The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 12, 1997, Page 10, Image 10

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    Mitch Sherman
Huskers, Nee
must recover
missing keys
Moments after Kansas State em
barrassed his team Monday night,
Danny Nee stood outside Nebraska’s
locker room in Manhattan, Kan.,
muttering something about last sea
The Cornhusker basketball
coach shook his head and reached
for the door to the locker room,
where his players held a brief meet
ing to discuss their recent woes.
Nee couldn’t open the door. It
was locked.
iNee nas oeen louteu oui oeiore.
Last year, the Nebraska players
locked him out of their minds, wan
dering aimlessly through a nine
game losing skid that ruined a sea
son full of promise. This season may
end up even worse.
At 12-11, the Huskers appear
destined for a postseason at home,
and in mid-February, NU has again
crumbled at the feet of lesser-talented
conference opponents.
By losing six of its last seven
games, NU extends a three-year
trend that reflects poorly on the con
dition of the Husker program. Since
the 1994-95 season, NU owns a 40
14 record in games played before Jan
25. On or after that date, the Husk
ers are 5-22 in regular-season play.
“I’m very concerned,” Nee said
after the 61-53 loss to KSU. “I was
concerned how we played (Saturday)
in Lubbock, and I’m concerned how
we played tonight. We didn’t ex
ecute. It was obvious.”
It’s also obvious that Nee’s turn
over-happy group is frustrated with
its backward movement But this NU
team, saddled by inexperience and
a lack of depth, cannot improve if
it’s not given the chance.
Nebraska needs a pure shooter,
a player to drain a long jumper when
a weak Kansas State squad slaps on
a vulnerable zone defense. Tyronn
Lue, although a great point guard,
is not a pure shooter. And neither is
Cookie Belcher.
Alvin Mitchell, Lue and
Belcher’s only true backup, can be
that shooter. But Mitchell has fallen
out of Nee’s favor. The coach
benched his sophomore guard on
Monday for Troy Piatkowski.
Perhaps Mitchell’s immaturity
led to his benching. But without be
ing given a chance, this streaky
shooter — who once hit 10 3-point
ers in a single state tournament game
—cannot mature into the player he’s
capable of becoming.
Mitchell’s problems represent
Nebraska’s lack of progress. These
struggling Huskers — who won’t
beat Northern Iowa on Thursday
with another effort like Monday’s—
need to be molded into a unit.
Instead, they’re being tom apart,
spiraling into pieces toward a March
at home in front of the television.
Sherman is a senior news-edi
torial major and a Daily Nebras
kan senior reporter.
Oxford hopes to be
back in all-around
By Gregg Madsen
Staff Reporter
Misty Oxford is finding out
that change can be a good thing.
After competing in the all
around in nine of the Comhuskers’
12 meets last year, the Nebraska
women’s gymnast hasn’t com
peted in the all-around in 1997.
Oxford has been unable to
break into the Huskers’ starting
lineup on the uneven bars, and
subsequently, she has been left out
of the all-around. It’s been a diffi
cult adjustment, but Oxford said
she hasn’t let the frustration affect
her performances in the other
three events.
In the season’s first six meets,
Oxford, a sophomore from Kelso,
Wash., set a school record on the
vault, tied the school record on the
balance beam and set a career best
on the floor exercise.
“I think this year all around,
I’m more confident on every
event,” Oxford said. “I get up on
beam, and I know I’m going to hit.
I do floor, and there’s no doubt in
my mind I’m going to make it.
Vault—I know I’m going to stick,
but the confidence just isn’t there
on bars yet.”
Oxford got off to a slow start
this season after battling bronchi
tis over winter break.
She only competed on vault in
NU’s first two meets of the sea
son. Not being able to compete in
the other events motivated her to
Please see OXFORD on 11
Matt Miller/DN
MISTY OXFORD owns the school record le balance beam and vault.
Wrestlers’ late surge
surprises NU coaches
ByAntone Oseka
Staff Reporter
When Nebraska Wrestling
Coach Tim Neumann started the
first practice this season, he knew
people weren’t
going to be im
pressed with
his team.
Well, at
least not right
Neumann had
one of the top
M_ heavyweights
in the country
in Tolly Thompson and the top
ranked recruiting class in the coun
try. He also had four All-Americans
returning, but two ot them decided
to redshirt and one jumped two
weight classes from where he
placed at the NCAA Champion
Junior Brad Canoyer went from
118 pounds to 134 to replace Tony
DeAnda, and seniors Ryan Tobin
and Temoer Terry took the oppor
tunity to redshirt, in order to come
back next season and lead the
Neumann said he knew he was
in for a tough year.
But lOth-ranked Nebraska has
exceeded some expectations, post
ing a 13-4 dual record and finish
ing seventh at the Cliff Keen Na
tional Dual Championships. The
Comhuskers even upset No. 7 Iowa
State two weeks ago in Lincoln.
