The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 01, 1999, Page 11, Image 11

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    Energized second half nets Huskers a win
AjjGIES from page 9s_
Conference) came out flat and fell behind by as
many as 12 points. Each time NU would close the
gap, A&M guards Clifton Cook and Chris Clayton
had 3-point shots to answer.
In the first half, the Aggies nailed 7 of 13 shot
attempts from behind the arc. Clayton nailed his
fourth one of the half at the buzzer to give A&M a
38-30 halftime lead.
“When you shoot the ball that well from the 3
point line, you’re going to be in most games,”
Markowski said.
Trailing by 8, NU’s locker room was quiet at
halftime. Then Cookie Belcher spoke up and said,
“Let’s win this one for Andy.”
“In the second half, we came out and played with
more energy,” Markowski said. “When we show up
and play with energy on defense, we seem to play
better on the offensive end and we scored a lot of
points in the second half.”
Fifty-seven this time, to be exact. More points
than it scored the entire games in recent losses to
Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
Several factors led to the resurgent offense, Nee
said. Balanced scoring and fewer turnovers were
In his first start of the season, Troy Piatkowski
went 7-9 from the floor en route to a 17-point per
formance. Larry Florence added 12 points and
Belcher had 11 points and eight assists.
And of course there was Venson Hamilton.
“Again the big fella quietly does his thing with
23 points and nine rebounds, and we basically forgot
about him the last 12 minutes of the game,” Nee said.
As the clock wound down under two minutes,
Hamilton was hoping Nee would forget about him a
little longer. In fact, he yelled at Cary Cochran to
hurry up and throw the ball in before his substitution
could enter the game.
“I wanted to shoot a 3-pointer,” the 6-foot-10
center said with a laugh.
Hamilton didn’t get to shoot his 3-pointer, but it
didn’t matter to the 11,294 fans in the Bob Devaney
Sports Center, who gave him a standing ovation.
It will be the last time NU fans will see Hamilton
By Adam Hunker
Senior staff writer
Whatever second-half bug it was that bit the
Nebraska men’s basketball team against Kansas
State, rest assured it was remedied Saturday against
Texas A&M.
In fact, it may been catching - for what befell die
Comhuskers in their dismal, 17-point second half
against KSU on Feb. 24, spread to the Aggies on
Saturday as NU exploded for 57 second-half points,
and left A&M hacking in a cloud of dust
The Huskers overcame a 38-30 halftime deficit
to win in sterling, season-ending style 87-68.
For the Aggies, it was another disappointment
the team could ill afford.
“I don’t know what came over us,” A&M junior
guard Clifton Cook said. “It must have been that we
just got a littie happy after the first half, got the big
head. But after a while, we didn’t know what hit us.”
Following a first half in which the Aggies were 7
13 (.538) from the 3-point line and shot 39.4 percent
from the field, things pointedly deteriorated into a
dismal second period shooting display.
The Aggies were just 7-27 (.259) from the field
and saw a marked drop in 3-point production with
only five 3s in 16 shots (.313). Cook, who was 2-4
from the arc in the first half, was just 1-7 in die sec
“We’ve been coming out hot a lot, and then we
just lose it,” Cook said. “Shots won’t fall, we turn the
ball over. We’ve got to learn how to handle that, when
bad things happen.”
and the other seniors at home. But Nee is hopeful;
the season still has a few more games.
“Are we in (the NCAA Tournament)?” Nee asks.
“I don’t think we are (right now). Can we play our
Both Cook and senior guard Chris Clayton
ended the game with 21 points to lead A&M. Only 5
of Cook’s points and 9 of Clayton’s points came in
the second half.
Clayton said the difference for him in the second
half was A&M’s lack of focus and overly relaxed
play in the second half.
“It was like we were just standing around,” he
said. “I caught myself standing sometimes. We came
out lax, you can’t afford to do that”
1 Clayton had only five shots from 3-point land in
the second half - he made three of them. A&M
Coach Melvin Watkins credited the Husker defense
for modifying its play accordingly.
“They made the adjustment,” he said. “They
made sure he didn’t get those open looks.”
Yet like his players, Watkins said trying to muster
a clear-cut diagnosis on his team’s play was a puz
zling ordeal.
One thing was for sure, though - NU’s hot streak
didn’t help matters.
While the Aggies suffered, Nebraska only got
hotter, shooting 65.6 percent in the second half (21
32). NU was also finally able to pull out of its four
game 3-point shooting funk by going 7-17 from die
arc (.412) for the game.
