The Nebraska men’s basketball team erased an early 12-point deficit and behind a big second half, the Huskers posted their first postseason victory in 11 years Wednesday night with an 80-76 win over Butler in a first-round NIT matchup at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers (19-16) trailed midway through the second half before a game-changing 14-2 run turned a one-point deficit into a 12-point lead. Nebraska then made enough plays down the stretch, winning by four points after Butler cut the lead to one with 1:31 remaining.
With the win – Nebraska first postseason victory since a 67-48 win over Charlotte in the first round of the 2008 NIT – the Huskers advanced to the second round to face TCU in Fort Worth, Texas Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. (CT). Nebraska improved to 16-1 all-time at home in the NIT, and the Huskers are 3-0 against Big East teams this season. Butler, which was making its 13th postseason appearance in the last 14 years, saw its season end with a 16-17 record.
Isaiah Roby paced the Huskers with a career-high 28 points, and he just missed a double-double after grabbing a game-high eight rebounds. James Palmer added 23 points, while Glynn Watson Jr. scored 17 points, as Nebraska’s big three combined for 68 of NU’s 80 points. Tanner Borchardt and Johnny Trueblood added six points each to account for Nebraska's other 12 points. The Huskers’ 80 points were their most in eight postseason games, dating back to the 2004 NIT, when Nebraska scored 83 points in a one-point loss at Hawaii.
Sean McDermott had 14 points for Butler, which had four players in double figures. Paul Jorgensen chipped in 12 points, while Jordan Tucker and Aaron Thompson each scored 11 points, with Thompson adding a career-high 12 assists for his first career double-double.
Butler scored 14 of the game’s first 16 points to jump out to a 12-point lead less than five minutes into the contest. But Nebraska responded with an immediate 7-0 run of its own. Roby scored all seven points during the spurt, as the junior scored Nebraska’s first 11 points of the game.
Watson became the first Husker other than Roby to score when he knocked down a 3-pointer at the 9:02 mark to pull Nebraska within five. The 3-pointer ignited a 6-0 Husker run that trimmed the lead to two. A 5-0 Nebraska run two minutes later tied the game at 22-all, before Butler came right back with five straight points. But Palmer scored seven straight points to give Nebraska its first lead at 29-27 with one minute left in the half, and the Huskers took a one-point lead into the locker room.
Roby scored 17 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, while the rest of the Husker lineup was just 4-for-21 from the floor. Butler shot 44 percent in the first half, and the Bulldogs were 8-of-16 from the 3-point line.
Both teams came out on fire to start the second half, which saw eight lead changes in the first four minutes. Nebraska made its first six shots from the floor and used a 7-0 run to build a four-point lead. Butler answered with its own 7-0 run to regain the lead at 50-49 with 11:14 remaining, but the Bulldog’s would only lead once more.
Nebraska erased the Butler advantage with a 14-2 run, capped by a string of 10 consecutive points that put the Huskers up 64-53 with 6:26 to play. The Bulldogs pulled to within six two minutes later on back-to-back 3-pointers from McDermott. Butler continued to chip away and used an 8-2 run to pull within one at 71-70 with 1:31 remaining. But Nebraska scored seven of the next nine points and the Huskers hit all four of their free throws in the final minute, finishing 17-of-20 from the line in the second half.
The Huskers were 15-of-23 from the field in the second half, shooting a blistering 65.2 percent. Palmer (15), Watson (11) and Roby (11) each scored in double figures in the second half, while Trueblood had all six of his career-high six points in the final 20 minutes.
The Huskers will take on TCU, an 82-69 win over Sam Houston State, in the second round Sunday evening at 8:30 p.m. The game will be televised on the Husker Sports Network and carried on ESPNU.
Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska baseball team (8-7) led 7-0 after three innings and never looked back in a 12-3 win over Air Force at Hawks Field on Wednesday afternoon. With the win, Nebraska earns a two-game sweep against the Falcons after a 7-6 win on Tuesday.
