The Nebraska women’s basketball team hopes to return to its winning ways while shooting for a sweep of the season series with Penn State, when the Huskers take on the Lady Lions Tuesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off between the Big Red (15-6, 6-4 Big Ten) and the Lady Lions (8-13, 3-7) is set for 7 p.m. (central) and single-game reserved and general admission tickets are available now at Huskers.com.
The live Husker Sports Network radio call of Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch can be heard on B107.3 FM (Lincoln), ESPN 590 AM (Omaha) and for free on Huskers.com.
The game is also being televised by the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Brooke Weisbrod on the call.
Nebraska will try to rebound from a 66-56 road loss at Rutgers on Sunday, which snapped the Huskers’ six-game conference winning streak. The Big Red were tied at 49 with the Scarlet Knights with 6:50 remaining, but RU outscored NU 17-7 down the stretch to split the season series.
Penn State comes to Lincoln with a two-game road winning streak after earning wins at Iowa and Illinois. The Lady Lions are coming off a hard-fought 88-78 double-overtime loss to Purdue on Saturday in University Park, Pa. Nebraska won the first game in the series with Penn State, 83-78, on Jan. 13. Natalie Romeo set a career high with 32 points while setting a school record with eight three-pointers in that game. She matched her three-point record with eight more on her way to 30 points against Wisconsin at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-6, 6-4 Big Ten)
32 - Jessica Shepard - 6-4 - Fr. - F - 20.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg
22 - Allie Havers - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 7.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
4 - Kyndal Clark - 5-7 - RSr. - G - 5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg
5 - Natalie Romeo - 5-7 - So. - G - 16.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
33 - Rachel Theriot - 6-0 - Sr. - G - 11.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Off the Bench
43 - Rachel Blackburn - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 4.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Fr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg
31 - Anya Kalenta - 6-3 - Sr. - F - 3.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - So. - G - 3.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg
50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - RFr. - F - 2.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg
12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - So. - G - 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg
11 - Esther Ramacieri - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg
Head Coach: Connie Yori (Creighton, 1986)
14th Season at Nebraska (277-159); 26th Season Overall (472-299)
Penn State Lady Lions (8-13 Overall, 3-7 Big Ten)
15 - Kaliyah Mitchell - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 9.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg
25 - Peyton Whitted - 6-3 - Jr. - F - 9.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg
3 - Brianna Banks - 5-9 - RSr. - G - 14.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg
11 - Teniya Page - 5-7 - Fr. - G - 15.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg
12 - Lindsey Spann - 5-6 - So. - G - 12.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Off the Bench
1 - Candice Agee - 6-6 - Sr. - C - 6.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg
24 - Ashanti Thomas - 6-4 - Fr. - C - 1.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg
23 - Jaylen Williams - 6-3 - Fr. - F - 1.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
22 - Leah Knizner - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.4 ppg, 0.4 rpg
Head Coach: Coquese Washington (Notre Dame, 1993)
Ninth Season at Penn State (156-118); Ninth Season Overall (156-118)
• Penn State leads the all-time series with Nebraska 5-4, but the Huskers are 4-3 against the Lady Lions as Big Ten foes. Nebraska owns three straight wins in the series, including a 73-45 win at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 15, 2015.
• The Huskers defeated Penn State 83-78 at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa., on Jan. 13. Natalie Romeo led Nebraska with a career-high 32 points, including a school-record eight three-pointers. She hit six threes in the first half. Freshman Jessica Shepard added 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Penn State freshman Teniya Page led five Lady Lions in double figures with 19 points. The Huskers led 29-11 at the end of the first quarter, and Penn State won each of the next three quarters.
• Jessica Shepard earned her eighth Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week award on Jan. 25, tying the Big Ten record for most awards in a season by a single player. She swept the Big Ten Player and Freshman honors for the second time on Jan. 25, while adding espnW and College Sports Madness National Player-of-the-Week honors. Shepard has added two appearances on the NCAA.com “Starting Five” (Dec. 23, Jan. 27) and is a two-time USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 22, Jan. 26).
• Shepard owns 12 20-point games on the season, including two Nebraska freshman record 35-point performances (at Michigan, Jan. 24; vs. Northern Arizona, Dec. 19), and two 29-point games (Illinois, Jan. 10; at Penn State, Jan. 13).