“They got hot,” Watkins said. “They hit some
shots and our defense became a little too soft. We
wore down.
“This has kind of been our story all year. I can’t
explain it On the road we have a different mind-set
like, ‘We’re on the road, Coach.’ It messes with us a
whole lot You can’t win when you have that mind
selves in? Absolutely. We have done it before.
“On Monday, it’s March 1. That’s the most
important part of any basketball season for a coach
and team. Our kids are going to be ready to play.”
Aggies come out hot, then go
cold in blowout loss to Huskers
NU women
reach goal
of 8-8 record
ROAD WIN from page 9
For most of the season, Kubik .
was an 80 percent free-throw
shooter, but she struggled in the
last few games. With the game on
the line, though, Kubik hit both
free throws to seal the deal.
“I just got up there and wasn’t
thinking about anything,” Kubik
said. “I just shot them.”
A crowd of 1,730 at
Gallagher-Iba Arena watched the
Cowgirls (12-14 and 4-12) lose
their seventh home conference
“We just can’t get over the
hump,” OSU Coach Dick
Halterman said.
The Husker win, coupled with
an Oklahoma loss, gives
Nebraska the No. 5 seed in the Big
12 Tournament.
The Huskers will play Texas
A&M Tuesday at 2:20 p.m. at the
Municipal Auditorium in Kansas
City, Mo.
Now, with an 8-8 conference
record and a Ratings Percentage
Index ranking of No. 36,
Sanderford said the NCAA tour
nament may be in NU’s future.
But for now, Sanderford said he is
excited about Nebraska winning
in Stillwater for the first time
since 1986.
“I’m just happy to be alive,”
Sanderford said.
NU women narrowly lose
to No. 6 Texas in tennis
From staff reports
The Nebraska women’s tennis
team went south this weekend but
their record is hardly spoiled.
No. 66 NU (6-3 overall, 1-2 Big
12 conference) met two Big 12 teams
in the Lone Star State, picked up its
first Big 12 victory and came within a
point of toppling No. 6 Texas in
The Red Raiders (3-6, Big 12 1 -3)
fell 8-1 to NU on Saturday in
Lubbock, Texas. Their only point
came after the No. 2 doubles team of
Amy Frisch and Gina Pelazini
defaulted after one game.
Singles players No. 2 Katarina
Balan and No. 3 Ndali Ijomah both
picked up their sixth victories of the
season in Lubbock, Balan 6-4, 6-4
and Ijomah 6-4, 0-6, 6-1.
In Austin, Texas, NU picked up
all three doubles points but only one
singles as the Longhorns (5-3, Big 12
5-0) squeezed by the Huskers 5-4.
The win extended Texas’ confer
ence winning streak to 103 games.
No. 6 singles Amy Frisch dropped
Texas’ Jill Liberman 6-3, 6-0. The
win was Frisch’s fifth of the season,
i Nebraska men’s tennis team
received a much colder reception in
the Lone Star State, dropping to No.
10 SMU 6-1 and UT-Arlington 4-3.
Coach Kerry McDermott said he
had hopped to pick up at least one
victory this weekend, and was disap
pointed by the team’s loss in
Lance Mills scored NU’s only
point against SMU, dropping No. 90
Toby Hanson 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 in No. 2
singles action.
New national rankings are due
out in two weeks.
McDermott said he wasn’t sure
how the team, currently No. 66,
would fair when the new rankings
come out.
Meter relay team wins at USAs
By Josh Camenzind
Staff writer
■ The Nebraska track team experi
enced a weekend of competition full
of highs and lows. The men and
women competed well at the Iowa
State Last Chance Qualifier, but not
well enough to gain any automatic
qualifying marks for next weekend’s
NCAA Indoor Championships.
Jessica Thompson won the
women’s high jump and Erin Wibbels
finished third in both the weight
throw and the shot put. Outstanding
performances for the men included [
wins by Joe Erdkamp in the weight
throw and Sheldon Hutchinson in the
triple jump.
While most of the Cornhuskers I
were competing in Ames, Iowa, sev
eral others were in Atlanta at the US A
Indoor Championships. The women’s
4x400 meter relay team finished first
with a time of 3:36.29. Their time in
the event was fast enough for an auto
matic NCAA mark. Shane Lavy fin- I
ished fourth in the high jump clearing
the bar at 7 foot, 3 inches. Dahlia I
Ingram finished ninth in the long I
jump with a mark of 19-9.
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