The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 03, 1997, Page 9, Image 9

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    Matt Miller/DN
VENSON HAMILTON falls away from Kansas’ Scot Pollard in Nebraska* 85-65 loss Sunday. KU got the best of the Nebraska big men, out-rebounding the
Huskers 52-24 In the last game of Big 12 regular season. *3vaS|P'
KU big men dominate
as Nebraska loses its
regular-season finale
, by 20.
By Mitch Sherman
Senior Reporter
Nebraska learned the hard way
Sunday why Kansas heads into the Big
12 Conference Tournament with a
first-round bye
and ranked No. 1
in the nation for
the 14th straight
Jayhawks abused
Nebraska on the
boards, domi
nated the tempo
and humbled the
most energetic
crowd in three
seasons to watch a
basketball game at the Bob Devaney
Sports Center. The 85-65 regular-sea
son-ending Jayhawk win marked NU’s
worst defeat this season and stole valu
able momentum from the
Comhuskers, who fell to 16-13 over
all and 7-9 in conference play.
“You saw the No. 1 team in the
country,” Nebraska Coach Danny Nee
said after the Devaney Center’s sev
enth-largest all-time crowd of 14,759
watched Kansas pull away in the sec
ond half. “Obviously we would have
liked to play better in our own house.”
Nebraska must regroup by Thurs
day at 16 p.m., when it plays 10th
seeded Missouri in the first round of
the league tournament in Kansas City,
Mo. The Huskers, who earned the sev
enth seed by virtue of Baylor’s loss
Saturday to Oklahoma, likdy need
four wins in four days and a tourna
ment title to qualify for the NCAA
With a win Thursday night, NU
will meet Texas, the tournament’s No.
2 seed and champion of the Big 12
South Division, Friday at 6 p.m.
A loss at any time this week prob
ably sends NU back to the National
Invitation Tournament, in which the
Huskers would play host to a first
round game on March 12, according
to Nebraska Ticket Manager John
Anderson. 2 \
“You always want to win your last
game at home,” Nee said. “But we treat
the postseason as a new season. That’s
the great thing about tournament play.
You get another chance.”
Kansas (29-1 and 15-1) out-re
bounded Nebraska 27-10 in the first
half, grabbing a 41-28 lead, and 52
24 for the game, by far NU’s largest
deficit on the glass this year. Seniors
Mikki Moore and Bernard Gamer,
playing in the final regular-season
home games of their careers, contrib
uted just 13 points and nine rebounds
Meanwhile, KU’s Raef LaFrentz
and Scot Pollard each posted double
doubles. LaFrentz scored 16 of his
game-high 23 points in the first half
— two less than Nebraska’s five
player frontcourt — and the 6-foot-11
junior grabbed 10 rebounds in 29 min
After falling behind 52-37 early in
the second half, NU used a 9-0 run
sparked by Troy Piatkowski’s 17-foot
jumper to close to 52-46 with 11:59 to
play. But Pollard ignited an 8-0
Jaykawk run following a timeout to put
Kansas back on top by 14.
“I felt we had another run in us, but
we didn’t,” said Nebraska point guard
Tyronn Lue, who scored a team-high
18 points with eight assists and no
turnovers. “We got some good looks,
but we just didn’t finish.”
With NU down 67-54 at the 4:33
mark, Cookie Belcher fouled
• h ■
You always wjant to
win your last game
at home. But we
treat the postseason
as a new season ”
Danny Nee -
NU basketball coach
LaFrentz, and officials slapped the
fieshman guard with a technical foul—
— his fifth personal of the game —
for taunting Pollard. Pollard and
LaFrentz each connected on two free
throws, and Jerod Haase converted a
three-point play, completing a seven- 1
point Kansas possession to stretch its ;
lead to 74-54. I
“We were going to try to make an
other run,” Nee said. “But after that, it
didn’t matter.
“Coming into the game, I was cau
tiously optimistic. But we got domi
nated on the rebounds, and we thought
that would be one of our strengths.”
