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Sports News

Nebraska’s Luis Alvarado earned preseason All-America honors for the second time in 2018 when he garnered third-team status from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Monday.

Alvarado, a senior from Puerto Rico, previously received second-team preseason All-America recognition from Collegiate Baseball on Dec. 18. He made the NCBWA third team as a utility player.

Alvarado, a 13th-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, elected to return for his senior season after his success on the mound and at the plate in 2017 helped NU capture the Big Ten regular-season crown. He earned 10 saves in 16 relief appearances as a junior, which tied for the seventh-most single-season saves in program history. Alvarado compiled a 1.72 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 15.2 innings of work in 2017.

At the plate, Alvarado made 57 starts in the outfield in 2017 and hit .283 with 64 hits, 39 runs scored, 12 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 25 RBIs. Over his first three years at Nebraska, Alvarado has a .275 batting average with 136 hits, 23 doubles, five home runs, 50 RBIs and 78 runs scored in 145 appearances.





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Nebraska fans can secure their tickets for the Red-White Spring Game presented by First National Bank beginning next week. The spring game will be played on Saturday, April 21 at Memorial Stadium, with kickoff set for 11 a.m., marking the public debut of Head Coach Scott Frost’s 2018 Huskers.

Tickets will be available to the general public on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. Nebraska football season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase spring game tickets with a 24-hour exclusive window beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. In addition, individuals who are on the 2018 Season Ticket Request list can purchase spring game tickets beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The first opportunity to purchase spring game tickets is one of the many benefits offered to season ticket holders. Nebraska fans may purchase tickets on-line at Huskers.com, by phone at 1-800-8-BIG RED or in person at the Nebraska Athletics Development and Ticketing office, located in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage (8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays).

All individuals entering Memorial Stadium for the spring game will need a ticket. The majority of tickets are $10 and all seats are reserved. A limited number of $20 club seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early as demand for the spring game is expected to be at an all-time high. For each of the past several years, more than 20,000 tickets were sold on the first day of sales, and Nebraska has drawn more than 54,000 fans for every Red-White game since 2004.

Nebraska will again conduct the Drug Free Pledge at this year’s game, and for the third year youth taking the pledge will do so from their seats. Youth eighth grade or younger taking the Drug Free Pledge will be admitted for free, but must secure a complimentary ticket.

UNL students will be admitted for free, but must secure a ticket for admittance. UNL faculty and staff can purchase a reserved ticket for $5 with a staff ID.

2018 Red-White Spring Game presented by First National Bank Date: Saturday, April 21
Kickoff: 11 a.m.
Tickets on Sale: Feb. 6, 10 a.m., Football Season Ticket Holders; Feb. 6, 2:30 p.m., 2018 Season Ticket Request List Members; Feb. 7, 10 a.m., General Public
Ticket Prices: $20 club seats (limited availability); $10 reserved tickets * UNL Faculty & Staff, $5 (Tickets should be purchased in person at Nebraska Athletics Development and Ticketing or over the phone to receive discount, must show staff ID at gate on game day); * Current UNL Students, Free (must secure a ticket via Huskers.com beginning on Feb. 6 at 10 a.m.)
Drug Free Pledge: Youth 8th grade and younger are encouraged to take Drug Free Pledge; Free admittance, but must have ticket (Fans can secure youth tickets when buying a regular ticket; limit of two complimentary youth tickets for each regular ticket purchased; Requests for more than two tickets per adult ticket must be made over the phone or in person at Nebraska Athletics Development and Ticketing before game day)
Radio/Internet: Husker Sports Network/Huskers.com





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After its longest break of the season, the Nebraska basketball team returns to action Tuesday evening, as the Huskers face the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Tipoff from Williams Arena is set for 8 p.m. and the tilt between the Huskers and Badgers will be televised nationally on BTN with Cory Provus and Stephen Bardo on the call. The game is available on BTN.com, BTN2Go and the Fox Sports Go app.

Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and on the TuneIn Radio app. The radio broadcast begins one hour prior to tipoff.

Nebraska (17-8, 8-4 Big Ten) has been off since completing a stretch of four games in eight days with a 74-63 win at Wisconsin on Jan. 29. In that game, the Huskers overcame an 11-point deficit in the final 10 minutes by outscoring the Badgers, 30-8, en route to picking up their first win in Madison since 1990.

James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr. combined for 45 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. Palmer had 21 of his game-high 28 points in the second half and matched his career high with eight rebounds, while Copeland tallied 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, five boards and two steals. Glynn Watson Jr. added 15 points and five assists, as the trio outscored Wisconsin, 40-31, in the second half.
The win kept the Huskers in contention for a top-four spot in the Big Ten heading into the final three weeks of the season. With an 8-4 mark, NU is tied with Michigan for fourth place with six games to go. Nebraska's conference record is its best after 12 games since 1999.