• Natalie Romeo tied her own school record with eight threes against Wisconsin (Jan. 27). It marked the school-record seventh time in 45 career games that Romeo has hit six or more threes, including the fourth time this season. Romeo owns three 30-point performances this year, including two in Big Ten play.
Nebraska Streaks and Milestones
• Natalie Romeo tied her own school record with eight threes (8-of-14 shooting) in the win over Wisconsin (Jan. 27), which she set originally at Penn State (Jan. 13). Through games Jan. 31, Romeo led all NCAA Division I shooters with 73 threes on the season, while her 3.48 threes per game ranked second nationally. She is just the fifth player in Nebraska history to hit 70 threes in a season, joining Kiera Hardy (3), Jordan Hooper (2), Amy Stephens and Yvonne Turner. Romeo ranks seventh on the Nebraska season list with 73 threes and needs seven more to catch Jordan Hooper (80, 2013-14) in sixth. Hooper was a first-team All-American for the Huskers as a senior in 2013-14. Romeo needs eight more threes to join Hooper (2012-13) and Hardy (2005-06) in a tie for fourth with 81. Hardy (2004-05) and Amy Stephens (1988-89) own the Nebraska season record with 85 threes.
• Romeo is averaging a Big Ten-best 4.1 threes through 10 conference games. The only other Big Ten shooters averaging 3.0 or more threes per game in conference play are Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell (3.6), Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (3.5) and Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty (3.1). Romeo’s three-point shooting percentage (.471) in league play is significantly better than Flaherty (.408), Mitchell (.395) and Banham (.389).
• Romeo owns a pair of 30-point efforts in Big Ten play this season (32 at Penn State, Jan. 13; 30 vs. Wisconsin, Jan. 27), becoming just the eighth Husker in history with multiple 30-point games in conference play. The only two players in Nebraska history who have posted more than two 30-point games in league play in a season are Karen Jennings (5, 1992, Big Eight) and Maurtice Ivy (4, 1987, Big Eight). Jennings and Ivy own two of Nebraska’s three all-time retired jerseys.
• Jessica Shepard has climbed to No. 4 on the Nebraska freshman season scoring list with 428 points. Her 23-point performance at Rutgers Saturday pushed her past Kelsey Griffin (424, 2005-06) and Darcy Williamson (426, 1975-76). Shepard is 33 points away from Debra Powell (461, 1981-82) for the top spot on Nebraska’s freshman season chart.
• Shepard needs nine rebounds to become the fifth Husker freshman in history to grab 200 boards. Angie Miller (1983-84) ranks fifth all-time among NU freshmen with 199 rebounds.
• With eight double-doubles, Shepard needs one more to match the Nebraska freshman record of nine double-doubles held by Debra Powell (1981-82). Only seven previous Huskers (11 times) have ever produced 10 double-doubles in a single season.
• With six assists at Rutgers (Jan. 30), Rachel Theriot ranks No. 3 on Nebraska’s career assist list with 576. Theriot, who made her 100th career start at Rutgers, needs 24 assists to become the third Husker in history to reach 600 assists.
• Theriot’s 96.2 free throw percentage (25-26) in Big Ten play leads the conference.
• Jasmine Cincore made her first career start at Michigan (Jan. 24). Cincore has made 20 consecutive free throws.
• Senior Kyndal Clark is tied with Natalie Romeo for the team lead with 28 steals this season. Her next steal will be the 200th of her collegiate career.
Fast Five: Husker Quick Hitters
#33, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Sr., G, Middleburg Heights, Ohio (11.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 6.6 apg)
• Rachel Theriot ranks ninth nationally with 6.6 assists per game. She is a Naismith Trophy, All-America, Lieberman Award, Senior CLASS Award, CoSIDA Academic All-America and WBCA Allstate Good Works Team candidate as a senior. Theriot missed Nebraska’s win at Michigan with a foot injury.
• A two-time preseason first-team All-Big Ten choice (2014, 2015), Theriot was an honorable-mention AP All-American as a sophomore in 2014, after leading the Big Red to their first Big Ten Tournament title as the MVP. She was a first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2014, and a Big Ten All-Freshman pick as a starter on Nebraska’s 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 team.
