-figure kills. Aisha Skinner added five kills and Nanishka Perez and Michela Rucli had five kills apiece. Maddie Appleton had a match-high 13 digs from the back row.
Set 1: Nebraska got off to a bit of a slow start, as Hofstra took a 5-3 lead via five kills. The Huskers then went on a 5-1 run to take an 8-6 lead, with Stivrins terminating twice and Foecke serving an ace. Hofstra hung tough, tying the set three more times, the latest at 11-11. But Sweet and Stivrins put down kills, and a block by Foecke and Stivrins gave NU a 15-12 lead at the media timeout. An ace serve by Stivrins and a Hofstra hitting error put the Huskers up by five, 19-14, and Sun pounded back-to-back kills to help the Huskers pull ahead 21-15. Hofstra scored the next three points to slice the lead in half, but Sun earned sideout with her fifth kill, and Foecke and Schwarzenbach thwarted an attack before a Hofstra net violation gave NU set point at 24-18. A Hofstra service error, its sixth of the set, ended the set in NU's favor, 25-19. Nebraska hit .400 in set one, while Hofstra hit .333.
Set 2: The Huskers bolted to a 5-1 lead with Schwarzenbach tallying a kill and combining on back-to-back blocks with Foecke and Sweet. Schwarzenbach scored again with a kill to make it 6-2, and a kill by Foecke started a 7-0 Husker run that made it 14-3. Miller served the run, which included an ace, and Stivrins and Hames tacked on kills as the Huskers took control of set two. Sami Slaughter came off the bench and put down a kill to make it 23-10, and Stivrins scored NU's final two points of the set with kills for a 25-12 Husker win. The Huskers hit .370 and were much better defensively, holding the Pride to .000 hitting.
Set 3: Stivrins and Foecke hammered down back-to-back overpasses and then teamed up for a block to give the Huskers a 7-3 advantage early in the set. The duo continued their dominance in the set, each posting another kill before a solo block by Foecke made it 10-4. Miller served her second ace of the night for an 11-4 lead. NU led 16-7 when Hofstra scored six of the next nine points, but Foecke and Stivrins posted another block, and Foecke smashed three more kills to put Nebraska ahead 23-14. The Huskers finished off the sweep with a 25-16 win after Foecke tacked on her ninth kill.
Up Next: The Huskers will play No. 24 Missouri on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the second round. Missouri swept No. 23 Arizona in the first match, 25-17, 25-22, 25-18. The match will be televised on NET, streamed on Huskers.com and will air on Husker Sports Network radio affiliates, Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
- Nebraska won its ninth straight match to improve to 25-6 on the season, reaching 25 wins for the 18th time in John Cook’s 19 seasons as Husker head coach.
- The Huskers won an NCAA Tournament match for the 35th straight season. The Huskers have lost only once in the first round (1983) and are 32-1 all-time in first-round matches (also received four first-round byes from 1994 to 1997).
- Nebraska won its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament match to improve to 109-31 all-time in the postseason. The Huskers and Stanford are the only two volleyball programs with 100 wins in the NCAA Tournament.
- Nebraska won its 11th straight NCAA Tournament match at home, dating back to 2013. The Huskers improved to 74-7 all-time at home in the NCAA Tournament, including a 19-2 record at the Devaney Center.
- The Huskers have won 51 of their last 54 home NCAA Tournament matches.
- John Cook improved to 68-14 in the NCAA Tournament at Nebraska, including 19-0 in first-round matches. Including his seven seasons at Wisconsin, Cook is 76-18 in the postseason, including 23-1 in the first round.
- The Huskers won their 18th consecutive match in the month of November. Nebraska finished with a 9-0 record this November and improved to 32-1 in the month since the start of the 2015 season. The last two seasons Nebraska went undefeated in November, the Huskers went on to win the national title (2015 and 2017).
- Nebraska’s two seniors who have been with the program all four years - Mikaela Foecke and Kenzie Maloney – improved to 17-1 in their NCAA Tournament careers.
- Nebraska held Hofstra to a .135 attack percentage, tying the Pride's season-low mark. The match marked the 25th opponent the Huskers have held below .200 hitting this season.
- The Huskers hit .352, their fourth consecutive match hitting above .350. Nebraska's .352 attack percentage was the highest mark Hofstra allowed in 2018, as the Huskers became just the second Pride opponent to hit .300 in 33 matches this season.
- Callie Schwarzenbach had four blocks in her NCAA Tournament debut to break the Nebraska freshman record for blocks of 160, set by Tracy Stalls in 2004. Schwarzenbach has 163 blocks this season.