Since the overtime loss at Penn State, the Huskers have won five of their last six, as Palmer has played at an All-Big Ten level. The 6-foot-6 junior is averaging 25.2 points per game in that span, shooting 51 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line while also chipping in 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

The Huskers will be seeking their first win in Williams Arena in 15 years Tuesday night against the Golden Gophers (14-11, 3-9 Big Ten). Minnesota, which was ranked as high as 12th in the country in December, has struggled of late, losing eight of its last nine games since a 13-3 start. The Golden Gophers pushed No. 24 Michigan to overtime before falling 76-73 in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

OPENING NUMBER
5.3 - Glynn Watson's assist-to-turnover ratio over Nebraska's last five games. He is ninth in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio with a career-best 2.3-to-1 ratio.

NUMBERS TO KNOW
1.21 - Nebraska's assist-to-turnover ratio which is on pace to be its best in nearly 20 years. In fact, the last time Nebraska had more assists than turnovers was in 2009-10.

21.4 - Scoring average for James Palmer Jr. during January, as he scored 18 or more points in nine of 10 games last month.

28 - Points Glynn Watson Jr. needs to become the 29th Husker to reach 1,000 career points.

70 - Nebraska is 13-2 when scoring 70 or more points and 4-6 when held to under 70 points. Nebraska's only two losses when scoring 70+ points was a one-point loss to Kansas and a two-point OT loss at Penn State.

139 - Nebraska's 139 blocked shots ranks ninth in school history and is the most since the 1999-2000 season, when NU also had 141 blocked shots.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA
Under Richard Pitino, the Gophers are 14-11 on the season and looking to snap a five-game losing streak. The Gophers are a different team than the one that came to Lincoln in December, as Amir Coffey (14.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg) has played twice in the last nine games because of a shoulder injury while Reggie Lynch (10.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.1 bpg) was suspended on Jan. 5 and has missed the last nine games. Prior to that, Minnesota was 13-3 and 2-1 in the Big Ten, but has won just once since then.

Junior forward Jordan Murphy is putting together an All-America caliber season, as he is among the Big Ten leaders in both scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.7 rpg), while All Big Ten guard Nate Mason is averaging 15.7 points and 4.3 assists per game and has hit a team-high 58 3-pointers. Against Michigan, Mason had 22 points, while freshman Isaiah Washington had 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting and six rebounds.

SERIES HISTORY
Nebraska and Minnesota will meet for the 75th time on Tuesday, which is the most between the Huskers and any other Big Ten member. It is NU’s longest-running series in the Big Ten, as it dates back to February of 1902. The Gophers lead the all-time series, 54-20, while the Huskers have won five of the past seven meetings. The home team has won the last nine meetings dating back to 2012. Nebraska is 5-5 against the Golden Gophers as Big Ten members.

Prior to joining the Big Ten, NU and Minnesota met in non-conference action every year from 1995 until 2004 after not playing for 16 years.

LAST MEETING VS. MINNESOTA
Behind a season-high 29 points from Glynn Watson Jr., Nebraska topped No. 14 Minnesota, 78-68, on Dec. 5. Watson hit 9-of-17 shots from the floor and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, to pace three Huskers in double figures. The nine rebounds topped his previous best of six and played a major role in Nebraska out-rebounding the Golden Gophers, 42-38.

Nebraska (7-3, 1-1 Big Ten) held Minnesota to season lows in points and field goal percentage (32.4), holding the Big Ten’s highest scoring attack to 20 points below its season average.

Watson scored seven straight points for the Huskers in a 7-1 spurt in the opening four minutes of the second half, stretching what was a 39-31 halftime lead to 14 and force a Minnesota timeout.

Minnesota (8-2, 1-1 Big Ten) closed a 17-point deficit to eight on two occasions, the last being 74-55 with 47 seconds left, but Isaac Copeland and Watson went 4-of-6 from the line in the final minute to hold the Gophers at bay.
Copeland finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while James Palmer Jr. added 11 markers and four assists. NU’s biggest work was on the defensive end, where the Huskers blocked nine shots, including three by Duby Okeke and forced 13 Golden Gopher turnovers.

Nate Mason had 20 points to pace Minnesota, but Nebraska limited Jordan Murphy to 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and 10 boards as he totaled his 10th straight double-double.

LAST TIME OUT
The Nebraska basketball team erased an 11-point second-half deficit, outscoring Wisconsin 30-8 over the final 10 minutes to rally for a 74-63 victory over the Badgers at the Kohl Center on Jan. 29.

The Huskers had trailed for much of the night and faced their largest deficit at 55-44 midway through the second half. Playing a fourth game in eight days, Nebraska dug deep and used a pair of 8-0 spurts to end the game on a 30-8 run and claim their first Big Ten victory at the Kohl Center.

James Palmer Jr. continued his impressive play, finishing with a game-high 28 points, his fourth 20-point effort in the last six games. Palmer scored 21 of his points in the second half, hitting 6-of-11 shots from the field in the final 20 minutes and 8-of-9 from the line. Isaac Copeland added 17 points and Glynn Watson Jr. chipped in 15 points and five assists.

