Team 2009-10 Nebraska Women's Basketball

Neals' Honors 

  • First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2010)
  • University of Nebraska Graduate (Dec. 19, 2009)
  • Three-Time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll
    (Fall 2009; Spring 2009, 2010)
  • No. 48 Point Guard Prospect in the Nation (All-Star Girls Report)
  • No. 192 Player in the Nation (All-Star Girls Report)
  • All-Arizona (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Regional Player of the Year
  • First-Team All-Conference

Senior (2009-10)


The Personal Side
Full name: Nicole Shanae Neals
Major: Management
Father: Edward Neals
Mother: Corine Neals
Brothers: Joseph, 25; Isaiah, 16 
Hometown: Chandler, Ariz.
High School: St. Mary's
Date of Birth: April 20, 1988
Place of Birth: Cheyenne, Wyo.


Nicole Neals continued to be a major producer for the Huskers off the bench as a senior. The 5-6 guard from Chandler, Ariz., averaged 2.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.6 steals, while playing nearly 15 minutes per contest.

Neals' consistent contributions off the bench helped Nebraska to the best season in school history. The Huskers produced a 32-2 overall record, including a Big 12-record tying 30-game winning streak - the longest streak in school history by 21 games.

The Huskers also claimed their first-ever Big 12 regular-season title with a perfect 16-0 league mark, becoming the first conference team in history to end the regular season with an unbeaten record through non-conference and conference play. Neals also helped Nebraska secure its first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

A reliable ball-handler and decision-maker in the backcourt, Neals dished out 49 assists, while committing just 37 turnovers as a senior, while doubling her previous single-season best by recording 20 steals on the year. A serious threat from long range, Neals also connected on 20 three-pointers to finish her career just outside NU's all-time top 10 with 70 career threes. She played in 122 games in her Husker career.

Neals opened her senior season with a career-high 12 points, while adding two rebounds and an assist in Nebraska's run past Davidson. She added the third double-figure scoring effort of her career with 10 points and a career-high matching five assists in NU's lopsided victory over Washington State on Nov. 22. She also contributed her second career blocked shot against the Cougars, after getting her first career block at UNLV on Nov. 15.

She scored five points apiece against Saint Mary's, Idaho State and South Dakota, and pitched in five more in Nebraska's first-round NCAA Tournament victory over Northern Iowa on March 21. She also scored five points in NU's Big 12 Tournament semifinal loss to No. 11 Texas A&M on March 13. She recorded at least one assist in 30 of NU's 34 contests.

Also solid student in the classroom, Neals claimed first-team academic All-Big 12 accolades for the first time in her career, while also earning her bachelor's degree in management from Nebraska on Dec. 19, 2009. She completed her degree in just 3 1/2 years in Lincoln. She is attending graduate classes in pursuit of an MBA during the 2010 spring semester.

"Nicole gave us a lot in games and practice and helped give us great chemistry," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "She hit big shots for us and fit in well in our backcourt rotation."

Junior (2008-09)
One of Nebraska's most improved players as a junior, Neals' continued to expand her contributions in the Husker backcourt. The 5-6 guard from Chandler, Ariz., averaged 3.2 points, 0.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while owning NU's best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9-to-1). She had 42 assists and 22 turnovers on the year, while playing an average of 15 minutes per game.

Neals knocked down a career-best 38.5 percent (25-65) of her three-point attempts on the year, while her 25 made three-pointers ranked second on the team behind only Yvonne Turner's 57.

Neals scored a season-high 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in a win over Colorado on March 3. She added three assists and a career-high three steals against CU, while hitting 2-of-3 three-pointers.

Neals scored in 20 of NU's 31 games, including each of the first 10 to open the year. She scored nine on a career-high three three-pointers in a win at Denver on Nov. 24. She added seven points, including a three and a pair of free throws in a win over Cal State Bakersfield.

She scored six points on six occasions, including a season-opening win over Weber State on Nov. 14, when she tied her career high with five assists. She added six points with a pair of threes against No. 18 Ohio State on Dec. 6, before scoring six more in a win over Long Beach State on Dec. 12. She also scored six in a win over Kansas on Jan. 21, when she played a season-high 27 minutes. Neals added six more points at No. 21 Iowa State on Feb. 18, before pitching in five points and tying her career best with five assists at Kansas on Feb. 28.

Neals also scored five points in a road win at Oklahoma State to end the regular season.

She closed her junior season by scoring in five straight games, while also knocking down a three-pointer in all five contests. Neals averaged 5.2 points and 2.4 assists over NU's final five games last season.

Off the court, Neals captured the first Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll selection of her career during the spring semester.

Sophomore (2007-08)
Neals averaged 2.5 points and nearly one assist per game while playing nearly 13 minutes per game.

