It was a memorable Senior Day for the Nebraska men’s basketball team on Sunday, as the Huskers erased a 16-point second-half deficit and scored 16 points in the final 47 seconds of regulation to force overtime in an eventual 93-91 victory over Iowa in front of 15,821 fans at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Seniors James Palmer Jr. and Glynn Watson Jr. combined for 15 points in the final minute of regulation, helping Nebraska erase a nine-point deficit. NU trailed 74-65 with 50 seconds remaining, but Palmer and Watson hit four 3-pointers over the next 38 seconds, with a Watson three bringing Nebraska to within 80-79 with 23 seconds left. After Iowa connected on 1-of-2 free throws, Palmer tied the game with a driving layup with 12 seconds remaining, and Nebraska withstood an Iowa 3-point attempt in the closing seconds.
Already missing starter Thomas Allen Jr., who sat out the game with an injury, Nebraska played the entire overtime period without two more starters – Isaiah Roby and Tanner Borchardt – who both fouled out as the Huskers made their comeback. But even without three starters, the Huskers operated efficiently on the offensive end, going 5-of-6 from the field in overtime. Nebraska grabbed its first lead since midway through the first half when Thorir Thorbjarnarson hit a layup 32 seconds into overtime. Iowa responded by scoring five of the next seven points to take a one-point lead. The Hawkeyes led by two following a Joe Wieskamp 3-pointer with 2:26 to play, but Nebraska would hold Iowa two just two points the rest of the way.
Palmer and Watson scored the next four points to give Nebraska a two-point advantage and after Iowa tied the game, it was freshman Amir Harris, who delivered the game-winner with a layup with 10 seconds remaining. Thorbjarnarson then blocked Ryan Bohannon’s potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
Nebraska ended the regular season with a 16-15 record after posting the largest comeback since rallying from a 19-point deficit against Iowa on Feb. 23, 2013. The Huskers finished with a 6-14 mark in conference play. Nebraska is the No. 13 seed for the Big Ten Tournament and will face 12th-seeded Rutgers on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. (Central).
Palmer led Nebraska with a game-high 27 points, while Watson added 23 points in the final home game for the senior duo. Isaiah Roby gave Nebraska three players with 20 points for the first time since 2007, as he scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Luka Garza led Iowa with a career-high-tying 25 points and Jordan Bohannon added 20. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season with a 21-10 record and a 10-10 mark in Big Ten play.