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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 5, 1997)
hang tough late
hi win nor Tigers
Doage’s return, DeForge’s
26 points spark NU to a win
at the Big 12 Tbumament.
By Mike Kluck
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tina McClain
wasn’t going to let her Nebraska basketball ca
reer end with a loss to Missouri.
After all the senior from Montrose, Mo., had
never lost to her home-state school and she
wasn’t going to let the Tigers steal a victory
and end her career in the first round of the Big
12 Tournament on Tuesday.
So in the final 30 seconds of the game,
McClain made two clutch free throws and
grabbed two key rebounds to propel the
Comhuskers to a 62-58 win over MU.
The victory was Nebraska’s 16th straight
over the Tigers — 10 of which have come dur
ing McClain’s career. The win also sent the
Huskers (19-8) into tonight’s second-round
game against TexasVi -
“In my career I have never Iost lo Missouri
it and feels really good,” McClain said. ‘1 didn’t
want to think about that before the game.”
Jami Kubik had a chance to give NU a four
point lead with 31 seconds left but she missed
the front end of a one-and-one opportunity. It
was the fifth front-end ffee-throw chance the
Huskers missed in the game.
But McClain grabbed the miss and was fouled
by Big 12 freshman-of-the-year Julie Helm.
McClain — a 47 percent free-throw shooter
— who was 2 of 6 from die line in the game,
swooshed both attempts to give Nebraska a 62
On the Tigers’ next possession freshman
Amy Monsees missed a shot and McClain
grabbed another rebound.
McClain grabbed one more defensive board
before the end of the game to finish with 10
rebounds and 12 points.
“Her performance was big,” NU Coach
Angela Beck said. “And I think she really
stepped up and we have always expected that
to happen. We needed that tonight”
MU Coach Joann Rutherford said McClain’s
rebound of Kubik’s missed free throw was cru
cial in ending the Tigers’ season with a record of
“McClain isnot'the one t£e \gragtecfao have
the ball at the end,” Rutherford sai<£ “The cru
cial thing was not blocking out on rebounds.”
Please see WIN on 8
NICOLE KUBIK drives against Missouri’s Tanisha Johnson in Tuesday night’s 62-58 win at the
Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City. Tho Cornhuskers play Texas tonight.
Cowboys are favorite
in conference meet
By Sam McKewon
In the Big 12 Conference wrestling world,
it’s Oklahoma State and everybody else.
The top-ranked Cowboys enter
Saturday’s Big 12
Championships at Co
lumbia, Mo., as the un
disputed favorite ac
cording to the league’s
going to have to poison
Oklahoma State’s wa
ter,” Nebraska Coach
Tim Neumann said.
“That’s the only way
anyone will have a
chance at them.”
The Cowboys are expected to send at least
eight wrestlers in 10 classes to the NCAA
Championships March 20 through 22 in Ce
dar Falls, Iowa. OSU has been ranked in the
top spot ever since beating then-No. 1 Iowa
on Jan. 19 at the Cliff Keen National Duals.
Cowboy Coach John Smith said he is
confident about the way his team has pro
gressed throughout the season, and they are
ready for the last two meets of the year.
“We’ve been consistent for most of the
season,” Smith said. ‘We came together as a
team early, and we have used that to our ad
vantage as the year has went on.”
The other four teams in the tournament—
Nebraska, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Mis
souri— are battling for position in the
NCAA’s. All will most likely send wrestlers
to Cedar Falls, but Saturday’s Big 12 meet
gives each school a chance to improve those
numbers. The Comhuskers, the Cyclones
and the Sooners are ranked seventh, ninth,
and 13th entering the meet.
For a wrestler to make the NCAA Tour
nament, at least a top-three finish at the con
ference tournament or a wild-card berth is
required. Teams like OU need high-placing
performances in many weight classes be
cause wild-card spots aren’t a sure bet.
“It’s not so much trying to beat Oklahoma
State as it is trying to get wrestlers in the
NCAA’s,” Sooner Coach Jack Spates said.
