Isaac Copeland scored a season-high 24 points, but it was not enough as No. 24 Nebraska lost a battle of top-25 teams Sunday night, falling to No. 25 Iowa, 93-84, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Nebraska dropped to 11-4 on the season and 1-3 in the Big Ten after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season. Iowa (12-3, 1-3 Big Ten) picked up its first conference victory by scoring 93 points, the most Nebraska has allowed this season.
The 3-point line was a major factor, as Iowa made six more threes than the Huskers. Nebraska hit two of its first four 3-pointers but missed 17 of its final 19 attempts, connecting on just 4-of-23 from beyond the arc on the game. While the Huskers struggled to find their range, Iowa was 10-of-22 from the 3-point line, in addition to going 29-of-32 at the free-throw line. Nebraska made three more field goals and had five fewer turnovers than Iowa, but Iowa out-rebounded Nebraska by nine.
Copeland scored his 24 points in only 30 minutes, and he added six rebounds. James Palmer Jr. added 20 points and four assists, while Isaiah Roby hit 8-of-10 shots from the floor to finish with 17 points and nine rebounds. Thomas Allen rounded out the quartet of Huskers in double figures with 10 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Nebraska trailed by four at the break, 44-40, after allowing its most first-half points this season. In a back-and-forth half that featured four ties and 10 lead changes, the Huskers out-shot the Hawkeyes, but Iowa went 10-of-11 at the free-throw line and out-rebounded Nebraska by nine. Copeland scored 10 points in the first 11 minutes before sitting for nearly all of the final 8:24 of the half after picking up his second foul.
Iowa built an early three-point lead by making four of its first five shots – including a pair of threes – before a 7-0 run put Nebraska on top 14-10 five minutes into the game. The teams then traded runs, with Iowa scoring six straight points and Nebraska responding with a 5-0 spurt to take a 19-16 at the 12-minute mark.
The Hawkeyes retook the lead at 27-24 with eight minutes left in the half. Iowa held the lead for the remainder of the half, building their first two-possession lead of the game at 35-30 that forced a Husker timeout at the 4:47 mark. The lead stretched to seven before Nebraska responded with five straight points. The Huskers trimmed the lead to one at 41-40 thanks to six points from Palmer in the final two minutes. Nebraska appeared headed to the break trailing by just one, but Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon banked in a long 3-pointer just before the first-half buzzer.
Nebraska, which never led in the second half, quickly pulled to within one early in the period before Iowa responded with a 10-2 run. The Hawkeyes capped the spurt with seven straight points in a little more than a minute to take a 56-47 with 15 minutes remaining. After the Huskers broke the run with back-to-back baskets from Roby, Iowa scored on three straight possessions to build its first double-digit lead at 62-51 with 13 minutes to play, forcing a Husker timeout.
NU scored four straight points before Roby was whistled for his fourth foul, putting two Husker starters on the bench with four fouls, along with Glynn Watson Jr. Despite the foul trouble, Nebraska turned up the defensive intensity and forced four Iowa turnovers during a 6-0 run that trimmed the lead to 67-63 at the eight-minute mark. But Iowa quickly stretched the lead back to nine.
Nebraska used another 6-0 run to pull within four before Bohannon answered with his fourth 3-pointer to give Iowa a 75-68 lead with five minutes remaining. The Huskers pulled back within five two minutes later on a Roby dunk, but Bohannon answered with another big three and Nebraska never got closer than six the rest of the way.
Bohannon, who scored 11 of Iowa’s final 13 points, hit five 3-pointers and led Iowa with 25 points on a night where all five Hawkeye starters scored in double-figures.
After playing its last three Big Ten Conference games on the road, Nebraska will play its first home game of 2019 on Thursday, when the Huskers host the Penn State Nittany Lions at 8 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Iowa City - Freshman Leigha Brown scored a career-high 20 points, including six in the final 3:30, to help Nebraska rally from a 12-point deficit to cut the margin to two with 26.8 seconds left, but No. 19 Iowa hung on for a 77-71 women's basketball win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night.