- Mikaela Foecke tied her career high with six blocks against Hofstra. The six blocks were also the most Foecke has had in an NCAA Tournament match, eclipsing the five blocks from the first postseason match of her career in 2015 vs. Harvard.
- Mikaela Foecke had two aces against Hofstra. She has 20 aces in her NCAA Tournament career, the second-highest total in Nebraska history.
- Lauren Stivrins had a match-high 12 kills, her career high for an NCAA Tournament match after she totaled eight kills against both Stony Brook and Florida in last year's run to the NCAA title.
- Megan Miller had two aces in her NCAA Tournament debut.
Record-setting Nebraska receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. earned second-team All-Big Ten honors on Wednesday, as the league office announced the Big Ten Coaches and Media all-conference offensive teams.
Morgan Jr. earned second-team honors from both the Big Ten Coaches and media panel, leading a group of Nebraska offensive honorees on Wednesday. It marked the second straight season that Morgan has been a second-team all-conference choice on both teams.
Morgan set a Nebraska season record with 1,004 receiving yards, surpassing his own previous record of 986 yards in 2017. Morgan’s 70 receptions this season were the second-most in Nebraska history. He caught seven touchdown passes and had at least three receptions in 11 of 12 games in 2018, including five Big Ten games with at least seven catches.
Morgan will also leave Nebraska as the career record holder in receptions (189) and receiving yards (2,747), while ranking second in school history with 22 career touchdowns. Morgan caught a pass in the final 38 games of his career, setting a Husker record for consecutive games with a reception.
Two additional skill position players earned third-team All-Big Ten honors. Sophomore receiver JD Spielman earned third-team All-Big Ten honors by both the Big Ten Media and Coaches. It marked the second straight season Spielman has been a third-team all-league pick by the media.
Spielman finished the 2018 season with 66 receptions for 818 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns, despite missing the final two games with an injury. Spielman’s receptions total ranked third in school history and he caught at least three passes in all 10 games he played. Spielman set a Nebraska single-game record with 209 receiving yards at Wisconsin.
Senior running back Devine Ozigbo was among the top backs in the Big Ten after taking over the starting duties in late September. Ozigbo was a third-team All-Big Ten pick by the media and received honorable-mention accolades from the coaches. Ozigbo finished the season with 1,082 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns and is the first Husker to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since 2014. Ozigbo recorded four games with more than 150 rushing yards, all in conference action.
True freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez leads a group of three additional Huskers who earned honorable-mention recognition. Martinez was chosen by both the coaches and media panel. A three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Martinez set a Nebraska record with seven 300-yard total offense games and ranks third in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in total offense per game.
Martinez was joined on the honorable-mention offensive list by a pair of sophomore linemen. Left tackle Brenden Jaimeswas honored by both the coaches and media, while right guard Boe Wilson was picked by the media. Jaimes and Wilson were key members of an offensive line that powered Nebraska to average 456.2 yards per game, including seven straight games with 450 yards or more.
The offensive honorees join six Husker defensive and special teams players who were honored by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.
Nebraska All-Big Ten Honorees
Big Ten Coaches
2nd Team: Stanley Morgan Jr., WR
3rd Team: Dicaprio Bootle, CB; JD Spielman, WR
Honorable Mention: Adrian Martinez, QB; Brenden Jaimes, OL; Devine Ozigbo, RB; Carlos Davis, DL; Luke Gifford, LB; Mohamed Barry, LB; Isaac Armstrong, P
Big Ten Media
2nd Team: Stanley Morgan Jr., WR
3rd Team: Devine Ozigbo, RB; JD Spielman, WR; Dicaprio Bootle, CB; Mohamed Barry, LB
Honorable Mention: Adrian Martinez, QB; Brenden Jaimes, OL; Boe Wilson, OL; Khalil Davis, DL; Luke Gifford, LB; Isaac Armstrong, P
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Winner: Luke Gifford, Sr., LB
The Nebraska volleyball team placed three student-athletes on the All-Big Ten First Team and two on the All-Big Ten Freshman Team, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Mikaela Foecke, Kenzie Maloney and Lauren Stivrins were all selected by the Big Ten coaches and media to the 18-player All-Big Ten First Team. Nicklin Hames and Callie Schwarzenbach were named to the seven-player All-Freshman Team.
Foecke, a repeat honoree, was one of 10 unanimous selections. The senior outside hitter from West Point, Iowa leads the Huskers with 3.72 kills per set and adds 2.66 digs per set with a team-high 38 service aces this season. Her current kills per set average is Nebraska’s best since 2013 (Kelsey Robinson, 4.45). The two-time NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player was named Big Ten Player of the Week four times this season, and she has climbed to No. 6 on Nebraska's career kills list and is No. 9 in career aces. Foecke was an AVCA Second-Team All-American last year and is one of 10 NCAA Senior CLASS Award finalists this year.
