Published Wednesday, December 19, 2012 AT 8:05 PM / Updated at 8:21 PM
Women’s Basketball: Oral Roberts at NU
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday
Where: Devaney Center, Lincoln
Radio: 93.3 FM in Omaha, 107.3 FM in Lincoln

STARTING LINEUPS
Oral Roberts (3-5)

C, Sarah Shelton, 6-3, Jr., 6.7
F, Taylor Cooper, 6-0, Fr., 8.6
G, Savanna Buck, 6-0, Sr., 4.4
G, Kevi Luper, 5-10, Sr., 22.0
G, Jaci Bigham, 5-6, Sr., 9.6
Nebraska (8-3)
F, Hailie Sample, 6-1, So., 6.5
F, Emily Cady, 6-2, So., 8.7
F, Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Jr., 18.5
G, Lindsey Moore, 5-9, Sr., 15.5
G, Rachel Theriot, 6-0, Fr., 3.5

Scouting ORU: The Golden Eagles loaded up the early part of their nonconference schedule with tough opponents, suffering big losses to defending national champion Baylor, Arkansas and Arkansas Little-Rock. ORU is paced by the dynamic Kevi Luper, who almost single-handedly keeps her team in games with her hot shooting and defense. She’s one of 74 players in women’s NCAA history to score 2,400 career points and she’s 22nd all time in career steals with 402. Take away Luper, who scores one-third of ORU’s points, and the Golden Eagles struggle on offense. They’ve been outrebounded so far this year, average 18.25 turnovers per game and lack a consistent second scoring option. If NU guard Lindsey Moore can harass Luper, Oral Roberts may turn to Taylor Cooper — who’s made 35 percent of her 3-pointers — for scoring. Sarah Shelton is a low-post presence who may require Nebraska to use a couple of its frontcourt bench players.

Scouting NU: Nebraska played its best game Sunday at South Florida, upsetting the previously undefeated Bulls with an impressive show of defense in a 62-52 win. The Huskers suffocated USF’s talented guards and will try to do the same to Luper. One player who’s begun to emerge as a defensive stopper off the bench is Tear’a Laudermill, whose tenacity on the ball allows other Huskers to better play passing lanes and bleed the shot clock. What coach Connie Yori would like now is more consistent execution on offense, where she’s switching from a motion offense to more of a high-post, Princeton-style attack. Yori said she wanted NU to get better looks at the basket and quit taking so many bad 3-pointers. At least behind the arc, the approach hasn’t quite worked yet — the Huskers are shooting 27.7 percent from 3-point range. Only Moore, at 47 percent (17 of 36), has been efficient.

Opening tips: Nebraska is 4-0 all time against Oral Roberts. … Yori needs two more wins to reach 200 at Nebraska. … Oral Roberts has won at least 20 games in each of the past three seasons.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at sam.mckewon@owh.com. And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.