Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza proved too much for the Nebraska men’s basketball team Saturday night, as No. 17 Iowa salvaged a season split with the Huskers with a 96-72 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Wieskamp scored a career-high 30 points, while Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, added his ninth straight 20-point game with 22 points. The duo combined for 52 points while going 19-of-28 from the field, including a 6-of-8 performance from Wieskamp in a 20-point second half. As a team, Iowa shot 49 percent and knocked down 11 3-pointers.
With the win, Iowa (17-7, 8-5 Big Ten) avenged its loss in Lincoln on Jan. 7, while Nebraska fell to 7-16 on the season and dropped to 2-11 in Big Ten play. Jervay Green led Nebraska with 18 points, while Cam Mack and Dachon Burke Jr. joined Green in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
After the teams traded baskets on their opening possessions, Iowa scored the next 13 points to build an early double-digit lead. The Hawkeyes led 21-5 five minutes into the game and were up 25-9 before Nebraska clamped down defensively.
Trailing by 16, the Huskers held the Hawkeyes scoreless for more than eight minutes, using a 12-0 run to pull within 25-21 with five minutes to play. But Iowa answered by scoring seven of the next nine points, stretching the lead to 31-23 with 3:19 left in the first half. Two minutes later, Green hit the Huskers’ only 3-pointer of the first half, capping a personal 5-0 run that trimmed the lead to six. But Iowa scored the final five points of the period to take a 41-30 lead into the locker room.
Iowa shot 46 percent in the first half and was 5-of-16 from the 3-point line, while Nebraska hit only 35 percent of its shots and was just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc. Green had 11 first-half points off the bench for the Big Red, as Nebraska’s starters combined to go just 6-of-23 from the floor.
Cam Mack made the first basket of the second half before Wieskamp scored the game’s next seven points as help Iowa to a 16-point lead. The Hawkeyes extended their lead, scoring 12 straight points during a 16-2 run that pushed the lead to 66-38. Wieskamp scored 10 points during the run as less than eight minutes into the second half, he and Garza had combined to score 23 of Iowa’s 25 second-half points.
Iowa continued to make shots, hitting 10-of-11 from the field during a six-minute stretch that ended with the Hawkeyes on top 78-45 with nine minutes to play. That marked the Huskers’ largest deficit of the season to that point and the lead grew to as many as 38 after back-to-back 3-pointers with seven minutes remaining. Nebraska closed the game strong, making nine of its final 11 shots to out-score Iowa by 14 over the final 6:37.
Nebraska returns to action on Tuesday, when the Huskers travel to Maryland for a second straight road game against a top-20 team. Tipoff between Nebraska and No. 9 Maryland is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with live radio coverage provided by the Husker Sports Network.
*-Nebraska falls to 0-4 against ranked teams, all coming in Big Ten play.
*-The win by Iowa snapped Nebraska’s two-game win streak in the series. NU is now 2-17 all-time in Iowa City.
*-Jervay Green reached double figures for the eighth time this season, finishing with 18 points in the game, including 11 in the first half. It surpassed his high in Big Ten play this year (11 at Rutgers) and is his most since scoring 22 against Southern on Nov. 22. Green has scored in double figures in three of his four Big Ten road games, including each of his last two conference road tilts.
*-Cam Mack finished with a season-high three steals, matching his previous best of three set three other times, most recently against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 29. He also finished with three assists, moving into sole possession of sixth place on Nebraska’s single-season list with 148 on the season.
*-Mack finished with 13 points, his team-high 20th double-figure effort of the season.
*-Dachon Burke Jr. finished with 12 points for his 13th double-figure game of the season.
*-Nebraska now has 17 double-figure runs this season after a 12-0 run in the first half today. NU held the Hawkeyes scoreless for a stretch of 8:01 in the first half. The 12-point run tied for the Huskers’ largest run in Big Ten play this season (also had a 12-0 run against Purdue on Dec. 15). It also tied for Nebraska’s second-largest run overall this season, trailing only a 13-0 run against South Dakota State on Nov. 15.
*-Akol Arop scored four points in a career-high 11 minutes. The four points tied his career high and marked the second straight game he scored four points, after Arop had scored only two points in the first 10 games of his career.
*-Charlie Easley scored seven points, one shy of his career high.