Maloney, a senior libero, earned her first career Big Ten postseason honor. The Husker co-captain is averaging a team-best 4.07 digs per set and played an instrumental role in leading the Huskers to a nation-leading .130 opponent hitting percentage this season. The Louisville, Kentucky native ranks sixth in NU career history with 1,322 digs. 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 34 service aces are the third-most on the team this year.
Stivrins, a sophomore middle blocker, also earned her first career Big Ten honor. 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. Stivrins is averaging 2.23 kills per set on a team-best .401 hitting percentage, which ranks third in the Big Ten. It is NU's highest individual hitting percentage since 2010 (Brooke Delano, .406). Stivrins added serving to her repertoire this season and has 24 aces.
Hames, a 5-10 setter from Maryville, Tennessee, made the All-Big Ten Freshman Team after averaging 10.28 assists and 3.31 digs per set this season. She also ranks second on the team in aces with 36. Hames has a team-high 21 double-doubles, the second-most by a Husker in the rally-scoring era, trailing only Jordan Larson’s 22 double-doubles in 2006. Hames was a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week this season.
Schwarzenbach, a 6-5 middle blocker from Kearney, Missouri, joined her classmate Hames on the All-Freshman Team after finishing second in the conference in blocks with 1.43 per set. Schwarzenbach has 159 blocks this season and with two more will break the Nebraska freshman record of 160, set by Tracy Stalls in 2004.
Finally, Nebraska senior setter Brooke Smith received a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the second time in her career.
2018 All-Big Ten VolleyballFirst TeamAli Bastianelli, Sr., Illinois*
Jordyn Poulter, Sr., Illinois*
Jacqueline Quade, Jr., Illinois*
Erika Pritchard, So., Maryland
Carly Skjodt, Sr., Michigan*
Regan Pittman, So., Minnesota
Stephanie Samedy, So., Minnesota*
Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Sr., Minnesota*
Mikaela Foecke, Sr., Nebraska*
Kenzie Maloney, Sr., Nebraska
Lauren Stivrins, So., Nebraska
Jonni Parker, Fr., Penn State
Kendall White, Sr., Penn State*
Sherridan Atkinson, Sr., Purdue*
Blake Mohler, Jr., Purdue
Madison Duello, Jr., Wisconsin
Sydney Hilley, So., Wisconsin
Dana Rettke, So., Wisconsin*
Second TeamAshlyn Fleming, Jr., Illinois
Deyshia Lofton, Jr., Indiana
Taylor Louis, Sr., Iowa
Jenna Lerg, Sr., Michigan
Alexis Hart, Jr., Minnesota
Taylor Morgan, Jr., Minnesota
Adanna Rollins, Fr., Minnesota
Kaitlyn Hord, Fr., Penn State
Bryanna Weiskircher, Sr., Penn State
All-Freshman TeamPaige Jones, Michigan
CC McGraw, Minnesota
Adanna Rollins, Minnesota
Nicklin Hames, Nebraska
Callie Schwarzenbach, Nebraska
Kaitlyn Hord, Penn State
Jonni Parker, Penn State
Player of the Year: Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Sr., Minnesota
Defensive Player of the Year: Kendall White, Sr., Penn State
Co-Setter of the Year: Jordyn Poulter, Sr., Illinois
Co-Setter of the Year: Samantha Seliger-Swenson, Sr., Minnesota
Freshman of the Year: Jonni Parker, Penn State
Coach of the Year (Coaches and Media): Hugh McCutcheon, Minnesota
Beth Prince, Jr., Illinois
Kamryn Malloy, So., Indiana
Molly Kelly, Sr., Iowa
Abigail Bentz, Sr., Maryland
Maddy Abbott, Sr., Michigan
Sam McLean, Jr., Michigan State
Lauren Barnes, So., Minnesota
Brooke Smith, Sr., Nebraska
Allie Lindroth, Jr., Northwestern
Camry Halm, Jr., Ohio State
Kristin Krause, So., Penn State
Erin Williams, Sr., Purdue
Beka Kojadinovic, So., Rutgers
Tionna Williams, Sr., Wisconsin
*denotes UNANIMOUS SELECTION
Nebraska defenders Dicaprio Bootle and Mohamed Barry led a group of Husker defensive and special teams standout honored by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.
A sophomore cornerback, Bootle was a third-team all-conference selection by both the Coaches and the Big Ten Media. Bootle registered 15 pass breakups on the season, tying for the second-most PBU in Nebraska history and the most since 2004. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten and 17th nationally in passes defended per game.
