Sam Haiby finished with 12 points while Kate Cain and Ashtyn Veerbeek each managed 10, but No. 12 Iowa surged to a 74-58 win over the Nebraska women's basketball team on Monday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers trailed 52-47 at the end of three quarters, but Nebraska went just 4-for-13 from the floor in the final period, to slip to 8-9 in the Big Ten and 13-15 overall. The Hawkeyes answered by going 8-for-13 in the fourth quarter, including 10 points from All-American Megan Gustafson who finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds for Iowa, which improved to 22-5 overall and 13-4 in the conference.
Hannah Stewart pitched in 14 of her 15 points in the second half to help the Hawkeyes, while Tania Davis gave Iowa three players in double figures with 14 points.
For the game, Nebraska hit just 34.8 percent (24-69) of its shots from the field, including 8-of-24 threes. NU went just 2-for-6 at the free throw, and was out-rebounded 44-31 by the Hawkeyes, including 23-8 in the second half. The Huskers won the turnover battle 16-9, including 9-2 in the second half.
Iowa worked its way to victory by hitting 30-of-57 shots (.526), including 4-of-11 threes (.364). The Hawkeyes also knocked down 10-of-13 free throws.
Nebraska built a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter by closing the period on a 14-5 surge over the last six minutes. But Iowa answered NU's strong finish to the first quarter with a 9-0 run in the first 3:15 of the second quarter. Iowa led 21-16, but Nebraska cut the Hawkeye lead to 23-21 after a three-pointer by Haiby with 5:35 left.
Iowa closed the second quarter strong and took a 36-25 lead to halftime. Gustafson put up a double-double in the first half with 17 points and 10 rebounds, including 11 points and six boards in the second quarter alone. In the second quarter, Iowa hit 10-of-16 shots, including 5-of-6 by Gustafson, while the Huskers went just 4-for-16 from the field in the quarter.
Haiby led the Huskers with nine points off the bench in the first half, while Veerbeek contributed eight points and four boards off the bench in the half. Fellow freshman Kayla Mershon pitched in five rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block to help the Huskers.
As a team, Nebraska hit just 29.7 percent (11-37) of its first-half shots, including 4-of-13 threes (.308). The Huskers were also 0-for-2 at the free throw line.
Iowa took the lead by hitting 15-of-31 shots (.484), including 8-of-11 by Gustafson, and 2-of-7 threes (.286). The Hawkeyes were 3-of-5 at the line. Both teams committed seven first-half turnovers, and Nebraska out-rebounded Iowa, 23-21 in the half.
Nebraska surged out of halftime thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Hannah Whitish, a three-point play from Haiby and a pair of buckets from Cain. The Huskers tied the score at 43 on a layup by senior Maddie Simon with 2:33. From that point, Iowa outscored the Huskers 31-15 over the final 12:33.
Nebraska closes regular-season Big Ten play on Saturday, March 2, when the Huskers travel to Penn State. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Nittany Lions is set for 2 p.m., with live television coverage by BTN.