The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 29, 1998, Page 7, Image 7

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    Shannon Heffelfinger
will bring
more fans
What’s the secret to getting
more fans at Nebraska women’s
basketball games?
NU Coach Paul Sanderford was
confident the answer would come
after viewing fans at other
Nebraska sporting events.
“I walk into the Coliseum and
see 4,000 fans cheering at volley
ball games,” Sanderford said earli
er this season, “and it makes me
believe that there isn't any reason
we can’t get it done for women’s
Four months later the answer is
still a secret because, well, it’s just
not happening.
And if attendance figures
through NU’s first 20 games are
any indication, it’s not going to
happen soon. The Cornhuskers are
averaging 2,068 fans at home
games this season.
The number is about 1,300 less
than last season’s record-setting
total, but it’s expected to go up
because several key conference
games have yet to be played.
But 2,068 is about 10,000 fewer
than Sanderford would like and
about 2,000 fewer than what could
be considered a reasonable goal
this season.
So what’s the deal?
Nebraska plays the majority of
its home games on Wednesday
nights, so there’s not a lot of other
things for it to compete with.
And the Huskers are fun to
watch. So is Sanderford. Their up
tempo style and sound defense
vaulted them io a No. 11 ranking
earlier this season. The ranking was
the highest in the program’s history.
Sanderford, who has grown a
little impatient with the lack of fan
enthusiasm, has targeted students.
First, he arranged for “reminder”
tickets to be mailed to students,
who can attend NU’s games for
He’s even started a shuttle ser
vice from the residence halls to the
bob uevaney bports Center on
game nights.
But for all of this, students have
been practically nonexistent at
Husker games.
Sanderford is determined, but
he is not a patient man. He wants to
win, and he’s probably going to. He
wants fans in the seats, and he
wanted them there yesterday.
But yesterday is too soon when
you’re trying to create an image for
a program which few students
knew anything about until a couple
years ago.
There’s no secret to getting fans
in the seats at women’s basketball
games. The only answer is time.
And, of course, a little patience.
Heffelfinger is a sophomore
news-editorial major and a Daily
Nebraskan senior reporter.
NU falls flat in second half
By Andrew Strnad
Staff Reporter
MANHATTAN, Kan. - It was
just one of those nights.
A second half in which the
Nebraska basket
ball team could
score only 19
points doomed
the Cornhuskers
(13-7 overall and
4-3 in the Big 12
Conference) as
Kansas State
downed NU 72
Belcher 49 before 9,085
at Bramlage
Coliseum Wednesday night.
Things started off poorly for the
Huskers. The Wildcats (13-5 and 4
4) raced to a 17-9 lead with the help
of four 3-point baskets. That early
run was an omen for the things to
come. Kansas State later went on
runs of 7-0, 10-2 and 17-2 near the
end of the game.
“It was our worst performance
of the year,” NU Coach Danny Nee
said. “We couldn’t stop their runs
during the game. They ran the show
from start to finish.”
The Huskers shot a season-low
33 percent in the game, including a
wretched 8 of 41 (19.5 percent) in
the second half.
At one point Nebraska went
6:44 without a single field goal in
the second half. A K.SU “defense by
committee” kept NU junior Tyronn
Lue to a season-low seven points,
more than 14 points below his aver
age. It was the first time Lue was
kept out of double figures in 36
games. He finished 3 of 14 from the
field, and 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Lue was guarded by as many as
four different players during the
game, and they forced Lue to make
his teammates create offensively.
“They kept a man waiting for me
in the middle of the lane,” Lue said.
“They just played great defense on
all of us.”
Junior Venson Hamilton and
sophomore Cookie Belcher were
the only Huskers to contribute much
offensively. Belcher scored eight of
his 10 points in the second half,
while Hamilton had a team-high 15.
The Wildcats had no problem
distributing the ball. Four players
finished with more than 10 points
for KSU, led by Shawn Rhodes, who
had 16.
Belcher said the quick start by
the Wildcats hurt the Huskers early
in the first half, leading to a poor
night of shooting by NU.
“They came out hitting 3-point
Please see KSU on 8
DeForge spells UT’s demise
By Shannon Heffelfinger
Senior Reporter
Everything that could have
gone right Wednesday night for the
Nebraska women’s basketball team
did, and the result was just what the
Comhuskers wanted.
NU (15-6 overall and 4-3 in the
Big 12 Conference) employed a
nearly flawless offensive attack to
defeat Texas 87-75 in front of 2,525
fans at the Bob Devaney Sports
Center. The Longhorns fell to 7-10
and 2-5.
