On a cold third final Sunday in February, we thought we had seen the worst that the Nebraska Cornhuskers could manage on a Basketball floor. And, with Legends Weekend coming around, there was a thought that Nebrasketball could muster up a challenge to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
And then, they tipped off.
Behind a wretched offensive output in the first half where the team put up 16 points while only shooting 23% and losing the rebounding battle by a 27-16 margin, the Hawkeyes rolled into their first game at Pinnacle Bank Arena and easily won by a score of 74-46 in front of 13,000 in attendance.
Nebraska (13-14, 5-10 B1G) never led at any time of the game, and during the first half had a scoring drought of over 8 minutes long. During that time, the Hawkeyes (17-10, 7-7 B1G) got a big first half from Aaron White, who led Iowa in the first half with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
For the Huskers, Nick Fuller and Leslee Smith got the start over Benny Parker, David Rivers and Walter Pitchford. However, it didn't matter as the Huskers couldn't get past double digits on the scoreboard till over halfway though the period. A small Nebraska run after the scoring drought got the score to 21-14 at the 6:23 mark. However, the Hawkeyes went on a 21-2 run to the end of the half, a stretch where the only Huskers basket out of 10 shots, to make it 42-16 at Half.
The second half didn't really improve much, as both teams shot around 50% for a majority of the half. Trevor Menke and Kye Kurkowski made appearances for Big Red. In the end, however, the Hawkeyes solidified their push in the top half of the Big Ten.
How dominating was Iowa in this game? They led for 39 minutes and 39 seconds of the matchup.
Nebraska was led by Terran Petteway with 16 points and 6 rebounds. The only other player for Nebraska in double digits was Walter Pitchford with 10. Aaron White led the way for the Hawkeyes with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
After the Maryland game, where the Huskers were close into the final minute, this could easily be described as the biggest disappointment of this season. That is saying something with the way this year has gone. While Iowa is a good team, Nebraska should have done better.
The Huskers get back on the court Thursday when they head to play Ohio State in Columbus.