• Theriot set the Nebraska single-season record with 234 assists as a sophomore in 2013-14. Her 15 assists at California on Dec. 12 marked the second-best performance of her career and tied for the fourth-best single-game total in school history. She owns 576 in her career to rank third all-time at NU.
• Theriot is averaging 11.9 ppg as a senior, and ranks No. 17 in career points at Nebraska with 1,261. She needs 23 points to catch Janet Smith (No. 16, 1,284, 1979-82) on NU’s all-time scoring list.
• Theriot produced her seventh career double-double and second of the season with 17 points and 15 assists at Cal on Dec. 12. She also had 20 points and 11 assists in NU’s win over NC State on Dec. 3. She owns 13 career 20-point efforts and nine career double-digit assist games. Her five career games with 12 or more assists are the most by a Husker in history.
#4, Kyndal Clark, 5-7, Sr., G, Webb City, Mo. (5.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg)
• The 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year as a junior, Kyndal Clark was a two-time all-conference player at Drake (2013, 2014). She was also an MVC All-Defensive choice as a sophomore in 2013, after earning a spot on the Valley All-Freshman Team in 2012. She was a member of the 2015 WBCA Allstate Good Works Team.
• Clark suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of her senior season at Drake (vs. South Dakota, Nov. 14, 2014). She graduated from Drake in May of 2015, after majoring in information systems.
• She produced a breakout performance with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from three-point range in the win over Evansville. Clark added a season-high four steals against the Purple Aces and matched that mark the next time out at California on Dec. 12. She owns four double-figure scoring efforts this season, including a season-high 22 points in NU’s win over Arkansas State on Dec. 21. She scored a personal Big Ten-best 15 points, while knocking down five first-half three-pointers at Michigan.
• She owns 76 career double-figure scoring performances, including 25 20-point games and four career 30-point efforts with a career high of 41.
• She scored 1,418 points and hit 222 three-pointers in her Drake career. She averaged 19.3 points per game and set the Missouri Valley Conference single-season record with 116 threes in 2013-14.
#5, Natalie Romeo, 5-7, So., G, Martinez, Calif. (16.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 spg)
• A high-energy guard who brings intensity and toughness to both ends of the court, Natalie Romeo is one of the Big Ten’s most explosive players. She produced a career-high 32 points at Penn State (Jan. 13) when she hit a school-record eight threes. She tied her own three-point record two weeks later in a win over Wisconsin (Jan. 27), capping her third 30-point performance of the season. She added a career-high six rebounds to her 30 points. Romeo opened the year with 30 points by hitting 6-of-9 threes against Arkansas Pine Bluff on Nov. 14. She has added three other 20-point games this season, including 24 points and six more threes in her return home to the Bay Area in an overtime loss at No. 22 Cal on Dec. 12. She closed non-conference play with 20 points and eight assists in a win over Arkansas State.
• Romeo is one of only seven players in Nebraska history to score 30 or more points twice in the same conference season, joining Karen Jennings (5, 1992, Big Eight; 2, 1991, Big Eight), Maurtice Ivy (4, 1987, Big Eight), Amy Stephens (2, 1989, Big Eight), Nicole Kubik (2, 1999, Big 12), Kelsey Griffin (2, 2010, Big 12) and Jordan Hooper (2, 2014, Big Ten).
• Romeo ranks second nationally with 3.5 threes per game while leading the Huskers and the nation with 73 threes on 44 percent shooting (13th nationally) from long range. She ranks second among sophomores and seventh overall on the Nebraska single-season lists with 73. Kiera Hardy (85, 2004-05) and Amy Stephens (85, 1988-89) share the Nebraska season three-point record.
• Romeo ranks 10th in Nebraska history with 124 career three-pointers. She needs five to catch Amy Stephens (129, 1986-89) and Nicole Kubik (129, 1997-00) in eighth on the NU all-time list. Romeo needs 11 threes to post the highest freshman/sophomore combined season total in Husker history. Nebraska career three-point leader Jordan Hooper hit 134 threes in her first two seasons (67, 2010-11; 67, 2011-12).
• Romeo led Nebraska by averaging 20.0 points in a pair of Big Ten Tournament games, including a season-high 26 points in a win over Illinois March 5. She tied a then-school record with seven threes against the Illini to set Nebraska’s all-time conference tournament record. She also tied the Nebraska NCAA Tournament record with five threes in a 72-69 loss to Syracuse on March 20, 2015.
