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Sports News

Merle Wiehl poured in 32 points and the Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball team earned a convincing 101-56 over Northwest College in the Cougar's home opener Wednesday night at Cougar Palace.

The win moves the Cougars to 3-2 on the season.

“It is always exciting to be back at home after being on the road for such a long time," women's basketball coach Chad Gibney said. "You can never complain about a 40-point win. Obviously, there are things that we will stress and continue to work on, but I am pleased with our first home performance.”

The early going, however, probably was because of nerves. But once the team settled in, they played in a groove.

“There is always some nervous playing in front of the home crowd for the first time,” Gibney said. “I think one of our strengths this year is our depth and so we can wear people down throughout the course of the game.”

It was an opening night where the Cougars shot 56 percent from the field, including popping home 14 3-pointers. More impressively, the Cougars were 17 of 20 from the free throw line.

Gibney said it was truly a team effort with several players contributing at different times.

“We had a number of people step up when we needed a play to be made,” he said. “I thought Taylor [Joplin[ got us going early. Then I thought T [Tishara Morehouse] and M [Merle Wiehl] chipped in with some scoring. The reality is, it is a team effort. We had a whole team of people that gave us good performances tonight.”

Taylor Joplin opened the game scoring the first eight points for the Cougars as the Cougars raced to a 19-9 lead. Northwest cut the lead to 19-12 before a bucket by Yuliyana Valcheva gave the Cougars a 21-12 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter saw Tishara Morehouse and Valcheva take over as the Cougars went up 36-18 behind a 3-pointer by Wiehl and a bucket by Morehouse. Later, Joplin nailed a trey and Wiehl capped off the half with a 3-pointer for a 45-26 lead.

The second half saw the Cougars outscore the Trappers 56-30, including scoring 30 in the third quarter. The third quarter saw several mini-runs, including an 11-0 run that was highlighted by Morehouse’s five points and Wiehl’s four points. Later, WNCC went on a 9-0 run behind a 3-pointer by Allysah Boothe trey and a 68-33 lead. WNCC led 75-43 after three quarters.

Any hope of a Trapper comeback was silenced in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter as Wiehl, the sophomore from Germany ripped off 13 straight points for a 90-46 lead with 5:46 to play. WNCC hit the century mark for the first time with under a minute to play on an R’Manie Pulling 3-pointer from the corner.

The Cougars had seven different players hit a 3-pointer on the night. Wiehl buried six, while Joplin had two along with Boothe. Morehouse, Kolby Underwood, Anyssia Gibbs, and Pulling each had one trey.

Four Cougars hit double digits. Behind Wiehl’s 32 points, Morehouse tallied 19 from the bench, including a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Joplin and Valcheva each had 13 points.

Northwest didn’t have anyone in double digits. Juliana Ribeiro and Berkley Larsen each had nine points, while Selena Cudney, Jenna Lohrenz, and Melissa Martinez each had seven.

While the offense was clicking, the defense started to pick up as well. WNCC held Northwest to 30 percent shooting, including holding them to just five 3-pointers. The Cougars forced 23 Trapper turnovers while getting five blocked shots. Eva Langton and Valcheva each had two blocks.






Catching up with the Cougars Chad Gibney

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Lincoln -- James Palmer Jr. scored 18 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, as No. 25 (Coaches) Nebraska improved to 3-0 on the season with a convincing 80-57 victory over Seton Hall Wednesday night in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Palmer shook off a slow start and shined in the second half, as his 3-pointer sparked the decisive 9-2 Husker run after Seton Hall pulled to within 44-42 with 13:32 remaining and helped build a nine-point lead, at 53-44, after a Thomas Allen 3-pointer.

Seton Hall got to within 57-48 after a Michael Nzei basket with just under 10 minute remaining, but could not cut into the Husker lead in the last 10 minutes, as Nebraska stretched out the margin in the final few minutes.

Behind the play of Palmer and fellow seniors Isaac Copeland Jr. (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Glynn Watson Jr. (14 points, eight assists), the Huskers outscored the Pirates 36-15 down the stretch to pick up their 14th straight win at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Nebraska shot 59 percent in the second half, while holding the Pirates to 33 percent shooting after halftime. On the night, NU kept Seton Hall (1-1) to 36 percent shooting, including 2-of-16 from 3-point range.

Nebraska used 30 first-half points from Watson, Palmer and Copeland to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room.

The Huskers shot just 28 percent in the first half, but hit four 3-pointer and went 9-of-10 from the foul line in the opening 20 minutes of action.

The Huskers trailed in the early going before Watson keyed a 7-0 run, scoring five of his 10 first-half points in a 56 second spurt that gave NU a 12-7 lead.

Seton Hall, behind 15 first-half points from Myles Powell, used a 6-0 run to pull within 20-18 with 4:41 left in the half before Palmer got the Big Red on track. The senior wing scored nine of his 11 points in an 11-4 Husker run as Nebraska built its largest lead of the half at 31-22 with 2:16 before the break.

Nebraska scored the first four points of the second half to build a 37-27 lead after an Copeland putback slam with 18:31 left and led 44-36 before Seton Hall scored six straight points, the last of which was a Nzei basket to pull within 44-42 before Palmer’s 3-pointer triggered the win.

Powell led Seton Hall with 24 points, while Nzei added 13 and nine boards in a losing effort.

The Huskers return to action Monday night, as they take on Missouri State in the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. Tipoff from the Sprint Center is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised by ESPNU. Tickets are available for the matchup by visiting SprintCenter.com or Ticketmaster.com.





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Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team worked out in full pads for two hours on Wednesday inside the Hawks Championship Center.