“We want to get seven or eight wrestlers to
Cedar Falls if we can.”
Nebraska is coming off two straight dual
losses—over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
— after winning seven «in a row. Despite the
setbacks, Neumann said NU hasn’t lost much
momentum heading down to Columbia.
“I think we’re wrestling good for our
youth and inexperience right now,”
Neumann said. “Against Oklahoma State we
had a lot of close, great matches.”
The meet is also a final tuneup for indi
vidual national title contenders to hone their
skills, Smith said.
OSU has four wrestlers ranked either first
or second in the nation, and Smith said the
conference meet will prepare everyone for
the NCAA Tournament.
. “This is a tournament-style format, which
is what they need,” Smith said.
Overall, the tournament provides its par
ticipants a chance to show off for what the
league’s coaches think is the nation’s best
“Our tradition is better than anyone’s,”
ISU Coach Bobby Douglas said. “Our teams
are always a threat.”
By Vince D’Adamo 4
Staff Reporter y
With selection Sunday for the NCAA Tour
nament just five days away, the Big 12 Confer
ence men’s basketball teams are still jockeying
for position to earn a berth in the field of 64.
Some Big 12 teams may already have their
best dress ready for the Big Dance, but the Big
12 Tournament, which starts Thursday in Kan
sas City, Mo., will help to decide what seed
many teams will receive.
The Big 12 may send six teams to the NCAA
Tournament and perhaps three others will
qualify to the NIT.
Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to
64 teams in 1985, all former Big Eight teams
that won at least 17 games against Division I
opponents and won seven conference contests
received a bid.
If that follows suit in the Big 12, top-ranked
Kansas (29-1 overall and 15-1 in the league),
No. 18 Colorado (21-8 and ll-5),16th-raflked
Iowa State (19-7, 10-jS),',Tbxas (16-10, 10-6),
Texas Tech (18-8, 10-6) and Oklahoma (17-9,
9-7) will receive bids.
The Cyclones stumbled in the final two
weeks of the season, losing three of their last
four games. Nevertheless, ISU Coach Tim
Floyd said Iowa State’s funk should have
little bearing on whether the Cyclones re
ceive a bid.
Last season, Minnesota won 18 games —
including seven of its last nine — but still did
not make the field of 64. Now the Gophers are
ranked No. 2 with a 26-2 record and are a tour
After watching Minnesota get shafted in
1996, OU Coach Kelvin Sampson said he will
not assume anything when it comes to Selec
“Nobody can feel secure unless you’re a Top
25 team,” Sampson said. “The good thing is
that we can control our own destiny. I can’t ask
for anything more.”
Texas Tech Coach James Dickey said a poor
•an.. _ ^ v r> '
'$d£|lefmitely run a risk on What
happens nationally,” Diekey^jaid^think our
schedule and power ratings are goodenough.
I don’t know that it’s critical,hat it can hurt.”
Nebraska (16-13,7-9), Oklahoma State (15
13,7-9) and Baylor (18-11,6-10) will have their
NCAA Tournament fate decided by their per
formance in the league tournament.
Those three teams need to win the confer
ence tournament or they wilf didst likely be in
vited to the National Invitation Tournament.
Missouri (13-16, 5-11), Texas A&M (9
17,3-13) and Kansas State (10-16,3-13) also
have; to pull off an improbable feat of win
ning four games in four days to continue their
NU Coach Danny Nee — whose Huskers
won ithe NIT title last year — said NU needs
four wins at the Big 12 Tournament to make
die Big Dance.
“We have to win the tournament,” Nee said.
“Our goal is to get the NCAA Tournament, but
we’ll just play the cards that we’re dealt.”
The Big 12 Men's Basketball
Tournament starts Thursday aHflHHPP
Kansas City. Here are die
(6) Oklahoma vs. (11) Texas A&M
(8) Oklahoma St vs. (9) Baylor
* Kansas, Texas, Iowa St. and Colorado
receive first-round byes.
(2) UT plays either Nebraska " or Missouri
... . X ' ■; . 4 ''
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