The Iowa women’s basketball team took on Nebraska Friday in the first game of the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The game marked the third time in a month that the two teams had met. Nebraska entered the game at 12-4 in conference play, and Iowa was 8-8.
Nebraska managed to defeat Iowa in both regular season games, so the game was sure to be a challenge for the Hawkeyes. In the end, Iowa could not stand up to Nebraska’s fast paced offense and great shooters, as the Huskers eliminated Iowa from the Big Ten Tournament, 76-61.
The Hawkeyes started the game strong and put the first points of the game on the board. Throughout the first half they did an excellent job holding the Nebraska offense. Iowa had great transition defense and were making smart shooting choices. Samantha Logic played her position extremely well and had great ball and body awareness. As a team, the Hawkeyes were communicating very well and doing a good job of holding their own against the second seeded Cornhuskers.
As halftime approached, Nebraska sank a 3 putting the Huskers ahead of the Hawkeyes 34-24. Going in to the second half, Iowa hit a wall they could just not manage to get around. Their previously impenetrable defense began to fall apart, leaving many of Nebraska’s key scorers available to shoot. Jordan Hooper led the Huskers in scoring with 24 points. Iowa’s sloppy defense allowed the Huskers to have a 9+ point run and caused them to rack up upwards of 7 fouls. The refs were calling everything , they just could not get a break. By the 3 minute mark both teams were into the bonus.
With less than two minutes left in the game Samantha Logic was knocked in the face and the refs called a flagrant foul on Nebraska. Iowa sent their best free throw shooter, Jaime Printy to the line for two, both of which she knocked down.
Iowa’s biggest downfall was their lack of rebounding in the second half. They wouldn’t grab the ball if you paid them. Both offensively and defensively they struggled to get anything into motion. For the majority of the second half, Iowa trailed Nebraska with 20 or more points. Junior guard Theairra Taylor continued to battle and put points up for Iowa despite all the trouble the team was having. Senior Trisha Nesbitt also so quite a bit of play time and contributed to Iowa’s 61 points.
Going into this game, Iowa knew they were up for a challenge. Junior guard Theairra Taylor was ready for the Huskers’ “really great scorers” and was confident in Iowa’s defense. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to hold off Nebraska who will now advance and play the winner of the Purdue-Wisconsin game.
The Hawkeyes end their regular season 20-11 overall.