Barry had a standout junior season at linebacker and earned third-team recognition by the Big Ten Media and honorable-mention accolades from the coaches. Barry led Nebraska with 112 tackles, the most by a Husker since Lavonte David had 133 tackles in 2011. Barry had seven double-figure tackles games, becoming the fifth Husker to have seven games with 10 or more tackles in a season.
Three other Husker defensive players received honorable-mention all-conference recognition. Senior linebacker Luke Gifford was honored by both the media and coaches panel. Gifford had 62 tackles and led Nebraska with 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Gifford was also recognized on Tuesday as Nebraska’s winner of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
Junior defensive linemen Carlos and Khalil Davis were chosen as honorable-mention players by the coaches and media, respectively. The twins from Blue Springs, Mo., anchored the Blackshirt defensive front. Carlos Davis had 27 tackles, three TFL and a sack, while his five breakups were the most by a Nebraska defensive lineman in nine seasons. Khalil Davis finished with 41 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and three sacks.
Junior punter Isaac Armstrong was an honorable-mention choice by both the media and coaches. Armstrong took over the punting duties at mid-season and averaged 43.6 yards per punt to rank second in the Big Ten. The average ranks as the ninth-best season average in Nebraska history.
The Big Ten will announce all-conference offensive teams on Wednesday.
Nebraska All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams Honorees
Big Ten Coaches
3rd Team: Dicaprio Bootle, CB
Honorable Mention: Carlos Davis, DL; Luke Gifford, LB; Mohamed Barry, LB; Isaac Armstrong, P
Big Ten Media
3rd Team: Dicaprio Bootle, CB; Mohamed Barry, LB
Honorable Mention: Khalil Davis, DL; Luke Gifford, LB; Isaac Armstrong, P
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Winner: Luke Gifford, Sr., LB
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Clemson, S.C. – James Palmer Jr. scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, as Nebraska picked up a crucial road win with a 68-66 victory over Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Palmer hit 8-of-14 shots from the field and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, while Isaac Copeland Jr. totaled 16 points, six rebounds and three assists, as Nebraska broke away from the Tigers (5-2) down the stretch and withstood a frantic finish.
Leading 53-52, Palmer keyed a 7-0 Husker run with five straight points as Nebraska built a 59-52 lead after an Isaac Copeland dunk with 5:32 remaining.
The Huskers eventually stretched the lead to eight, at 64-56, after a 3-pointer from Thomas Allen with 2:22 left and was up 66-59 after a Palmer reverse dunk with 1:29 left.
The Tigers would claw back, scoring five straight points to get to within 66-64 after a David Skara basket with 57 seconds left.
The teams would trade possessions and Clemson had a chance to tie to take the lead before a traveling call on Clemson’s Marcquise Reed with 9.4 seconds left. Watson, who joined Palmer and Copeland in double figures with 12 markers, was eventually fouled and sank both free throws to push the lead to 68-64 with 6.8 seconds left.
Clemson got within two on a basket from Aamir Simms with 1.0 seconds left, but Watson preserved the win by catching the in-bounds pass and dribbling out the clock.
The win improved Nebraska to 5-3 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including a 3-1 road mark. NU’s only road loss was a two-point setback at Clemson in 2016.
Nebraska withstood Clemson’s early run and battled back as the first half ended in a 31-all stalemate. Copeland led the Huskers with 10 first-half points, while Palmer Jr., Nana Akenten and Watson Jr. each tallied at least five points for the Big Red. Nebraska nearly out-rebounded the Tigers and had nine second-chance points to help offshoot 41 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
Clemson shot 48 percent from the floor as Shelton Mitchell paced the Tigers with nine, while Clyde Trapp came off the bench to score eight for the Tigers.
Clemson got out of the gates quickly, scoring eight of the first 10 points before the Huskers found their footing. Isaac Copeland had four points in a 6-0 spurt that tied the score at eight after a Copeland putback with 15:37 left in the half.
Nebraska trailed 21-17 after a Clyde Trapp 3-pointer with 10:20 left, but Isaiah Roby’s 3-pointer started a 12-3 run for the Huskers that saw Nebraska regain the lead at 24-23 after a Copeland putback slam with 7:07 left in the half and eventually extend the lead to 29-25 after a Copeland jumper with 5:14 left in the half. Clemson would come back and close the half on a 6-2 run to get the game tied heading to the locker room.
Early in the second half, Nebraska ran off five straight to break a 37-all tie, as Palmer’s 3-pointer with 15:29 left gave the Huskers a 42-37 lead. Reed, who had 13 of his 15 points in the second half, hitting a pair of jumpers to pull the Tigers within one before Watson’s 3-point stretched the margin back to four at 45-41.
Elijah Thomas led three Tigers in double figures with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.
