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After major roster losses, Eliely steps in, exceeds expectations

By BRENT C. WAGNER Lincoln Journal Star, 02/01/17, 3:00PM MST


2016 Rockies Alumni, Nicea Eliely

When Nicea Eliely committed to play basketball at Nebraska in September 2015, and when she signed a few months later, she never would have guessed her college career would start like this.

But things changed quickly for the Huskers. Eliely has started all 19 games this season and done a good job with her opportunity.

The 6-foot-1 freshman guard leads the team in assists (51), steals (33) and blocks (15). She’s second on the team in scoring, averaging 7.8 points per game.

Things changed for Eliely in the aftermath of coach Connie Yori resigning during an athletic department investigation into the program. All-conference guard Natalie Romeo transferred. Nebraska’s two top-ranked guards in Eliely’s recruiting class went elsewhere.

So Eliely found herself in a spot she never expected.

“I didn’t expect to start, or anything like that,” she said. “I knew I was going to play, but I didn’t know how many minutes I was going to get. I just wanted to work hard and get better.”

While the Huskers' season has been disappointing (5-14, 1-6 Big Ten) by the standards fans had gotten used to over the past 10 years, it could be worse if Eliely and freshman guard Hannah Whitish hadn’t exceeded projections. Whitish is third in scoring for the Huskers at 7.4 points per game, and has a team-best 31 three-pointers...MORE.

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