Brown, a 6-1 wing from Auburn, Ind., scored 20 points in just 19 minutes, while junior guard Hannah Whitish pitched in 14 points, including five points in Nebraska's furious rally in the closing minutes. Freshman Sam Haiby added three of her nine points in a three-minute stretch where the Huskers scored 14 points to cut a 69-57 deficit to just 73-71 with 26.8 seconds left.
Nebraska slipped to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, while Iowa improved to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
Senior All-American Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 28 points and 17 rebounds but the 80 percent free throw shooter missed four free throws in the game's final 11 minutes that could have put Nebraska away. However, she drew 12 fouls on the Huskers in the game.
Fellow senior Hannah Stewart made the game's biggest plays for the Hawkeyes with a pair of offensive rebounds on missed free throws by teammates Tania Davis and Alexis Sevillian in the final 30 seconds that allowed Iowa to push the lead back to two possessions. Stewart finished with 14 points and four boards on the night. Davis, another senior, added 11 points, while junior point guard Kathleen Doyle pitched in 11 points and nine assists. However turnovers and fouls by Doyle and Davis late in the game allowed Nebraska to fight its way back into a one-possession game in the final minute.
Nebraska hung with the Hawkeyes despite shooting just 38.7 percent (24-62) on the night. The Huskers did hit 42.9 percent (9-21) of its threes and 14-of-17 free throws (.824). The two teams both committed 17 turnovers, but Nebraska won the battle of the boards, 41-36. However, Nebraska outscored Iowa 16-5 on second-chance points in the game, even though both teams had 11 offensive boards.
Iowa, one of the nation's top scoring offenses, hit 49.2 percent (30-61) of its shots from the field, including 4-of-12 threes. One of the nation's top free throw shooting teams, hit just 65 percent (13-20) of its free throws.
In a back-and-forth first half, Nebraska trailed 37-34 at halftime as Gustafson scored the final four points of the second quarter over the final 1:20.
Nebraska jumped to a 6-0 lead in the game with back-to-back three-pointers from Whitish and Taylor Kissinger, before Iowa answered with a 13-2 surge in a 2:13 span to give the Hawkeyes a 13-8 lead at the first media timeout.
Nebraska responded with 12 points off the bench from freshmen Ashtyn Veerbeek, Haiby, Kayla Mershon and Leigha Brown, who hit a pair of threes, to trim the Iowa margin to 22-20 at the end of the first quarter. Veerbeek, an Iowa native, finished with six points and a team-high nine rebounds in the game.
The Hawkeyes stretched the edge back to 25-20 to open the second quarter before the Big Red answered with an 8-0 run over the next 4:30. Maddie Simon started the run with a three-pointer, before Kate Cain added a traditional three-point play. Brown capped the run to give Nebraska 28-25 lead at the media break in the quarter. Brown finished the half with a team-high eight points. The Huskers maintained a 34-33 lead after a Whitish layup, before Gustafson closed the half for the Hawkeyes. Whitish closed the half with seven points to help the Big Red.
Nebraska hit 40.6 percent (13-32) of its shots in the half, including 5-of-9 three-pointers (.556) and all three of its free throw attempts. The Huskers lost the first-half turnover battle 9-8 and the war on the boards, 19-17. However, the Huskers outscored Iowa 8-2 in second-chance points and 11-7 in points off turnovers.
Iowa hit 48.8 percent (16-33) of its first-half shots, including 4-of-8 threes. The Hawkeyes went just 1-for-2 at the line. Gustafson led the Hawkeyes with 12 points and nine rebounds in the half, while Davis added 10 points.