Palmer long 3-pointer with 12:14 left gave the Huskers a 50-45 lead, but neither team could seize control until the Huskers’ 7-0 spurt.
The Huskers return home to begin Big Ten action this Sunday, Dec. 2, when they host the Illinois Fighting Illini. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. (CT) and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised by BTN.
*-Nebraska improved to 5-3 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including 5-2 under Tim Miles. Nebraska and Purdue are the only Big Ten teams with winning records in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
*-Nebraska improves to 3-1 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games on the road. NU’s only challenge road loss was a two-point set back at Clemson in 2016.
*-James Palmer Jr. recorded his 10th career 20-point game with a game-high 20 points.
*-James Palmer Jr. finished with a career high nine rebounds. His previous best was eight set on three other occasions, the last at Wisconsin on Jan. 29, 2018.
*-Isaac Copeland Jr. reached double figures for the sixth time in seven contests, finishing with 16 points. *-Nebraska held Clemson to 49.1 percent shooting, the 33rd straight game Nebraska held its opponent under 50 percent shooting
*-Glynn Watson Jr. jumped from 25th to 21st on Nebraska’s career scoring list with his 12-point effort.
The Nebraska volleyball team picked up two more weekly Big Ten honors after the final week of the regular season on Monday. Mikaela Foecke was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, her fourth award this season, and Lauren Stivrins was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, her third overall honor this year.
Foecke, a senior outside hitter, averaged 4.17 kills per set on a .458 hitting percentage to go with 2.67 digs per set in Nebraska's wins against Ohio State and Maryland this past weekend. Foecke led the Huskers on Senior Night with 16 kills on a .577 hitting percentage with seven digs.
Stivrins, a sophomore middle blocker, averaged 2.17 blocks per set with 2.33 kills per set on a .522 hitting percentage to her second defensive award this year. She was also Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 1. Stivrins had seven blocks in a sweep against Ohio State on Friday, and she followed with six blocks in a sweep of Maryland on Saturday, the Huskers' eighth straight win.
Nebraska opens NCAA Tournament play against Hofstra on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Big Ten Weekly Awards - Nov. 26, 2018 Co-Player of the Week: Carly Skjodt, Sr., MICH
Co-Player of the Week: Mikaela Foecke, Sr., NEB
Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Lauren Stivrins, So., NEB
Co-Defensive Player of the Week: Kendall White, Jr., PSU
Setter of the Week: MacKenzi Welsh, Jr., MICH
Freshman of the Week: Paige Jones, MICH
The Nebraska men’s basketball team faces another crucial non-conference test on Monday night, as the Huskers travel to No. 16 Clemson as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Tipoff from Littlejohn Coliseum is at 6 p.m. (CT) and the matchup between the Huskers and Tigers will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Anish Shroff and Cory Alexander on the call. It will also be available online on the ESPN app.
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 (affiliate list on page 7 of the game notes).
The Huskers, who are 5-1 and ranked 24th in the most recent USA Today coaches poll, are coming off a 73-49 win over Western Illinois on Saturday. In that game, the Huskers used a pair of double-figure runs, including a 19-0 run, to build a 40-17 halftime lead and cruised to the 23-point win. Glynn Watson Jr. led the Huskers with 20 points and matched his career high with nine rebounds to pace the Big Red. James Palmer Jr. added 19 points to help NU bounce back from Tuesday's loss to Texas Tech.
Watson comes into Monday's game at Clemson averaging 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, as one of three double-figure scorers for the Big Red. Palmer paces the Big Red attack at 17.2 points per game, while fellow senior Isaac Copeland is at 14.7 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game.
The Huskers now hit the road, traveling to a Clemson team that reached the NCAA Sweet 16 last season. The matchup is part of the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge that runs Monday-Wednesday. Nebraska looks for its third road win in the Challenge under Head Coach Tim Miles, as NU won at Wake Forest (2012) and Florida State (2014) before falling 60-58 at Clemson in 2016.
The Tigers are 5-1 on the season and ranked 16th in both national polls. Clemson has been off since an 87-82 loss to Creighton in the title game of the Cayman Islands Classic last Wednesday. Senior Marcquise Reed leads four Tigers who average double figures with 19.8 points per game.
OPENING NUMBER32.4 - Nebraska is holding opponents to 32.4 percent shooting, a percentage which ranks third nationally.
NUMBERS TO KNOW.918 - Nebraska is now 34-3 under Tim Miles when scoring 80-or-more points, including 19-1 in the past two-plus seasons.
3 - Watson is one of only three Big Ten players averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, joining Wisconsin's Ethan Happ and Maryland's Anthony Cowan.