Offensive Coordinator Troy Walters addressed the media after practice, crediting senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. for his hard work and perseverance this season. Morgan had just 15 catches and no touchdowns in his first three games, but through the last four games, he’s caught 32 passes, including six for touchdowns.

“[Stanley Morgan Jr. has] meant everything,” Walters said. “He’s kind of the standard of how we do things around here. He’s been excellent. He’s been awesome. [He] loves football. Every time he steps on the field, he’s passionate. He plays until the whistle. He sets the standard. We want all of the younger guys in that receiver room to watch him and to be like him. If you’re like him, you’re going to be successful, not only on the field but also off the field. Being a leader, setting the standards, setting the environment, the expectations, even when things were a little rocky and we weren’t playing as well, he never jumped shipped. He’s always had a positive attitude. I’m glad to see that his hard work and perseverance is paying off.”

Walters also commented on how senior running back Devine Ozigbo and sophomore wide receiver JD Spielman are both approaching 1,000 yards this season and how that will not affect play calling.

“We’re going to call the game to win, but we know those guys have to get touches,” Walters said. “We know those guys have to make plays. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, those records will come because those guys are going to have to make plays. Our offense kind of goes through those three guys, but, we’re not going to get out of our normal play calling mode just to set records. It’ll come if we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Walters discussed the excitement going into Saturday’s game and how they are ready to take on the challenge.

“We’re playing at a high level,” Walters said. “Their defense is playing at a high level. It’s probably the best defense we’ve played since No. 4 Michigan. So, it’ll be a challenge in front of us to really see where we are as an offense. The guys have embraced that. They have the number one run defense in the country. That’s going to be a challenge. Our offensive line, they’re taking that challenge. They’re excited. We can’t wait to go out there Saturday and see what happens.”

Walters also mentioned the status of wide receiver JD Spielman.

“He’s been limited,” Walters said. “He’s been day-to day. The good thing about JD [Spielman] is that he knows the offense in and out. So, he doesn’t need a whole lot of practice time to stay sharp. So, we’ll make sure he’s healthy and we’ll just see.”

Nebraska will continue preparations for Saturday’s game against Michigan State at Memorial Stadium. The game will serve as Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with television coverage provided by FOX.





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LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska volleyball program and Head Coach John Cook announced the signing of five student-athletes on Wednesday, the first day of the National Letter of Intent November signing period.

Three members of the Huskers’ signing class – outside hitter Madi Kubik, outside hitter Riley Zuhn and libero Kenzie Knuckles – are Under Armour First-Team All-Americans. Wisconsin and Stanford were the only other schools with three recruits on the first team.

Kubik, a 6-1 outside hitter from West Des Moines Valley High School in Iowa, is rated the No. 4 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball.com and won the gold medal at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship while recording nine kills and two blocks in the championship match against Dominican Republic.

Zuhn is a 6-5 hitter from Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. Zuhn was a MaxPreps All-American as a sophomore after leading her school to a state title, and she is the first-ever NORCO club player to compete on the U.S. Youth National Team. Zuhn is rated the No. 32 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball.com.

Knuckles, a 5-8 libero recruit out of Yorktown High School in Indiana, played outside hitter in high school and led Yorktown to a 34-0 record as a senior and a Class 4A state title. Knuckles is ranked the No. 37 overall prospect and the No. 3 libero, and she was one of only 10 seniors named to the MaxPreps 2018 Midseason Player of the Year Watch List in October.

Two in-state prospects are also members of the Husker class. Lincoln Pius X libero Emma Gabel and Johnson-Brock middle blocker Fallon Stutheit will join the Huskers next season. The 5-7 Gabel was a PrepVolleyball.com Club All-American in 2018 and led Pius X to the Class A state final this season. She was also an AAU National Championship All-Tournament selection after leading VCN to a fifth-place finish in 2017. Stutheit owns the Nebraska Class D1 record for kills in a season with 539 and won three straight Class D1 state championships at Johnson-Brock. The 6-1 middle blocker is a two-time Lincoln Journal Star Super-State and Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska first-team selection.

“We feel like we’ve put together a strong class that addresses what we will need to replace after this senior class of Mikaela Foecke, Kenzie Maloney and Brooke Smith graduates,” Cook said. “We have five highly talented, high-character individuals joining our program, and we’re excited to have two Nebraska girls joining our team next season. The returning players from this year’s team and this class will be our team for the next two years, so this is going to be a core group together, and we are going to expect this class to come in and challenge for important roles right away.”

Emma Gabel, 5-7, L, Lincoln, Neb. (Pius X) (VCNebraska)
• Attended Lincoln Pius X High School in Nebraska, helping the Thunderbolts reach the Class A state championship match as a senior in 2018
• Had 596 digs (5.7 per set), 24 service aces and 52 set assists as a senior
• Received Lincoln Journal Star Class A all-state honorable mention as a junior in 2017
• Played club volleyball for VCNebraska, which finished fifth in the AAU National Championships 16 Open Division in 2017
• Was named to the AAU National Championships All-Tournament Team in 2017 and was a PrepVolleyball.com Club All-American in 2018
• Also competed in track and field for the Thunderbolts

Coach Cook: “Emma will be a great addition to our back row. She is an elite passer and defender who reads the game well. We are excited to add another Nebraskan to our roster. Emma is someone we know will work hard and could have an immediate impact on our program. She comes from one of the best high school teams in the state and is a fierce competitor that will raise the level of our gym.”