The Huskers improved to 11-0
at home this season.
“We met almost every goal we
set tonight,” Nebraska Coach Paul
Sanderford said. “We wanted to
score 85, and we scored 87. We
wanted to shoot 50 percent, and we
did. We wanted to have a good
assist-to-turnover ratio and we did
that too.
“Offensively, we knew what we
were looking for.”
The Comhuskers looked early
and often to Anna DeForge. The
All-America senior - who has
scored 20 or more points in five of
NU’s last six games - punished the
Longhorns’ defense for 25 points
and six assists while playing all 40
minutes of the contest.
‘Anna played her best game of
the year,” Sanderford said. “She did
several good things out there for us
With UT leading 20-12 with
11:49 left in the first half, DeForge
helped ignite Nebraska with three
field goals during a 15-0 Husker
Jami Kubik, Nicole Kubik,
Brooke Schwartz and Emily
Thompson also contributed to the
scoring in the Huskers’ key run.
“We didn’t show patience in
defending DeForge,” Texas Coach
Jody Conradt said. “There’s no
doubt that she is a star. No one
will shut her down.
“But tonight, the others were
also effective. We gave up easy
baskets to players who do a very
good job of filling their roles
around DeForge.”
Nine players scored for
Nebraska, and the bench account
ed for 28 points and 15 of NU’s 39
Sanderford was also pleased
with the play of centers
Thompson and Rogers, who com
bined for 12 rebounds and 20
“That was really huge,”
Sanderford said. “People forget
that when we were beating teams
like Alabama, we were getting 20
to 25 minutes out of Emily.
“She went into a funk, and it’s
tough to get that back. But she’s a
totally different player than she
has been the last few weeks.”
But Conradt said it was the
Huskers’ defense that hurt Texas.
Nebraska relied on a 1-3-1
zone in an attempt to limit the
Longhorns’ offensive production
in the post. Center Angela
Jackson scored a season-high 18
points, but Conradt said NU’s
trapping out of the zone confused
UT at times during the first half.
“We had some difficulty
adjusting,” Conradt said. “Then
we never could dig ourselves out
of the hole we made.
“Good teams don’t let you
come back on their home floor. It
was hard for us to find momen
tum after we lost it.”
Scott NIcOlurg/DN
NU GUARD Anna DeForge attempts a shot over Texas’ Vanessa Wallace
in the first half Wednesday night at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
DeForge finished the game with 25 points as the Huskers defeated the
Longhorns 87-75.
By David Wilson
Sports Editor
Tony Tata had never seen snow until
he arrived in Lincoln for the first time
earlier this month.
“It was awesome,” Tata said with a
laugh from his home in Honolulu.
But it wasn’t just the cold weather
that impressed the 6-foot-3,235-pound
defensive lineman.
Tata became the 21st high school
athlete to give a verbal commitment to
Nebraska Wednesday.
“They’re, like, No. 1,” Tata said.
“What else is there to say? They have
everything top-notch. There’s noth
ing else.”
Though he also visited Arizona,
Colorado, Utah and Washington, Tata
said he was impressed with nearly
every aspect of the Nebraska program -
especially the coaching staff. NU
Coach Tom Osborne’s retirement last
month did not affect Tata’s thoughts on
the program.
“I talked to Coach Osborne, and I
truly believe that nothing will change,”
Tata said. “There’s no difference.”
As a senior at St. Louis High School
last fall, Tata recorded 74 tackles -
including 23 for losses - and wrapped
up 10 sacks. The Honolulu Advertiser’s
defensive player of the year, Tata
helped St. Louis High School win its
12* consecutive championship.
Raised in Samoa, Tata moved to
Honolulu when he was a sophomore in
high school. Leaving Hawaii for col
lege doesn’t concern him, he said.
While visiting Lincoln, Tata’s host
was NU offensive lineman Dominic
Raiola, also from St. Louis High
“He loves it up there,” Tata said
Tata will become just the second
Husker football scholarship recipient
from Hawaii. High school athletes can
not sign letters of intent until
Though Tata said he will likely
redshirt next fall, he said he hopes to
make an impact for the Huskers as
soon as he can.
But Tata, who benches 365 pounds
and squats more than 400, said he was
told by NU Coach Frank Solich that he
has some things to work on.
“He’s real straightforward,” Tata
said of Solich. “He told me exactly
what I can improve on.” Solich and NU
Defensive Backs Coach George
Darlington visited the Tata household
on Wednesday night.