Freshman Kyle Perry, making his second start of the season, struck out a career-high nine batters in 4.0 innings to set the tone for the Big Red. He gave up only one run and one walk. NU saw relief appearances from Byron Hood, Ethan Frazier (3.0 innings), Tyler Martin (1.0) and Jaxon Hallmark (1.0).
Junior Mojo Hagge paced the Husker offense with a three-hit performance that included a career-high four RBIs. Alex Henwood, playing for the first time in nine games, tallied two hits. Freshman Cam Chick went 2-for-3 to help NU produce 11 hits as a team. Keegan Watson hit his second home run against Air Force on Wednesday after also blasting one on Tuesday.
In the top of the first, NU scratched out three runs. After back-to-back walks to open the game, Mojo Hagge singled to load the bases. Aaron Palensky drew a walk to bring in Nebraska’s first run. Angelo Altavilla scored on a double play before an error brought Hagge in.
After a scoreless second frame, the Huskers added four runs in the bottom of the third. Colby Gomes laced an RBI double after Gunner Hellstrom drew a leadoff walk. Henwood’s RBI double then scored Gomes. The next two batters walked before Hagge hit a two-RBI single up the middle.
Air Force scored its first run of the game in the fourth inning and added one run in the top of the sixth, but NU tallied three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Watson smashed a solo home run before Henwood walked and Chick singled. Altavilla doubled to bring in one run before Hagge’s groundout added another run for the Big Red.
Nebraska tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Addante drew a leadoff walk before Chick singled to put runners at the corners. Altavilla’s sacrifice fly drove in one run. Hagge’s double drive in a second run for the Huskers.
The Huskers begin conference play this weekend when they host Michigan State for a three-game series at Hawks Field. The games are set for Friday (6:35 p.m.), Saturday (2:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.).
COLBY, Kan. – The McCook Community College baseball team renewed what has become a high-scoring rivalry with Northeast Community College Wednesday, and came up on the short end of a 15-10 extra-inning game, played in Kansas where the Hawks took on Colby CC earlier in the day.
MCC had leads of 8-1 in the fifth inning and 10-8 in the seventh before giving up the lead and sending the game to extra-innings.
“This was a tough loss,” MCC Coach Jon Olsen said. “They send it into extra-innings then we just ran out of pitching.”
The Indians broke up a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the second with a six-run outburst that started with hitters reaching on a dropped third strike, a hit batter -- both advancing on a wild pitch -- and then an infield groundout which gave MCC a 2-1 lead. With two-outs, sophomore Ricardo Jimenez, (Hialeah, Fla.) singled to make it 3-1 then sophomore Julio Seperich (Las Vegas) cracked a two-run home run to put MCC on top 5-1. After a walk, freshman Trevor Pacheco (Pueblo, Colo.) hit a two-run homer to give the Indians a 7-1 lead.
Seperich singled in the MCC fourth and Pacheco drove him in on an infield grounder to put MCC on top 8-1.
Indian starter Spencer Ray (Greeley, Colo.) made it to the Northeast fifth having allowed just one run but the Hawks got to him for a four-spot. He went five innings, gave up six hits (three in the fifth with a pair of homers), five earned runs. He walked two and struck out nine.
Still leading 8-5, Wroot led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to put the Indians up 9-5.
Sophomore transfer Caleb Keck, (Rittman, Ohio) came on in the sixth inning and retired the first two hitters he faced but a single and a walk in front of a three-run homer cut the MCC lead to 9-8.
Lucas doubled to lead off the MCC sixth followed by a lineout and a strikeout. A two-out walk loaded the bases and MCC went up 10-8 on a passed ball but the Northeast offense countered in the top of the seventh with a two-run double to tie the game.
Freshman Anthony Kingsbury, (Gatineau, Quebec) lasted 1.2 innings, and gave up seven runs in 1.2 innings of work. Kaleb Wroot (North Platte) finished out the game allowing one hit in two-thirds of an inning of work.