Kenzie Knuckles, 5-8, L, Yorktown, Ind. (Yorktown)
• Played outside hitter at Yorktown High School in Indiana but will be a defensive specialist/libero for the Huskers
• Was named an Under Armour First-Team All-American in 2018
• Ranked the No. 37 overall prospect and the No. 3 libero by PrepVolleyball.com
• Was one of 10 seniors named to the MaxPreps 2018 Midseason Player of the Year Watch List
• Was an all-state performer each year of her high school career, leading Yorktown to a perfect 34-0 record as a senior with 4.2 kills per set and 3.9 digs per set
• Led Yorktown to the Indiana Class 4A state title in 2018, posting 14 kills and 10 digs in the state championship match
• Also won a Class 3A state title with Yorktown as a sophomore in 2016, recording 30 kills and 18 digs in the championship match
• Played beach volleyball instead of club volleyball in 2018 to improve her ball-handling and defensive skills

Coach Cook: “Kenzie is a phenomenal libero who plays for one of the best high school teams in the nation. She led her team to an undefeated season her senior year, and we are excited that she chose to be a Husker. We believe we’re getting one of the most talented players in the country in Kenzie and can’t wait to get her in a Nebraska jersey. She is a ball-control machine who has the potential to be on the court right away.”

Madi Kubik, 6-1, OH, West Des Moines, Iowa (Valley) (Iowa PowerPlex)
• Led Valley High school in West Des Moines, Iowa to a 41-4 record and the Class 5A state semifinals as a senior in 2018 with 5.16 kills per set on .382 hitting
• Competed on the U.S. Junior National Team, winning the gold medal at the 2018 NORCECA Women’s U20 Continental Championship while recording nine kills and two blocks in the championship match against Dominican Republic
• Was named an Under Armour First-Team All-American in 2018
• Ranked the No. 4 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball.com
• Averaged 5.5 kills per set as a junior in 2017, leading the Tigers to the Iowa Class 5A state championship match
• Named to the Des Moines Register’s All-Iowa Elite team following her junior season
• Helped her club team, Iowa PowerPlex, finish 19th at the Open qualifiers in 2018
• Named the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year and the Iowa Class 5A Player of the Year in 2017

Coach Cook: “Madi is undoubtedly one of the best players in the country. Her experience with Team USA will be a very valuable addition to our program. With an outside (Mikaela Foecke) graduating after this season, Madi will have a chance to compete for a starting spot right away. She is a complete volleyball player and can play all six rotations. She is an exceptional passer as well as a force at the net and could contribute to the program in more ways than one.”

Fallon Stutheit, 6-1, MB, Johnson, Neb. (Johnson-Brock) (Nebraska One)
• Led Johnson-Brock High School - coached by her mother, Tera - to three Nebraska Class D1 state titles in her high school career
• As a senior in 2018, recorded 475 kills (5.1 per set) with a .415 hitting percentage
• Averaged 5.9 kills per set on .433 hitting as a junior in 2017
• Posted 19 kills and 16 digs in the Class D1 state championship match as a junior
• Set a Nebraska Class D1 state record with 539 kills in a season as a sophomore in 2016
• Was a two-time Lincoln Journal Star Super-State and Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska first-team selection
• Played club volleyball for Nebraska One
• Also played basketball for the Eagles

Coach Cook: “One of the best middles in the state, Fallon comes to us from the small town of Johnson. She’s a bit undersized but can definitely hold her own at the net. She led her team to a state semifinal appearance at the state tournament playing all six rotations. Again, we love adding Nebraska kids to our roster and Fallon epitomizes a small-town Nebraska girl chasing her dreams of being a Husker.”

Riley Zuhn, 6-5, OH, Fort Collins, Colo. (Fossil Ridge) (NORCO)
• Attended Fossil Ridge High School in Colorado, helping the SaberCats reach the quarterfinals of the Colorado 5A state tournament
• Ranked the No. 32 overall prospect by PrepVolleyball.com and was named an Under Armour First-Team All-American in 2018
• Averaged 3.7 kills per set with a .421 hitting percentage as a senior
• Led Fossil Ridge to a Class 5A state title in 2016 as a sophomore with 3.5 kills per set on .381 hitting, earning MaxPreps Sophomore All-America honors
• Was a Colorado 5A all-state selection
• Played club volleyball for NORCO and became the first player from the NORCO program to compete on the U.S. Youth National Team

Coach Cook: “Riley has worked very hard to be a Husker. We admire her passion and drive to be great. She is a player that will without a doubt have a positive impact on the culture of our program with her hard work and dedication. She is a highly skilled attacker and blocker and plays for one of the best club teams in Colorado.”





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The eight-team bracket includes Chadron, Denver School of Science and Technology, Gering, Mitchell, Scottsbluff, Sidney and Sterling High Schools. The Scottsbluff Bearcats had a seven year state tournament run snapped last season by Crete in the District Final's ending the Bearcats season at 18-9. The Bearcats bring back plenty of weapons on the floor with Senior Connor McCracken and Junior Jasiya DeOllos. Scottsbluff lost Vince Quijas, Devin Buderus, and Mason Ramig to graduation. 

Gering basketball will begin a new era as Randy Plummer stepped down after 19 years as head coach of the Bulldogs. Rick Winkler will step in as the interim head coach this season for Gering. The Bulldogs ended the season a game under five hundred last season falling in the sub-districts to Scottsbluff. Gering will be young this season after losing Jake Rocheleau, Tyler Pszanka, Joziah Palomo and Walker Cook to graduation. Interim Head Coach Rick Winkler looks to reload with the likes of Xavier Horst, Kolton Ebbers, Emanuel Campos and Bryce Sherrell. 