The Huskers shot 41.1 percent from the field on the game and were just 4-of-19 from 3-point range. But Nebraska went 24-of-28 at the free-throw line, including 20-of-23 in the second half and 14-of-16 down the stretch.
Ethan Happ posted a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Badgers, but the Huskers held Happ to seven points on 2-of-8 shooting in the second half after Happ erupted for 18 first-half points.

ABOUT NEBRASKA
*-Tuesday's game is the final game of a five-game stretch where the Huskers have played four of five on the road dating back to Jan. 22. The good news for the Huskers is that four of their final five games are at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

*-Nebraska will be looking for its fourth Big Ten road win, which would mark NU's highest conference win total since going 4-4 in the Big 12 in 1998-99. NU is looking for its third straight Big Ten road win, which would be the first time that happened since 2016 (at Rutgers, at Illinois, at Michigan State).

*-NU comes into Tuesday's game with a 17-8 record, eclipsing its best 24-game start in the Big Ten era. The 17-8 mark matches the Huskers' best 25-game mark in over 20 years, as NU was 17-8 after 25 games on two other occasions (2010-11, 1998-99) in that span. The last time NU had a better 25-game mark came in the 1991-92 season when NU went 18-7 after 25 games.

*-With a win on Tuesday, Nebraska will guarantee at least a .500 conference mark for the second time in the Big Ten era and just the third time since 2000 (2013-14 and 2008-09).

*-Of Nebraska's five losses dating back to Dec. 9, NU lost twice in the last 30 seconds (vs. No. 13 Kansas, at PSU) and had two others where NU was within a point in the last four minutes (at Creighton, at No. 13 OSU).

*-James Palmer Jr. enjoyed one of the most prolific scoring performances in school history at No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 22 with his 34-point effort against the Buckeyes. It marked the second-highest scoring effort in a road game in school history and the most on the road by a Husker since 2006.

*-Palmer is averaging 20.0 points per game in Big Ten play, and is on track to be the first Husker to average at least 20 points per game in conference play since current Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue averaged 21.8 points per game in 1997-98.

*-Palmer has shown the ability to get to the foul line, as he leads the Big Ten with 168 attempts through Sunday's games. Minnesota's Jordan Murphy is second with 160 attempts.

*-Nebraska's 98 points against Iowa marked the Huskers' highest total in a conference game since scoring 99 against Kansas State on Feb. 9, 2002. The Huskers' previous Big Ten era high was 93 points in a double overtime win over Iowa on Jan. 5, 2017.

*-Nebraska's defense has been its calling card in Big Ten action. The Huskers are third in field goal defense (.399) and held 10 of their last 11 opponents under 45 percent. In 10 games last month, NU held opponents to a combined 40.1 percent shooting.

*-The Huskers are averaging 73.3 points per game and is on track for one of the best offensive seasons in recent years. NU's 73.3 points per game marks only the sixth time in the last 22 years that NU has averaged at least 73.0 points per game through the first 23 games. The Huskers are 12-2 this year when scoring at least 70 points, including seven games of at least 80 points (7-0).

*-Nebraska's biggest offensive strength has been a balanced attack with three players averaging double figures, led by James Palmer Jr., who averages a team-high 17.6 points per game to lead all Big Ten newcomers in scoring. Palmer is currently on track to enjoy one of the top first-year seasons in school history, as the top three first-year scorers have been in Tim Miles' six seasons at Nebraska.

*-Nebraska relies on a pair of transfers in James Palmer Jr. (Miami) and Isaac Copeland (Georgetown), as the duo combines for more than 30 points per game. In all, 48.6 percent of the Huskers' offense this year has been by players in their first year in the program. Palmer has reached double figures 23 times, including a season-high 34 points at No. 13 Ohio State on Jan. 22, and is third in assists (2.6 apg). Copeland leads the Huskers in rebounding at 6.4 per game and is second in both scoring (13.2, second) and blocked shots (30, second). He has a team-high two double-doubles, including a 23-point, 11-rebound effort against Iowa on Jan. 27 and a 20-point, 11-rebound performance at Creighton on Dec. 9.

*-Junior Glynn Watson Jr. is in his third season guiding the Husker offense and is among NU's leaders in both scoring (11.0 ppg, third), assists (3.2, first) and steals (1.5, first). The 6-foot guard will make his team-high 71st career start on Tuesday and has a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. Watson is just 28 points from 1,000 for his career and is nine steals away from 10th place on Husker career charts.

*-Nebraska's 11-point deficit at Wisconsin was its largest comeback of the season (previous high was seven at Northwestern on Jan. 2) and the seventh time under Tim Miles that Nebraska has overcome a 10-point deficit. Over the past two years, NU has won three road games while overcoming a double-digit deficit, matching NU's total from the previous 20 years.





