Iowa men's basketball suffers second-half collapse in Nebraska


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Nebraska’s Dylan Talley rose above Iowa’s Mike Gesell with just seconds left on the shot clock and let fly a 3-pointer from several feet beyond the top of the key.

Pandemonium ensued just a moment later in the Devaney Sports Center as Talley’s shot found the mark to give the Cornhuskers a 63-60 lead over the Hawkeyes. Nebraska collected a Gesell miss on the other end and hit a free throw to seal a 64-60 victory.

Fans weren’t the only ones in disbelief after the game.

“I haven't hit a shot like that ever, really,” Talley, who scored 16 of his 18 points in the second frame, told the Omaha World Herald.

How Talley was in position to take such a momentous shot was the question Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery and his players faced after the game.

The Hawkeyes seemed well on their way to burying the Cornhuskers at the conclusion of the first half. They held a 41-25 edge and had led by as many as 19 points. They controlled the tempo and got Nebraska out of its half-court, grinding comfort zone.

And the Hawkeyes took all of 4 minutes and 36 seconds to let that lead dwindle to single digits as the Cornhuskers dictated their pace and shot a blistering 62.5 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.  McCaffery didn’t hide his disappointment after the game.

“I hope the fans are very disappointed; they should be extremely disappointed,” McCaffery said in a release. “I hope they are absolutely sick to their stomachs like I am.”

Sophomore Aaron White said the Hawkeyes missed an opportunity early in the second half, and it wasn’t surprising to see Nebraska take advantage.

“In the locker room, we talked about the first four minutes, coming out and making a statement to put the game away,” White said in a release. “They made some plays, but you can’t give up 62 percent and 39 points in the second half. That will get you beat on most nights.”

Devyn Marble led the way for the Hawkeyes and scored a game-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. White added 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Senior Eric May chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. No other Hawkeye scored more than 6 points.

The loss drops Iowa to 17-10 on the year, 6-8 in the Big Ten. Why the Hawkeyes can’t seem to find consistency, especially on the road, remains a mystery. But White said there is one reason he refuses to consider.

“I am kind of tired of people saying we’re young and ‘next year,’ this and that,” White said in a release. “We’re talented enough to do things this year. These are tough experiences, but I think we’re going to get better from it.”

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