Lincoln, Neb. -- The Nebraska football team worked out in full pads for just over two hours on Tuesday inside the Hawks Championship Center.

Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander addressed the media following practice and he was asked what he has seen from a Michigan State offense that was held to six points last week against No. 8 Ohio State.

"Their injuries. They've lost some of their personnel,” Chinander said. “They're kind of finding out what's best for them with the people they have. I think they're going to find it out. Forecast says it's going to be cold and windy, so (they'll) probably get packed in and run the football and try to do what they're really good at and being physical and running the ball, so that's what we kind of expect right now."

Chinander also talked about the Spartans’ quarterback situation and how to prepare for seeing two quarterbacks on Saturday.

"With their two guys it's kind of what plays they run,” Chinander said. “I don't know if the skill set is completely different. I mean, they both do a good job running that offense. Their third guy is obviously a guy that we recruited at UCF that's more of a ‘wildcat’ guy. So I think you have a few things to prepare for but you kind of have to do some of it in the ‘good-on-good’ periods against our offense and some of it through the scout team work. I think there's a lot to prepare for not only that but a lot of different personnel groupings they present you with."

Chinander went on to comment on the seniors of the defense and if the game on Saturday will be a bittersweet one for him.

"Yeah I think it'll be bittersweet,” Chinander said. “Those guys have done a great job of helping transform the direction of the program, the culture of the program. Setting the stage for what's to come in the next few years. They understand that but it's going to be kind of bittersweet to have them go the last time without them experiencing what they've created. I hope they're back forever. I hope they feel like they can come back to any meeting, any practice, to any game and be a part of this team because they're always going to be a part of this team no matter where it goes.

“I think it's going to be really good in the future, and I hope they realize how big of a part of that they're going to have in that."

Chinander ended with expressing excitement to see his defense go up against another power offense like Michigan's.

"I think we went into that Michigan game and our guys kind of didn't know what we had yet,” Chinander said. “It was starting to build. I don't know if we were at the point where we thought were going to go win that football game. When the guys were at Ohio State, we were at the point where we were going to go win this football game, and I'm anxious to see how it'll carry over, just the attitude and the energy and where we start the game as opposed to where we started against Michigan. How we defend this thing right from the whistle, if we can shut it down a little bit and make them do some other things or if we're going to be in for a fist fight all game, but it's going to be exciting to watch."

Nebraska will continue preparations against to face off against Michigan State on senior day on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. with television coverage provided by FOX.





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The Nebraska men's basketball team faces an early-season test on Wednesday, as the Huskers host Seton Hall in the Gavitt Tipoff Games matchup. Tipoff from a sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 6:30 p.m. Any returned tickets would be available at PBA beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.

Wednesday's game will be carried nationally on BTN with Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris on the call. The game is also available online on BTN.com and 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.
Wednesday's game is part of the fourth-annual Gavitt Tipoff Games series between the Big Ten and the Big East. It is named in honor of Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. Nebraska will be looking for its first-ever win in the series, following trips to Villanova (2015) and St. John's (2017).
The Huskers, who are 2-0 and ranked 25th in the most recent USA Today coaches poll, took control early in an 87-35 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday. James Palmer Jr. had 17 points, as the Huskers shot 56 percent and put six players in double figures. NU used runs of 22-0 and 22-2 to build a 36-point halftime lead. The Huskers also limited Southeastern Louisiana, which won 22 games and played in the NIT in 2017-18, to just 27 percent shooting and forced 25 turnovers.
Palmer (17.0 ppg) and fellow senior Glynn Watson Jr. (17.5 ppg) lead a balanced attack, as the Huskers feature four players averaging double figures and three more averaging at least eight points per game. Much of that has been because of the two blowouts, as no Husker is averaging more than 23 minutes per game.
Seton Hall comes into Wednesday's game with a 1-0 record after blowing out Wagner, 89-49, in its season opener on Nov. 6. Myles Powell led all scorers with a 30-point performance, hitting 10-of-13 shots from the field, including five 3-pointers. As a team, Seton Hall shot 52 percent and held Wagner to just 32 percent shooting. SHU played its second exhibition game on Friday, topping New Haven, 73-62 behind a 20-point effort from Myles Cale.
OPENING NUMBER
36.0 - Nebraska leads the nation, allowing 36.0 points per game entering this week's action. The performances against Southeastern Louisiana (35) and Mississippi Valley St. (37) rank sixth and seventh, respectively, on NU's fewest points allowed list.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1949 - The last time Nebraska allowed less than 40 points in consecutive games. That season, the Huskers opened the year by holding South Dakota State (32) and Northwest Missouri State (39) to under 40 points apiece.
.914 - With Sunday's win, Nebraska is now 32-3 under Tim Miles when scoring 80-or-more points.
8 - The Huskers have had eight runs of at least 10-0 in the first two contests.
10 - Number of times since WWII that NU has returned a first-team all-conference performer. James Palmer Jr. is NU's first returning All-Big Ten player since Terran Petteway in 2014-15.
13 - Nebraska has won 13 straight at Pinnacle Bank Arena dating back to last season. It is the longest current win streak by a power conference school.
52 - The 52-point win vs. Southeastern Louisiana was the sixth-largest margin of victory in school history.
SCOUTING SETON HALL
Under ninth-year head coach Kevin Willard, Seton Hall comes to Lincoln with a 1-0 record after defeating Wagner, 89-49 on Nov. 6. The Pirates, who went 22-12 last season, have been to three straight NCAA Tournaments, as they fell to Kansas in the second round in 2018. Seton Hall replaces four senior starters, but returns a pair of players with extensive starting experience in Myles Powell and Nachael Nzei.
Powell, a second-team preseason All-Big East pick, averaged 15.5 points per game and connected on 94 3-pointers as a sophomore. He matched his career high with a 30-point effort against Wagner in the Pirates opener. Nzei, who made 34 career starts, averaged 3.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, but has 102 career appearances. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in the opener. Quincy McKnight was a two-year starter at Sacred Heart who averaged 18.9 points per game as a sophomore before transferring. Sophomore forward Taurean Thompson could also see extensive action, as he averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while starting 21 games at Syracuse before transferring.
Series history: Wednesday is the first meeting between the two schools. The Huskers are 32-41 all-time against the current Big East schools, including 0-2 in previous Gavitt Tipoff Games appearances.
LAST TIME OUT
James Palmer Jr. had 15 of his game-high 17 points in the first half, as No. 25 (Coaches) Nebraska improved to 2-0 on the season with an 87-35 victory over Southeastern Louisiana Sunday afternoon.
The Huskers shot 56 percent and put six players in double figures against the Lions, who won 22 games en route to an NIT bid last season. Palmer also added four assists and four steals, as the Huskers used first-half runs of 22-0 and 22-2 in building a 36-point halftime cushion.
Glynn Watson Jr. had 16 points and six rebounds, while Isaac Copeland (11), Isaiah Roby (10), Thomas Allen (10) and Brady Heiman (10) all reached double figures, as Nebraska won its 13th straight game at home.
Nebraska forced 25 turnovers and Southeastern Louisiana (1-2) to 27 percent shooting.