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The McCook Community College Lady Indians trailed by 10 points in the final six minutes of Saturdays game with Lamar Community College. Numerous times this season MCC has overcome late leads, but without much success. On Saturday the Lady Indians found a way to win, 87-82.

“It was just great to see results for this group of players and it really was a great team win,” MCC Coach Kellen Fernetti said, who believes he may have come up with a way to start getting wins in close games.

MCC led by four points after the first quarter, but trailed at halftime 42-35. The Lady Indians cut the gap to 62-60 after three quarters but slumped offensively as the Runnin’ Lopes took a 10-point lead with 5:55 left to play.

A Colby Cox 3-pointer cut the margin to 76-71. Three minutes later an Aliyah Foote drive to the lane with 2:19 left also put her on the free-throw line to tie the game at 76-76. Her 3-pointer with 1:25 left to play gave MCC an 80-78 lead. Sophomore Gabby Enloe went four-for-four from the line in the final minute and MCC was able to “find a way to win.”

Anyone who’s ever watched Coach Fernetti sprint up and down the bench area during games would not be surprised to learn about his pre-game routine Saturday.

“I was jumping rope and watching St. John’s upset Duke,” Fernetti said. “And St. John’s has experienced some of the same frustrations as we have this year – close but very little to show for it. St. John’s coach told his kids to just ‘find a way to win.’”

So that was the pre-game message. It was the half-time message. It was repeated several times throughout the course of Saturday’s game.

“They did it, and I’m happy for them they deserved it,” Fernetti said.

Freshman Sam Hinkle (Rifle, Colo.) scored a game-high 24 points to go along with five rebounds. Freshman Aliyah Foote (Lawrenceviille, Ga.) had 21 points. Freshman Brook Jamison (Hyannis) had 10 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Anna Sanjuan (Reus Spain) had five points and seven rebounds.

Sophomores Colby Cox (Wauneta-Palisade) had nine points and Gabby Enloe (Colorado Springs) had seven points and a team-high nine rebounds

“Sam Hinkle had a huge weekend for us, she’s really coming on strong, Aliyah Foot came up with some huge shots and, Juliana Rosado came in and made big plays off the bench,” Fernetti said.

Six different MCC players made 3-point shots in Saturday’s win. Foote made four of seven, Hinkle two of three, Rosado two of four, and Jamison, Sanjuan and Cox each made one.

“Making shots is something we’ve been working really hard on at practice and it was fun to us start making jumpers,” Fernetti said.

After making 35.1 percent of its shots in the first half, MCC heated up with 55.6 percent in the second half including making seven of 13 shots from distance (53.8 percent).

“Offensively we’ve been fairly consistent lately and our offensive rebounding was key for us, plus we were able to turn them over a lot,” Fernetti said.

MCC won the rebounding edge 45-42 and forced 21 turnovers while committing 17.

MCC improves to 5-19 and hit the road for three games before returning home Feb. 20-24 for the final three games of the season.

The Lady Indians travel to Columbus Saturday to play Central Community College; on to Beatrice Sunday to play Southeast Community College; and a Feb. 16 game at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo.

MCC completes the schedule at home against North Platte Feb. 20 (5:30 p.m.); on Feb. 23 against Western Nebraska (5:30 p.m.); and against Eastern Wyoming Feb. 24 (2 p.m.)





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An inconsistent effort on the offensive end once again doomed the McCook Community College men Saturday in a 72-67 loss to Lamar Community College.

The Indians shot just 33 percent from the floor in the first period of Friday’s 12-point lost to Otero and fared even worse with a 32.4 shooting half on Saturday.

Assistant Coach Brandon Pritchett said the weekend games were an example of a team not being able to bring consistency to the offensive end.

“Both games this weekend were a game of teams going on runs, and for us not being able to put together consecutive scoring possessions,” Pritchett said. “When we figure out how to do that we can be a dangerous team.”

Thanks to some energy from the MCC bench, the Indians were able to overcome the lack of first-half offense with some defensive stops.

“As far as positives I thought we did a good job on the offensive boards and in the first half brought in a second group of guys that were able to come up with some stops on the defensive end and swing momentum our way,” Pritchett said.

MCC lead 30-29 at the half and extended the lead to five points 2:37 into the second half but the offensive stalled and the Runnin’ Lopes took and eight-point lead at the 10:38mark.

“Lamar did a nice job out on transition,” Pritchett said.

MCC applied the pressure and tied the game at 50-50 at the 9:25 mark, at 62-62 with 4:01 left in the game and at 64-64 with 3:14 remaining.

“There were times in the second half we ran the offense, got some movement and that gave us a chance for some open 3’s, and we did a better job taking advantage of those opportunities in the second half,” Pritchett said.

After making just two of seven 3’s in the first half MCC heated up from distance in the second half making six of 16 shots (37.5 percent).

