Hawks down Huskers again


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A rematch of Iowa’s upset win over Nebraska on Jan. 26 had the Hawkeyes coming on late and stunning the Huskers in Lincoln, 69-61.

The win was Iowa’s first at Nebraska since 2005 and moves the Hawkeyes to 20-4 overall, 11-2 in the Big Ten.

“First and last time playing here,” Hawkeye Sam Logic said. “Technically a pinnacle, and we just wanted to turn it around how we’re playing against Nebraska.”

Both squads came out firing from the hip in the early going, with Logic and Nebraska’s Emily Cady trading 3s on the game’s first two possessions.

From there, the scoring and the pace only went up. An 8-point run by the hometown Huskers gave Nebraska an opportunity to go for the throat less than halfway through the first, but Logic and the Hawks battled back, and three minutes later things were knotted up  at 12.

But another 8-0 run from Nebraska coupled with a six-minute scoring drought for the Hawkeyes put Iowa right back in the hole it had climbed out of.

And while the Nebraska offense didn’t seem to miss a beat without the services of junior standout Rachel Theriot, Iowa was clearly weakened by the limited minutes of senior Beth Doolittle.

In a replay eerily reminiscent of the last time these two teams met, the 6-4 center got in foul trouble early in the game, committing four fouls in the first five minutes.

She played just six minutes as the Hawkeyes limped into halftime down 37-28.

“I don’t know what happened in the first half; we did not perform correctly,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Bethany, again, played limited minutes because of the fouls. I thought both Chase [Coley] and Clair [Till] played well.”

Luckily for her teammates, Doolittle emerged from the locker room to start the second half on the floor for the Hawkeyes, hoping to help spark a comeback.

“Our defense, we just did not do a very good job on their guards in the first half,” Logic said. “They just kind did whatever they wanted, getting to the rim, getting open 3s.”

And right from the start of the second frame, Doolittle’s presence on the floor was noticed, knocking down a pair of field goals as part of a 7-0 Hawkeye run to start the second.

She finished with 12.

And while Iowa’s big guns of Logic, Doolittle, and Melissa Dixon all turned in solid performances, the Hawkeye bench players stepped up and carried the team for much of the game.

Junior Kali Peschel finished second for the team in scoring with 13 points in 16 minutes of playing time, while Coley got her first taste of big-game action in what seems like forever.

And to her credit, she didn’t squander the opportunity, making the most of her nine minutes on the floor by sinking a pair of buckets and adding an offensive rebound.

All of the buildup culminated to Iowa clinging to a 1-point lead with under a minute to play.

With the Huskers pressing hard, Dixon, who had been relatively quiet earlier in the night by her standers, stepped up and drained a deep 3 to ice the game for the Black and Gold. 

“It was just two different teams out there [in the first and second half], both offensively and defensively,” Bluder said. “They’ve only had three losses in this building in two years. We haven’t won here in a long time, so we’re extremely happy to get out of here with a win.”

Follow @ryanarod on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s basketball team.

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