ON THE LINE

  • NU looks to help the Big Ten win the Gavitt Tipoff Games for the first time in the event's four-year existence. The two conferences have gone 4-4 in each of the last three seasons. NU is 0-2 in the Gavitt Games, but both games were on the road.
  • A win for Nebraska would not only give NU a 3-0 record for the fourth time in seven seasons under Head Coach Tim Miles, but would also mark his 100th win at Nebraska. He would become the fifth Husker coach with 100 wins.
  • A win would be Nebraska's 14th straight home victory dating back to last December, the longest win streak in the Big Ten. Nebraska is 40-9 in non-conference home games under Tim Miles.
DOING IT WITH DEFENSE
Nebraska’s biggest improvements came on the defensive end in 2017-18, going from 13th to 6th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to 2nd 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 very early in the season Nebraska leads the nation in scoring defense (36.0 ppg), is second in field goal percentage defense (.226) and 3-point percentage defense (.125), 10th in turnovers forced (22 per game) and 12th in blocked shots (8.0 bpg).
  • Nebraska has not allowed an opponent to shoot over 50 percent in 28 straight games dating back to last season, including 11 straight foes held to 50 percent shooting.
  • Under Miles, the Huskers are 45-5 (.900) when holding opponents under 60 points.
  • NU has limited both of its opponents to 0.47 points per possession, the lowest number in Tim Miles' seven years.




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Western Nebraska Community College softball team’s Gabby Loya and Abriana Ramirez will be continuing their softball playing for another two years after signing with York College on Sunday.

Loya and Ramirez were vital contributors for the Cougars last season and both are excited they get to continue their playing careers at the next level after they graduate from WNCC in May.

“I am going to York College because I found an opportunity to play softball and to continue my education,” Loya, a Wheatridge High graduate from Denver, said. “It is exciting that I get to play softball because I wouldn’t know what to do without it.”

Ramirez picked York because it was the right fit for her in that she loved how she was treated on her visit and how the York and WNCC programs mirror each other.

“I remember meeting Coach [Roni] Miller the first day and she looked at me and said you need York College,” Ramirez, a Pomona High graduate in Colorado, said. “I didn’t know what she meant at first, but when arriving on campus I understood what she meant. It reminded me a lot of here in just the sense of community and the town. The professors care about you and I just knew that is where I needed to be. Gabby and I talk about it all the time. We said that is what was meant to happen; it just fell in our lap. We are just thankful for that opportunity to play and to have her with me along for the ride.”

Ramirez said it will be special that she will be going to York with a teammate.

“It means a lot to me considering Gabby is one of my best friends and just having her be there for two more years and be my roommate for two more years means so much to me,” she said. “I know I need someone there with me and Gabby is the perfect one.”

Loya and Ramirez will be the third Cougar to play softball at York College. Amanda Saldivar played for the Panthers from 2012-14 after playing two years at WNCC.

Last season Loya had a .308 batting average with six home runs, 12 doubles, 41 RBIs, and 26 runs scored. Ramirez hit .152 and had 10 runs scored in just 55 at bats.

The two will have one more season at WNCC and Loya and Ramirez said they have grown as a player and person while at WNCC.

“I am going to miss the culture, the team, and the community,” Loya said. “Everyone is by your side in whatever you do.”

For Ramirez, her two years was special. She added if it was a four-year school she would be here for four years.

“I have learned so much from Coach [Katelyn] Groves,” she said. “I am a better person coming here. I learned so much discipline, so much about myself that I don’t think I would have learned anywhere else. This place is something special and I am thankful for that. There is nothing like being a Cougar. If this was a four-year school, I definitely would be here [four years], but I can’t unfortunately.”

Loya, who is majoring in pre-physical therapy, said leaving WNCC will be hard.

“I will miss all the family from the team and coaches,” she said. “We are so close together because we have to walk together. That is what I will miss the most.”

Ramirez said the friendships she made while here will stand out.

“I will miss my friends without a doubt,” she said. “I will also miss this community because I met my best friends here and I am just going to miss it.”