Lamar missed five free throws in the final 1:44 of play to keep giving MCC chances. A D’Von Moore 3-pointer with 1:14 left cut the MCC deficit to 68-67 but the Indians were unable to take advantage on the offensive end.

“Our goal is for us to reach the paint each possession and when we consistently do that we can be successful,” Pritchett said.

MCC finished the game making 25 of 76 shots (32.9 percent)

Peanut Cunningham (Louisville, Kent,) had 13 points. Isaiah Richardson (Queensland, Australia) came off the bench to score13, including three of seven from 3-point range. Moore (Statesboro, Ga.) had 12 points and made three of seven 3-point shots. Kafani Williams (Pembroke, N.H.) came off the bench to score 11 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Chinedu Okonkwo (Nigeria) had eight points and five rebounds.

MCC was out-rebounded on the night 46-37.

The Indians are 15-8 on the season now hit the road for four straight games before returning to the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center to close out the season with three games Feb. 20-24.

MCC travels to Goodland Wednesday to play Northwest Kansas Tech, followed by road games at Central Community College Saturday in Columbus and Sunday against Southeast Community College at Beatrice.

Following a Feb 16 game at Northeast Community College in Sterling, MCC plays at home Feb. 20 against North Platte, Feb. 23 against Western Nebraska and Feb. 24 against Eastern Wyoming.





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The Otero Junior College women came out blazing from the 3-point line and the MCC Women were unable to respond, never led, and fell Friday night in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center, 73-63.

The Rattlers made six of 14 first-half shots from the line, raced out to a 23-14 first-quarter lead and 40-30 at the half.

As has happened often this season, the Lady Indians made a late run, cutting the margin to 67-61 with a pair of Colby Cox (Hayes Center) free-throws with 1:48 remaining in the game, but Otero’s Kalani Poloa responded by going six-for-six from the line and held of the Lady Indians.

Freshman Sam Hinkle (Rifle, Colo.,) poured in 22 points in the second half and a game-high 27, including making two of her three shots from the 3-point line and nine of 12 from the free-throw line. She also grabbed seven rebounds.

Aliyah Foote (Lawrenceville, Ga.) was the only other player in double figures with 10 points. Cox ended up with nine.

Sophomore Gabby Enloe led MCC with 11 rebounds on the night.

MCC out-rebounded Otero 38-34.

Grace O’Neil had 24 points for the Rattlers along with 16 rebounds. Laura Prado Morales had 17 and, Paloa had 17 points.

OJC improves to 8-13 with the win.

MCC falls to 4-19 and look to snap a four-game losing streak Saturday against Lamar at 2 p.m. in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center.

The McCook Community College Indians Booster Club is sponsoring free popcorn in appreciation of all the faithful MCC fans.





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The McCook Community College men managed just 21-first half points Friday night, trailed by 16, and lost at home to Otero Junior College 75-63.

“It’s just really tough to win when you spot a team like Otero 16 points,” said MCC Assistant Coach Brandon Pritchett.

The win gives Otero 18-3 record and a 7-2 mark in the South Sub-Region.

“It is nice to have a team with guys that do fight back but it’s hard to do when you just struggle like we did to make shots,” Pritchett said.

The Indians made just nine of 27 shots in the first half (33.3 percent) and just one of seven free throws. The Rattlers connected on 15 of 30 shots in the first half and finished the game with a 46.9 clip.

MCC picked it up on both ends of the court in the second half and cut the one-time 17-point lead to six points at 51-45 at the 9:47 mark. The Indians whittled away cutting the deficit to three a couple times after hitting the offensive boards hard. With 3:11 left to play, Chinedu Okonkwo drove down the lane to make it a 60-59 game.

“We definitely had our chances in the second half, and give our guys credit for battling back, but we miss a layup that would have given us the lead, then couldn’t get a defensive stop and couldn’t take advantage at the line,” Pritchett said.

Otero made 26 free throws on 38 attempts (68.4 percent) while MCC made 15 of 28 (53.6 percent).

Peanut Cunningham (Louisville, Kent) led MCC with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds. Okonkwo had 17 points and seven rebounds. D’Von Moore (Statesboro, Ga.) had 12 points. Andrew Epps II (Lafayette, La.) added four points and five rebounds.

MCC was out-rebounded on the night 49-30.

The Indians are 15-7 on the season and host Lamar Community College at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center on “Free Popcorn Night” sponsored by the MCC Indian Booster Club.





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NORTH PLATTE – The McCook Community College Lady Indians fought back from a seven-point deficit, gained the lead in the final 4:11, but lost on the road Wednesday to North Platte 76-74.

 

MCC fought back from a seven-point deficit with 9:12 left to play.

 

Freshman Aliyah Foote (Lawrenceville, Ga.) who’d been leading MCC in scoring with 13.6 per game was held to just two points through the first 32 minutes. Her second of three 3-pointers in a two-minute span put the Lady Indians up 63-39 at the 6:30 mark and her third at the 5:55 mark gave MCC a 66-61 lead.

