#2 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #7 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Quarterfinals
6pm, Sears Centre Arena, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
The 14th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers renew their rivalry as they face- off in Big Ten Women’s basketball tournament quarterfianls action Friday night at the Sears Centre.
The #2 seeded Hawkeyes earned a double-bye in the tournament, while the #7 seeded Huskers used a dominating performance Thursday night against Illinois to force what will now be the third meeting of the season between the two teams.
Nebraska beat the Illini 86-71 Thursday night behind a career-high 26 points from Natalie Romeo who was 7-of-11 from three-point range, which tied the Nebraska school record.
The Hawkeyes counter Romeo with a deadly long-range shooter of their own in senior Melissa Dixon, who is currently second in the Big Ten and sixth in the nation in three-point shooting this season at just under 45% from long-range. Dixon has also shattered the Iowa school record books not once, but twice earlier this season, hitting 10 3-pointers in a win over Drake and 9-10 from distance in a 102-99 win over Northwestern.
The Hawkeyes have won both previous meetings with the Huskers this season including a 78-72 overtime thriller in Iowa City back on January 26th. The Hawkeyes shot nearly 60 percent from the field in the second half and overtime to erase a 10-point deficit with just under 13 minutes to play to beat the Huskers for the first time since they had joined the conference.
Sophomore Ally Disterhoft has been a huge reason for the Hawkeyes success against Nebraska this season as she scored all 20 of her points in the 2nd half and overtime and also added 10 rebounds in the win in Iowa City, and had 14 points and 7 rebounds in the Hawkeyes 69-61 victory on Feb. 12th in Lincoln.
The key for the Hawkeyes will be stopping Huskers senior forward Emily Cady who is ranked fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding this season and scored 19 points and pulled down 18 boards in the season’s first meeting.
Iowa will also need another big performance from do-everything point guard Samantha Logic, who is the reigning espnW national player of the week after a 20 point, 10 rebound and nine assist performance in a win over Wisconsin and scoring 24 points to go along with 13 assists in Sunday’s Senior Day victory over Minnesota.
The Hawkeyes had lost all eight of their previous meetings with the Huskers before this season, including in the second round of the Big Ten tournament back in 2013 and in the championship game of the Big Ten tournament a year ago in Indianapolis, dropping a 72-65 heart-breaker.
The Hawkeyes will need to continue this season’s success against the Huskers if they hope to move on to the tournament semi-finals on Saturday.