WNCC Softball Press Conference

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NEBRASKA vs. MICHIGAN STATE
NOV. 17, 2018 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 A.M. (CT)

BROADCAST INFO
TV - FOX (Brian Custer, Ben Leber)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 113, XM 201
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App

HUSKERS
Record: 3-7, 2-5 Big Ten
Last Game: defeated Illinois, 54-35
Rankings: NR
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 22-14 (3rd Year)/3-7 (1st Year) 
vs. MSU: 0-0

SPARTANS
Record: 6-4, 4-3 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Ohio State, 26-6
Rankings: RV
Coach: Mark Dantonio
Career/MSU Record: 124-66 (15th Year)/106-49 (12th Year)
vs. Nebraska: 2-3

The Matchup
Nebraska finishes its 2018 home schedule on Saturday by welcoming Michigan State to Memorial Stadium. The Big Ten clash is set to kick off shortly after 11 a.m. CT and will be televised by FOX. The game can also be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network. 

Nebraska enters the game at 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Big Ten play, and is coming off a 54-35 victory over Illinois on Saturday in Lincoln. The win was Nebraska's third straight home victory, with the Huskers topping 45 points in each of those home wins. The Husker offense continued to roll against the Fighting Illini, racking up 606 yards of offense, including 316 rushing yards. Nebraska has now scored at least 30 points in five straight games and gained 450 yards or more in seven straight contests. 

Michigan State will enter the game with a 6-4 record, including a 4-3 mark in Big Ten Conference action. The Spartans are coming off a 26-6 loss to eighth-ranked Ohio State on Saturday in East Lansing. While Nebraska has relied on an explosive offense, Michigan State has been paced by one of the Big Ten's best defenses. The Spartans rank first nationally in rushing defense, while also ranking in the top 25 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, red zone defense and third-down defense.

This Week's Numbers
19 -
 Nebraska will honor 19 seniors before Saturday's game. The group includes 12 fifth-year seniors, six players in their fourth year in the program and one first-year graduate transfer.

30 - Nebraska has scored at least 30 points in five straight games, marking the first time the Huskers have topped 30 points in five consecutive games since the first five games of 2014. Nebraska's streak of four straight 30-point games in conference play is its longest since 2001.

4, 91 - Stanley Morgan Jr. is poised to establish Nebraska career records for receptions and receiving yards. Morgan needs four receptions and 91 yards in the final two games to surpass Kenny Bell on both of those career receiving charts.

Nebraska-Michigan State Series
• Nebraska and Michigan State were in the same division of the Big Ten from 2011 to 2013, but are now in opposite divisions of the conference.

• Nebraska won all five meetings between the schools prior to Nebraska joining the Big Ten in 2011, and has a 3-2 edge since joining the conference.

• The Huskers have victories over two top-10 Spartan teams, defeating No. 9 MSU in Lincoln in 2011 and the sixth-ranked Spartans in 2015.

• Top-ranked Nebraska defeated Michigan State, 55-14 on Sept. 7, 1996 in Lincoln. The game marked Head Coach Scott Frost's first start at quarterback for the Huskers.

Huskers to Honor 19 Senior on Saturday
Nebraska will hold its Senior Day festivities on Saturday, honoring 19 seniors who will appear in Memorial Stadium for the final time against Michigan State.

The group includes 12 fifth-year seniors, six seniors in their fourth year in the program and graduate transfer Tre Neal.

2018 Senior Class
• Freedom Akinmoladun, DE, Grandview, Mo.
• Cole Conrad, OL, Fremont, Neb.
• Tanner Farmer, OL, Highland, Ill.
• Jerald Foster, OL, Lincoln, Neb. 
• Luke Gifford, LB, Lincoln, Neb.
• Matt Jarzynka, DL, Loup City, Neb.
• Bo Kitrell, RB, Ashland, Neb.
• Stanley Morgan Jr., WR, New Orleans, La.
• Tre Neal, DB, Atlanta, Ga.
• Peyton Newell, DL, Hiawatha, Kan.
• Jordan Ober, LS, Las Vegas, Nev.
• Devine Ozigbo, RB, Sachse, Texas
• Antonio Reed, DB, Memphis, Tenn.
• Bryan Reimers, WR, Lincoln, Neb.
• Austin Rose, RB, Lincoln, Neb.
• Mick Stoltenberg, DL, Gretna, Neb.
• Mikale Wilbon, RB, Chicago, Ill.
• Aaron Williams, DB, Atlanta, Ga.
• Dedrick Young II, LB, Peoria, Ariz. 

• The 2018 senior class has players from 10 states, including eight native Nebraskans. Two players hail from both Georgia and Illinois, with one player from Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee and Arizona.

• The 19-man senior class has accumulated a total of 331 starts in their Nebraska career. The group has eight players with at least 20 starts including Dedrick Young II (41), Jordan Ober (40), Freedom Akinmoladun (39), Aaron Williams (31), Stanley Morgan Jr. (30), Tanner Farmer (28), Jerald Foster (26) and Mick Stoltenberg (24).

• Stanley Morgan Jr. is in position to leave Nebraska as the school's all-time leader in receptions and receivng yardage. Against Michigan State, he will attempt to tie the school record for most consecutive games with a reception.

• Running back Devine Ozigbo joined the 2,000-yard career rushing club last week. He is in position to post Nebraska's first 1,000-yard rushing season since 2014.

• Linebacker Dedrick Young II is the only player in Nebraska history to record at least 60 tackles in four different seasons. Young has 266 career tackles to rank ninth in school history.

• Offensive lineman Jerald Foster is a two-time team captain. Foster is one just 11 players in Nebraska history to be a two-year captain.

