Published Monday, March 25, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 1:26 am
Notes: Return to Texas good for Sample

As Nebraska sophomore forward Hailie Sample talked to a reporter, a member of her family sneaked behind her to take a picture with a phone.

It was quite a weekend for Sample, a Flower Mound, Texas, native. She got to play in front of 30 of her family members, she got to beat Texas A&M, and she played one of the best games of her career on the biggest stage.

Ten points and 11 rebounds — how did that sit with her?

“I played pretty good, I think,” Sample said, chuckling. “It’s really exciting. I’m really proud that I could help my team so much.”

Twice Texas A&M cut Nebraska’s second-half lead to seven points, and twice Sample hit layups to push the back to nine — and keep the game out of the Aggies’ reach. Coach Connie Yori said both plays were a result of Sample getting smarter about how teams leave her open when point guard Lindsey Moore drives to the lane.

“If she can get to the rim, either Lindsey’s going to find her or she’s going to have a chance to get an offensive rebound,” Yori said. “She’s the one that most people leave open, and she’s gotten smart enough to know that ... she got those kinds of baskets today for us.”

More praise for Moore

A main topic of both teams’ postgame press conferences was the play of Moore, a senior Lieberman Award finalist who didn’t make first-team All-Big Ten, but is considered a first-round WNBA draft pick and of whom Yori said: “I wouldn’t trade her for anyone.”

“She’s tough to guard,” Yori said. “She is a really good one-on-one player and if you are a good one-on-one player — and you have the skills like she does — you are set up for success.”

Yori joked that she’d buy Moore a hamburger — a riff on the line A&M coach Gary Blair used back in 2005, when Nebraska beat the Aggies. Blair boarded NU’s bus and told the team to buy the Husker point guard a cheeseburger.

Blair didn’t replay that line Monday, but he had plenty of praise.

“We couldn’t press her,” Blair said. “On every inbound play within about seven or six seconds to go, the ball was in her hands. ... Moore is the whole key to the team.”

NU defense slows A&M

Nebraska knew Monday that, in order to slow down A&M post player Kelsey Bone, it would have to leave some shots open to A&M’s perimeter shooters. It was a trade Yori was willing to take, double- and triple-teaming Bone when she caught the ball.

The Aggies shot 47 percent, but also missed a number of mid-range jumpers. And A&M was only able to get six offensive rebounds, in part because guards took the shots so early in the shot clock — sometimes before Bone set up on the post.

“We have freshman wings, and sometimes they are very good and sometimes they are not,” Blair said. “Even if we made a shot, we have got to make the defense work. You have to see if there can be a foul called every now and then.”

In two games, NU’s opponents shot just three free throws total. Though the Reed Arena crowd called for more shooting fouls, referees repeatedly shook their heads in disagreement.

“We are not a team that fouls very much,” Yori said. “We’ve been playing a lot of position defense. Our kids are smart that way.”

Bone said after the game that she’d decide whether she’s declaring for the WNBA draft next week. Blair said he didn’t want “any more Kelsey Bone questions” after she answered a reporter’s question.

— Sam McKewon

Read more related stories


< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >