’Huskers bust loose, sweep Hawkeyes

IOWA CITY — The second quarter was the centerpiece of Lisa Bluder’s nightmare.

The Iowa women’s basketball team surrendered 34 points to Nebraska in the second period of an eventual 92-74 loss to the visiting Cornhuskers in Big Ten Conference play Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, dealing the Hawkeyes their fourth loss in their last five games.

Three days after drubbing No. 12 Ohio State, 103-89, the Hawkeyes (16-6, 4-5) trailed 56-26 at the half and never contended after intermission.

“Obviously we struggled on both ends of the court, offensively, defensively, where it felt like everything was going Nebraska’s way,” said Bluder, the Hawkeyes’ head coach. “It was one of those games. It was like a bad dream and you can’t get out of it.”

Four players scored in double figures for Nebraska (16-6, 7-2), which won its fourth-straight — a streak that started with a 74-65 win over Iowa on Jan. 16 in Lincoln, Neb.

“It is the best our group has played since I have been head coach at Nebraska,” said Huskers head coach Amy Williams. “We set the tone in the first half for ourselves. I am proud of our team, they were very focused over the last couple days preparing for this game and they carried out our game plan from top to bottom.”

Maddie Simon led Nebraska with 19 points and eight rebounds. Nicea Eliely added 16 points and six assists, while Jasmine Cincore and Janay Morton chipped in 13 points apiece.

The Cornhuskers shot 49.2 percent from the field and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line, going 25-for-29 at the charity stripe in what was nearly a wire-to-wire win.

Nebraska led by as many as 36 points during the third quarter before the Hawkeyes outscored them 31-15 in the fourth period.

Megan Gustafson got her 20th double-double for Iowa, leading the way with game-highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds to go with five blocked shots. Kathleen Doyle added 16 points as the Hawkeyes were limited to 1-for-12 shooting from 3-point range.

Iowa goes out on the road Thursday, facing Michigan State at 5 p.m. in a game televised by the Big Ten Network.

NEBRASKA 92, IOWA 74

At Iowa City

NEBRASKA (16-6, 7-2) — Simon 5-14 9-10 19, Cain 3-4 0-0 6, Cincore 6-7 0-0 13, Eliely 2-4 3-3 7, Whitish 5-7 4-4 16, Blackburn 1-3 1-2 3, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Washington 0-1 0-0 0, Kissinger 2-6 0-0 5, Morton 3-8 4-6 13, Stallworth 3-5 0-0 6, Wood 0-2 4-4 4. TOTALS 30-61 25-29 92.

IOWA (16-6, 4-5) — Coley 3-4 2-2 8, Gustafson 10-19 6-8 26, Doyle 6-17 3-5 16, Meyer 3-10 3-4 9, Sevillian 1-4 0-0 2, Mohns 0-0 0-0 0, Ollinger 0-2 0-0 0, Stewart 2-7 2-3 6, Valino Ramos 1-2 0-0 2, Sanders 2-3 1-1 5. TOTALS 28-68 17-23 74.

Nebraska 22 34 21 15 — 92

Iowa 12 14 17 31 — 74

3-Point Goals–Nebraska 7-20 (Simon 0-2, Cincore 1-1, Whitish 2-4, Blackburn 0-1, Kissinger 1-5, Morton 3-5, Wood 0-2), Iowa 1-12 (Doyle 1-3, Meyer 0-4, Sevillian 0-2, Ollinger 0-2, Sanders 0-1). Assists–Nebraska 13 (Whitish 6), Iowa 15 (Doyle 4). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Nebraska 44 (Simon 8), Iowa 33 (Gustafson 10). Total Fouls–Nebraska 21, Iowa 20. A–8,823.