Monday, March 31, 2008

Huskers ink three-game series with Southern Mississippi

LINCOLN -- Nebraska announced on Monday that it has agreed to a three-game football series with Southern Miss, with games scheduled in Lincoln during the 2012 and 2015 seasons, along with a 2013 contest in Hattiesburg, Miss.

The first game in the series will be played on Sept. 1, 2012, in Lincoln, and will mark the Huskers' season opener. The Huskers will travel to Southern Miss for a game on Sept. 7, 2013, with the final meeting in the three-game contract set for Sept. 5, 2015.

The games in 2012 and 2013 are the second non-conference games scheduled for those seasons. Nebraska previously agreed to a home-and-home series with UCLA that will send Nebraska to Pasadena in 2012, with the Bruins playing in Memorial Stadium in the 2013 season. The Nebraska-USM game in 2015 is the first non-conference game on the Huskers’ 2015 schedule.

"Southern Miss has an outstanding football program with a tradition of taking on top programs around the country," Nebraska athletics director Tom Osborne said. "We had a competitive three-game series with them a few years back and this should be another challenging set of games for our football team against a good opponent."

The three-game series with the Golden Eagles will mark the second such agreement between the two schools, following three games between 1999 and 2004. Nebraska defeated USM in Lincoln in 1999 and was victorious at Hattiesburg in 2003, before the Golden Eagles knocked off Nebraska in Lincoln in 2004. The three recent games are the only meetings between the two schools on the gridiron.

Southern Miss is coming off a 7-6 season in 2007, including a trip to the Bowl. The Golden Eagles have been to a bowl game in nine of the past 11 seasons and 2008 will mark the debut of first-year head coach Larry Fedora.

Nebraska has completed its non-conference schedules through the 2010 season, and Big 12 Conferences schedules are set through 2015.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, March 31, 2008 || 0 comments

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tipoff time set for NU men's NIT game at Mississippi

LINCOLN -- The Nebraska Cornhuskers will try to keep their men's basketball season alive on Monday when they travel to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Mississippi Rebels in the second round of the 2008 Mastercard National Invitation Tournament.

The game time has been set for an 8 p.m. tipoff and the contest will be seen nationally on ESPNU. It will be the Huskers' second telecast on ESPNU this season, as Nebraska defeated Arizona State (62-47) in Lincoln in December on the network.

Nebraska is coming off a first-round win over Charlotte on Wednesday night. The Huskers held the 49ers 22 points below their season average as they shot less than 32 percent from the field to let Nebraska run away with the 67-48 victory.

It was the eighth time this season, including the third time in the past seven games, that NU has held an opponent to less than 50 points. The Huskers, who own a 20-12 record, rank among the top 13 teams in the country in scoring defense, allowing 59.9 points per game.

Mississippi earned a chance to host its second straight NIT game after defeating UC Santa Barbara 83-68 at Tad Smith Coliseum. Ole Miss owns a 22-10 record with the win Wednesday and is 15-2 at home this season. The Rebels are led by freshman Chris Warren's 15.5 points and 4.5 assists per game.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, March 20, 2008 || 0 comments

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BASKETBALL: Sadler says NIT bid represents progress

LINCOLN -- Playing in the MasterCard National Invitation Tournament certainly wasn't the ultimate goal for Nebraska this season, but for a Cornhusker team that sat home last year during the postseason, it at least represents progress.

"Obviously, we're very excited to be still playing," Nebraska second-year coach Doc Sadler said. "When you go into your second year and you have the opportunity to be playing in postseason play, you've got to appreciate it and then hope that, even though it's not the tournament that we ultimately want to get into, it is another positive step in the right direction."

No. 3-seeded Nebraska (19-12) opens play in the NIT at 8:05 p.m. Wednesday by hosting sixth-seeded Charlotte (20-13). ESPN Classic will televise the game live from the Devaney Sports Center.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Wednesday, March 19, 2008 || 0 comments

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Friday, March 07, 2008

BASEBALL: Abeita starts season on power surge

LINCOLN -- While pleasantly surprised by Mitch Abeita's early season power surge, Nebraska coach Mike Anderson doesn't expect it to last.

That's not a knock on Abeita. It's just that hitting home runs isn't really the Cornhusker catcher's forte.

"It's short-term," Anderson said with a grin. "Mitch is a line-drive hitter. One (homer) he hit pretty good and actually I think two of the three had wind behind them, so I'm not going to give him too much credit yet.
"Love him -- think he's a great, but we want him to hit line drives. We want him to just stay in his groove."

Heading into Saturday's 2:05 p.m. opener of a four-game home series against Northern Colorado (5-4), Abeita is batting .409 with three home runs and eight RBIs, helping Nebraska to a 6-2 start. After hitting just one homer in 133 at-bats last year, Abeita has three in his first 22 at-bats in 2008.

Abeita said the credit for his early season success goes to the other players in Nebraska's lineup and their ability to work pitchers and build their pitch counts. The Huskers are batting .293 as a team and have drawn 29 bases on balls in their first eight games.

"I don't know the stats, but I believe every guy batting for us sees a bunch of pitches and wears the pitcher down," Abeita said. "The other day, we had a pitcher up to 27 or 29 pitches in the first inning alone. That will wear down a pitching staff when you see nine guys coming up to you like that."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, March 07, 2008 || 0 comments

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