• Eight of Nebraska's 19 seniors are playing the 2018 season as graduate students, with another eight players set to graduate in December.

Offense Hopes to Sustian Strong Momentum
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. In the past seven games, Frost's Nebraska offense has posted numbers among the nation's best units.

Nebraska has gained at least 450 yards in each of the past seven games, setting a school record for the longest 450-yard streak in NU history. NU had previously topped 450 yards in six straight games in 1972, 1982, 1994 and 1995.

Nebraska opened the year with 565 yards of total offense against Colorado, and has since posted four more games with better than 500 yards. NU had 606 yards last week against Illinois, a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota, 582 yards against Purdue and 518 yards at No. 16 Wisconsin.

• NU averages 482.6 yards of total offense to rank second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally.

• Nebraska's 659 yards of offense against Minnesota was its highest total since gaining 787 yards against FAU in the 2014 season opener.

• The total offense output against Minnesota was Nebraska's largest in a Big Ten Conference game (since 2011). It was NU's highest total offense in a conference game since having 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007.

• Nebraska has gained 600 yards of offense in two of its last three Big Ten games. Previously, the Huskers had gained 600 yards only once in their first 62 Big Ten Conference games.

• Nebraska has five 500-yard offensive games this season. NU had not had five 500-yard total offense games in a season since 2000.

• In its three Big Ten home games (Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois), Nebraska has averaged 615.7 yards per game.

• The consecutive 500-yard games against Purdue and Wisconsin marked the first time NU had back-to-back 500-yard outputs in Big Ten games. It was the first time NU had consecutive 500-yard games in conference play since the final two Big 12 games in 2007.

• The 565 yards against Colorado in the opener marked the first 500-yard total offense game for the Huskers since posting 556 yards at Northwestern in 2016.

• The total offense output against Colorado was the best at the time by Nebraska in 35 games, dating back to a 610-yard effort against Southern Miss in 2015.

• Nebraska is one of only five Power Five Conference schools averaging 200 rushing yards and 250 passing yards per game. The other teams in that group include Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma and Syracuse.

NU Lighting Up Scoreboard
In recent weeks, Nebraska has started to turn its prolific yardage totals into points on the scoreboard. Nebraska is averaging 45.8 points per game in its past four games, while posting a 3-1 record.

• Nebraska has scored 30 or more points in each of the past five games. That is Nebraska's longest streak of 30-point games since topping 30 points in each of the first five games in 2014. Nebraska last topped 30 or more points in six straight games in the first six games of 2012.

• Nebraska has scored 30 or more points in four straight conference games for the first time since topping 30 points in four straight Big 12 games in 2001.

• Nebraska has posted its top two scoring outputs in Big Ten Conference games in the past month. NU's 54 points against Illinois were its most in a Big Ten game, with its 53 points against Minnesota second on that list.

• Nebraska scored 38 points before halftime against Illinois. That marked Nebraska's highest first-half point total in a conference game since also scoring 38 against Kansas State in 2007.

• The Huskers have scored at least 28 points in the first half of each of its past three home games (28 vs. Minn., 38 vs. BCU, 38 vs. Illinois). Nebraska has scored at least 21 points in the first half in four straight games overall.

• As a result of Nebraska's scoring outburst in its past three home games, the Huskers have not trailed in wins over Minnesota, Bethune-Cookman and Illinois. In those three games, Nebraska has spent a total of just 10:21 in a tie game.

Nebraska Boasts Improved Rushing Game
Nebraska ranks 22nd nationally in rushing, averaging 226.5 yards per game, an increase of 119.0 yards from the 2017 season.

• Nebraska’s increase of 119.0 rushing yards per game from last season is the second-largest increase nationally behind Illinois.

• NU is on pace to post a 100-yard improvement in rushing yards per game from one season to the next for only the sixth time in school history.

• The Huskers have gone from 119th nationally in rushing in 2017 to 22nd this year, a 97-spot improvement.

• The Nebraska coaching staff has produced a remarkable rushing turnaround for the second straight season, after the staff helped UCF improve from 104th nationally in rushing in 2016 (141.2) to 33rd in 2017 (198.7 ypg)

Morgan Poised to Become All-Time Leading Receiver
After setting the season receiving yardage record with 986 yards in 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. is now poised to move to the top of Nebraska's career receptions lists.

Morgan has 178 career receptions, which ranks second on NU’s all-time list. He needs three receptions to tie Kenny Bell (181) atop the Husker chart. Morgan has 2,599 career receiving yards to rank second on NU’s all-time list. He is 90 yards from Bell's record of 2,689 career receiving yards.

After falling just short of the first 1,000-yard receiving season in school history in 2017, Morgan is 144 yards from reaching that total this season. Morgan earned All-Big Ten accolades last season, and should be a leading contender  for first-team all-league honors this fall.

• Morgan had his best game of 2018 against Minnesota. He caught a career-high 10 passes for a season-high 163 yards and two touchdowns. The 163 yards tied for the sixth-best single-game effort in school history.

• Morgan helped seal the Minnesota victory with two second-half touchdowns of 35 and 67 yards against Minnesota.

• Morgan added two touchdowns as part of a seven-catch effort against Bethune-Cookman, He caught a pair of touchdowns for a third straight home game against Illinois, with TD catches of 37 and 32 yards in the first quarter.

• Morgan has seven touchdown catches this season to give him 22  career receiving scores, good for a tie for second on the NU charts. He is three touchdowns shy of Johnny Rodgers' school record of 25 touchdown catches.