 

The Lady Indians led 69-68 with 4:12 left to play in a game that was tied 10 times and had seven lead changes.

 

Foote finished with 11 points. Freshmen Sam Hinkle (Rifle, Colo) scored a team-high 19 points, Brook Jamison (Hyannis) had seven points and 10 rebounds; Grace Wellman (Charlotte, N.C.) had eight points and six rebounds, and Anna Sanjuan (Reus, Spain) had eight points.

 

Sophomore Gabby Enloe (Colorado Springs) had eight points and led MCC with 11 rebounds. Colby Cox (Wauneta-Palisade) had 10 points.

 

After shooting just 27.8 percent from the field in the first half, NCC picked it up with a 47.1 percent pace in the second half.

 

MCC had 23 offensive rebounds and 56 for the game. The Lady Knights had 25 offensive boards and 54 for the game. The Lady Indians turned the ball over 14 times compared to eight for North Platte.

 

North Platte is now 2-14 on the year and 1-2 in the Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference.

 

MCC falls to 4-18 and 1-2 in the NCCAC.

 

The Lady Indians return to the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center this weekend. MCC faces Otero Junior College Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Lamar Community College Saturday at 4 p.m.





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NORTH PLATTE. -- The McCook Community College men picked up their 15th win of the season Wednesday night in North Platte, 76-67.

The Knights led 27-21 with just under six minutes left in the half. An Andrew Epps II (Lafayette, La.) 3-pointer cut the gap to three. Then D’Von Moore (Statesboro, Ga.) hit a couple 3-pointers in the final 2:23 to fuel a strong MCC finish inside, with baskets from Chinedu Okwonkwo (Nigera) with 1:16 left in the half to give the Indians a two-point lead, and a Chuol Biel basket with 26 seconds left gave MCC a 36-32 lead at the half.

North Platte battled back to take the lead 47-46 at the 11:54 mark of the second half and stretched the lead to seven with 8:03 left to play but Moore took over the game with a 3-pointer at 6:46 to cut the gap to 57-54, then scored MCC’s next seven points including a 3-pointer with 3:31 left to play to put MCC up 66-58 at the 2:53 mark. The Indians hit free throws down the stretch to ice the win. MCC made eight of 10 in the second half and nine of 11 for the game (81.8 percent).

Moore had a game-high 28 points on a five-for-10 night from the 3-point line. Chinedu Okonkwo had 18 points and a team-high six rebounds (four on the offensive end).

Kairee Forte (Concord, N.H.) came off the bench to score 13 points and Shevelle Bailey (Titusville, Fla.) contributed six points and four rebounds.

MCC shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half, 41.2 percent in the second half and 47.5 percent overall and fared a little better from the 3-point connecting on nine of 14 shots from distance (64.3 percent).

MCC held the rebound edge 34-29, committed 11 turnovers to 16 for the Knights.

North Platte was led in scoring by Aaron Ridley with 18, Godfrey Rolle with 16, and Trajan Harris with 14. Jakub Karwowski led the Knights with eight rebounds.

MCC improves to 15-6 on the season and 5-5 in the South Sub-Region which puts them in a tie with North Platte, which falls to 9-9 on the year.

The Indians return home for weekend games with Otero Junior College at 7:30 p.m. Friday and against Lamar Community College Saturday at 4 p.m.






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Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

Thursday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. (CT)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network
Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst)
Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AM
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Huskers Fight for Season Sweep of Illini
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team shoots for its second sweep of a Big Ten season series when the Huskers take on Illinois Thursday night in Lincoln. Tip-off between the Huskers (16-6, 7-2 Big Ten) and the Fighting Illini (9-14, 0-9 Big Ten) is set for 7 p.m. (CT) at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