#32, Jessica Shepard, 6-4, Fr., F, Fremont, Neb. (20.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.0 apg)
• An eight-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and two-time Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 25), Jessica Shepard was the espnW and College Sports Madness National Player of the Week (Jan. 25). Her most recent honors came after becoming the first player in Nebraska history to produce a 30-point, 20-rebound performance at Michigan Jan. 24. She tied her own NU freshman record with 35 points against the Wolverines, while adding a career-high 20 rebounds. She had 23 points and 15 boards in the second half against the Wolverines. Shepard was the USBWA National Freshman of the Week (Dec. 22, Jan. 26) after her NU freshman-record 35-point performances (Northern Arizona, Dec. 19; at Michigan, Jan. 24). Shepard owns 12 games with 20 points, 18 double-figure scoring performances and eight double-doubles.
• Shepard is averaging 21.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in Big Ten play, including 35 points and 20 rebounds at Michigan (Jan. 24) and 29 points and 19 rebounds in a win over Illinois (Jan. 10). She also had 29 points and 10 boards at Penn State Jan. 13. She had 28 points and eight rebounds against Iowa (Dec. 31), 23 points and four boards at Rutgers (Jan. 30) after notching 22 points and eight boards in the win over Rutgers (Jan. 16). She also had 22 points and six boards in the win at Purdue (Jan. 20).
• Shepard reached the 100-point (5 games), 200-point (11 games), 300-point (16 games) and 400-point (20 games) scoring marks faster than any Husker freshman in history. She already ranks fourth on Nebraska’s freshman season scoring list with 428 points and is just 33 points away from Debra Powell’s Nebraska freshman record point total of 461 (1981-82). Shepard leads NU in scoring (20.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.1 ppg), and both season numbers would be Husker freshman records (Debra Powell, 15.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1981-82).
• The top recruit in Nebraska history, Shepard was the No. 1 post and No. 3 overall recruit in the nation by ESPN last season. A first-team Parade All-American as a senior despite missing nearly all of her final year (ACL tear, Dec. 29, 2014), Shepard was the 2013 and 2014 Nebraska High School Player of the Year.
• Shepard averaged 12.8 points and 3.8 rebounds while helping the USA Basketball U18 Team to a 5-0 record and a gold medal at the 2014 FIBA Americas Championship.
#22, Allie Havers, 6-5, Jr., C, Mattawan, Mich. (7.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.1 bpg)
• One of the tallest Nebraska women’s basketball players in history, Allie Havers is playing the best basketball of her career for the Huskers. In her last appearance at Pinnacle Bank Arena, Havers had 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in a win over Wisconsin (Jan. 27) for her second double-double of the season. She also had 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high five assists at Michigan (Jan. 24) in her only return to her home state this season.
• Havers has started the last 12 games inside for the Huskers, replacing a then-ill/injured Rachel Blackburn in game 10 this season. Havers had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists at Penn State (Jan. 13). Her 29 assists this season have surpassed her previous career total (21) entering 2015-16.
• Havers had a career-high 18 points at No. 22 Cal on Dec. 12. She played a career-high 39 minutes at Rutgers Saturday. She produced her first career double-double with 14 points and a then-career-best 12 rebounds in a win over Evansville (Dec. 8).
• Havers owns single-season career-best totals of 138 rebounds, 29 assists and 24 blocks. She ranks 11th in the Big Ten with 6.6 boards per game, and tied for 11th with 1.1 blocks per contest.
• Havers, who averaged 4.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game as NU’s top post off the bench in 2014-15, owns 12 double-figure scoring games in her career, including five this season and five as a sophomore last season. Two of her double-figure efforts have come in the Big Ten Tournament, including a career-high 17 points in a semifinal win over No. 19 Michigan State on March 8, 2014.
Scouting The Penn State Lady Lions
Coach Coquese Washington leads her Penn State Lady Lions to Lincoln with an 8-13 overall record and a 3-7 Big Ten mark after an 88-78 double-overtime loss at Purdue on Saturday. Penn State opened Big Ten play with an impressive 79-72 upset of No. 14 Northwestern on Dec. 31, before dropping five consecutive Big Ten games.
