Monday, November 24, 2014
   
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Huskers Sweep Indiana for Seventh Straight Win

The No. 11 Nebraska volleyball team took care of business in a 25-11, 25-20, 26-24 sweep at Indiana Wednesday night.

With their seventh straight win, the Huskers improved to 19-7 overall and 13-4 in the Big Ten. NU swept both matches this season against the Hoosiers, who dropped to 15-14 overall and 6-11 in the Big Ten.

Kelsey Fien led a balanced attack with 12 kills and a .440 hitting percentage. Seven of her kills came in the decisive third set. Amber Rolfzen had 10 kills and hit .562, and Kadie Rolfzen had 10 kills and 10 digs for her second straight double-double. Annika Albrecht also had 10 digs. Cecilia Hall had five kills and three blocks, and Mary Pollmiller had 33 assists and four blocks with five digs.

Nebraska hit .305 and held Indiana to .114, marking the seventh straight opponent NU has held under .200 hitting. The Huskers outblocked the Hoosiers 10-5 and outdug them 41 to 39. NU has not been outdug in its seven-match win streak.

The Huskers came out of the gates on fire, taking the first set 25-11 for the largest margin of victory in a set since Sept. 13 against Colgate (25-9). Nebraska got four kills on five swings from Amber Rolfzen and three kills from Fien. The Huskers hit .444 and held Indiana to -.067. NU went up 5-0 and never looked back.

In set two, Nebraska opened up a 9-3 lead after a stuff from Melanie Keil and Amber Rolfzen. NU went up 15-8, but Indiana got within 20-15 on the tough serve of Taylor Lebo, who ranks second in the Big Ten in aces. A Kadie Rolfzen kill ended the run and put NU up 21-15.

NU fell behind 6-3 in the third set before kills by Haggerty and Fien, and then a stuff by Pollmiller and Haggerty to tie the set 6-6. Three straight kills by Fien put the Huskers up 10-7 before an Indiana attacking error made it 11-7. Indiana needed a timeout to halt the Huskers' 8-1 run. Indiana pulled within 13-12 before committing a ball-handling error. NU went up 17-14 on a combo block by Fien and Haggerty, but the Hoosiers rallied to get within 17-17 with Lebo at the service line. The Huskers took a timeout and regained the 18-17 lead on a kill by Fien in NU's first attack after the break. The teams went back and forth, and Indiana tied the set at 24-24 and looked to threaten with their best server Lebo on the line. But Fien got the immediate sideout with her 12th kill, and the Huskers won 26-24 after IU hit long.

Nebraska returns home to host Michigan on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Huskers will honor their lone senior, Pollmiller, at the match.

 

No. 16 Nebraska women beat Washington State 82-61

Tear'a Laudermill scored 20 points on Wednesday night, and No. 16 Nebraska used a big second-half run to pull away from Washington State 82-61.

A few minutes into the second half, Nebraska (3-0) started a 19-2 run, turning a two-point lead into a 59-40 advantage on Allie Havers' layup with 10:35 left.

Washington State (2-1) was unable to recover and the Huskers avenged a 76-72 loss to the Cougars last year in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Hailie Sample had 16 points, Rachel Theriot scored 14, Emily Cady added 12 and Brandi Jeffery 11. Sample and Cady also had nine rebounds and Jeffery had eight.

Washington State rallied back to a 69-59 deficit on Lia Galdeira's layup with 3:13 left. The Cougars also fell behind in the first half but pulled even at 34-all by the break.

Shalie Dheensaw had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Galdeira scored 14 and Tia Presley 13.

 

USD, SDSU fans urged to donate toward food

University of South Dakota and South Dakota State fans can support their team and help feed South Dakota families.

Saturday's football matchup between the schools in Brookings is part of the South Dakota Corn Showdown Series, which tracks athletic and academic performance among student-athletes of both universities.

The Corn Utilization Council says the series has provided tens of thousands of meals over its first two years.

Before the game, fans can donate money toward the effort at a First Bank & Trust branch or online at bankeasy.com.

USD leads SDSU 3-2 in the Corn Showdown Series point standings, following the 2014 volleyball, soccer and cross country matchups.

Kickoff for Saturday's game is 2 p.m. at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium on the SDSU campus in Brookin

   

Husker Clamp Down for 82-56 Win

Terran Petteway’s 23 points led three Huskers in double figures, while No. 21 Nebraska clamped down defensively in the second half in posting an 82-56 win over Central Arkansas Tuesday evening.

The Huskers, who improved to 2-0 on the season, held Central Arkansas to just 30 percent shooting in the second half to pull away over the final 20 minutes. In all, NU held UCA to 33 percent shooting and turned 18 turnovers into 20 Husker points.

Petteway hit 8-of-17 shots from the field for his second 20-point effort of the year, and was backed up by Shavon Shields and Tai Webster, who combined for 29 points in the win.