• Morgan has a streak of 36 consecutive games with a reception, tied for the second-longest streak in Husker history. A catch against Michigan State would allow Morgan to tie Rodgers' school record of 37 straight games with a catch. Morgan has had at least three catches in 21 of the past 22 games, and has four straight games with at least seven catches.

• Morgan set NU records with 986 receiving yards and five 100-yard receiving games in 2017, while ranking third in school history in touchdown receptions (10) and fifth in catches (61).

• He led the Big Ten and ranked 14th nationally in receiving yards per game (89.6) in 2017.

• Morgan led all Big Ten wide receivers and ranked 16th nationally in touchdown catches with his 10 touchdown grabs. He led the Big Ten with five 100-yard receiving games in 2017. 

• Morgan posted 185 receiving yards at No. 13 Penn State in 2017, the third-highest total in school history.





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In a battle of Top 15 teams, the Salt Lake Community College men’s basketball team shot 50 percent and buried 15 3-pointers in racing to a 108-78 win over Western Nebraska Community College Saturday evening at Cougar Palace.

Salt Lake, who is ranked eighth in the nation, put up 61 first-half points and held the 14th-ranked Cougars to 27 percent shooting in the first half to register the victory and go 1-1 over the weekend. Casper and the College of Southern Idaho also went 1-1 in the Region 9/18 Classic after CSI came back from a 60-47 halftime deficit to top Casper 105-103 in the early game Saturday.

WNCC, who dropped to 3-2 on the season, will have a week to regroup before hosting another 4-team classic next weekend when Central Wyoming College, Western Wyoming Community College, and Williston State come to Cougar Palace. WNCC will play Western Wyoming on Friday at 7 p.m. and then Central Wyoming on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Saturday, WNCC’s shooting woes started early in the match. The two teams were tied just once at 2-2. After that, Salt Lake went on a 10-0 run and never relinquished the lead again.

The Cougars, however, kept fighting in the game. With the Bruins up 12-2, WNCC sliced the lead to 12-7 on a Henry Tanksley 3-pointer and a Jervay Green bucket. Salt Lake came right back on an 8-0 run for a 20-7 lead and later led 37-22. That was when the Bruins went on a 12-0 run to lead 49-22 before settling for a 61-28 halftime lead.

The first half saw several Cougars in foul trouble early, including Green and Dru Kuxhausen each with three fouls.

The second half was an evenly played 20 minutes with WNCC outscoring Salt Lake 50-47. The trading baskets, though, was not enough as the Cougars suffered their second loss of the season.

Shooting was the big reason for the Cougar’s defeat. WNCC shot 26.5 percent in the first half and just 37 percent for the game. Added to that, the Cougars were 3 of 17 from beyond the arc in the first half for 18 percent. The second half was better, shooting 47 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point area (8 of 19).

Free throw shooting wasn’t go the Cougars way either shooting 50 percent at 15 of 30.

Salt Lake, on the other hand, shot 51 percent in the first half, 47 percent in the second half for an even 50 percent for the game. The Bruins buried eight treys in the first half and nine in the second half. Salt Lake was also 19 of 24 from the charity stripe.

Salt Lake also won the rebound battle 53-41.

WNCC had four players finish with double figures. Bryce Sanchious led the Cougars with 22 points, including going 7 of 10 from the charity stripe. Kuxhausen tallied 21 points and six 3-pointers before fouling out.

Tanksley finished with 12 points followed by Martin Roub with 10. Green, after tallying 44 in a game against Southern Idaho on Friday, finished with eight points.

Salt Lake also had four players in double figures. Josh Colon had 25 points with three 3-pointers while going 8 of 8 from the charity stripe. Daron Henson also had 23 points with four treys, while Cameron Mack had 15 and three 3-pointers, and Aaron Burt tallying 12 points.

In the first game of the day, Casper College ran out to a 60-47 halftime lead on 43 percent shooting while burying eight 3-pointers. The second half was the difference as the T-birds shot 36 percent and made just two treys. CSI, on the other hand, stayed consistent in shooting 46 percent in the first half and 47 percent in the second half. The big difference in the game was rebounding, where the Golden Eagles held a 59-48 advantage.

Casper had four players in double figures, led by Isaac Bonton with 29 points, including five 3-pointers and going 12 of 15 from the free throw line.

Southern Idaho had six players in double figures. David Walker finished with 20 points, including going 8 of 10 from the free throw line, while Coreyoun Rushin and N’Keil Nelson each had 18 points.

 

 

Casper (3-1)                        60 43 – 103

Southern Idaho (2-2)      47 58 – 105

CASPER

Braxton Bertolette 18, Jalen Harris 4, Keiron Goodwin 7, Amin Adamu 6, Isaac Bonton 29, Philip Pepple 6, Wilfried Likayi 16, Zion Tordoff 4, Broc Furman 10, James Hampshire 3.

CSI

David Walker 20, Malik Porter 6, Coreyoun Rushin 18, Roberto Gittens 11, N’Keil Nelson 18, Coleman Sparling 3, Brayden Parker 15, Jaxon Edelmayer 12, Andrea Lo Biondo 2.

 

Salt Lake (2-1)    61 47 – 108

WNCC (3-2)         28 50 – 78

SALT LAKE

Asa McCord 8, Daron Henson 23, Cameron Mack 15, Aaron Burt 12, Alan Zekovic 6, Dimi Pansev 2, Matt Lindsy 9, Josh Colon 25, Hunter Schofield 8.

WNCC

Dru Kuxhausen 21, LeBeck Warren 2, Bryce Sanchious 22, Ernesto Chavez 1, Elie Cadet 2, Henry Tanksley 12, Jervay Green 8, Martin Roub 10.




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