  • A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch teaming up for their 17th season together on the call. The game will be carried for free on Huskers.com and over the air on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App and the TuneIn App.
  • A live video stream will be provided to BTN Plus subscribers as a BTN Student U production.
  • The Huskers defeated Illinois, 80-72, at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Jan. 10. Hannah Whitish led Nebraska with 20 points on a career-high six three-pointers, as the Huskers hit a season-high 12 threes against the Illini.
  • Nebraska’s 7-2 record matches its best nine-game conference start since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12. That Husker team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament, opened with an 8-2 record and finished 10-6.
  • Five of Nebraska’s seven Big Ten wins have come against NCAA RPI Top 50 teams (through games Jan. 27), including at Rutgers (17), Iowa (27, twice), at Minnesota (47) and Purdue (49). NU’s only conference losses have come to RPI No. 6 Ohio State and RPI No. 22 Michigan in overtime.
  • Nebraska entered the week at No. 47 in the official NCAA RPI, its first top-50 appearance of the year.
  • Nebraska, which is a perfect 8-0 in true road games this season including 5-0 in the Big Ten, is coming off its most impressive performance of the season in a 92-74 victory at Iowa on Sunday.
  • Nebraska is one of only six NCAA Division I teams in the nation that is unbeaten in true road games this year joining Mercer (11-0), UConn (9-0), Louisville (9-0), Georgia (8-0), Mississippi State (5-0).
  • Nebraska is one of only two teams nationally (through games Jan. 28) that owns a plus-nine or better improvement in the win column over 2016-17. The team that has shown the most improvement is Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are plus-11 in the win column at 17-6 (6-24, 2016-17).
  • Compared to last season, Nebraska is 8.4 points per game better offensively (71.2-62.8 ppg) and 12.5 points per game better defensively (63.8-76.3 ppg).
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers (16-6, 7-2 Big Ten)
    24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 11.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg
    31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
    3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg
    5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg
    34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg
    Off the Bench
    33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Fr. - G - 10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
    12 - Emily Wood - 5-5 - Sr. - G - 4.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
    13 - Janay Morton - 5-10 - Sr. - G - 3.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg
    15 - Bria Stallworth - 5-6 - So. - G - 3.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg
    14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - So. - F - 2.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
    43 - Rachel Blackburn - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg
    50 - Darrien Washington - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 1.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg
    Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
    Second Season at Nebraska (23-28)
    11th Season Overall (216-137)

    Illinois Fighting Illini (9-14, 0-9 Big Ten)
    35 - Alex Wittinger - 6-1 - Jr. - F - 14.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg
    50 - Ali Andrews - 6-2 - So. - F - 7.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg
    1 - Brandi Beasley - 5-7 - So. - G - 12.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg
    5 - Cierra Rice - 5-9 - So. - G - 5.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
    30 - Courtney Joens - 5-10 - So. - G - 3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg
    Off the Bench
    13 - Petra Holesinska - 5-9 - So. - G - 7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg
    25 - Kennedy Cattenhead - 5-10 - RSr. - G - 5.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg
    3 - Alli Ball - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 2.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg
    23 - Jaelyne Kirkpatrick - 5-7 - Jr. - G - 3.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg
    24 - Jnaya Walker - 6-1 - Fr. - F - 1.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg
    2 - Lyric Robins - 5-11 - Fr. - F - 2.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg
    14 - Addaya Moore - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 1.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg
    11 - Cydnee Kinslow - 6-2 - So. - F - 0.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg
    Head Coach: Nancy Fahey (Wisconsin, 1981)
    First Season at Illinois (9-14)
    31st Season Overall (746-147)

    Scouting the Illinois Fighting Illini
    • Coach Nancy Fahey is in her first year leading the Fighting Illini but her 31st season as a head coach. Fahey, who came to Illinois from Washington University in St. Louis, has won 746 games as a head coach, including a 9-14 mark with Illinois this season. • Illinois already has matched its season win total from a year ago when the Illini finished 9-22, including 3-13 in the Big Ten, but Illinois is still looking for its first Big Ten win this season.

  • Junior forward Alex Wittinger leads Illinois by averaging 14.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Wittinger also ranks third in the Big Ten with 64 blocked shots. Wittinger had 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in Nebraska’s 80-72 win over Illinois in Champaign on Jan. 10. She produced a triple-double at Penn State (Jan. 23) with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks in a loss.
  • Wittinger, a three-year starter, is the lone junior in a starting five that features four sophomores, including returning starting point guard Brandi Beasley. The 5-7 sophomore is averaging 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and team highs of 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Beasley had a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists in the first meeting this season in Champaign. It was her second double-double against the Huskers in her career, joining 17 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in the Illini’s 2017 regular-season win over the Big Red in Champiaign on Jan. 15, 2017.
  • Sophomore forward Ali Andrews has added 7.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Last season, the 6-2 Andrews scored a game-high 24 points while hitting 6-of-10 threes in the Illini’s Big Ten Tournament win over Nebraska. Andrews managed 13 points on 3-of-6 three-point shooting against Nebraska in the first meeting this season. She leads the Illini with 29 threes (.392) this season.
  • Sophomore guard Cierra Rice has made eight Big Ten starts, averaging 6.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in conference play. She had five points and three rebounds in 18 minutes in this season’s first meeting with Nebraska. Rice came off the bench in non-conference play behind junior guard Jaelyne Kirkpatrick, but Kirkpatrick was injured at the start of Big Ten play
  • Kirkpatrick, a 5-7 junior guard, has averaged 2.0 points in 12.7 minutes per game since returning to action three games ago for the Illini.
  • Courtney Joens (3.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg) has assumed a part-time starting role for Illinois in Big Ten play, averaging 5.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in league play as primarily a three-point specialist. Joens came off the bench to score 13 points on 3-of-5 three-point shooting in the first meeting this season with NU.
  • Sophomore Petra Holesinska, a 5-9 guard from the Czech Republic, led the Illini with 19 points in last year’s regular-season win over the Huskers. Holesinska hit a pair of threes while going 7-for-11 from the field. She added six rebounds and three assists. She was even better in the Big Ten Tournament, scoring 21 points, including 9-of-12 free throws, while adding four assists. In this season’s first meeting, Holesinska scored just two points and did not hit a field goal. She is averaging 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds this season in Big Ten play after getting 18 points off the bench in a loss to Wisconsin (Jan. 28).
  • Fifth-year senior Kennedy Cattenhead was also a regular starter in non-conference play for the Illini. She has averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds, but the 5-10 guard has a turnover-to-assist ratio of 2.7-to-1 (30-11) on the season. She had four points in six minutes in the first meeting with Nebraska this season.
  • Alli Ball (2.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and Jnaya Walker (1.6 ppg, 1.1 rpg) have also been regular contributors in the Illini playing rotation.
  • Illinois is averaging just 57.9 points per game in the Big Ten, while allowing a whopping 78.3 points per contest. The Illini have a minus-8.0 team rebound margin and a minus-4.1 team turnover margin in conference play, while shooting just 36.4 percent from the field, including 31.5 percent from three-point range. Big Ten opponents are hitting 43.3 percent from three-point range against Illinois.
  • Nebraska vs. Illinois Series History
    • Nebraska owns an 11-5 edge in the all-time series with Illinois, including an 80-72 victory over the Fighting Illini in Champaign on Jan. 10, 2018. Hannah Whitish led four Huskers in double figures with 20 points and a career-high six three-pointers. Maddie Simon added 11 points and Janay Morton contributed a season-high 10 points. Kate Cain pitched in 10 points and four rebounds, while Jasmine Cincore added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Big Red.