Shields posted his fourth career double-double with 16 points – all in the first half – and 11 rebounds, while Webster finished with 13 points and matched his personal best with four steals.

Shields keyed the Huskers’ decisive first-half run, scoring seven points in an 11-2 spurt that turned a 32-30 lead into an 11-point cushion. The 6-foot-7 junior scored five straight points, as his steal and dunk made it 37-30 before he capped the run with a layup off a Central Arkansas turnover, putting NU ahead 43-32 which was the Huskers’ largest lead to that point.

The Huskers, who saw a nine-point halftime lead cut to 47-42 after a Jake Zuilhof basket with 16:45 left, then took over. NU ran off 13 unanswered points over the next five minutes to make it an 18-point lead, at 60-42. David Rivers and Petteway combined for eight points before a 3-pointer from Benny Parker and a long jumper by Walter Pitchford put the Huskers firmly in control.

Nebraska eventually pushed the lead to 29 points, at 79-50 after a Webster dunk with 2:50 left before cruising to a 26-point win.

Early on, the Bears took advantage of Nebraska’s slow start, as the Huskers missed five of its first seven shots as Central Arkansas built an early 11-7 after a 3-pointer from Mike Martin. Just as in Sunday’s win, Benny Parker came off the bench and helped jump start the Huskers. The backup point guard pushed the tempo, as he keyed a 7-0 run before a 3-pointer from Petteway gave Nebraska a 14-11 lead.

The rest of the half would see Nebraska extend the lead, only to see the Bears claw back into the contest before Shields took over in the final five minutes of the half.

Zuilhof led three Bears in double figures with 12 points, as Central Arkansas (0-3) was held 20 points below its season average.

The Huskers return to action Saturday night, as they travel to Rhode Island. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (central) and will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and Huskers.com. It will also be televised locally in Omaha on Cox Cable and on SportsNet New York for DirecTV and DISH Network customers.

 

Opponent Preview: Minnesota

Minnesota is 7-3 this season and the Golden Gophers are one game out of first place in the Big Ten West Division standings with a 4-2 conference record. Minnesota, which is 1-2 on the road this season, controls its own destiny in the West Division race.

The Golden Gophers are no strangers to close games this season. Two of their four Big Ten victories have been by seven or fewer points, while Minnesota’s first conference loss was a four-point setback at Illinois.

Minnesota features a strong rushing attack that averages 224 yards per game. David Cobb ranks seventh nationally with 1,305 rushing yards this season. Minnesota’s passing attack ranks 121st out of 125 teams nationally. But even though the Golden Gophers average just 135 passing yards per game, Minnesota ranks 12th nationally with an average of 14.6 yards per completion. Mitch Leidner is completing 52 percent of his passes and has thrown for 1,310 yards and 10 touchdowns, including seven touchdowns to tight end Maxx Williams.

The Golden Gophers have also excelled inside the red zone, scoring on 90 percent of their chances, a rate that ranks 21st nationally.

Defensively, Minnesota is allowing only 351 yards per game and 22.3 points per game to rank 33rd nationally in total defense and 228th nationally in scoring defense. The Golden Gophers are allowing 153 rushing yards per game and 198 passing yards per game. Minnesota ranks 24th nationally in pass efficiency defense.

The Golden Gophers have also forced 25 turnovers this season. That total ranks 10th nationally and has helped Minnesota rank 12th nationally in turnover margin.

Series History

Minnesota leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 30-22-2, but the Huskers have won 17 of the last 19 matchups dating back to 1959. The Golden Gophers snapped a 16-game losing streak to Nebraska by defeating the Huskers, 34-23, last year in Minneapolis. That win marked Minnesota’s first victory over Nebraska since 1960. The 34 points scored by Minnesota last season marked the most points the Gophers have scored in the series since 1951. Overall, Nebraska has held Minnesota to 14 points or less in 14 of the last 15 meetings dating back to 1967.

Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill

Jerry Kill is in his fourth season at Minnesota, where he owns a 24-24 record. Minnesota has improved its win total every season under Kill, going from three wins in 2011 to six victories in 2012 and eight wins in 2013. The Golden Gophers are 7-3 this fall. Kill has Minnesota poised for back-to-back eight-win seasons, after the Gophers had totaled only three eight-win seasons in the 43 seasons prior to his hiring. Overall, Kill boasts a 151-97 record in 21 years as a collegiate head coach.

Kill came to Minnesota after a three-year stint at Northern Illinois from 2008 to 2010. NIU was 23-16 under Kill, including 10-3 in his final season. Northern Illinois was Kill’s first FBS head coaching job after extensive experience in the FCS ranks. Kill coached Southern Illinois from 2001 to 2007, guiding the Salukis to a 55-32 record in seven seasons, including a 50-14 mark in his final five seasons. He led Emporia State to an 11-11 record in 1999 and 2000. Kill’s first head coaching job was at Saginaw Valley State from 1994 to 1998, compiling a 38-14 record in five seasons.

   

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