Spiric Out for Season

Jelena Spiric, the 2005 Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year, suffered a knee injury in practice on Tuesday, Oct. 18 and will miss the 2005-06 Nebraska women's basketball season.

Jelena Spiric, a senior from Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro, started 23 games for Nebraska as a junior in 2004-05, after transferring from Colby (Kan.) Community College. The 2004 NJCAA All-American averaged 8.1 points and 4.1 rebounds for the Huskers last season, including 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in Big 12 action. Spiric was NU's second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder in conference play.

In her first season at Nebraska, Spiric was limited during non-conference play while recovering from a major knee injury in the final game of her junior college career. During the conference season, Spiric neared 100 percent and became one of NU's top players. She produced career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Nebraska's upset of eventual national champion Baylor on Jan. 12, and averaged 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the Huskers' two postseason tournament games.

"This injury is obviously terrible for Jelena. She worked so hard and put in a huge amount of time rehabbing from her first knee injury. Last year, we never got to see the kind of player Jelena really is," Nebraska Coach Connie Yori said. "Before Tuesday, Jelena was playing great basketball, and I was expecting her to have a great senior season. She had a really good summer and was in great shape athletically. Her confidence was high and she was one of our most dominant players in practice. We are going to have to approach our season differently without Jelena."

Spiric can apply for a medical hardship and return for her senior season with the Huskers in 2006-07.

Nebraska opens its 2005-06 season with an exhibition game against Nebraska-Omaha at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Monday, Oct. 31, at 7:05 p.m.

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