Huskers Finish 10th in Average Attendance
Nebraska basketball finished with its highest attendance finish in program history, as the NCAA officially released its 2014-15 men's basketball attendance figures on Monday.
Nebraska ranked 10th nationally in average attendance, averaging 15,569 fans per game at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2014-15. The Huskers drew 249,101 fans for its 16 home games, marking the second straight year Nebraska topped its single-season record for attendance. Nebraska's average of 15,419 in 2013-14 ranked 13th nationally.
Nebraska helped the Big Ten lead the nation with a total attendance of 3,195,137, the second‐highest total number of any conference in history. The Big Ten also led all conferences in average attendance with 12,781 fans per game, marking the 39th consecutive year the Big Ten has led the nation in average attendance.
Nebraska's fan support across the spectrum is evident in the fact that Nebraska was the only Division I program which ranked in the top-10 in average attendance in both football and men's basketball, while the Huskers also ranked in the top-15 in attendance in volleyball (first), women's basketball (11th) and baseball (11th).
In addition, the Huskers were one of only five programs to have men's and women's basketball programs that ranked in the top 15 in average attendance in 2014-15, joining Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee and Michigan State.
Huskers Rank 11th in NCAA Women's Basketball Attendance
Lincoln Nebraska women's basketball continued its strong tradition of outstanding fan support, finishing No. 11 nationally in average home attendance rankings released by the NCAA on Monday, July 6.
The Huskers, who also ranked 11th nationally in attendance in 2013-14, averaged 5,857 fans per game in 2014-15, including 6,026 fans in its 15 home contests at Pinnacle Bank Arena. NU also played one home game at its old home court at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2014-15.
Nebraska, which featured five games of more than 7,300 fans in 2014-15, was one of five Big Ten Conference schools to rank among the top 15 teams nationally in average home attendance in 2014-15, joining Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa and Maryland. The Huskers outdrew the Terrapins, who finished 15th nationally in attendance, by more than 600 fans per game. The Big Ten ranked second nationally in conference-wide attendance, attracting 4,108 fans per game while drawing a conference-record total of 948,935 fans to its women's basketball arenas in 2014-15.
Pinnacle Bank Arena has provided an excellent home court advantage for the Huskers in their first two seasons in the arena, as the Big Red have run to a 28-5 home record, including a pair of wins over top-10 opponents.
The Nebraska men's basketball program ranked 10th nationally in average attendance at Pinnacle Bank Arena with 15,569 fans per game in 2014-15. The men and women have joined forces to make Nebraska one of only five schools in the nation to rank among the top 15 in both men's and women's basketball attendance. The other four schools are Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State and Tennessee.
Nebraska's fan support across all sports continued at impressive levels in 2014-15, as the volleyball (1st), football (10th) and baseball (11th) programs all ranked among the top 15 in the nation in attendance in their respective sports.
MIAA Leads Division Two in Hoops Attendance
The MIAA is atop the nation in basketball attendance as the league led the way in both men's and women's attendance.
In the women's games the MIAA was the only Division II Conference in the nation to draw an average of 1,000 or more fans to games. On the men's side on the MIAAand Lone Star drew an average of over 1,000 fans per game. It marks the seventh straight time the MIAA has led the way on the women's side and sixth straight time the MIAA has been a top the men's.
The MIAA men's average of 1,514 fans is more than four Division I Men's Conferences. Nine MIAA men's team's drew within the nation's top 30 with Fort Hays State leading the way at third in the nation with an average of 2,656 fans per game. Central Missouri and Nebraska-Kearney were also in the top 10 averaging more than 2,000 fans per game. Missouri Southern, Washburn and Emporia State all ranked in the nation's top 15 with more than 1,500 fans per game.
On the women's side MIAA institutions averaged 1,172 fans per game which ranks higher than 21 conferences at the Division I level. Fort Hays State was second in the nation averaging 2,289 fans per game and Emporia State was third averaging 2,110 fans per game. Washburn and Pittsburg State were also in the nation's top ten averaging more than 1,500 fans per game.
Pierson El on Hornung Watch List
Nebraska wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list announced Monday morning.
The Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung.
As a freshman, Pierson-El ranked second nationally in punt returns, averaging 17.5 yards per return to garner second-team All-America honors. He led the country with 596 return years and tied for the national lead with three punt returns for scores. He was a two-time Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week and won the Jet Award for the returner of the year.
In addition to his punt return exploits, Pierson-El caught 23 passes for 321 yards and four scores, culminating in an eight-catch, 102-yard performance in the Holiday Bowl against USC, setting a school bowl record for catches in a game. Pierson-El also threw a touchdown pass against Northwestern in 2014.
Pierson-El is one of seven Big Ten players in the initial 44-player watch list. Former Husker I-back Ameer Abdullah was a finalist for the award in 2014.
Local Sports 7-6-2015
Incoming freshman Jack McVeigh was one of three players to finish in double figures, as Australia finished seventh at the FIBA Under 19 World Championship with a 103-72 victory over Spain on Sunday. McVeigh finished with 15 points on 5 of 13 shooting and was 3 of 4 from the free throw line. McVeigh also pulled down seven rebounds. For the tournament, McVeigh was Australia's second leading scorer with 11.1 points per game on 47 percent shooting. He also averaged 5.7 rebounds per outing.
Hastings Johnson Imperial Homes beat Grand Island Tom Dinsdale 16-2 yesterday in the Grand Island/Hastings Tournament. The game was called after 4 ½ innings by the eight run rule. Drake Lebar was the winning pitcher. He gave up two runs and five hits. Lebar struck out five and walked two. Dawson Eckhardt had five RBI's for Hastings. Trey Asher had two hits and four RBI's. Hastings is now 26-9 on the season and will play Lincoln Southeast tomorrow night at Duncan Field for the Cornhusker League Championship. First pitch will be at 6:00pm.
Hastings Five Points Bank went 1-2 in the Mike Peterson Tournament over the weekend. Hastings beat Lincoln Southeast/JC Brager 5-1, but lost to Norris 6-1 and to Papillion LaVista South 7-5. Hastings is now 20-19 on the season and will play a doubleheader at Gretna on Wednesday.
Grand Island Home Federal and Kearney Runza also played in the Mike Peterson Tournament. Grand Island went 2-1 and Kearney went 1-2. Lincoln Judd Brothers beat Papillion LaVista South 5-3 in the championship game. Grand Island will play Lincoln Southeast/JC Brager tonight for the Cornhusker League Championship. The two teams split two games earlier this season. First pitch will be at 6:00pm at Sherman Field in Lincoln.
Eric Hosmer drove in Lorenzo Cain with nobody out in the ninth inning to help the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Sunday. Greg Holland earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning. Kansas City will play host to Tampa Bay tonight at 7:10pm. Pre-game show begins at 6:30pm on "The Breeze," KLIQ 94.5FM.
Four Kansas City Royals will be in the starting line-up for the All Star game on July 14th. Outfielders Lorenzo Cain and former Husker Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Alcides Escobar will represent the American League. Four players ties the American League record for fan elected starters, achieved nine times previously.