“We faced a good-hitting team in the middle of the week, and they scored a bunch late in the game,” Olsen said.
MCC went out in order in the bottom of the seventh and the Hawks struck for five in the eighth. The Indians got a leadoff single in the bottom of the eighth but the final three hitters all struck out.
The Hawks improve to 5-7 after downing Colby CC 9-7 earlier in the day. Colby fell to (13-8).
The Indians fall to 6-11 on the season. This weekend MCC will be back in Region IX play (Empire League) traveling to Trinidad State for a three game series with a doubleheader Friday starting at 1 p.m. (MT) and a Saturday nine-inning game starting at 1 p.m. (MT). The Trojans top the Empire League Standings with a conference mark of 7-2 but just 13-12 overall. MCC is 4-7 in conference play four games back of the Trojans.
“We need to regroup and get ready for league again on Friday,” Olsen said.
On Monday MCC travels to Alva, Okla. for a doubleheader against Northwestern Oklahoma State University starting at 1 p.m.
MCC is scheduled to be at home for the first time March 28 for a doubleheader with Western Nebraska starting at 1 p.m.
REGION IX – EMPIRE LEAGUE STANDINGS
Trinidad State JC 7-2 -- 13-12 .520
Northeastern JC 4-4 2.5 11-12 .478
Western Nebraska CC 4-4 2.5 7-17 .412
Southeast CC 4-5 3 4-12 .250
Otero Junior College 4-7 4 7-18 .280
McCook CC 4-7 4 6-11 .352
You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including, scheduling changes, live-streaming games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:
MIDLAND, Texas – The McCook Community College softball team lost a pair of games Tuesday to Midland College. The Lady Indians lost the first game 8-0 and the second game 5-2, and finish the spring break Texas trip 0-4.
“It was a tough trip overall,” MCC Coach Josh Barnes said. “We didn’t hit well but pitching was a bright spot.”
MCC was limited to two hits in the shutout and four hits in the second game – all singles.
The Lady Indians led 2-0 for four innings in the second game, but gave up a run in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth.
Midland College improves to 17-7 on the season.
The Lady Indians fall to 9-15 and will be on the road Saturday and Sunday for a pair of Region IX doubleheaders at Trinidad State (11-14) Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and noon.
“We have to get back to work and get ready for region play,” Barnes said.
GAME 1 – Midland College 8, McCook CC 0 – In an almost carbon-copy of Monday’s 8-0 loss at Howard College, the opponents got up early and shut down the MCC offense.
The Chaparrals scored four in the first, two in the second and put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Midland pitcher Hannah Ice mowed down the first 13 Lady Indian hitters before Abby Kalinski (McCook) and Taylor Ford (McCook) got to her for back-to-back, one-out singles in the fourth inning. A hit batter loaded the bases but the Indians were unable to take advantage.
Ice picked up the win allowing the two singles, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts in six innings of work.
MCC starting pitcher Etta Van Burgsteden, (Kinistino, Saskatchewan) absorbed the loss giving up four runs and four hits in one inning. Kayla Harrison (Richmond, British Columbia) went four innings and gave up four earned runs on 10 hits. She struck out two.
GAME 2 – Midland College 5, McCook CC 2 – The Lady Indians’ only run-scoring inning of the day came in the top of the first. Sophomore Emily Charchuk (Victoria, British Columbia) and freshman Hannah Jensen (Aurora, Colo.) led off the game with back-to-back singles. With one out, sophomore Chanel Siebenthal (Lakewood, Colo.) singled to load the bases, then the Lady Indians executed a triple steal to go up 1-0. Jensen scored on a sacrifice foul pop to first base to put MCC up 2-0.
Freshman starting pitcher Sarah Willier (Ponoka, Alberta) kept the Chaparrals in check until she surrendered her first run of the game in the fourth. She allowed four hits, and walk in her three innings of work. Freshman Angel Valdez, (West Jordan, Utah) went 2.1 innings and allowed six hits and four runs. Shae Muggridge (Perth, Western Australia) pitched the final two-thirds of an inning in relief.
