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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 29, 1996)
Friday, March 29, 1996 Page 10
Derek Samson .
I can almost picture the madness
that covered streets of Nebraska
towns immediately after the
Comhuskers’ 60-56 win over St.
Joseph’s in the National Invitation
“We’re No. 65! We’re No. 65!”
the crazy mobs chanted as they cel
ebrated Nebraska’s five-game win
Keep celebrating — not for the
title, but because the season is over.
Give credit to Coach Danny Nee
for sticking with his team and not
quitting alter his players abandoned
him. But his fat salary had to make
it a little easier for him to stay.
And give credit to the players
for not embarrassing the Big Eight
with a loss to a WAC team in the
first round. It would have been much
easier for the players to give up and
go on spring break.
But by ending the season with
the NIT championship, more ques
tions are raised than were answered
about Nee and his team. He had the
talent all season but couldn’t do a
thing with it.
It was difficult to estimate just
how much the Huskers under
achieved during the regular season.
But with the way Nebraska
played in the NIT, it made it clear to
the country how much this team
actually did underachieve.
Nebraska deserved to be in the
NCAA Tournament, but it wasn’t
shafted by the selection committee.
It was cheated by its own people—
players and coaches.
During the Big Eight season,
where was this team that ripped
through NIT competition — how
ever average that may be?
How could a team this talented
actually lose nine consecutive
games and drop 10 of its last 11,
including a rout at the hands of
The NIT competition might not
have been Kentucky or Connecti
cut, but the teams were far better
than the Buffaloes.
So Danny Nee saves his job with
the championship and the people of
Nebraska jump back on Kent
PavelkaVThc Huskersarethe best
and always get cheated” band
It was the fans who got cheated
this year, however.
The fans should have been
treated to a team that competed
with Kansas for the conference title,
a team that made it to the Sweet 16
of the NCAA Tournament and a
team that didn’t teach kids how not
to play by screaming at officials,
playing selfishly and ignoring the
I congratulate the Huskers on
playing to their potential and fin
ishing out in style—even if it was
in the tournament made for medio
I also congratulate the fans for
making it through this season. At
least it’s over now.
Samson Is a senior news-editorial
major and a Dally Nebraskan sports
^ cojanuiift__ _____
1 ' 11 ' 111 —II. . . 11 _ , , —
NU achieves the unthinkable
By Trevor Parks
NEW YORK—The Nebraska bas
ketball team did two things this season
no one ever expected.
- First, the
1 9 9 5 -9 6
games for the first time since 1963.
Then, Thursday night the Comhuskers
completed a dramatic turnaround.
Nebraska won the National Invita
tion Tournament at Madison Square
Garden, beating St. Joseph’s 60-56 in
front of crowd of 12,464 fans partisan
to the Hawks.
“I feel like Lazarus raised from the
dead,” Coach Danny Nee said. “We
went from the low to the high, and it’s
almost like Cinderella.”
From Jan. 27 until March 3, Ne
braska did not win a game. Now, all
that seems forgotten. One game from
finishing the year at 15-15, the Husk
ers finished Thursday 21-14.
Nebraska can thank Erick
Strickland for its reversal of fortune.
Strickland was named the NIT’s most
valuable player, scoring 33 points in
the two Final Four games.
For the first time in five NIT games,
the Huskers shot below 50 percent
(44.2) and scored below 80 points, but
Strickland picked up the slack.
He scored a team-high 13 points,
and again, as.Ite has done throughout
the NIT, Strickland shut down the
opponent’s leading scorer.
He held St. Joe’s Mark Bass to a
season-low three points and a 1 -for-11
shooting performance. Bass was aver
aging a team best 14.7 points per game
and was 1 for 7 from behind the 3
“Coach set the challenge for me
and I took it,” Strickland said. “(Bass)
is a great player and I guess I did my
Three other Huskers helped
Strickland out on the offensive end by
scoring double figures. Mikki Moore
scored 11 points and grabbed 13 re
bounds. Jaron Boone and freshman
point guard Tyronn Lue each added
11. For his performance, Lue was
namedtothe NIT all-tournament team.
The Hawks were led by Reggie
Townsend, who had a game-high 18
points. Dmitri Domani added 14 points
for St. Joe’s, which finished the season
As usual Thursday night, it was a
Strickland defensive play that turned
With the score tied at 47, Strickland
stole the ball from Terrell Myers and
passed it downcourt to Venson !
Hamilton for a breakaway dunk with
7:06 remaining. Nebraska never trailed
Hawk guard Rashid Bey had a
chance to close the gap, but missed the
front end of a one-and-one. Then Lue
drove baseline for a layup to put the
Huskers up 51-47.
A Myers’ layup cut the score to 51 -
49 before Moore scored four straight
Moore delivered a dunk with 5:27
remaining and was fouled by Will
Johnson. Moore missed the free throw,
but Strickland tipped the ball back to
the Husker center and he was fouled by
Townsend on a putback attempt. Moore
converted both free throws to put the
Huskers on top by six at 5549.
