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Nebraska Women’s Basketball vs Iowa: Preview and Game Thread

The Husker women travel to Iowa City to take on a good Hawkeye team.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 01 Big Ten Women's Tournament - Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-6, 6-2) at Iowa Hawkeyes (16-5, 4-4)
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m. (CT)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, Iowa)

Live Video: BTN Plus
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network; Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst); Lincoln - B107.3 FM; Omaha - ESPN 590 AM
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• Nebraska’s 6-2 record at the halfway point of conference play matches the best record for the Huskers since joining the Big Ten in 2011-12 (6-2). That Husker team, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament, opened with an 8-2 record and finished 10-6.

• Four of Nebraska’s six Big Ten wins have come against NCAA RPI Top 50 teams (through games Jan. 24), including at Rutgers (14), Iowa (31), at Minnesota (43) and Purdue (46). NU’s only conference losses have come to RPI No. 6 Ohio State and RPI No. 23 Michigan in overtime.

• Nebraska, which is a perfect 7-0 in true road games this season including 4-0 in the Big Ten, is coming off its most impressive performance of the season in a 75-51 victory over Purdue on Wednesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

• Iowa, which lost to Nebraska, 74-65 in Lincoln on Jan. 16, will be Nebraska’s fifth straight top-50 RPI opponent and seventh in the Huskers’ first nine Big Ten games. Both Nebraska and Iowa received votes in this week’s Associated Press Poll and the Hawkeyes are No. 25 in this week’s WBCA/USA Today Top 25.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (RV/RV) (15-6, 6-2 Big Ten)
24 - Maddie Simon - 6-2 - Jr. - F - 10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Fr. - C - 10.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - So. - G - 13.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - So. - G - 8.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg
34 - Jasmine Cincore - 5-10 - Sr. - F - 6.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Iowa Hawkeyes (RV/#25) (16-5, 4-4 Big Ten)
4 - Chase Coley - 6-3 - Sr. - F/C - 8.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg
10 - Megan Gustafson - 6-3 - Jr. - F/C - 23.9 ppg, 12.4 rpg
3 - Mackenzie Meyer - 5-10 - So. - G - 11.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg
5 - Alexis Sevillian - 5-5 - RFr. - G - 10.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
22 - Kathleen Doyle - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg

Scouting The Iowa Hawkeyes

• Coach Lisa Bluder brings her Iowa Hawkeyes into Sunday’s game at Carver-Hawkeye following an impressive 103-89 win over No. 12 Ohio State in Iowa City on Thursday night. The win snapped Iowa’s three-game losing streak. Iowa enters Sunday’s game with a 16-5 overall record and a 4-4 Big Ten mark.

• Junior Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 29 points on 9-of-14 shooting and five rebounds against the Buckeyes. Gustafson had 29 points and 18 rebounds in the loss at Nebraska (Jan. 16).

• Gustafson is a leading candidate for Big Ten Player of the Year and All-America honors. The 6-3 forward/center ranks second in the Big Ten with 23.9 points per game while leading the Big Ten with 12.4 rebounds per game. Her 67.0 field goal percentage also leads the Big Ten. Gustafson leads the nation with 19 double-doubles and is averaging 26.5 points and 12.6 boards per game in Big Ten play.

• Gustafson is one of four Hawkeyes averaging in double figures, including sophomore Mackenzie Meyer (11.3 ppg). Meyer missed Iowa’s first six Big Ten games with a broken bone in her left (non-shooting) hand before returning to play 40 minutes in a 77-72 loss at Minnesota (Jan. 21). Meyer pumped in 18 points on 4-of-6 threes in the win over Ohio State. She did not play in the first meeting with Nebraska. In Iowa’s first 13 games, Meyer averaged 11.3 points and 5.0 assists while hitting 41.3 percent (26-63) of her threes.

• In conference play, the Hawkeyes have controlled the boards (+4.8 rpg) but have struggled with a minus-4.9 turnover margin playing without a pair of their starting guards in the first six games.

• Iowa is a tremendous free throw shooting team (.800 in Big Ten), but the Hawkeyes were outscored at the free throw line in each of their four Big Ten losses, including 17-11 at the line against the Huskers.

Nebraska vs. Iowa Series History

• Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa, 7-6, including a 74-65 win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln on Jan. 16 to snap Iowa’s five-game series winning streak with them to Lincoln.

• Each of the last seven meetings between the two teams has been decided by single digits, including a 75-72 Iowa win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Dec. 31, 2016.

• Nebraska dominated the series in its first years in the Big Ten. From 2011-12 through 2013-14 (three seasons), the Huskers went 8-0 against the Hawkeyes, culminating with a 72-65 victory in the 2014 Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (March 9).

• The Huskers are 3-5 all-time against the Hawkeyes in Iowa City with four of the last five games being decided by two possessions or less, including one overtime battle.

• Nebraska is 5-5 all-time against Iowa in Lincoln, dating back to a 67-66 win over the Hawkeyes at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Dec. 22, 1979.

• Nebraska is 5-2 all-time against Iowa on neutral courts dating back to the first meeting in the series, a 71-63 Husker win at the Jennies’ Classic in Warrensburg, Mo., on Jan. 13, 1978.

Husker Nuggets

• Kate Cain has climbed to third on Nebraska’s season block list with 72. Cain needs five blocks to match Catheryn Redmon (77, 2010-11) in second on that list. The Nebraska school record is 78 by Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page (78, 2007-08). Cain has at least one blocked shot in all 21 games this season.

• Cain’s 72 blocks rank No. 3 in the nation while her 3.4 blocks per game rank fifth in the country through games Jan. 24. No Nebraska individual has ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a career, and only two Huskers (Danielle Page, 2.4 bpg, 2007-08; Catheryn Redmon, 2.5 bpg, 2010-11) have ever averaged 2.0 blocks per game in a single season.

Husker Road Warriors

• Nebraska is riding an eight-game winning streak away from home. NU’s current road streak is the third-longest road winning streak in school history, and includes true road games (7) and the neutral site win over Coastal Carolina (San Juan Shootout, Daytona Beach, Fla.) that started the streak on Nov. 24.

• The longest road winning streak in school history came with 14 consecutive wins away from the Bob Devaney Sports Center in 2009-10. That Husker team finished 32-2, won the Big 12 title and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.