The 2011-12 Nebraska women's basketball team closed one of the best seasons in school history by making the program's 10th NCAA Tournament appearance. The Huskers finished with a 24-9 overall record, marking the second-best win total in school history, trailing only NU's 32-2 season in 2009-10.
The Huskers, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six seasons, earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but fell in the first round to 11th-seeded Kansas, 57-49. The Jayhawks went on to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 by knocking off third-seeded Delaware two nights later in Little Rock, Ark.
A young Husker team outperformed expectations, while overcoming inexperience and injuries on its way to a 10-6 finish in its first-ever Big Ten Conference regular season. The Huskers also ran to an appearance in their first Big Ten Tournament Championship Game.
Along the way, Huskers Lindsey Moore, Jordan Hooper and Emily Cady stepped into the national spotlight. Moore, a junior from Covington, Wash., was named one of eight finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award presented to the nation's top point guard. She was also named one of 32 midseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy. She captured second-team All-Big Ten honors and a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team while averaging 15.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game on the season.
Hooper, a 6-2 sophomore forward from Alliance, Neb., was a candidate for both the Wade and Naismith trophies as a national player-of-the-year candidate. Hooper produced arguably the best season in school history by a sophomore, averaging 18.9 points and a Big Ten-best 9.3 rebounds per game. She earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament Team, after leading the Big Ten with 14 double-doubles on the year.
Cady, a 6-2 freshman forward from Seward, Neb., claimed Big Ten All-Freshman honors from the conference coaches and media, and was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten pick by the league media. Cady averaged 9.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while ranking among the top six freshmen in the conference in every major statistical category.
Hailie Sample, a 6-1 freshman forward from Flower Mound, Texas, joined Moore, Hooper, Cady and senior Kaitlyn Burke in Nebraska's starting five for all 33 games in 2011-12. Sample averaged 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a defensive specialist for the Huskers.
Nebraska's solid starting five and young, five-player set of reserves produced nine wins over NCAA Tournament teams in 2011-12, including six victories over top-25 opponents at game time.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations