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Dave Weaver, Associated Press
In this Dec. 21, 2011, photo, Nebraska's Lindsey Moore (00) drives past South Dakota State's Gabriel Boever, rear, during an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb. The junior point guard from Covington, Wash., ranks in the top six of four major statistical categories in the Big Ten. She's one of the reasons Nebraska, who finished last in the Big 12 a year ago, is in contention in their first year in the conference.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Whatever No. 19 Nebraska needs, Lindsey Moore can deliver.

If it's a basket, she'll shoot the 3-pointer or drive to the hoop. If it's a play, she'll find the open teammate and whistle a pass to the right spot. And she can make the big free throw or make key defensive play.

"We're just lucky to have her because she can do so many things," Cornhuskers coach Connie Yori said Wednesday.

The junior point guard from Covington, Wash., is one of the reasons the Huskers, who finished last in the Big 12 a year ago, are in contention in their first year in the Big Ten. She ranks in the top six of four major statistical categories in the league.

Nebraska (16-3, 5-2) goes into Thursday night's home game against Iowa tied for third, two games behind Purdue and one game in back of Ohio State.

The turnaround from last season is impressive considering the Huskers have eight freshmen and sophomores on the roster.

"I knew we'd have potential to be a good team and have potential to do good things in the Big Ten," Moore said, "but a lot depended on our health and how fast the new kids picked things up. It's been a joy ride for us."

Moore has scored in double figures in 29 of the last 32 games and has had 20 or more points in five games this season.

In Sunday's win over Minnesota, she took only four shots and finished with five points. She did, however, hand out eight assists.

"I'll do whatever is needed to be done in order for us to win," she said.

Moore is averaging 15.8 points and 6.1 assists. Her 1.7-to-1 assist-turnover ratio is fourth-best in the Big Ten. She's also a 79 percent free-throw shooter. Oh, and she excels on the defensive end, making 2.2 steals a game.

"I have not been around a player that versatile," forward Jordan Hooper said. "She can do it all. She can take over a game whenever she feels like it. Some games she chooses to, other games she doesn't."

Moore, who has started all 84 of her games at Nebraska, began her career as a pass-first point guard on the team that won 30 straight games and finished 32-2.

She had to become more aggressive as a scorer last season after the graduation of three All-Big 12 first-team players and injury issues. Her average ballooned from 6.0 points a game as a freshman to 14.1.

This season, she lets circumstances dictate how she plays each game.

"If I'm doing a really good job setting people up and other people are knocking down shots, that's what I go with," Moore said. "I don't try to force the issue of me getting points."

Moore has earned a reputation among teammates for baking tasty cookies and cakes and for her artistic skills. Hooper, her roommate, said Moore especially enjoys coloring during her down time. In fact, Hooper bought her a Disney coloring book for Christmas, and she has three or four other coloring books stashed in their apartment.

"I love bright colors," said Moore, who paints her fingernails lime green before every game.

Hooper said Moore colors on flights to kill time or on nights when she has no homework.

"She's really a talented colorer," Hooper said. "If basketball doesn't work out, she can go color."