Freshman Teniya Page led five Lady Lions in double figures with 19 points, in the first meeting with Nebraska on Jan. 13. The 5-7 guard is the only Lady Lion to start every game this season and is the second-leading freshman scorer in the Big Ten at 15.8 points per game. She also leads PSU with 3.6 assists per game and 1.5 steals per contest. She played the full 50 minutes in Saturday’s loss at Purdue.
Senior Brianna Banks added 15 points against NU and ranks second among the Lady Lions with 14.0 points per game. Sophomore guard Lindsey Spann pitched in 10 points to give all three PSU starting guards double figures against the Huskers. Spann ranks third among the Lady Lions with 12.8 points per game on the season, while ranking second on the team in assists and steals. Spann also leads Penn State with 41 threes on the year.
Junior forward Kaliyah Mitchell came off the bench against NU to contribute 14 points, in one of her two non-starts this season. She has regained her place in Penn State’s starting five and is averaging 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Peyton Whitted, another junior forward, added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds against the Huskers. She averages 9.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Penn State gets regular contributions off the bench from 6-6 senior center Candice Agee (6.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and 6-4 freshman center Ashanti Thomas (1.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg). Jaylen Williams, a 6-3 freshman forward, has added 1.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
The Lady Lions, who return four starters from a squad that went 6-24 overall and 3-15 in Big Ten play last season, have matched last season’s Big Ten victory total. Penn State has won back-to-back road games to end a stretch of 23 losses in 24 road games beginning with a 94-74 loss to Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Feb. 24, 2014. The Lady Lions won 82-69 at Iowa on Jan. 20, and 65-56 at Illinois on Jan. 23, before losing back-to-back home games to No. 5 Maryland (89-53, Jan. 27) and Purdue (88-78, Jan. 30).
As a team, the Lady Lions are averaging 71.3 points, but surrendering 73.2 points per game, which ranks 13th in the Big Ten. Penn State is being outshot from the field (.418-.411), three-point range (.341-.321) and the free throw line (.739-.719), while being outrebounded (40.0-38.0). Penn State does own a plus-1.7 team turnover margin.
Penn State leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 5-4, but the Huskers are 4-3 against the Lady Lions as Big Ten foes. NU is 2-1 against PSU at the Bryce Jordan Center, including a 71-63 win in Nebraska’s first-ever Big Ten Conference game on Dec. 30, 2011. Penn State defeated the Huskers, 80-58, in University Park on Jan. 13, 2013. Nebraska has won the last three meetings, including a pair in Lincoln. The Huskers rolled to a 73-45 win at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Jan. 15, 2015.
Huskers Putting Up Points at Pinnacle
Nebraska is averaging 80.9 points per game at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season, including three games with 90 or more points.
The Huskers own six games with 88 or more points at home this season, the most since the Huskers did it six times in 2009-10. The first, last and only time Nebraska scored 88 or more at home seven times in a season came in 1982-83.
Nebraska is shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from three-point range at home and carry a plus-7.5 rebounding margin (44.0-36.5) and a plus-4.3 turnover margin.
Overall, the Big Red is averaging 75.4 points through 21 games this season, and NU has reached 80 points 10 times, its highest total since reaching 80 points 13 times in 2009-10. Last season, the Huskers scored 80 points just six times.
Nebraska’s History of Home Success
Nebraska is 12-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season after going 12-3 (13-3 at home) last season. The Huskers are 40-6 all-time at Pinnacle Bank Arena since the building opened for the 2013-14 campaign. The Big Red went 16-2 at home in 2013-14, suffering their only Big Ten loss to Purdue, 77-75, on Jan. 19, 2014. Nebraska’s 16 home wins in 2013-14 tied the school record for single-season home victories.
The Huskers played the first regular-season basketball game in the history of the arena against USA Today No. 25 UCLA (Nov. 8) and rolled to a 77-49 win over the Bruins. NU’s first win over an AP Top 25 team came with a 76-56 win over No. 24 Michigan State on Feb. 8. The Huskers added their first-ever win over an AP Top 10 team at the arena with a 94-74 victory over No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 24.
NU won its first-ever Big Ten home game with a 66-65 thriller over Northwestern Jan. 2, before an 88-85 win over Minnesota on Jan. 16, 2014, marked the first overtime game in Pinnacle Bank Arena history.
