The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 15, 1999, Page 7, Image 7

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Jay Saunders
NU needs
to rebound
from cliche
One of the most overused
cliches in all of sports is “a must
win situation ”
But in the case of the Nebraska
women's basketball team, you'll
have to excuse me for using it.
The Cornhuskers are just com
ing off of their first multi-game
losing streak of the season. NU is
13-4. and a string of losses is the
iast thing this team needs as it pre
pares to bite into the thick of the
Big 12 Conference season.
The Huskers started the slide
with an 80-75 loss at Texas, which,
if you ask NU Coach Paul
Sanaerford. was a game they put
themselves into a position to win.
With vengeance on their minds,
the Huskers dropped in on Kansas
State on Wednesdas.
i ne result was tne same.
But breathe easy. Husker fans,
Nebraska returns home 'on
Saturday. Under Sanderford, NU j
has never lost in the friendly con
fines of the Bob Devaney Sports
Oh wait, did you say Kansas
was corning to town"1 is that the
same Jay hawk team that is ranked
23rd in tne nation and features
player of the year candidate Lynn
Uh-oh, here it comes?
Tomorrow night's game seems to
be a must-win situation.
Seems that way to me, but you
won't hear that sentiment echoed
with the team. Junior guard Nicole
Kubik said there isn't increased
pressure to win right now.
Her rationale is NU is 2-2 in
the Big 12. the same record the
Huskers had at this time last sea
incic mayue no cause ioi
alarm in the Husker camp, but lose
at home against Kansas and a two
game losing streak becomes a
three-game iosing streak. That is
something Nebraska ne\er saw last
If that isn't haunting enough,
the Huskers must play two more
games on the road after Kansas.
This five-game stretch could be as
tough as any they will see for the
rest of the season.
The 1998-99 media guide por
trays the Nebraska team as the
“Husker party crashers'" who “take
rebounding to the extreme."
After being outrebounded 37
26 against Kansas State.
Sanderford had some choice words
for the media.
^ “This has to be the w'orst
rebounding team Paul Sanderford
has ever coached"
And if the Huskers want to in
the “Big Dance” come March, they
better rebound. But not just on the
Saunders is a junior broad
casting major and a Daily
Nebraskan staff writer.
Huskers head to Iowa for Duals
Staff writer
As the Nebraska wrestling team
makes its way into Hawkeve territory
for the Cliff Keen NWCA National
Duals, NU Coach Tim Neumann will
have questions lurking in his mind
about this year's team.
While the Cornhuskers' season is
blemished by just two dual losses to
No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Penn
State, Neumann still isn't sure of the
magnitude of this seasons squad.
But after Saturday and Sunday's
duals, held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
in iowa City. Iowa.
Neumann will
have a pretty good
indication o,f
where the Huskejk
stand on the
national scene.
“The National
Duals are a mid
season gauge to
Neumann see.,w?.ere y°u
are, Neumann
said. “If you do bad, it puts the ham
mer back in the coach's hand to get the
guys to wrestle smarter. If you do
good, then you can reinforce what
you've been doing.”
And what the NU grapplers have
been doing this season is improving,
Neumann said. Ranked as the 21st
team in the nation during preseason,
NU has jumped to No. 10 with a 6-2
With that 11-spot jump in mind,
Neumann and the Nebraska wrestling
team are heading into this weekend's
National Duals looking to match last
year's fifth-place showing in the 16
team tournament.
A finish in the top five would
secure a spot for eighth-seeded
Nebraska at next year's duals. Before
this year, the top eight teams were
automahcally invited back.
“It may seem like a lofty goal,"
Neumann said. “We'll have to beat two
of the top six teams in the country to
do that. But we've already shown we
can stay with some of the top teams in
the nation.”
For Neumann, having NU repre
sented in the “elite" event is important
as Nebraska is the only team that has
participated in every National Duals
meet since it began in 1989.
While Neumann recognizes how
important the duals are for program
strength, he does admit his focus has
changed somewhat concerning the
Please see DUALS on 8
DN file Photo
NU JUNIOR GUARD Brooke Schwartz hopes to help shut down the Kansas attack Saturday as the
Huskers look to end their two-game losing streak. Among the keys for the Huskers: stopping KU for
ward Lynn Pride.