NU followed that with two wins
last weekend, one at No. 13"Michi
gan State. Earlier this year, a Ne
braska win over the Spartans would
have been considered a major up
And a five-dual win streak at
this point of the season also was
considered unlikely. NU takes its
streak into Columbia, Mo., for a
6:30 dual against Missouri tonight.
NU Assistant Coach Mark
Cody said he didn’t expect a late
season run like this from the Husk
“I hoped we’d be in the top 25
and go .500 in duals,” Cody said.
“We’ve done well above that, I can
see this team in the top 10.”
Neumann can also picture Ne
braska in the top 10 after this year’s
NCAA Championships. Before
that, however, come the Big 12
Championship meet and duals at
Oklahoma and No. 1 Oklahoma
“Oklahoma State’s tough to
beat,” Cody said. “They’ve shut out
five teams this season. Winning
three or four matches is a realistic
“But with this team, who
Neumann said coaching this
team has been the most fun coach
ing he has had during his 12 years
at NU.
i ms learn s improved more
than any other team I’ve coached,”
Neumann said.
He said he was especially im
pressed with the improvement of
starters Ryan Bauer (150 pounds),
Monte Christensen (167) and Scott
Munson (190) who was honored
last week as the Big 12 Conference
wrestler of the week. All three have
matured into good wrestlers,
Neumann said.
But the core of this team is in
four weights, Neumann said. No.
9 Jeramie Welder (126), No. 10
Brad Canoyer at 134, ninth-ranked
Jason Kraft at 158 and heavyweight
Tolly Thompson, ranked third, are
Nebraska’s mainstays. The four,
along with 142-pounder Dusty
Morris, are the only starters with
NCAA Tbumament experience.
Morris will take the starting
node at 142 into tonight’s dual
against Missouri.
“This is still a team most people
didn’t expect to beat Missouri at the
beginning of the year,” Neumann
said. “Now, we’re expected to blow
them out.”
NU looks to end
KSU home streak
Senior Reporter
Oftentimes, lines from “The Wiz
ard of Oz” are associated with the
Kansas Jayhawks.
But this season the Kansas State
women’s basketball team has found
the famous phrase, “There’s no place
like home” very true.
KSU (13-7 overall and 6-4 in the
Big 12 Conference) brings a 9-0 home
record into tonight’s game with No.
23 Nebraska at 7 at Bramlage Coli
seum in Manhattan, Kan.
The Wildcats will also try to
avenge a 53-47 loss they suffered Jan.
15 to the Comhuskers (17-3 and 7-3)
at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
“They are playing very, very well
right now,” NU Coach Angela Beck
said. “I don’t look at this as an easy
\I7li rtf nrtwnarrio to thot /Jur
ing the first contest between the two
teams, Kansas State—which plays a
slow-down game and uses most of the
30-second shot clock—controlled the
Plus, the Wildcats held the Husk
ers 21 points below their season aver
age. Nebraska averages 74.2 points
and 68.8 points in the conference.
“We are going to have to go in
there and play 180 miles an hour, keep
the tempo up and be aggressive and
set the tone with our defense,” Beck
said. “We forced them into 33 turn
overs and had 17 steals at our place
and barely beat them.”
The 33 turnovers the Wildcats had
was a season high for a team that turns
the ball over an average of 19 times
per game.
First-year KSU Coach Deb
Patterson said Kansas State must do a
better job of controlling the ball for
the Wildcats to have a chance at a win.
“Nebraska is probably one of the
hottest teams in the country right now
and riding a great wave of momen
tum,” Patterson said. “We are certainly
a contrast in styles. Nebraska has the
Women s Basketball
Today, 7 p.m.
Bramlage Coliseum
Manhattan, Kan. *
Nebraska 17-3 (7-3)
Pos Name HL Yr.
F 30 Anna DeForge 5-11 Jr.
G 20 LaToya Doage 5-2 Sr.
HnsasSL 13-7 (6-4)
Pos Name HL Yr.
F 44 Angie Finkes 6-1 Fr.
G 23 Jenny Coalson 5-11 So.
ability to run and we don’t. We have
to try to slow the Huskers down and
make them work for their baskets.”
Beck said the Huskers must con
trol Wildcat senior Andria Jones
again. In the first game, Jones, a 6
foot-1 forward, scored just six points.
But in her last outing against Okla
homa, Jones had 28 points and 18 re
“Kansas State is going to be a big
challenge for us,” Beck said. “They
are a hard-nosed team and. they play
great defense. They don’t have a deep
bench but they’re a senior-laden
The Wildcats will be without guard
Brit Jacobson, who has missed the last
two games with a stress fracture in her
right foot. Jacobson, who was averag
ing 14.6 points per game, scored 10
points earlier this season against NU.
“We have a lot of respect for them,”
Beck said. “Emotionally, we may not , j
be as up right now but we will be there.
The game has a lot of ramifications
for us.”