  • The Fighting Illini swept a pair of games against the Huskers last season, including a 79-59 win over NU at the State Farm Center on Jan. 15, 2017. The Illini also eliminated Nebraska from the Big Ten Tournament, 79-70, at Bankers Life Fieldhosue in Indianapolis on March 1.
  • Last year’s regular-season loss to Illinois snapped Nebraska’s six-game winning streak in the series. It also ended a four-game road winning streak for the Huskers in Champaign and a stretch of five straight wins away from home for the Huskers against Illinois.
  • Overall, Nebraska is 5-2 against Illinois in Champaign, 1-2 on neutral courts and 5-1 against Illinois in Lincoln. Nebraska has won three straight games against Illinois in Lincoln.
  • Nebraska’s series with Illinois dates back to an 89-86 Husker win over the Illini at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln on March 3, 1982.
  • Husker Nuggets
    • A win for Nebraska over Illinois would be the Huskers’ 17th victory of the season, which would be a plus-10-win improvement from last season (7).

  • A win would be NU’s fifth straight after recording four consecutive wins against current NCAA top-50 RPI teams. Iowa (twice), Rutgers and Purdue.
  • At 8-0 in true road games, Nebraska is one of only six teams in NCAA Division I (349 teams) unbeaten in true road contests, joining UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville, Georgia and Mercer.
  • Kate Cain ranks third on Nebraska’s season block list with 75. She needs two blocks to match Catheryn Redmon (77, 2010-11) in second on that list. The Nebraska school record is 78 by Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (78, 2007-08). Cain has at least one blocked shot in all 22 games this season.
  • Cain’s 75 blocks rank No. 4 in the nation while her 3.4 blocks per game rank seventh in the country through games Jan. 28. No Nebraska individual has ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a career, and only two Huskers (Danielle Page, 2.4 bpg, 2007-08; Catheryn Redmon, 2.5 bpg, 2010-11) have ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a single season.
  • Nebraska freshman Taylor Kissinger has come off the bench for the Huskers in their first nine Big Ten games. The 6-1 guard from Minden, Neb., is averaging 10.4 points per game on the year. Kissinger averaged a team-best 14.0 points per game over the first seven games this season as a starter before missing Nebraska’s final six non-conference contests with a knee injury.
  • Junior Maddie Simon (+7.1 ppg) is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players in 2017-18. Simon, a 6-2 forward, is averaging 11.2 points per game after averaging 4.1 points through all 29 games a year ago. Simon has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 13 games. She had just five double-digit efforts in her first two seasons combined.
  • Nebraska Streaks
    • Nebraska heads into Thursday’s game with Illinois riding a four-game winning streak.

  • The Huskers have won nine consecutive games away from Pinnacle Bank Arena, including seven straight true road games and five consecutive Big Ten road games.
  • Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (39) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 21 games by freshman Kate Cain.
  • Whitish is the only Husker to start all 22 games this season.
  • Nebraska has featured the same starting lineup in 14 consecutive games.
  • Whitish has posted at least one assist in 24 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 20 games this season.
  • Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in 19 consecutive games.
  • Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 22 games of her career. She has 19 games with two or more blocks.
  • Cain has at least two rebounds every game this season. • Maddie Simon has at least three rebounds in all 18 of her games this season.
  • The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 302 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
  • Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 181 consecutive games.




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