NU suffered its first loss at the arena to Washington State (76-72) on Nov. 30, 2013.
The Huskers are 428-136 (.759) all-time at home. The Huskers have gone 165-40 (.805) over the last 13 seasons, posting double-figure home victory totals in each of the last 12 years.
Nebraska played in the Devaney Center from 1976-77 through 2012-13, and added one appearance at Devaney against Utah on Nov. 23, 2014. The Huskers own a 389-130 record at the Devaney Center, including 146-88 (.624) mark in conference play.
Romeo Rockin’ from Long Range
Nebraska sophomore Natalie Romeo has developed into one of the nation’s premier three-point shooters in her second season. Through games Jan. 31, the 5-7 guard from Martinez, Calif., leads the nation with 73 three-pointers, while ranking second nationally with 3.48 threes per game.
Jessica Kovatch from Saint Francis (Pa.) leads the nation with 3.60 threes per game (72 threes, 20 games). Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell entered Monday night’s play with 68 threes to rank second in the Big Ten and fifth nationally through 20 games (3.4 pg).
Romeo ranks second in the Big Ten with her 44.0 percentage, which ranks 13th nationally, despite having more attempts (166) than any shooter other than Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell (167, .407, 47th) in the top 50.
Romeo’s explosive shooting has included a school-record eight threes at Penn State (Jan. 13) and against Wisconsin (Jan. 27). Both of those games featured her hitting six first-half threes. In 45 career games, she owns seven shooting nights with six or more threes - more than any other Husker in history.
Romeo is on pace to become the first Husker to hit 100 threes in a season. The school season record is 85 (Kiera Hardy, 2004-05; Amy Stephens, 1988-89). Romeo needs just 10 more threes to match school career record holder Jordan Hooper for the most three-pointers at the conclusion of a sophomore season. Hooper hit 134-of-394 attempts her first two seasons, while Romeo has knocked down 124-of-310.
Romeo’s consistent shooting has pushed her to a tie for 17th in the conference in scoring at 16.1 points per game. Through 10 Big Ten games, Romeo leads the league with 4.1 threes per game while connecting on 47 percent (4th in Big Ten) of her three-point attempts to average 17.0 points per game (12th in Big Ten).
Theriot Near Top of Big Ten in Assists
Nebraska point guard Rachel Theriot ranks second in the Big Ten with 6.6 assists per game. Theriot owns 132 assists in 20 games as a senior, 23 more than she produced in 21 games during an injury-shortened junior season. Her assist total this season has come in 134 fewer minutes on the court than a year ago.
In Big Ten play only, Theriot is averaging 6.1 assists per game despite battling injury. The also leads the Big Ten with her 96.2 free throw percentage (25-26) in conference games.
Havers Filling Right Side from Inside
One of the tallest Huskers in history at 6-5, center Allie Havers has stepped into the starting lineup and stepped up her production on the right side of the stat sheets.
Havers, a junior from Mattawan, Mich., ranks 11th in the Big Ten with 6.6 rebounds per game, while her 1.1 blocked shots per game are tied for 11th in the conference.
Havers is also proving herself as a talented passer inside, totaling 29 assists through 21 games to surpass her total (21) from the first 65 games of her career.
Her most improvement has come in assist-to-turnover. Through her first two seasons as Nebraska’s top post off the bench, Havers totaled 21 assists and 68 turnovers. This season, Havers owns 29 assists against 32 turnovers, including 21 assists and 21 turnovers in Big Ten play.
Triple Threats: Three Things to Talk About
#11, Esther Ramacieri, 5-8, Jr., G, Repentigny, Quebec, Canada (0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg)
• Esther Ramacieri made her second career start and first of the season at Penn State Jan. 13, filling in for Rachel Theriot. Ramacieri notched career highs with four rebounds and three assists in a career-high 23 minutes in the win over the Lady Lions, helping the Huskers jump to a 33-13 lead. She earned a second straight start in the win over Rutgers Jan. 16.
• Ramacieri had two points and two rebounds in two minutes against Northern Arizona on Dec. 19, in her return after missing four games with a concussion. She hit her first field goal (37th career game) in the closing minute of NU’s win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 21. She added her first Big Ten field goal with a layup against No. 14 Northwestern on Jan. 3. She added an assist and two rebounds in 10 minutes at No. 8 Maryland Jan. 7. Ramacieri appeared in 17 games in each of her first two seasons, with one career start (vs. Penn State, Jan. 15, 2015).