NU looks to end
losing streak,
stop KlPs Pride
By Jay Saunders
«. Staff writer
One would think the cure for the first two-game
losing streak of the season for the Nebraska
women's basketball team would be a game at
After all. the No. 24 Comhuskers (13-4 overall
and 2-2 in the Big 12 Conference) have never lost
at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in two seasons
under Coach Paul Sanderford.
But a look at the schedule reveals Saturday's
opponent. No 23 Kansas, holds a 41-11 overall
advantage in the head-to-head series. KU (13-4 and
3-1) was picked as the team to beat in the Big 12.
“They were the coach's pick and athletically
they are the most talented team in our league."
Sanderford said.
Leading the charge for the Jayhawks is junior
Lytin Pride. Pride was picked as the Big 12 confer
ence's preseason player of the year.
"1 think Lynn Pride is probably the best plac er
in our league," Sanderford said. “She can play
guard, center or forward."
So far this season. Pride has lived up to the pre
season hype. Through 17 games this season. Pride
- is averaging 18.7 points per game, which is double
the next highest scoring average on the KU team.
“She's just so athletic,” senior Cori McDill said.
“She is totally an offensive threat. She runs her
Team and her team feeds off her.”
Both McDill and Sanderford agree Pride is the
key to Kansas' success. McDill will get a chance to
experience that firsthand.
Sanderford said McDill and junior Naciska
Gilmore will draw the main defensive assignments
against the player of the year candidate.
“We have a lot of people on the team that can
guard her,” McDill said.
But because of her 6-foot-2 frame and ability to
play in the post. Sanderford said taller players have
to defend Pride.
“I’d really like to guard her," McDill said.
“She’s a leader and a good player”
Huskers have confidence going into Baylor
By Adam Klinker
Senior staff writer
With one monkey off its back and a Big !2
Conference win under its belt, the Nebraska men's
basketball team hopes to re-establish itself on the road
this weekend.
Saturday afternoon, the Cornhuskers wijl be in
Waco. Texas, for a 3 p.m game with Baylor at the
Ferrell Center, where the Bears are 29-12 over the past
three seasons.
"Baylor s a tough place to play," Nee said. “And
they seem to play there with a lot of confidence.”
But as of late, BU has struggled at home (5-5 in the
last 10 games) and on the season is 6-11, including an
0-4 mark in the Big 12.
Still, Nee knows the perils of being on the road in
the Big 12.
“With road games in the Big 12, we expect a hard
fought game,” Nee said. “But if we can take the
lessons learned against Texas and against K-State and
use them, then we'll have a good chance "
The Buskers' lone conference game on the road
against BU. in 1997, resulted in a 11-60 Bears victory.
NU won last year's contest 66-55 at home and also
beat the Bears in the Big 12'Toumament, 65-46.
Busker guard Cookie Belcher said NU is confi
dent it can continue its winning ways against BU again
this year.
"We expect to win," Belcher said. “We need to
continue on and get nine or 10 wins in the conference."
Down low for BU, senior center Kish Lewis leads
the team in scoring with 15.1 points and 10.1 rebounds
per game.
The 6-foot-7 Lewis will be defending the Buskers'
6-10 Venson Hamilton who is looking for his fifth
consecutive double-double.
Hamilton said his height advantage has been play
ing a role m the successes he has had thus far in con
ference play.
“I'm 6-10,” Hamilton said. “Some of the centers I
play are about 6-8,6-9.1 just shoot right over the top of
Lew is has had to step to the helm for the Bears
after the departure of point guard Tevis Stukes. w'ho
quit the team after an argument w ith BU Coach Ham
Miller. " '
Siukes had been averaging 17.8 ppg.
Though his absence has meant a lack of a tandem
scoring threat for the Bears. Nee said that Stukes' deci
sion to leave misht have been a w atershed moment for
“Stukes wus monopolizmg on shooting the ball -
17, 18, 19 times a game,” Nee said. "I think that was
bothering a lot of his teammates because they seem to
be playing with a lot of purpose and a lot more focus
now' that the balls being distributed more.”
The day after Stukes left, the Bears had a near miss
against Kansas, losing just 66-62 to the then-No. 18
But Belcher says not to expect any such surprises
for the Huskers.
“We have a lot of energy now',” he said. “We’re
playing really hard, and our offensive plays are work
ing a lot better and we’re more patient.”