At halftime, Nebraska and Iowa looked poised to battle it out until the final whistle just like they did in Nebraska’s double-overtime win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln. However, the short-handed Huskers ran out of gas down the stretch and Iowa pulled away for an 81-70 win in Iowa City.
Ed Morrow Jr. sat out his seventh straight game with a foot injury while Glynn Watson Jr., who suffered a groin injury against Purdue, came off the bench and played just 18 minutes.
The Huskers got off to a good start, racing out to a 12-6 lead behind six quick points by freshman center Jordy Tshimanga. However, when Tshimanga picked up his second foul midway through the half, Tim Miles decided to roll the dice and leave him on the court.
He picked up his third on the next possession.
Nebraska managed to stay in front for most of the first half thanks to Jack McVeigh, who showed off an arsenal of shots to lead all scorers with 11 points in the first half. However, with the score tied at 36-all, Peter Jok grabbed a loose ball and hit a short jumper to put the Hawkeyes up two at the break.
They never trailed again.
Nebraska pulled within three points or less seven different times throughout the second half but could never quite get over the hump. Evan Taylor pulled Nebraska within three at 67-64 with 3:51 to play, but Tshimanga committed his fifth foul in the other end and took a seat with 10 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes of action.
Iowa went on a 9-2 run to take a 10-point lead as Nebraska struggled to get anything going on offense. Iowa shot 5-of-6 from the foul line to close out the game.
Nebraska shot 31.6 percent from the field, including 1-of-13 from the 3-point line, in the second half. Nebraska shot 3-of-20 from deep overall, while the Hawkeyes shot 9-of-19 (47.4 percent).
McVeigh, who started in place of Watson, finished with a game-high 16 points. Together with Tshimanga and Michael Jacobson, the Nebraska got 35 points and 17 rebounds out of its starting frontcourt.
However, Tai Webster shot 6-of-18, including 0-of-6 from 3, to score his 14 points and Watson could only chip in three free throws.
Four Hawkeyes finished in double figures led by freshman point guard Jordan Bohannon with 15 points including 4-of-6 shooting from deep.
The Huskers will return home on Thursday to face the Big Ten-leading Wisconsin.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.