• Ramacieri missed much of the summer and preseason with a knee injury, but was cleared to play for the start of the 2015-16 regular season. She missed NU’s wins over NC State, Creighton and Evansville with a concussion suffered outside of competition/practice. She did not play at No. 22 California but was available. She missed the Big Ten opener against Iowa (Dec. 31) with an Achilles strain. She has missed the last three games with illness.
• Ramacieri is the fourth Canadian to play for the Huskers under Coach Yori, including Chelsea Aubry (2004-07), Kaitlyn Burke (2008-12) and Harleen Sidhu (2009-12).
#12, Emily Wood, 5-5, So., G, Salina, Kan. (1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
• Emily Wood is making solid, consistent and reliable contributions as a sophomore, producing 18 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and two steals in 78 minutes off the bench. She enjoyed a career night with six points on the first two three-pointers of her career while adding two rebounds, an assist and a steal in Nebraska’s win over North Florida on Nov. 16. She added a three while notching career highs of five assists, three rebounds and 23 minutes played against Evansville on Dec. 8.
• Wood played in 10 games as a freshman after walking on to the Nebraska program. She claimed Nebraska’s Teammate Award for her commitment to the Husker program in 2014-15. Wood had two points and five rebounds in 29 minutes as a freshman. In the summer of 2015, Wood started for NU on its four-game Australian Tour, averaging 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 26 minutes per game.
• Wood was a first-team Kansas Class 5A all-state selection as a senior at Salina Central High School in 2014. Wood averaged 16.0 points per game as a senior, while hitting a school-record 91 threes. She hit 42.1 percent of her threes and 86.2 percent of her free throws as a senior.
#24, Maddie Simon, 6-2, Fr., G, Lincoln, Neb. (3.9 ppg, 1.0 rpg)
• Maddie Simon was growing her game quickly as a key contributor in the Husker lineup before suffering a broken arm in a fall outside of basketball activities on Dec. 7. Her recovery went well and she returned to action at No. 8 Maryland on Jan. 7. After missing six games, Simon scored nine points off the bench as one of Nebraska’s leading scorers against the Terps. Simon produced two double-figure efforts before the injury, including 11 points and three assists in a win over Southern (Nov. 23) and 10 points and three assists against NC State (Dec. 3).
• Simon averaged 6.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist during Nebraska’s four-game summer tour of Australia in August of 2015. The 2015 Nebraska High School Player of the Year, Maddie Simon was a two-time first-team Super-State selection while leading Lincoln Pius X to the 2015 Class B state championship. She was the No. 149 player in the nation according to Blue Star and the No. 22 guard by ESPN in 2015.
• A tremendous all-around athlete, Simon won the Class A 100- and 300-meter hurdles championships at the 2015 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships. Her mother, Nicole Ali Simon, was the first female CoSIDA Academic All-American in the history of Nebraska athletics, competing for Coach Gary Pepin’s national champion Huskers in 1983 and 1984.
#31, Anya Kalenta, 6-3, Sr., F, Minsk, Belarus (3.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
• Anya Kalenta produced a strong seven-point, 14-rebound effort in a win over Northern Arizona Dec. 19. She also had career bests with three blocks and 26 minutes. She produced the fourth double-figure scoring effort of her Nebraska career and second of the season with 11 points and six rebounds in a season-high 21 minutes off the bench in NU’s win over NC State (Dec. 3). She had 10 points and eight rebounds in just 13 minutes in a win over North Florida (Nov. 16). She had eight points, eight rebounds, two assists and her first career steal against Evansville (Dec. 8). She notched career highs with four assists and three blocks against North Carolina Central (Nov. 23) when she also had seven points and six boards.
• Kalenta owns more points (70/38), rebounds (76/17), assists (7/1), blocks (7/3) and steals (4/0) than she had last season. She appeared in 12 games at Nebraska in 2014-15, competing in five of NU’s first six games before missing NU’s next nine games with a stress fracture in her foot. She also suffered a broken nose in preseason practice (Oct. 29, 2014), and battled anemia throughout the year. She established career highs with 14 points and eight rebounds in a season-opening win over Pepperdine Nov. 15, 2014.
