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Nebraska WBB Falls to Iowa 80-76

The Huskers scrappy fourth quarter comeback fell short against a top 10 team.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

This will be a tough game against [yet another] ranked opponent. Iowa beat Nebraska three times last season and brings mostly the same lineup this year. Can the ladies pull an upset?

First Quarter

The Huskers scored the first six points (Bourne, Haiby and Markowski). The Husker defense held the high-flying Iowa offense scoreless through the first three minutes as the Hawkeye stars are missing shots. That probably won’t last long, so the Huskers need to take advantage while they can. A problem with the clock stopped play for several minutes.

After the stoppage, Jaz Shelley grabbed a steal and found Bourne to extend the lead to 8-0. Clark got Iowa on the board nearly halfway through the quarter with a three and the Hawkeyes followed that with a steal and another long shot (8-6 Neb). Alexis Markowski is a handful for the Hawkeyes as she gets fouled, hits her free throws, pulls down a rebound and hits a layup. The Hawkeyes connect on yet another three (12-9 Neb).

Bourne and Hake each scored to extend the Husker lead to 17-9 before the Hawkeyes answered. Markowski and Bourne continued to play some really good ball and forced Lisa Bluder to use a timeout to get her team organized (21-11 Neb).

Out of the timeout, the Hawkeyes scored four points to pull within six.

Nebraska 21 Iowa 15

Second Quarter

The Hawkeyes hit a three a minute into the second frame. After that, the teams traded baskets (23-20 Neb) and a Husker turnover led to a tie game at 23. Amy Williams took a timeout at 7:56 to settle her team down.

The timeout did not work as the Hawkeyes took their first lead and then extended it to ten points (33-23 Iowa). The Husker offense is struggling desperately with only two points in the first seven and a half minutes of the quarter, and counting. This Hawkeye team makes scoring points look easy, which is a sharp contrast to the Husker struggles.

Anni Stewart broke the scoring drought for Nebraska but the ten point margin was maintained for a couple minutes until a Shelley three closed it to single digits (39-30 Iowa) with 30 seconds to go. The Huskers are 1/11 from long range while Iowa is 6/11. A Hawkeye layup ended scoring for the half.

Iowa 41 Nebraska 30

Third Quarter

The Hawkeyes wasted no time in extending the lead to 14. That margin was maintained through some back and forth play until the six and a half minute mark when the Hawkeyes increased it to sixteen (53-37 Iowa). Callin Hake hit from the top of the key (53-40 Iowa) at the media timeout.

Iowa extended the lead to sixteen multiple times throughout the last part of the third quarter. Markowski pickeed up her fourth foul and had to sit down, replaced by Mendelson. The Hawkeyes held for the final shot and hit one to beat the buzzer.

Iowa 67 Nebraska 50

Fourth Quarter

The Huskers started the fourth quarter with a seven point (Haiby and Shelley) run to close within 10 at 8:37 (67-57 Iowa). Both teams traded empty possessions until Sam Haiby’s layup got Nebraska within eight (67-59 Iowa). Iowa took a timeout to regroup at 7:31.

An Anni Stewart three got Nebraska within five (67-62 Iowa), but the Hawkeyes answered with a three of their own (70-62 Iowa) at 5:55. Some home cooking in terms of foul calls is helping Iowa stay ahead and extend the lead back to 10 (72-62 Iowa). The calls were bad enough that Amy Williams should have been called for a technical but the refs knew they blew it and did not T the coach up.

The lead remained in the 10-12 point range for several minutes and stood at 75-65 Iowa with three minutes left. The Huskers need a run if they want a chance for the upset.

A Krull three brings Nebraska within seven and then a layup by Bourne makes it a five point game (75-70 Iowa) with 90 seconds to play.

The Huskers started fouling with 45 seconds left and Iowa hit free throws to extend the lead (77-70 Iowa). Caitlin Clark was called for stepping out of bounds while Maddie Krull was trying to foul her with 24 seconds left in the game.

Sam Haiby with the three!! (77-73 Iowa) with 18 seconds.

Caitlin Clark hits one of two free throws (78-73 Iowa) with 17 seconds.

Markowski misses a three and Clark is fouled with 4.9 seconds left. She made both.

Maddie Krull hit a three with one second left.

Final. Iowa 80 Nebraska 76

Stats and Thoughts

The Huskers played well in the first and fourth quarters but a terrible second quarter dug a hole that was difficult to get out of.

Five Huskers scored in double figures, Haiby (16), Bourne (14), Krull (13), Markowski (12) and Shelley (10). Markowski earned a - say it with me - double double with 11 rebounds. Shelley also earned a double double with 11 assists.

The Huskers shot 45% from the field (29-64) and threw up 30 three-pointers, making nine of them (30%). They held Iowa to 42% from the field (27-64) but free throws made a big difference as the Hawkeyes reached the line 22 times (making 18) while the Huskers were nine of 11 from the stripe.

Nebraska committed 12 turnovers and forced the Hawkeyes into 15. Iowa outrebounded Nebraska 43-32.

Next Game

The Huskers host Michigan State on Thursday, Feb 2. Tipoff will be at 7:30 pm.