In the first half, KU opened an 11
4 lead before the Huskers closed to 21
19 on a Belcher 3 with 9:21 to play.
But a 7-0 Jayhawk run erased NU’s
momentum, and Kansas ended the half
with an 11-3 spurt to lead by 13.
“They were a very confident bunch
today,” KU Coach Roy Williams said
of his team, which set a school record
for regular-season victories. “We never
let the crowd get into it, even when a
couple calls and couple plays went
against us.”
' r - _
Matt Miller/DN
BOOKIE BELCHER learn the court
after his fifth foul Suaday during
Nebraska’s 85-05 less to Kansas.
Kansas forward Paul Pierce scored
18 points, and Pollard, in his third
game back after missing eight with a
fractured left foot, added 14 with a
game-high 12 rebounds in 27 minutes.
Venson Hamilton scored 13 points
but grabbed just four rebounds for Ne
braska, which tied a season-low with
line turnovers to Kansas’ 17. In NU’s
32-77 overtime loss at KU on Feb. 1,
[he Huskers’ out-rebounded Kansas
16-33 but turned the ball over a sea
son-high 28 times.
“I thought we would come out and
blay a lot better than we did,” Lue said.
‘I’d rather have 28 turnovers and have
i chance to win in regulation than have
line and get blown out.”
take crown
from Tbxas
By Jay Saunders
Staff Reporter
The Nebraska women’s swimming
and diving team upset No. 8 Texas to
earn the first-ever Big 12 Conference
Championship in _^ ^ ^
College Station,
Texas Saturday.
._After, winning
the last three Big
Eight champion
ships, the
Comhuskers kept
their streak alive
with a 927-865.5
hind victory. NU RyssslT
enured 12 titles
out of 21 events on the way to the
Bentz who was named the conference’s
women’s swimming coach of the year.
“Our program has taken a giant step.
This is absolutely a huge victory for us.”
The Nebraska men finished second
behind the Longhorns with a score of
735 5 points. UT scored 920.5 points
en route to winning the men’s inaugu
ral league crown. . ° *
In die wbmeh’s coiifipetitibn, Texas
led after the first two days but entered
the final day of the meet trailing the
Longhorns by one point.
The Huskers were led in the finals
by 16 swimmers on the final day in five
events. NU took a big step toward the
tide sweeping the top three places in the
200-yard breaststroke.
All-American Julia Russell, who
was named the meets outstanding
women’s swimmer^on die event with
a pool-record timfc of 2:10.25. NU’s
Lenka Manhalova, who finished second
with a time of 2:12.55, and Helene
Muller, who was third with a time of
2:13.82, rounded out the top three spots
for the Huskers. The three times also
were automatic qualifying times for die
NCAA meet.
Muller also won the 100-yard
freestyle with a time of 50.02 seconds.
Husker swimmers captured the third-,
sixth- and eighth-place spots in the race.
Nebraska also placed four swimmers
in the top eight of the 200-yard back
stroke. Christine Troy finished in aper
sonal-best time of 2:00.13 to finish in
second place.
Women’s winners on Friday in
cluded: Russell in the 100-yard breast
stroke (1:00.83, a new pool record),
Anna Windsor in the 200-yard freestyle
(1:48.49) and Laura Simon in die 400
yard IM (4:19.15).
Despite the strong performances in
the individual races, it was the relays 1
that were die icing on the cake.
The Huskers also swept the relays.
The 400-yard freestyle capped off the
conference crown few NU. The team of
Windsor, Beth Karaica, Stacey Sedlacek
and Muller had a first-place time of
3:20.19 shattering the school-record of
3:23.53 set in 1994.
Nebraska also won the 200-yard
medley relay with a school-record and
pool-record time of 1:41.49 and the 800
yard free relay with another school and
pool-record time of 7:19.28.
, On the men’s side, Adam Pine and
Michael Windlisch were die only two
Huskers to win gold medals over the
weekend. Pine won the 100-yard but
terfly with a pool-record and school
record time of47.02 seconds. Windlisch
finished first in the400-yard IM with a
time of 3:52.42.