• Kalenta earned third-team NJCAA All-America honors in 2013-14 at Vincennes University in Indiana. She transferred to Vincennes after spending her freshman season at Broward College in Florida in 2012-13. She ranked in the NJCAA’s top 25 in scoring (20.8 ppg, 13th), rebounding (10.7 rpg, 22nd) and blocked shots (2.1 bpg, 20th) in her only season with the Trailblazers at Vincennes in 2013-14.
#34, Jasmine Cincore, 5-10, So., G, Arlington, Tenn. (3.2 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.0 apg)
• A two-time Tennessee Class 2-AA Player of the Year (2013, 2014), Jasmine Cincore battled ankle and foot injuries to play in 20 games for the Huskers as a true freshman. She enjoyed a strong offseason and made her first career start in her 39th career game in Nebraska’s 93-81 win at Michigan Jan. 24. Cincore played a career-high 32 minutes against the Wolverines, recording eight points, three assists, a block and a steal. She replaced an injured Rachel Theriot in the starting lineup in Ann Arbor.
• Cincore has set or tied career bests in every category, including a career-high nine points at No. 8 Maryland on Jan. 7. She had a career-high four steals while matching a career-best with three assists against North Florida on Nov. 16.
• During Nebraska’s 2015 summer tour of Australia, Cincore was NU’s second-leading scorer with 10.0 points per game, while adding 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in four games against Australian pro teams.
#43, Rachel Blackburn, 6-3, Fr., F, Leavenworth, Kan. (4.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 apg)
• A fiery workhorse as a freshman, Rachel Blackburn was a leader for the Big Red on the glass and on the defensive end before missing three straight games with illness. She returned to the court in a reserve role at No. 14 Northwestern, scoring four points and grabbing a pair of rebounds in 15 minutes. She played 14 minutes off the bench at No. 8 Maryland (Jan. 7). Blackburn was sidelined by illness against Northern Arizona (Dec. 19) and Arkansas State (Dec. 21), before missing the Big Ten opener against Iowa (Dec. 31) with both illness and a strained knee. She played a major role in Nebraska’s win at Purdue, producing five points, a career-high three blocks and a game-high eight rebounds in just 15 minutes. She added six points, five rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in NU’s win at Michigan Jan. 24. She played limited minutes before aggravating an existing injury against Wisconsin (Jan. 27), and she did not play at Rutgers (Jan. 30).
• The No. 63 player in the nation by Blue Star and No. 69 by Prospects Nation, Blackburn was ranked as the No. 17 post in the country by ESPN coming out of high school last year. She became the first Husker to take four charges in a game (vs. NC State, Dec. 3) since All-American Kelsey Griffin did it at Baylor on Jan. 17, 2010. She was directly responsible for 10 first-half defensive stops to fuel a 20-0 second-quarter run in NU’s win over NC State Dec. 3. Blackburn erupted for a career-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting against Evansville on Dec. 8. She added six rebounds and three assists in just 23 minutes against the Purple Aces.
• Blackburn averaged 7.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game in Nebraska’s four-game tour of Australia in August of 2015. She led the Huskers by shooting 65 percent from the field. She led Leavenworth High School to back-to-back Kansas Class 5A state titles in 2014 and 2015. She set the Leavenworth High School record with a career 67.5 field goal percentage.
#50, Darrien Washington, 6-2, RFr., F, Oakland, Calif. (2.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
• Darrien Washington produced six points, five rebounds and an assist in eight minutes off the bench in her career debut against Arkansas Pine Bluff after enjoying a strong redshirt season in 2014-15. She added three points, five rebounds and her first career steal in six productive minutes against North Florida on Nov. 16. She did not play in seven consecutive games (coach’s decision) before returning to action for one first-half minute against Northern Arizona on Dec. 19.
• Washington has totaled 12 points and 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action this season, including three points and two rebounds in five minutes in her Big Ten debut at No. 8 Maryland on Jan. 7.
• A first-team All-Oakland performer at Skyline High School, Washington averaged 16.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per game as a senior. She scored 1,181 career points and came up just short of 1,000 career rebounds in high school. She played on the Cal Stars Elite with current Husker sophomore guard Natalie Romeo.