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Nebraska WBB vs Iowa Preview

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The Huskers visit the ranked Hawkeyes tonight. Can they pull off the upset?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 07 Big Ten Conference Women’s Tournament - Purdue v Nebraska Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the opening game of the Big Ten season, the Huskers defeated the Hawkeyes in Lincoln 78-69. Since then, these teams have gone in opposite directions with the Hawkeyes on top of the conference standings and the Huskers developing a habit of poor second half play.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, 6:30 p.m. (CT)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,400) - Iowa City, Iowa
Live Video: BTN+
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (6 p.m.)Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln - B107.3 FM & 1400 AM KLIN; Omaha - ESPN 590 AMHuskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

In the first meeting this season between Nebraska and Iowa, junior center Kate Cain led five Huskers in double figures with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Nicea Eliely (12), Hannah Whitish (11), Sam Haiby (10) and Leigha Brown (10) helped the Huskers put together one of their most complete efforts of the season.

Through 11 Big Ten games, Iowa is leading the conference in scoring (78.5 ppg), field goal percentage (.490), free throw percentage (.762) and assists (18.8 apg). The Hawkeyes also rank second in the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage (.358) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.278), and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2). Iowa owns a minus-3.0 rebound margin and a minus-1.2 turnover margin in Big Ten play, as opponents are averaging 10.3 more field goal attempts per game than the Hawkeyes. Iowa has made nine more field goals than their Big Ten opponents, including 13 more threes, while outscoring opponents by an average of 5.7 points per game at the free throw line.

After letting two winnable games slip away (and losing three of their past four, with that win being a one-point squeaker against a not-great Wisconsin team) the Huskers are reeling. They can’t afford to have any long scoring droughts we’ve seen of late as well as puzzling defensive breakdowns. Nebraska will have to play much better than they have for several weeks if they hope to knock off the Hawkeyes in their house.

I think the Huskers are talented enough to do it, but I’m not sure the mental state of the team will be in the right place to make it happen.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (15-7, 5-6 Big Ten)
13 - Ashtyn Veerbeek - 6-2 - So. - F - 7.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
31 - Kate Cain - 6-5 - Jr. - C - 9.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
3 - Hannah Whitish - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
4 - Sam Haiby - 5-9 - So. - G - 11.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
5 - Nicea Eliely - 6-1 - Sr. - G - 9.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Off the Bench
32 - Leigha Brown - 6-1 - So. - F - 13.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg
34 - Isabelle Bourne - 6-2 - Fr. - F - 5.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg
2 - Trinity Brady - 5-11 - Fr. - G - 1.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg
14 - Grace Mitchell - 6-2 - Sr. - F - 1.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
44 - Kayla Mershon - 6-3 - So. - F - 1.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg
11 - Kristian Hudson - 5-5 - RSr. - G - 1.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg
1 - Makenzie Helms - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 0.3 ppg, 0.5 rpg

Out for Season
33 - Taylor Kissinger - 6-1 - Jr. - G - 8.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fourth Season at Nebraska (57-56); 13th Season Overall (250-165)

No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes (18-4, 9-2 Big Ten)
43 - Amanda Ollinger - 6-1 - Sr. - F - 7.1 ppg, 8.6 rpg
25 - Monika Czinano - 6-3 - So. - F/C - 14.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg
3 - Makenzie Meyer - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 15.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
5 - Alexis Sevillian - 5-5 - Jr. - G - 6.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg
22 - Kathleen Doyle - 5-9 - Sr. - G - 18.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg

Off the Bench
14 - McKenna Warnock - 6-1 - Fr. - G/F - 7.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
24 - Gabbie Marshall - 5-6 - Fr. - G - 4.9 ppg, 0.9 rpg
20 - Kate Martin - 6-0 - So. - G - 2.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg
1 - Tomi Taiwo - 5-10 - So. - G - 2.0 ppg, 0.7 rpg
11 - Megan Meyer - 5-8 - Fr. - G - 1.7 ppg, 0.4 rpg
23 - Logan Cook - 6-1 - So. - F - 1.3 ppg, 1.3 rpg
21 - Zion Sanders - 5-8 - Jr. - G - 0.6 ppg, 0.3 rpg
31 - Paula Valiño Ramos - 6-3 - Jr. - F/C - 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

Head Coach: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983) 20th Season at Iowa (414-221); 36th Season Overall (770-363)