Nebraska 92, Iowa 74: Swept

By BraydonRoberts5 on January 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm
Nebrasketball defeated Iowa for the second time this year
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Coming off their biggest win of the season, Iowa was looking to get revenge on a Nebraska team that defeated them early in the season. They failed. The Hawkeyes looked lost on both ends of the court and fell to Nebraska 92 to 74.

Iowa actually started off the game relatively well. They played good defense early and held an 11-7 lead with less than 4 minutes to go in the 1st quarter. Then the Hawkeyes gave up a run that would make Fran McCaffrey defenses blush. Over the next four minutes and change, Nebraska outscored Iowa 25-1 to take a commanding 20 point lead. They kept their foot on the gas from there, and took a 30 point lead into the half.

Iowa didn’t fare a lot better in the 3rd quarter, as Nebraska’s lead expanded to 34. Finally in the 4th they got things going a bit and managed to outscore Nebraska by 16—the Huskers still won 92-74.

Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Even when Iowa plays horribly, she’s still good enough to put up a monster stat line. Kathleen Doyle was Iowa’s only other double figure scorer with 16 points. The rest of Iowa’s players combined for only 32 points.

Nebraska was led by Maddie Simon, who had 19 points; she went 9-10 from the free throw line. Hannah Whitish added 16 points with only 7 field goal attempts. Jasmine Cincore and Janay Morton had 13 points apiece. Full stats are here.

The Good

Nothing. This was Iowa’s worst performance of the season by a wide margin.

The Bad

Everything, but I should probably be a little more specific.

Iowa’s biggest problem was turnovers. Specifically, they had 11 in the first half. At one point, the announcer said that Nebraska had scored off of each of Iowa’s turnovers. While I don’t know if that’s true, the point still remains that Iowa’s turnovers did set up the Huskers with a bunch of good looks at a time when Iowa’s offense was cold as ice.

When they didn’t turn the ball over, Iowa’s offense was out of sync. Gustafson had a fairly good game scoring-wise, but she went just as cold as the others during Nebraska’s devastating run. Iowa also had another poor game shooting from 3-point range, as they made only one on 12 attempts. The Hawkeyes don’t shoot the three enough to say they live and die by it, but I would say their 3-point shooting is sink or swim. If they’re making 3-pointers, they can compete with almost anyone, as the Ohio State game showed. If they’re not making shots from distance, things could get ugly like they did today.

Iowa’s defense also wasn’t great regardless of what look they deployed. In the first half, Nebraska was getting any open shot they wanted, and when they didn’t make a basket it was because they were fouled and went to the free throw line instead.

Finally, Iowa needs more out of its supporting cast. Gustafson and Doyle have turned into Iowa’s two biggest scoring threats, but they need help. Today they didn’t get much of it no matter who was on the floor. The biggest problem has been the disappearance of Alexis Sevillian. For much of the non-conference she was Iowa’s second leading scorer. Now she’s taking four shots or less most games, and doesn’t look like the 3-point threat she once was. If Iowa wants to secure an NCAA Tournament bid and do some damage in March, she’ll need to find her scoring again.

Up Next

Iowa returns to action on Thursday, February 1st at 5 PM CT at Michigan State. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Spartans are 14-8 on the season and 4-5 in the Big Ten. They are currently projected to make the NCAA Tournament. 

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