LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Jan. 9)–Sam Haiby scored 18 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, while Jaz Shelley added her fifth double-double, but it was not enough to prevent hot-shooting No. 22 Iowa from running to a 95-86 women’s basketball win over Nebraska in front of a season-high crowd of 8,415 at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Alexis Markowski added 14 points and eight rebounds in her second straight start, while Ashley Scoggin pitched in 13 points and four assists in a gritty effort, but Nebraska still slipped to 13-2 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten. Iowa improved to 8-4 and 2-2 with the win by shooting 61.7 percent from the field, including 57.9 percent (11-19) from three-point range.
Caitlin Clark led Iowa with 31 points, eight rebounds and 12 assists, but it was McKenna Warnock who did the most damage to the Husker hopes by adding 23 points on just 11 field goal attempts while pitching in 10 rebounds for a double-double of her own. Warnock hit 7-of-9 three-pointers in the game including all five attempts in the first half. Monika Czinano added 20 points and five points, while Kate Martin put four Hawkeyes in double figures with 12 points.
Martin went 4-for-4 from the floor with a pair of threes while fellow starter Gabbie Marshall was also a perfect 3-for-3 from the field to finish with seven points and four assists, as Iowa went 37-for-60 from the floor and connected on 10-of-11 free throws.
Despite the blistering shooting from the Hawkeyes, Nebraska kept it a possession game throughout by outworking Iowa on the boards. The Huskers pulled down 23 offensive rebounds and posted a 41-34 edge overall on the glass, but NU was only able to turn their 23 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points. Nebraska also won the turnover battle 15-9 and outscored the Hawkeyes 20-12 in points off those miscues.
But Nebraska hit just 39.8 percent (33-83) of its shots, including just 9-of-34 three-pointers (.265). The Huskers also made 11-of-16 free throws.
Iowa set the tone early, jumping to a 15-7 lead midway through the first quarter to force a Nebraska timeout after Warnock hit her first three-pointer just 4:10 into the game. She scored again to put Iowa up by double digits for the first time at 17-7, before Shelley, Haiby and Isabelle Bourne, who finished with eight points and eight rebounds, combined on a quick 6-0 run to cut the margin to 17-13 with 3:35 left in the period.
Warnock answered with her second three before back-to-back threes by Nebraska’s Allison Weidner and Scoggin trimmed the margin to 20-19 with 2:31 left in the first.
Iowa took a 27-24 lead to the second quarter after going 10-for-16 from the floor and 3-of-6 from long range, while Nebraska was 10-for-25 and 4-of-11. An 11-2 surge by Iowa midway through the second period gave the Hawkeyes their biggest lead at 50-39 after another Warnock three-pointer with 2:59 left in the first half, but Nebraska outscored Iowa 7-2 down the stretch to trim the lead to 52-46 at halftime.
The Hawkeyes were even better from the field in the second quarter than the first, hitting 11-of-15 shots, including 3-of-5 threes, while Nebraska went just 7-for-19 from the floor, including 2-of-8 from long range. Iowa closed the first half at 67.7 percent (21-31) from the field, including 54.5 percent (6-11) from three-point range. Warnock was 5-for-5.
Nebraska erased Iowa’s lead and tied the game at 67 with two minutes left in the third quarter on Haiby’s driving layup. The Huskers trailed 71-70 after a driving layup by Weidner with 42 seconds left, but Haiby was whistled for a foul on a Clark three-point attempt with 0.7 seconds left in the quarter. Clark hit all three free throws to send Iowa to the fourth quarter with a 74-70 lead.
Iowa extended the margin to 78-72 after a Czinano bucket with 8:58 left before Shelley, Markowski and Scoggin combined on a 7-0 run to take Nebraska’s only lead of the game at 79-78 on Scoggin’s three-pointer with 6:41 left.
Martin answered with a three-pointer for the Hawkeyes before Haiby tied the game at 81 on a layup, before Iowa got a 7-0 run from Clark, Warnock and Kylie Feuerbach to reclaim an 88-81 lead with 2:57 left. The Huskers were unable to get closer than five points the rest of the way.
The Huskers return to Big Ten road action at No. 6 Indiana on Thursday. Tip-off between the Huskers and Hoosiers in Bloomington is set for 5 p.m. with live television by the Big Ten Network.