She saved her best game of the year for last, matching her season high with six points and adding a season-best three rebounds against top-seeded Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at College Park. She also contributed an assist and a steal in 19 minutes of action against the Terrapins, who went on to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Neals scored in 22 of 33 games, including six points on six occasions. She pumped in six points on 2-for-3 shooting from three-point range in Nebraska's 55-45 win over Iowa State in the regular-season finale on March 5.

She added six points on a pair of threes late in the first half at No. 11 Oklahoma on Jan. 16, after helping the Huskers to a 20-point win over Kansas with 2-for-3 shooting from three-point range on Jan. 12.

Neals also hit 2-of-3 three-pointers, while adding two rebounds and a steal in a win over Denver on Dec. 30, while contributing six points with one three-pointer in NU's win over Creighton on Nov. 30. She had five points, including a three-pointer, to go along with two assists and a steal in a season-high 21 minutes off the bench in NU's win at Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 13. She had five points, three assists and a rebound in 15 minutes of action in NU's win over Florida on Nov. 17, after scoring five points and dishing out an assist in 15 minutes of work in a win over Ole Miss on Nov. 11. She tied her career high with five assists to go along with three points in Nebraska's win over Akron at the Oahu Classic on Nov. 25.

For the season, Neals hit 17-of-66 three-pointers (25.8 percent), while knocking down 32-of-101 shots (31.7 percent) on the year. She was also a steady ball-handler and decision-maker in the Husker backcourt, distributing 31 assists while committing 30 turnovers.

Freshman (2006-07)
Neals made significant contributions to Nebraska's 22-10 overall record, averaging 11.3 minutes per game while appearing in 24 contests.

She produced 2.0 points, 1.0 rebound and 0.8 assists per game and hit eight three-pointers on the year. She had a season-best nine-point effort against Minnesota when she played a career-high 29 minutes on Dec. 5, before pulling down a career-high six rebounds and dishing out a season-high four assists in a win over Michigan on Dec. 9.

Playing in front of family and friends at the Veterans Day Classic in Tempe, Ariz., Neals had eight points, three rebounds and two steals in Nebraska's 40-point win over Florida Atlantic on Nov. 12. She added eight points, including a pair of threes to spark Nebraska's first-half rally in a 14-point win over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 17.

Neals contributed two more big threes, two rebounds and an assist in a strong effort to help the Huskers knock off USC on Nov. 26.

High School
Neals led prep power St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Ariz., to three consecutive state championship games, capturing crowns in both 2004 and 2006. The Lady Knights finished with a No. 19 national ranking under Coach Frank Denogean in 2006. Neals was a three-time All-Arizona selection.

Neals was rated the No. 48 point guard recruit in the nation and the No. 192 player overall by the All-Star Girls Report. As a senior, she averaged 19.8 points per game to close her career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,298 points. She earned her third straight All-Arizona honor and scored 17 points in the state title game win over Mesa Red Mountain.

Neals also set the school record with her 38.2 percent (195-510) success rate from three-point range, including a stellar 43 percent (58-135) as a senior.

She ranked second in school history with 389 assists, just three off the school record, while ranking third in the St. Mary's record book with 378 career steals.

Neals led the Lady Knights to the Class 5A Division I title while finishing as one of the top 25 teams in the nation in 2006. She played alongside fellow NCAA Division I recruits Dymond Simon and Kayli Murphy (Arizona State) and Taylor Schneider (Texas-Pan American).

Neals faced each of her high school teammates as a freshman at Nebraska, battling Arizona State in Tempe on Nov. 10, 2006, before facing Texas-Pan American at the Devaney Center on Nov. 28, 2006.

As a junior, Neals averaged 16.4 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game to lead St. Mary's to a Class 5A state runner-up finish.

As a sophomore in 2003-04, Neals poured in 35 points in the state title game victory over Desert Visa. Her 674 points as a sophomore ranked as the third-highest scoring total in school history, while her 594 points as a senior ranked fifth in the school record book.

The daughter of Edward and Corine Neals, Nicole was born April 20, 1988, in Cheyenne, Wyo. She has two brothers, Joseph, 25, and Isaiah, 16.

Nicole is a management major with a minor in marketing. She earned her bachelor's degree from Nebraska on Dec. 19, 2009, and is pursuing a master's degree in business administration. She was a three-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll selection.

She chose Nebraska over Stanford, Arizona, Mount St. Mary's and Pepperdine. She also visited Texas Tech, San Diego and Arizona State.

Neals' Career Statistics

















2006-07 24-0 16-56 .286 8-39 .205 8-12 .667 23-1.0 20-0 18 17 0 10 48-2.0 2007-08 33-0 32-101 .317 17-66 .258 2-9 .222 17-1.0 13-0 31 30 0 9 83-2.5 2008-09 31-0 35-94 .372 25-65 .385 3-6 .500 28-0.9 26-0 42 22 0 10 98-3.2 2009-10 34-0 37-114 .325 20-70 .286 4-11 .364 32-0.9 31-0 49 37 2 20 98-2.9