12 - Number of career 20-point games for Glynn Watson Jr. following Saturday's 20-point effort. Watson also had a 20-point game in NU's previous trip to Clemson in 2016.
32 - Nebraska has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 32 straight games dating back to last season. NU has held four of its foes to under 40 percent.
12 - The Huskers have had 12 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.
106 - Nebraska's point total 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.
SCOUTING CLEMSONClemson comes into Monday's matchup with the Huskers with a 5-1 record. The Tigers returned three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that went 25-10 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16. Under ninth-year coach Brad Brownell, the Tigers have played in two NCAAs and two NITs in his tenure at the school. He had previously coached at Wright State and UNC Wilmington before taking over the Clemson program in 2010-11.
The Tigers opened the season with five straight wins, including a 15-point win over Georgia, before falling to Clemson, 87-82 in the title game of the Cayman Islands Classic. The Tigers have an experienced lineup with four fifth-year senior starters. Marcquise Reed led Clemson with 27 points against Creighton and scored 20+ points in three of the last four contests. Shelton Mitchell is second on the team at 14.7 ppg and has been in double figures in all six contests. Elijah Thomas is averaging 10.2 points and 7.0 rebound and has tallied double-doubles in two of the last three games.
The only previous meeting in the series was Clemson's 60-58 win over the Huskers in the 2016 ACC/Big Ten Challenge. In that game, Tai Webster's runner at the buzzer rolled off the rim to give the Tigers the win. Webster, who finished with 12 points and four rebounds, was one of four Huskers to finish in double figures, as Glynn Watson Jr. led all scorers with 20 points, four assists and four steals. Nebraska is 15-15 all-time against the current ACC members.
LAST TIME OUTGlynn Watson Jr. had 20 points and nine rebounds, as Nebraska built a 23-point halftime lead and cruised to a 73-49 win over Western Illinois.
Watson hit 8-of-10 shots from the floor and tied his career high with nine rebounds to pace the Big Red while James Palmer Jr. added 19 points.
Nebraska held Western Illinois to 30.6 shooting, as the Leathernecks (2-4) scored a season-low 49 points, over 30 points beneath their season average.
The Huskers took control in the first half, overcoming a slow start en route to building a 40-17 halftime lead. Nebraska used runs of 13-0 and 19-0 to seize momentum, as NU shot 57 percent from the field and outrebounded the Leathernecks, 25-12, in the opening stanza. Trailing 9-4, the Husker defense took control, holding WIU without a point for 8:47 while reserves Nana Akenten and Brady Heiman keyed the run with five of the Huskers’ 13 straight points.
Palmer then got going for the Big Red, scoring eight of his 12 first-half points to begin the run, as Palmer and Watson combined for 15 of the Huskers’ 19 unanswered points. Nebraska took any remaining suspense out by scoring the first 10 points of the second half, pushing the margin to 50-17 after a Watson 3-pointer with 17:41 left.
NEBRASKA ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE PRIMERThe 2018-19 season marks the 20th edition of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Big Ten is 5-12-2 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, but 5-2-2 over the last nine seasons. The ACC won the event with an 11-3 win in 2017 and has won the last two events. The winner of the challenge earns the Commissioner’s Cup, and in case of a tie, the Cup remains with the conference that won the event most recently (in this case the ACC).
- Nebraska is 4-3 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge since joining the Big Ten in the 2011-12 season and joins Purdue (10-7) as the only two Big Ten programs with winning records.
- Under Tim Miles, Nebraska has won four of six games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, including wins at Wake Forest (2012) and at Florida State (2015) along with the home wins over Miami (2013) and Boston College (2017).
- Of Nebraska's three losses, two have been by two points (55-53 to Wake Forest in 2011; 60-58 at Clemson in 2016) while the other one was a 77-72 overtime loss to Miami in 2015.
- The Huskers are 8-6 in conference challenge games dating back to their days in the Big 12 Conference. NU downed Seton Hall in the Gavitt Games earlier this month.
- Glynn Watson Jr. comes into the Clemson game with 1,132 points to rank 25th in school history, but could make a big leap on the scoring chart on Monday. He is six points away from matching Clifford Scales and Carl Hayes, who both have 1,138 points. Both Scales and Hayes went to Westchester St. Joseph, the same high school that Watson graduated from If Watson scores 19 points against the Tigers, he would jump to 20th, passing Marvin Stewart (1,138, 22nd), Terran Petteway (1143, 21st) and Brian Banks (1,150, 20th).
- Isaiah Roby needs only two blocked shots to become the 10th Husker with 100 career blocks. Roby is averaging 1.7 blocks per game this season.