Hershey 0 McCook 9
Here is a change in the McCook Community College baseball schedule for this week. The Indians were scheduled to play Colby, but will now play Northeast Community College (Norfolk) instead, at 4:30 p.m. in Colby. Northeast is coached by McCook High School graduate Marcus Clapp.
MCC Baseball Coach Jon Olsen said since Norfolk had been hit particularly by severe weather this spring, the three coaches decided to help out NECC and give them a chance to play two games while MCC and Colby CC will get the chance to get in a mid-week game. MCC is 6-10 on the year.
The Hawks (5-5) will take on Colby CC (13-7) at 2 p.m. with the MCC-Northeast game to follow.
BEATRICE – The McCook Community College baseball team salvaged the final game of a three-game series against Southeast Community College Monday, 7-5. The Storm won the first two games of the series 3-2, and 11-9.
“It was good to get back on the winning side of things,” MCC Coach Jon Olsen said. “Getting walked off in the bottom of the 7th was a tough one to swallow yesterday, and then losing game 2 as well.”
On Monday, the two teams matched scores through the first four innings.
A pair of two-out Southeast errors opened the door for MCC in the first and Justin Lucas (Las Vegas) capitalized with an RBI-single to leftfield. A walk and a McCook error in the bottom of the frame led to a Southeast run to tie the game 1-1.
The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the fourth with two outs on a Julio Seperich (Las Vegas) home run. Ricardo Jimenez, (Hialeah, Fla.) and Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli, (Austin, Texas) followed with a double and a single to make it a 3-1 MCC lead, but the Storm tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a couple two-out walks and a double.
MCC came right back leading off the fifth inning with a walk, a Lucas single, and a Storm error to put the Indians back on top 4-3. Lucas later scored on a wild pitch to put McCook up 5-3.
Clark-Chiapparelli doubled to lead off the MCC sixth and later came home on a Southeast error to make it a 6-3 game.
Braden Babcock picked up the win on the mound pitching six innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs and four walks. He struck out seven.
“I thought we responded very well today, we got a nice performance on the mound today and came up with some timely hits.
Southeast was charged with four errors in the game leading to three unearned runs. A McCook error in the seventh lead to an unearned Southeast run to cut the gap to 6-4.
MCC added its final run in the ninth inning on a Trevor Pacheco (Pueblo, Colo.) leadoff walk, a single by Kaleb Wroot (North Platte), and a sacrifice fly from Beau Hawley (Greeley, Colo.)
Clark-Chiapparelli pitched the final three frames, picking up the save allowing one hit, three walks, one earned run and four strikeouts.
The Indians got two-hit games from Jiminez, Clark-Chiapparelli, Lucas and Seperich.
“We are getting there, we just need to keep playing,” Olsen said. “We have a good mindset and will keep grinding it out.”
With the loss, Southeast falls to 4-10
MCC snaps a five-game losing streak and improves to 6-10 on the season.
The Indians are headed to Colby Wednesday to play Colby Community College but coaches are still trying to figure out a schedule to accommodate Northeast Community College in a triangular. Game times are pending. They will be posted as soon as the schedule is set.
You can stay up to date with all MCC Indian Athletics including, scheduling changes, live-streaming games, news, photo galleries, schedules and more at MCC Indians Athletics web page at:
9 sophomore Ricardo Jimenez, (Hialeah, Fla.)
4 sophomore Julio Seperich (Las Vegas)
33 sophomore JR Maldonado, (Las Vegas)
13 freshman Kaleb Taylor, (McCook)
15 freshman Victor Santiago (Caguas, Puerto Rico)
17 sophomore Beau Hawley, (Greeley, Colo.)
2 rs sophomore Angel Mojica (Denver)
9 sophomore Ricardo Jimenez, (Hialeah, Fla.)
