03.02.2010 / Husker Women on track for a #1 seed spot? Blog Posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine

In the not too distant future, when this season is preserved in the record books, the number 23 jersey of Kelsey Griffin will hang in the rafters of the Bob Devaney Sports Center alongside the 51 of Karen Jennings and the jerseys of three men; Dave Hoppen, Eric Piatkowski and Stuart Lantz. A little time will pass. At least, that is how it has always been done, but hers will hang there.

"There has been talk of a No. 1 seed come NCAA Tournament time."

Griffin is leading the Nebraska women’s basketball team to the best season in school history. Coach Connie Yori’s Huskers have caught lightening in a bottle, climbing to a No. 3 national ranking with a record winning streak and the program’s first Big 12 championship already secured. There has been talk of a No. 1 seed come NCAA Tournament time.

Nebraska wrapped up the conference regular-season title in Norman, Okla., with Griffin providing the impetus. Great players step up, the way the senior from Eagle River, Alaska, stepped up.

She scored 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as No. 3-ranked Nebraska turned a one-point deficit with 3:29 remaining into a seemingly lopsided, 80-64 victory against No. 11 Oklahoma.

It wasn’t nearly that easy, folks. And it wasn’t a one-player show. Griffin missed last season with a foot injury, and the delay of her final season of eligibility set the stage for what has happened. A talented group of teammates gained experience without her.

Seniors Cory Montgomery, Yvonne Turner and Dominique Kelley have all averaged double-figure scoring. And freshman point guard Lindsey Moore has played like a veteran. Griffin is recognized among the top players in the country. She has been certified by Sports Illustrated, which featured her in its Feb. 22 issue, under the headline “Lincoln Legends.” And she will finish her career in the school’s top 10 in points, rebounds, blocked shots and scoring average.

She and her teammates have made women’s basketball a hot ticket. They’ve packed the Devaney Sports Center, where her jersey will one day (presumably soon) hang in tribute not only to her but to this remarkable season. And when it’s up there in the rafters, the university might consider adding a couple of more, starting with the jerseys of Amy Stephens, Maurtice Ivy and Anna DeForge.

What are your thoughts on the tournament? Can this be the year that the Husker Women Basketball team wins the NCAA tournament? Let us know what you think.

Posted at 10:49 AM | Permalink
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