Young Huskers ready for tough schedule

Story by Dominique Kelley, NewsNetNebraska

After two wins in exhibition play, the Nebraska women’s basketball team faces a tough schedule in its inaugural Big Ten season.

Jordan Hooper scored 28 points to lead the Nebraska women’s basketball team to a 85-55 victory over Nebraska-Kearney at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Sunday.

Redshirt freshman Rebecca Woodberry said the schedule should help prepare the team for what’s ahead. “I feel like the schedule will be a great challenge for such a young and inexperienced team,” Woodberry said. “It will also prepare us for the competition we will soon be facing in the Big Ten.”

Nebraska, which includes All Big 12 players in Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper, has six freshman on a 12-member team.

The young Huskers will open regular season play Nov. 12, taking on Arkansas Pine Bluff at Devaney.

USC, Creighton and ACC powers Georgia Tech and Florida State also headline the Huskers non-conference play before they head into their first action against Big Ten teams.

The No. 23 women of Troy are coming off a 24-13 season in 2010-11. USC advanced to the postseason WNIT championship game and are led by the former NBA standout Michael Cooper. The Trojans also return four starters including Jackie Gemelos and Briana Gilbreath.

After Thanksgiving, the Huskers will battle back-to-back road games against FSU and Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Both teams were top-25 RPI teams that represented the ACC in the 2011 NCAA tournament.

“Those two games on the road are going to be really challenging for our young players,” said Connie Yori, Nebraska women’s basketball coach. “They are going to have experience and the home court on their side.”

Nebraska will return home on Dec. 8 for its in-state showdown with Creighton. The Bluejays, who made it to the WNIT, are coming off an 18-13 season.

The Huskers will open Big Ten play against Penn State on Dec. 30.