Cold shooting in conjunction with another off third quarter helped No. 20 Iowa pull away from Nebraska Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In the end, Nebraska dropped its third game in a row, 76-60.
While Nebraska struggled to make its open looks, Iowa hit 45.2 percent of its attempts from the floor. The Huskers hit just eight of their 30 triples on the evening, just 33% overall from the field, and just 57% from the free throw line.
That was the story of the third. Iowa had only a three-point lead after the first half, but while the Hawkeyes made half their looks in the frame, Nebraska struggled to keep pace; 10 if its 15 attempts in the quarter came from beyond the arc. Nebraska made only two of those threes and Iowa closed on an 8-2 run.
Nebraska went to the fourth quarter trailing 57-45 and couldn’t get closer than 10 points the rest of the way. A Hannah Whitish jumper with 7:10 to play in the game made it 61-51, Iowa, but the Hawkeyes then ripped off a 7-0 spurt over the span of 1:09 of game clock.
Husker sophomore wing Leigha Brown led the Big Red with 20 points off the bench, but 14 of those points came in the first half. She was 2-for-6 after halftime. Senior guard Hannah Whitish added 14 points and five assists, but took 15 shots to get there, 13 of them from 3. Junior center Kate Cain finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two steals. Sophomore guard Sam Haiby had five points on 1-of-10 shooting.
Monika Czinano led Iowa, now 19-4 on the year and 10-2 in Big Ten play, with 23 points and eight boards, while senior point guard Kathleen Doyle added 15 points and 15 assists. Fellow senior Amanda Ollinger contributed a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds for a Hawkeye team that outrebounded Nebraska 47-38.
Nebraska, with the loss, slipped to 15-8 on the year and 5-7 in Big Ten play. It may find some solace in the fact it was the last team to beat Iowa on its home court three seasons ago; the Hawkeyes have now won 33 games in a row at home and 19 straight in Big Ten play. But then again, it might not. Nebraska opened the year 13-2 and has faltered of late. The three straight losses are a first on the year.
The Huskers return to Big Ten home action on Sunday when they take on No. 18 Indiana looking for some answers. Tip is set for 2 p.m. CT on Play4Kay day at Pinnacle Bank Arena.