8 rs freshman Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli, (Austin, Texas)
27, sophomore Parker Kretzel, (Thornton, Colo.)
3 rs sophomore Mark Starks (Blair)
6 freshman Sam Lebel, (Brampton, Ontario)
7 freshman Justin Lucas (Las Vegas)
18 freshman Sebastian Pochun, (Orleans, Ontario)
19 rfreshman Tristan James-Waters, (Aurora, Colo.)
23 freshman Yasnier Laureano (Anderson, S.C.)
25 freshman Clayton Stevens, (McCook)
28 freshman Nolan Opheim, (Omaha, Burke High School)
29 r-freshman Vann Stevenson, (Grand Island, CC)
30 r-freshman Tanner Cissell, (Omaha-Millard North)
44 freshman Drew Harvie, (McCook)
1 Sophomore Caleb Keck, RHP, (Rittman, Ohio)
5 sophomore Jesse Bloom, RHP, (Centennial, Colo.)
8 rs freshman Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli, P/IF (Austin, Texas)
10 freshman Braden Babcock, LHP, (Oshawa, Ontario)
11 freshman Isaac Vargas, LHP, (Greeley, Colo.)
12 sophomore Spencer Ray, RHP, (Greeley, Colo.)
14 freshman Ethan McKenna, RHP, (Lexington)
21 freshman Anthony Kingsbury, RHP, (Gatineau, Quebec)
24 sophomore Shaun Hickey, RHP, (Summerville, New Brunswick)
HOWARD, Texas – The McCook Community College softball team began their spring-break trip with a pair of losses to Howard College Monday, 8-0 and 4-3.
The Lady Indians were limited to one hit in the opener and despite a pair of home runs from freshman Emma McLean, (Willetton, Western Australia) in the second game, the Lady Indians fell short. McLean went four-for-five on the day.
Howard improves to 16-7 on the season.
The Lady Indians fall to 7-13 and continue the Texas road-trip Tuesday with a pair of games at Midland College (15-7).
MCC will be on the road Saturday and Sunday for a pair of Region IX doubleheaders at Trinidad State (11-14) Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and noon.
GAME 1 – Howard College 8, McCook CC 0 – Howard College pitchers Julia Grib and Main Musicant kept the Lady Indians off the scoreboard and held MCC bats to just one hit in five innings.
The Hawks scored three unearned runs in the second, added two on a two-run homer in the third, hit a solo home run in the fourth, and added two more in the fifth with no outs to end the game.
MCC’s lone hit came from Emma McLean who line a single to centerfield with one out in the fifth.
Freshman Sarah Willier (Ponoka, Alberta) took the loss for MCC in two innings of work she allowed five hits, and two earned runs. Freshman Angel Valdez, (West Jordan, Utah) went two innings and allowed five hits and three earned runs.
GAME 2 – Howard College 4, McCook CC 3 – In a tight-game the Lady Indians took leads of 1-0 in the first, and 2-1 in the fourth but the Hawks came back to score a pair of runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.
In the first MCC found a way to score a run without a base hit. Hanna Jensen (Aurora, Colo.) drew a one- out walk, stole second and third base and scored on a sacrifice fly from Chanel Siebenthal, (Lakewood, Colo.)
After giving up a run in the third on a Howard College home run, MCC tied the game back up in the fourth inning on a two-out home run from Emma McLean.
The Hawks went up 3-2 in the fifth inning and added another in the sixth.
McLean homered with one out in the seventh inning the cut the gap to 4-3, but MCC was unable to generate any baserunners.
Sophomore Shae Muggridge, (Perth, Western Australia) took the loss, giving up six hits, four earned runs, one walk. She struck out five.
MCC was held to five hits – three from McLean and singles from Hannah Jensen (who swiped three bases) and Jerusha Miner (Gunnison Valley, Utah).
Nebraska volleyball student-athlete Mikaela Foecke has been named a finalist for the prestigious AAU James E. Sullivan Award, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) announced Monday.
