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Huskers’ late rally comes up short against Iowa | KTIC Radio

Huskers’ late rally comes up short against Iowa

Huskers’ late rally comes up short against Iowa
Courtesy/NU/Media Relations

Lincoln – Trailing by 17 points to visiting Iowa with just under five minutes left, the Nebraska women’s basketball team erupted on a 13-0 run in a span of just 2:36, but the Huskers could not complete the comeback in an 88-81 loss to the Hawkeyes on Thursday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Huskers, who slipped to 9-8 overall and 7-7 in the Big Ten, trailed 78-61 with 4:53 left before MiCole Cayton hit a pair of free throws coming out of the final media timeout. Nebraska got a stop, and Sam Haiby knocked down a three-pointer, before Ashley Scoggin sank another to force an Iowa timeout. Nebraska got another stop out of the Hawkeye timeout as Bella Cravens drew an offensive foul on McKenna Warnock to put the ball back in Haiby’s hands for another three-pointer – Nebraska’s third in three consecutive possessions to pull with 78-72 with 2:32 left.

The Husker run didn’t stop there, as Whitney Brown stole a pass from Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Haiby attacked the rim, drawing the fourth foul on Iowa’s Monika Czinano. Haiby hit both free throws to make it 78-74 Iowa with 2:18 left and complete the 13-0 run.

Nebraska then made another play at the defensive end, as Annika Stewart drew an offensive foul on Czinano to put the Hawkeye center and the nation’s leader in field goal percentage out of the game with 1:57 left. Czinano finished the night with 17 points.

The Huskers had a golden opportunity to make it a one possession game, as Haiby attacked from the left wing past Iowa’s Tomi Taiwo but could not finish the layup with 1:42 left. Iowa then got a long three-pointer from Clark to end the NU run. It was Clark’s sixth and final three-pointer of the night before sealing the win with six straight free throws in the final 32 seconds. Clark finished with a career-high 39 points on 12-of-18 shooting overall and 6-of-10 threes while going 9-for-9 at the free throw line. She added 10 rebounds and seven assists while also committing seven turnovers.

Clark’s big night allowed Iowa to improve to 11-6 overall and 7-6 in the conference, stepping ahead of Nebraska in the Big Ten standings.

Haiby led Nebraska with 28 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter as the Huskers fought to the finish against the Hawkeyes. Isabelle Bourne added 16 points for the Big Red, while Cravens contributed 12 points and seven rebounds while Scoggin pitched in 10 points to put four Huskers in double figures.

While Clark put up gaudy numbers, it was Warnock who hit some of the game’s biggest shots on her way to 19 points. Her three-pointer just ahead of the buzzer to end the third quarter sent the Hawkeyes to the final period with a 65-54 lead. She buried another three in the opening minute of the fourth to put Iowa up 70-57. She finished the night 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.

As a team, Iowa hit 30-of-59 shots from the field (.508) including 12-of-24 threes and 16-of-20 free throws, including 11-of-12 in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes out-rebounded Nebraska 37-33, but the Huskers got 12 offensive boards compared to 10 for Iowa and outscored the Hawkeyes 8-7 in second-chance points.

The Huskers also won the turnover battle, 16-10 and outscored Iowa in points off turnovers 21-15. Nebraska hit 45.5 percent (30-66) of its shots on the night including 7-of-26 threes (.269). Nebraska opened the game 3-for-3 in the first quarter before missing its next 12 long-range attempts before Cayton’s first three-pointer as a Husker to open the fourth quarter. NU also hit 14-of-19 free throws.

In a tightly contested first half, the lead went back-and-forth in a high-scoring first quarter before Iowa closed the period on a 7-0 run to take a 29-23 lead to the second quarter. Although the quarter was high scoring, it was not fast paced. In fact, the Hawkeyes scored 29 points on 11-of-14 field goal shooting, including 5-of-6 threes.

Nebraska answered with its highest scoring first quarter of the season with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 3-of-7 three-point shooting.

The second quarter was played at a similar pace with a much different result. The Huskers held the Hawkeyes scoreless for the first four minutes of the period but managed just two Haiby layups to cut the margin to 29-27.

Clark, who scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting including 4-of-5 threes in the first half, hit a long three to end the Iowa drought before Warnock scored to give Iowa its biggest lead of the half at 34-27.

The Huskers responded with a 6-0 run that included four points from Stewart to pull within 34-33 with 2:45 left. But the Big Red  was unable to get any closer and Taiwo scored on a leak-out layup at the buzzer to send the Iowa to halftime with a 41-35 lead after the two teams both scored 12 points in the quarter.

Both teams went just 5-for-17 from the field in the second quarter.

In the half, the Huskers hit 40 percent (14-35) of their shots including 3-of-12 threes (.250), while hitting 4-of-6 free throws. Iowa hit 16-of-31 shots (.516), including 6-of-12 threes, while going 3-of-6 at the free throw line. Iowa out-rebounded Nebraska, 22-17, but the Huskers won the first-half turnover battle, 10-6. Haiby and Bourne each led Nebraska with nine first-half points, while Scoggin contributed seven points and Cravens pitched in six.

Nebraska completes its two-game home stand on Sunday afternoon by playing host to No. 9 Maryland. Tip-off between the Huskers and Terrapins is set for 4 p.m.

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