While it may be cold outside, it may have been colder in Pinnacle Bank Arena for Iowa on Tuesday night.
By Sean Bock
For the first time this season, the Hawkeyes have dropped two-straight games.
After falling to Purdue on Jan. 13, Iowa couldn’t bounce back, losing, 74-65, to Nebraska in Lincoln on Tuesday.
The Hawkeyes got off to a quick 7-point lead three minutes into the first quarter, but the Huskers fought their way back, and Iowa couldn’t find a way to overcome the home team’s stingy defense.
“We have to start making some [3-point field goals],” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said in a release. “That will open it up even more inside. We can’t have Megan [Gustafson] scoring 29 [points], and Amanda [Ollinger] has a really nice game, and she is the second scorer with 12 points. We can’t have [just] two people [score] in double figures. We need other people to step up, play the game, and be confident in their shooting. We know they’re good shooters, they know they’re good shooters. We need to have more opportunities for other people to shoot the ball.”
Gustafson led the Hawkeyes with 29 points and 18 rebounds — her 18th double-double of the season. Ollinger chipped in a career-high 12 points. They were the only two Iowa players to score in double digits.
Much like the Purdue contest, the Hawkeyes couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end.
Iowa shot 39 percent from the field and was 0-of-7 from behind the arc. The Hawkeyes also turned the ball over 15 times — three more giveaways than their number of assists.
The backcourt duo of Kathleen Doyle and Alexis Sevillian once again struggled offensively. The two had 8 points — Doyle had all 8 — and were 2-of-15 from the field and 0-of-6 from 3-point land.
“We have to get our confidence back shooting the ball; that’s the fun part about basketball, and that’s the fun part about practicing: going into the gym by yourself and imagining yourself in these pressure situations,” Bluder said in a release. “To me, that’s the most enjoyable part of the game. We need to get that back; we need to get to the gym and get that confidence back as a shooting team, because we are a great shooting team.”
Depth for Iowa has been an issue all year long.
Eight Hawkeyes saw the floor in the evening, while the Huskers went 12 deep. There were numerous cases throughout the game in which the Hawkeyes looked winded, and Nebraska took advantage of them.
Three Huskers scored in double figures: Maddie Simon had 19, Hannah Whitish scored 18, and Taylor Kissinger followed with 12. Eight Huskers had at least 3 points while only committing 8 turnovers.
While Iowa’s shooting woes were evident, Nebraska’s offensive performance wasn’t necessarily flattering.
The Huskers were 17-of-35 (47 percent) from the free throw line and 24-of-63 (38 percent) from the field.
The Hawkeyes (15-4, 3-3 Big Ten) will try to end their losing streak at Minnesota on Jan. 21.
“I know Nebraska beat Minnesota at Minnesota, so obviously if you look at the two tough teams this week, we probably have the tougher one over,” Bluder said in a release. “I hate to say that because Minnesota can score at will. But they have three guards who play 40 minutes as we do. They can score like crazy, so we will have to bring our defensive savvy to this game.”