The AAU Sullivan Award has been presented annually since 1930 to the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Representatives from the AAU created the Sullivan Award with the intent to recognize amateur contributions and achievements from non-professional athletes across the country. Foecke was also a finalist for the award in 2016, and this marks the fourth time in the last five years Nebraska volleyball has had a finalist for the AAU Sullivan Award. Foecke will go to New York City for the ceremony, which will take place Tuesday, April 16 at the New York Athletic Club.
Fan voting is open to the public at https://aausports.wyng.com/
"I am so proud to be able to represent Nebraska volleyball at the AAU Sullivan Award ceremony for a second time," Foecke said. "Once again, it is so humbling to be included in a group of such amazing athletes from around the country. This wouldn't be possible without the support from my family, teammates, coaches, and of course, Husker Nation. I want to thank everyone for voting for me and supporting me, and thank you to the AAU Sullivan Award committee for the honor of being recognized as a finalist for the award."
Foecke concluded her illustrious Husker career in 2018 with AVCA First-Team All-America honors after leading the team with 3.86 kills per set and 2.65 digs per set, along with a team-high 46 service aces. She finished her Husker career with a 21-2 record in her NCAA Tournament career after a runner-up finish in 2018, playing in more sets and matches and winning more NCAA Tournament matches than any player in Husker history. She went 52-3 in her career during the months of November and December and was an NCAA Championship All-Tournament selection for the third time in her career after a career-high 27 kills on .296 hitting with 11 digs in the NCAA Championship match against Stanford. She posted double-doubles in her last four NCAA Tournament matches to bring her season total to 17 and was named most valuable player of the Minneapolis Regional after 16 kills and 13 digs against No. 14 Oregon and 14 kills and 10 digs against No. 10 Kentucky.
Foecke was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season and ended her career at No. 3 on NU's career kills chart with 1,684, the second-highest total in the rally-scoring era. Foecke won the Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball with notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
A team captain and Nebraska volleyball's representative on the Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Foecke has shown exemplary character throughout her Husker career. A three-time Tom Osborne Citizenship Team member and a Diversity & Inclusion Summit leader, Foecke has also remained committed to community outreach, helping the Husker volleyball program earn the Nebraska's Life Skills Award through her work with events and organizations such as One Shirt One Body, Uplifting Athletes, People's City Mission, Husker Heroes, Make-a-Wish and more.
Lincoln – The Nebraska men’s basketball program will make its second straight postseason appearance, as the Huskers were selected for the 2019 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) Sunday evening.
Nebraska, which enters the postseason with an 18-16 record, is the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 5 seed Butler (16-16), on Wednesday, March 20 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (central) and the game will be televised on ESPN2 and carried on the Husker Sports Network.
“We are excited to have our season continue, especially for our seniors who wanted to return to postseason play,” Nebraska Coach Tim Miles said. “We had our share of struggles at times, but I think the way we have played over the final two weeks of the season is a testament to our players and the character they have. I believe that our performance at the Big Ten Tournament is a good momentum boost heading into the postseason, and showed a team that wanted to keep playing.
“We have been tested against a schedule that is in the top five nationally in Kenpom, including 25 games against the top two quadrants in the NET, and we are looking forward to the postseason challenge.”
Butler tied for eighth in the Big East with a 7-11 mark and features guard Kamar Baldwin, who was a second-team All-Big East selection this season. Baldwin averaged 17.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.2 rebounds per game.
The 2019 NIT is the 26th postseason appearance in school history and 19th time NU has been selected for the NIT. The Huskers are 23-17 all-time in the NIT, including a championship in the 1996 NIT and semifinal appearances in 1983 and 1987.
NIT First-round tickets are on sale now by visiting huskers.com/tickets and by calling the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 800-8-BIGRED beginning at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. Premium seat holders (courtside, suites and loges) should be able to park in their normal spots for the first-round game. Season-ticket holders will not have their parking for NIT games. Parking for the first-round game will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from Park N’ Go (http://parkandgo.org/) beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday.