© Kirby Lee | USA Today Sports
After being held scoreless in Nebraska's 66-57 loss to Creighton last Wednesday, junior forward Jordan Hooper came up big with 36 points and 12 rebounds in what Omaha World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon described as, "...a white-knuckle, 78-77 win over the Seminoles." Swish Appeal had the opportunity to interview Hooper about her big performance, what the win means for the Cornhuskers going forward, and her teammates. For a photo gallery of the game, check out SB Nation's Nebraska site Corn Nation.
Swish Appeal: Describe your performance on Saturday as you scored a career high with 36 points and had 12 rebounds?
Jordan Hooper: "I came out with more of a bang, I’d say than with Creighton (laughing). But it was a team effort; I can’t take credit for all (the success Saturday night). My teammates found me when I was open, yeah I shot the shots but they definitely found me when I was open, they got the rebounds, they got stops on defense. And our crowd also fed my energy, I guess (compelling) me to shoot and stuff like that. It was a total team and crowd effort tonight -- it was a lot of fun."
Swish Appeal: Talk about your mindset going into the Florida State game after the loss to your to Creighton?
Hooper: "Creighton kind of woke me up, I’d say. I didn’t have the night or the game I wanted, that was pretty evident. I tried to just move past that but I also used it as a fuel for tonight. I tried to kind of feed off what I felt in that game, the complete terribleness of that game. I tried to use that as fuel for tonight and I think it worked (laughs)."
Swish Appeal: Can you talk about the ability that you seem to have to bounce back when you don’t play up to your standards?
Hooper: "I kind of use my bad games or worst games as fuel for my next game. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes I still don’t perform at (the level) where I think I should. Usually I come out with more aggressive attack and mindset -- more focused. I need to figure out to do that in the first place (laughing). That’s what I try to do and also I try to forget the last game and keep moving forward, you can’t replay those games."
Swish Appeal: Every time Florida State made a run, it seemed you would make a play, what was your mindset during those critical moments of the game?
Hooper: "I think that all goes back to high school, in high school I kind of was leaned on to make the plays when we needed them. I think some of that kind of shines through, I also give credit to my teammates for finding me in those moments. I mean if I was open and they wouldn’t pass it to me, I wouldn’t score. I really do like making the plays (but) I like when any of our team makes plays (laughs). It’s cool when it’s you but it’s even cooler when it’s your teammates. I scored a lot (Saturday) but my teammates really did a good job of finding me -- and playing really hard. It was a total team effort (Saturday night).
Swish Appeal: What does this victory do for your team going forward?
Hooper: "I definitely think it builds up our confidence; the Creighton game kind of took our wind out of us a little bit. And I think this game kind of gave that back to us, we know we still have a long way to go. We still have a lot to work on but I think the team morale is a lot higher after this game. Moving forward, it’ll really boost our confidence level and get us hopefully playing back to the standards that we want to play at."
Swish Appeal: How much did the performances of Emily Cady and Lindsey Moore help in this victory?
Hooper: "Lindsey, she’s always clutch -- no matter what. She’ll pass the right pass, she’ll make the shot when she needs to, she’ll get the steal, and she’ll do everything that you ask of her. She’s literally like a coach on the floor that can play every single position you ask her to (laughs). She’s outstanding in that aspect and she’ll play defense really hard. She’ll get a basket when we need her to, she’ll make you laugh if you’re not in the best of moods. They both bring so much to our team and they had really performances tonight. And I couldn’t have done what I did without those two, I really commend them too."
For a photo gallery of the game, check out SB Nation's Nebraska site Corn Nation.