See NIT on 11
Nebraska shortstop Larry Hartzell turns a double play Wednesday afternoon against Peru
State at Buck Beltzer Field. The Huskers play host to a three-game series against Oklahoma
State this weekend.
OSU lives up to tradition
By David Wilson
The Oklahoma State baseball
team will bring its tradition and
talent to Buck Beltzer Field this
afternoon to play
“The goals in
this program arc
Ward said. “If
you don’t go to
Ward the College
vvara World Series,
you feel like you’ve had a bad year.
There is a tradition that carries you
forward. And that kind of tradition
is pretty powerful and keeps you
The Cowboys have made 17
appearances in Omaha since the
College World Series began in
1947. Of its 17 appearances — a
showing that ranks it third on the
all-time list—Oklahoma State has
been crowned national champion
once. That was in 1959.
The Cowboys enter the three
game series this weekend as the No.
19 team in the nation with a 20r7
record. Oklahoma State also sits on
lop of the Big Eight with a 6-1
The Cornhuskers, 10-16-1 over
all and 2-6 in the Big Eight, sit just
— * . - iH—- 4 „ U . u t , m -rn r,M M
“The goals in this program are pretty simple. If
you don’t go to the College World Series, you
feel like you’ve had a bad year. ”
Oklahoma State baseball coach
two games ahead of last place Iowa
State in the conference.
Of the Cowboys’ 47 wins last
season, more than 40 of the wins
belonged to pitchers who arc no
longer on the team, Ward said. Okla
homa State also lost the middle four
hitters of their lineup from last sea
“We really scratched and
scrambled to rebuild through the
summer and through the fall,” Ward
said. “And for the first time, we
took some four-year college trans
fers to give us a little bit of maturity,
particularly on the mound.”
The Cowboys’ pitching staff
owns a team eamed-run average of
6.52, which ranks fourth in the Big
Eight. Only Kansas, Nebraska and
Iowa State have higher ERAs.
“We’ve had some quality starts.
And we’ve had more of our share of
starts where we’ve given up six,
seven, or eight runs in the first four
innings, and had to battle all day
just to stay compet itive,” Ward said.
“We’re hoping our pitching and
defense improves. That’s our great
est concern right now.”
Offensively, the Cowboys are
led by junior left fielder Jeff Guicl,
who tops the Big Eight with a .452
batting average. Guiel ranks sec
ond in the conference with 13 sto
len bases in 23 games.
Oklahoma State’s .333 team bat
ting average is second only to
Oklahoma’s .350 in the Big Eight.
The Cowboys also lead the confer
ence with 41 home runs and 321
“We started the year swinging
the bats really well, and we’ve main
tained a pretty consistent offensive
attack,” Ward said. “Generally
speaking, they have been rather re
lentless up and down the lineup in
creating offensive opportunity.”
Senior Tripp MacKay and jun
ior Rusty McNamara have taken on
leadership roles in the inexperi
See OSU on 11
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JN U to use
Big 8 meet
By Gregg Madsen
The Nebraska women’s gymnas
tics team will begin the postseason
portion of its season Saturday at the
Big Eight Championships in Ames,
Cornhusker coach Dan Kendig said
the Huskcrs wouldn’t make any major
changes for the meet.
“We haven’t done anything new
this week. Maybe next week we will,”
Kendig said. “We just want to do what
we did at home last week again this
Nebraska goes into the meet riding
the wave of its school-record 195.75- J
192 rout of Southern Utah last Satur
Thisweekend, Kendig said, will be
a good warmup for the Huskcrs before
the April 13 NCAA Midwest Regional
in Salt Lake City. But he said the team
had not been looking past the Big
“We’ve really been focusing on this
weekend,” Kendig said. “Knowing it’s
the last Big Eight Championships, we
want to win it.”
The Huskers, 16-3 and ranked No.
13 in the nation, will be trying for their
third consecutive conference title.
Nebraska has won the Big Eight title
11 times since 1978.
Iowa State, Missouri and Oklahoma
will round out competition at the meet,
which is slated for a 7 p.m. start at
- The Cyclones, ranked 15th this
week, were defeated by Nebraska in
the first meet of the season, 189.775
189.6 on Jan. 14. The Huskers also
defeated the Cyclones 193.725-191.8
on March 3 at the Bob Devaney Sports
“Iowa State will be our toughest
competition there,” Kendigsaid. “They
are a team that really thinks they have
a chance to beat us.”
Nebraska defeated Missouri
193.425-186.675 in the Devaney Cen
ter on Jan. 27, and Oklahoma fell to the
Huskers 193.875-189.775 on Feb. 4.
Kendig and senior all-arounder Joy
Taylor both said the Huskers were
now in a good position to make a run at
the Super Six of the NCAA Champi
onships in Tuscaloosa, Ala., April 25
Taylor, who finished second in the
all-around against Southern Utah with
a career-high 39.2, will join junior
Shelly Bartlett and freshman Misty
Oxford in the all-around.
Redshirt freshman Laurie
McLaughlin should provide solid scor
ing for the Huskers in the uneven bars
and the balance beam, Kendig said.
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