The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 06, 1997, Page 9, Image 9

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    Vince D’Adamo
Long jump duo
becomes more
familar this year
Be careful who you compete
against because you never know
when you will be teammates some
day. Such is the case for Nebraska
long jumpers Joe Las ter and Chris
Both battled as opponents
throughout their junior college ca
reers. This season as teammates,
Las ter and Wright have been instru
mental for the Nebraska men as suc
cessful long jumpers.
“Joe and I go all the way back,”
Wright said. “He’s a streaky jumper.
But he can jump any distance.”
Mentioning one of these long
jumpers without the other would be
like leaving sauce off of the spa
If their recent performances are
any indication, they seem primed for
great results at this weekend’s
NCAA Indoor Track and Field
Championship in Indianapolis.
The reason, the two seem to be
peaking at just the right time.
Laster, a senior from Barton
County (Texas) Community Col
lege, came to Nebraska last year. He
made an instant impact by finishing
first at the Frank Sevigne Husker In
vitational and the Big Eight Cham
pionships. But he ended the year on
a bad note with a 13th-place finish
at the NCAA meet.
A sore back slowed Laster for
much of this season. Entering last
weekend’s Cyclone Last Chance
meet, he was on the outside looking
in to qualify for the national meet.
But on his only jump of the meet,
Laster burst that bubble with a leap
of 26 feet 3 3/4 inches—the longest
collegiate mark of the season.
Wright—in his first season com
peting for NU — transferred from
Kansas City (Kan.) Community Col
lege by way of the Bahamas.
His claim to fame comes from the
1994 Texas Relays. There, Wright
out-dueled legendary long jumper
Carl Lewis.
Wright had the right stuff on that
afternoon and will be looking to pull
off a performance of Chuck Yeager
type proportions at the NCAA’s.
Wright began the season as. a
prospect to qualify for die national
meet He has not disappointed.
Like Las ter, the 6-foot-7 Wright
carries much needetjmomentum into
this weekend. Wrigmhadhis season
best leap of 25-7V4 at the Big 12 meet
two weeks ago.
Stay tuned. It’s Wright’s chance
to continue what has already been a
remarkable season. For Laster it’s a
chance to make amends for a disap
pointing finish last year.
And in Indianapolis, no matter
where the two finish they will find a
familiar situation awaiting them —
competing against each other.
D’Adamo is a senior broadcast
ing major and a Daily Nebraskan
staff reporter.
Longhorns corral Buskers
• NU must wait until
Sunday to find out its
postseason fate.
By Mike Kluck
Senior Reporter
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Texas
two stepped the Nebraska women’s
basketball team out of the Big 12
Conference Tournament Wednes
day night.
But UT Coach Jody Conradt
wasn’t singing “God Blessed
Texas,” following 12th-ranked
Texas’ (21-6 overall and 13-4 in the
Big 12) 74-68 win over the
Cornhuskers to advance to the
semifinals of the tournament
against Colorado.
Instead, Conradt said the Long
horns should be singing the popu
lar Travis Tritt hit “Here’s Your
Sign” — a song about having stu
pid people wear signs to let others
know they are not so bright.
Conradt said the Longhorns
should have been wearing big signs
after not playing smart in the first
seven minutes and the last five min
utes of the game. During those two
periods, NU outscored UT 24-8.
“At the end of this ballgame I
ran out of signs, and I didn’t have
enough of them because we made
some really foolish plays,” Conradt
said. “Obviously, we had a bad be
ginning and a bad ending, but the
middle part was not too bad.”
It was during the middle stretch
of the game that Nebraska Coach
Angela Beck said her team needed
the signs, especially at the end of
the first half and beginning of the
second half.
Texas closed out the first half
with a 5-0 run to take a 35-32 lead
into the locker room. Longhorn se
nior Danielle Viglione closed out
the first half scoring with a 3
Aided by a Nebraska defensive
mistake in the second half, the
Longhorns came out and went on a
9-0 run, hitting three 3-pointers.
Texas’s Kim Lummus, who had
no Husker defender on her because
of NU’s miscommunication, hit two
3s, and Viglione added another.
“We had a little mishap to start
the second half,” Beck said. “The
two wide-open 3 s she hit really
wasn’t brain surgery. Basically we
didn’t do a very good job. We re
ally came out sleepwalking in the
second half, and they took advan
tage of it.”