Nebraska regained the lead to start the third quarter and took a 43-39 lead with 8:12 left in the period on Nicea Eliely's three-pointer. But the Hawkeyes got 10 straight points from Gustafson in the final 2:48 of the quarter to outscore Nebraska 10-3 down the stretch and take a 59-49 lead to the fourth.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten Conference home action next week, when the Huskers take on No. 4 Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Terrapins is set for 7 p.m. with tickets available now at Huskers.com.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL=
Amherst 57, Eustis-Farnam 46
Aquinas 50, Pierce 48
Arcadia-Loup City 62, Wood River 59
Battle Creek 62, Crofton 41
Bishop Neumann 72, Bennington 61
Chase County 69, Dundy County-Stratton 33
Clearwater/Orchard 57, North Central 50
College View Academy 62, East Butler 54
Edgemont, S.D. 43, Crawford 40
Elwood 56, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 38
Fullerton 55, Nebraska Christian 42
Hartington Cedar Catholic 77, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 67
Hastings St. Cecilia 37, Sandy Creek 19
Haxtun, Colo. 76, Leyton 18
High Plains Community 47, Hampton 42
Lawrence-Nelson 41, Giltner 32
Lincoln Christian 69, Crete 27
Ogallala 70, Bridgeport 63
Omaha Skutt Catholic 88, Ralston 52
Palmyra 57, Malcolm 42
Sidney 44, Kimball 33
Sterling 70, Dorchester 30
Sutton 58, Cross County 57
Wayne 59, Norfolk Catholic 51
Wilber-Clatonia 48, Johnson County Central 32
York 60, Beatrice 42
Alliance 69, Casper Natrona, Wyo. 53
Metro Holiday Tournament=
Millard South 54, Omaha North 47
The Classic Tournament=
Hartington-Newcastle 53, Bloomfield 32
Wynot 59, Winside 14
Wausa Post Holiday Tournament=
Wausa 59, Niobrara/Verdigre 51
Omaha Creighton Prep 64, Omaha Central 40
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL=
Amherst 64, Eustis-Farnam 16
Aquinas 47, Pierce 27
Archbishop Bergan 60, Omaha Roncalli 45
Bishop Neumann 54, Bennington 47
Boyd County 41, Stuart 28
Central Valley 60, Burwell 30
Columbus Lakeview 72, Douglas County West 18
Crete 56, Lincoln Christian 41
Crofton 67, Battle Creek 42
Cross County 41, Sutton 36
Doniphan-Trumbull 69, Ravenna 52
Dundy County-Stratton 56, Chase County 38
East Butler 69, College View Academy 32
Fairbury 44, Tri County 15
Fillmore Central 67, Central City 38
Franklin 40, Alma 32
Fullerton 56, Nebraska Christian 40
Garden County 27, Hemingford 26
Hartington Cedar Catholic 56, Laurel-Concord/Coleridge 44
Haxtun, Colo. 62, Leyton 41
High Plains Community 48, Hampton 42
Johnson County Central 32, Wilber-Clatonia 28
Lawrence-Nelson 41, Giltner 32
Malcolm 48, Palmyra 16
Ogallala 55, Bridgeport 19
Omaha Skutt Catholic 75, Ralston 23
Schuyler 50, Boys Town 13
Sidney 68, Kimball 28
South Loup 35, Sandhills/Thedford 26
Sterling 41, Dorchester 36
Sumner-Eddyville-Miller 41, Elwood 27
Weeping Water 59, Ashland-Greenwood 30
Wisner-Pilger 55, Madison 36
Wood River 50, Arcadia-Loup City 41
York 37, Columbus Scotus 30
Alliance 58, Casper Natrona, Wyo. 49
Metro Holiday Basketball Tournament=
Bellevue West 51, Elkhorn South 41
Papillion-LaVista South 66, Omaha Bryan 14
The Classic Tournament=
Hartington-Newcastle 50, Bloomfield 21
Wausa Post Holiday Tournament=
Niobrara/Verdigre 51, Wausa 42
Omaha Westside 43, Millard West 35
Papillion-LaVista 57, Millard South 55