- Nebraska is 5-7 all-time against teams ranked 16th in the AP poll and are 69-254 all-time against AP ranked teams. Nebraska last road win against a ranked team was an 87-83 win over No. 16 Indiana on Dec. 28, 2016. Miles has three wins over ranked teams in his tenure at Nebraska, highlighted by a win over No. 9 Michigan State in 2014.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSENebraska’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 (.324, third), 3-point defense (.224, fourth), scoring defense (51.7 ppg, sixth) and blocked shots per game (6.3 bpg, 11th).
- Nebraska has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 32 straight games dating back to last season, including 15 straight foes held to under 50 percent shooting.
- NU has limited five of its six 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.
- Under Miles, the Huskers are 47-5 (.904) when holding opponents under 60 points.
HUSKER OFFENSE GETS INTO HIGH GEARNebraska comes into the Clemson game averaging 80.5 points per game over the first six games after averaging 74.8 points per game during the first six games of last season.
- The Huskers rank in the top 50 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46, 34th) and averaging 16.3 assists per game.
- Nebraska opened the season with four straight games of scoring at least 80 points, marking the first time NU has accomplished that since the 1996 NIT.
- Nebraska 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.
- Nebraska has already had seven players score in double figures in the first six games, 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.
NEW NUMBER, SAME GAME FOR PALMERWhile 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 17.2 points, 3.7 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.
- Palmer has scored his points in bunches with three halves of at least 15 points in Nebraska's first six games. He had 15 points by halftime of each of the first two games while he had 18 second-half points against Seton Hall.
- His 29-point performance against Seton Hall was the second-highest scoring night in his career.
- Palmer has shown the ability to get to the free throw line often, as he ranks in the top-50 nationally in both free throws (34, 45th) and attempts (44, 48th).
- Palmer has reached double figures in 36 of 39 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 ATTACKFor 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 Monday's game averaging 15.2 points per game on 56 percent shooting, including 17-of-33 from 3-point range. He also is averaging 4.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game. He also has a career-high 3.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- He nearly posted his first 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 in the win over Missouri State.
- 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 1,132 points, Watson is one of two Huskers with 1,000 career points, as Isaac Copeland has 1,142 career points between his time at Georgetown and Nebraska. James Palmer Jr. is 71 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
- Watson has a career 2.13-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 COPEIsaac 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 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 14.8 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field.
- Copeland has reached double figures five times in six games, including a pair of 20-point efforts.
- 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 CLUBJunior 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 8.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting. He leads the Huskers in blocked shots (1.7 bpg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg) and is second on the team in steals (1.7 spg).
- 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 17-5 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 VAULTThe Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.
- NU has won its last 15 games at home following the 73-49 win over Western Illinois on Nov. 24. The 14-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 winning 16 straight spanning the 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons.
- NU has posted a 63-24 (.724) record in Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013. Against non-conference foes, NU is 35-7 in PBA (.833).
- 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. NU's .941 home winning percentage was the best since the 1982-83 campaign, while the 16 home wins was one shy of the school record.
- 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.
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska volleyball team was selected as the No. 7 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night and will host the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds at the Bob Devaney Sports Center next weekend.
The defending national champion Huskers, making their 37th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, will open the tournament on Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. against the Hofstra Pride (25-7), champions of the Colonial Athletic Association. The 4:30 p.m. match will feature the Missouri Tigers (23-7) of the SEC and the Arizona Wildcats (22-10) of the Pac-12. Friday's winners will meet on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.
Stanford, Minnesota, Illinois and BYU received the top four seeds from the NCAA Tournament committee. Should those teams all advance past the first weekend, they would host an NCAA regional the following weekend. Nebraska is in Minnesota's region along with No. 10 national seed Kentucky and No. 15 Oregon. The Huskers would only have an opportunity to host an NCAA regional if they advance past the opening two rounds and Minnesota gets upset in the first or second round.
There are no tickets available for the first and second rounds in Lincoln, but if there are any visiting team ticket returns, they would go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. If available, those could be purchased through Huskers.com/tickets, by calling 402-472-3111 or in person at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office.
The Huskers, who have won eight straight matches, finished the regular season 24-6 overall and 15-5 in the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska will face a familiar NCAA Tournament foe in Hofstra, who visited Lincoln for an NCAA first round match in 2014. The Pride defeated James Madison 3-2 in the CAA championship match on Nov. 18. Missouri went 23-7 overall and 13-5 in the SEC, finishing fourth in the conference. Arizona finished 22-10 overall and 11-9 in the Pac-12, good for fifth place in the conference standings.
