Hawkeye women's basketball falters at home to hot-handed Nebraska


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Iowa’s women’s basketball team lost a thriller, 76-75, to visiting Nebraska to fall to 16-9 (5-6 Big Ten.) The loss is the squad’s fourth straight since entering the rankings at No. 24 a few weeks ago.

Senior center Morgan Johnson led the way for the Hawkeyes in both points and rebounds with 19 and 10. Sophomore Melissa Dixon added 19 points off the bench, shooting 5-of-10 from behind the arc, and senior guard Jaime Printy added 16 for the struggling Hawkeyes.

“Well, another tough one tonight — anytime you lose by 1 point, you always have those what-if situations,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Those are the ones that are going to keep you awake at night.”

Printy noted that the two teams will meet again in a little less than two weeks.

“It’s definitely frustrating — that’s one team we haven’t beat since I’ve been here at Iowa,” Printy said. “But it’s good, though, because we get another shot, and we’ll prepare and get ready for them.”

Nebraska used an 11-2 run to open up the game early before the Hawkeyes countered with a 9-0 jolt of their own to tie the game up at 11 a piece. That was the only time that Nebraska did not lead in the game.

The lead came courtesy of Jordan Hooper, who tallied 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting for the Huskers in the first half. She finished the game with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting.

Iowa held on tight during the first half until Nebraska pulled off a 6-0 run to end the first half and give the Huskers a 41-32 lead.

Coming out of halftime, behind the strong play of Johnson, who seemed to have a hand in every offensive play for the Hawkeyes, Iowa cut the deficit to 48-43 with just over 16 minutes remaining.

However, unable to contain the Nebraska 3-point threat, (the Huskers finished 10-of-23 from behind the arc), Nebraska once again pulled away from the Hawkeyes, pushing the lead to 64-52 with eight minutes remaining.

A huge 3 from Dixon fueled the Hawkeyes’ final surge. With just under 2:30 remaining, the Johnsburg, Ill., native drilled a 3 from the corner to cut the lead to 72-65. A pair of free throws from Printy and another two from sophomore Samantha Logic cut the Husker lead to 3 with just over a minute remaining.

After a pair of Husker free throws, the Hawkeyes answered with another clutch 3-pointer by none other than Dixon. Dixon’s fifth trey of the game cut the Nebraska lead to 74-72 with 12 seconds remaining on the scoreboard.

But time ran out for the Hawkeyes.  

After another set of Husker made free throws, junior guard Theairra Taylor nailed a 3 at the buzzer to end the game at 76-75.

Johnson, who compiled her 20th career double-double, did her best to avoid dropping a fourth-straight game but ended up just short.

“You just focus on the loss, and it just hurts even more when you did everything you could,” Johnson said.

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