Beck said those 3-pointers
helped fire up the Homs, who hit a
season-high nine shots from behind
the 3-point arc.
To Nebraska’s credit the 44-32
lead Texas built in the first 2Vi min
utes of the second half was the
Longhorns’ longest one of the
Three different times in the sec
ond half the Huskers cut the lead to
five, only to see Texas respond with
a run of its own.
“It gets a little frustrating to get
so close, but you can’t make a stop
you need or the rebound or the steal
you need,” NU forward Anna
DeForge said. “You really have to
credit this team. We pull bd together
a lot. This is not something new for
us.” '
NU cut the lead to five with 9:05
remaining, but Texas answered
with a 10-4 run to take a 66-55 lead
with less than seven minutes left.
Please see TEXAS on 10
NU ready
to clash
Minus Mitchell and
Florence, Huskers open
Big 12 Tbumament.
By Mitch Sherman
Senior Reporter
Phifer donned his new red jersey
Wednesday afternoon at Kemper
Arena, setting
picks for Tyronn
Lue and rifling
passes into the
paint as Nebraska
prepared for
today’s first-round
meeting with Mis
souri in the inau
gural Big 12 Con
ference basketball
Yes, it’s come down to this for the
Phifer, a 6-foot-3 walk-on guard,
fills the third seat on the NU bench
when the Huskers meet the Tigers at
6:08 p.m. Phifer’s uniform change —
from white to red—signals a dire situ
ation for Nebraska, which i^ust play
with seven scholarship athletes tonight
in the first of what the Huskers hope
is four games in four days.
For unspecified disciplinary rea
sons, Coach Danny Nee suspended
sophomores Larry Florence and Alvin
Mitchell after Sunday’s 85-65 regular
season-ending loss to Kansas. Mitchell
and Florence did not travel to Kansas
City with the Huskers Wednesday. If
NU wins today, they will join the team
If needed, Nee said, Phifer will
handle his role well.
“He’s smart,” Nee said of the jun
ior from North Platte who has seen the
court all of two minutes this season.
“I think he can fill in very respectively.
I’ve seen him go off in practice.”
Please see TIGERS on 10
Matt Miller/DN
CHARLIE ROGERS battles Texas’ Angela Jackson for a rebound in
Nebraska’s 74-68 loss to the Longhorns.
Coaches know backcourt players’importance
By Vince E^Adamo
Staff Reporter
Leader. Passer. Creator.
Penetrator. Scorer.
When it comes to being a point
guard or shooting guard, all five of
those aspects help mold someone
into being the best.
In the Big 12 Conference — and
throughout college basketball for
that matter — there is a plethora of
backcourt players who possess
those skills and much more.
For a team to win the Big 12
Men’s Basketball Tournament, its
point guard must keep the team in
control or a chance at winning the
league crown and a berth in the
NCAA Tournament will go out the
window faster than a Jacque
Vaughn-led fast break.
The tournament starts today at
noon with a Baylor-Oklahoma
State matchup in the first round at
Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo.,
and all eyes will be on the person
whose job description reads as long
as a 3-pointer by Iowa State guard
Dedric Willoughby.
According to the coaches of the
Big 12, there are six guards in the
conference that fit that description.
Those are: Nebraska’s Tyronn Lue
(who averages 18.9 points and 4.4
assists per game), Kansas’ Vaughn
(10.2 and 6.0), Colorado’s
Chauncey Billups (19.5 and 4.6),
ISU’s Willoughby (18.1 and 2.1),
Texas’ Reggie Freeman (21.9 and
4.1) and Texas Tech’s Cory Carr
(23.3 and 3.1).
Looking at the Big 12’s top 10
leading scorers, seven of them are
guards. The Longhorns’ Freeman
ranks second in the league in scor
ing, seventh in rebounding and fifth
in assists. Billups is fourth scoring
wise, and third in assists. His lead
ership has turned a 9-18 CU team
last year into a 21-8 team this sea
“I’m not into the old standard H
guard that just brings the ball up the
court and just gets everyone in
volved,” Baylor Coach Harry
Miller said.
Miller said such players who
use their ability to make the oppo
nent look bad make an offense dif
Please see GUARDS on 10
creatnr for faur vnarc ^
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