The 2018 season marks the 34th time that Lincoln has hosted NCAA first and second round competition. Nebraska is 108-31 (.777) in 36 previous NCAA Tournament appearances. The 2018 Husker squad is looking to become the first Nebraska volleyball team to reach four straight final fours. This year's NCAA Championship is set for December 13-15 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
NCAA First and Second Round Schedule
First Round – Friday, Nov. 30
4:30 p.m. – Missouri vs. Arizona
7 p.m.* – Nebraska vs. Hofstra
*or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 4:30 p.m. match, but no sooner than 7 p.m.
Second Round – Saturday, Dec. 1
7 p.m. – First Round Winners
Coral Gables, Fla. - Freshmen Ashtyn Veerbeek and Leigha Brown each produced career highs with 13 points off the bench to help lead the Nebraska women's basketball team to its most complete game of the young season with a 77-39 win over Radford on Sunday at the Miami Thanksgiving Classic.
The Huskers, who improved to 2-3 with the victory, won all four quarters with balanced offense while providing their best defensive effort of the season in holding the preseason pick to win the Big South Conference to just 39 points. The Highlanders slipped to 3-2 with the loss.
Veerbeek pumped in a career-high 13 points, including the first three three-pointers of her career. The 6-2 power forward from Sioux Center, Iowa, also grabbed a game and career-high nine rebounds for the Big Red in just under 20 minutes of work. She also represented Nebraska on the all-tournament team.
Brown, a 6-1 wing from Auburn, Indiana, also notched a career best with 13 points in 20 minutes, including nine points in the second half to help the Huskers pull away late in the game.
Senior Maddie Simon gave the Big Red three players with 13 points, as the Lincoln Pius X grad scored five of Nebraska's first seven points in the game to get the Huskers rolling early.
Kate Cain contributed eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks, while Nicea Eliely, Hannah Whitish and Sam Haiby all pitched in six points. Taylor Kissinger finished with five points, while Kayla Mershon added four points. Grace Mitchell added two in the first half and Kristian Hudson got a free throw as all 11 Huskers scored in the game.
For the game, Nebraska hit 47.7 percent (31-65) of its shots from the field, including 5-of-14 three-pointers (.357). The Huskers also hit 10-of-16 free throws (.625), while outworking the Highlanders on the glass, 46-41. The Big Red also dominated the turnover department, 13-9.
The Huskers, who held Radford to an opponent low 38 points, limited the Highlanders to just 16-of-65 shooting (.246), including just 1-for-16 from three-point range. The Highlanders hit 6-of-9 free throws.
Khiana Johnson led Radford with 13 points, while Destinee Walker pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds. Lydia Rivers contributed eight points and eight boards for the Highlanders.
Nebraska jumped out to a double-digit lead early, racing to a 12-2 lead after a Kissinger three-pointer with 6:03 left in the first quarter to force a Radford timeout.
The Big Red maintained a 22-13 lead at the end of the opening quarter then pushed the lead to 30-15 after a 6-0 run capped by a Brown bucket with 5:30 left in the half. The Huskers then took their biggest lead of the half at 34-18 with 2:43 left after a pair of free throws by Brown.
Nebraska hit 14-of-35 (.400) first-half shots, including 3-of-10 three-pointers, to go along with 3-of-6 free throws. In its best defensive first half of the season, the Huskers held Radford to just 21 points on 8-of-34 shooting (.235), including 1-of-8 threes. The Highlanders hit 4-of-6 free throws and won the first-half rebounding battle, 27-22. Nebraska won the first-half turnover battle, 8-5, and converted the eight Highlander turnovers into 10 points. The Huskers also held Radford without an assist in the first 20 minutes.
Johnson led Radford with nine first-half points, while Walker contributed eight points and five rebounds. Rivers was the only other Highlander to score in the half, finishing with four points - all at the free throw line.
Radford came out focused in the third quarter and was able to trim the NU lead to single digits just two minutes into the second half with a 6-0 run capped by a pair of free throws from Walker.
But Simon scored four of Nebraska's next six points to get the Huskers back on track offensively.
After a Brown bucket pushed Nebraska's lead back to 11 at 44-33 with 3:23 left in the third quarter, Eliely got a steal and a layup before Veerbeek buried back-to-back three-pointers in a one-minute span to put the Big Red up 52-35 with just over one minute left in the quarter. They were Nebraska's only three-pointers of the second half.
Nebraska, which closed the third quarter with a 4-0 run, scored the first five points of the fourth quarter capped by a free throw from Veerbeek with 7:54 left to extend the margin to 58-35.
The Huskers, who outscored the Highlanders 24-4 in the final period, scored the game's final 15 points over the last four minutes.
Nebraska returns to road action on Thursday when the Huskers travel to No. 5 Louisville to take on the Cardinals. Tip-off between the Big Red and the 2018 NCAA Final Four qualifiers in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge is set for 6 p.m. (CT).