A Husker rally gives Nebraska a win in Iowa City
Lincoln. — Iowa City - Behind a career high 25 points from senior Brandon Richardson, Nebraska rallied in the second half for a 79-73 victory over Iowa Thursday night.
Richardson, a senior guard from Los Angeles, put together the most outstanding performance of his career, totaling 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 6-of-7 from 3-point range, to help Nebraska come back from a double-figure first-half deficit.
Richardson came up big in the game's decisive run, scoring six points in a 12-2 Husker spurt to help Nebraska erased a 61-56 deficit and take the lead for good. Richardson's 3-pointer started the run before Brandon Ubel hit a pair of free throws to pull the Huskers even at 61 with 5:29 left. Moments later, Richardson's 3-pointer - his sixth of the night - put the Huskers ahead 66-63 before Dylan Talley's jumper gave Nebraska a 68-63 lead with 3:26 left.
The Huskers (11-9, 3-6 Big Ten) had an answer for every Iowa rally down the stretch, as the Hawkeyes cut the lead to two points three times, only to see Nebraska get either a big basket or a pair of free throws to keep Iowa (11-9, 3-5 Big Ten) at bay.
Iowa trailed 73-71, only to see Richardson slice the Hawkeye defense for a layup to make it a four-point game. The Hawkeyes pulled to within 75-73 with 1:07 left, but Toney McCray sealed the win with a pair of free throws to seal the win. Nebraska went 13-of-16 from the foul line in the second half.
Bo Spencer joined Richardson in double figures with 16 points, as Nebraska shot 52 percent from the floor and out-rebounded, 34-27 to pick up its first win in Iowa City since 1941. Zach McCabe led four Hawkeyes in double figures with 20 points in the losing effort
Nebraska trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and was down 38-31 at the break before using a strong start after halftime to get back into the game. Nebraska came out of the break with a 7-0 run to pull even at 38 on a Spencer jumper. Nebraska then took its first lead since midway through the first half at 41-40 on a Richardson 3-pointer, but a Matt Gatens basket started a 6-0 Hawkeye run as Iowa built a 46-41 lead on McCabe's driving basket.
Iowa eventually built a 50-43 lead on a Devon Archie dunk, but Dylan Talley's 3-pointer led a 9-4 Husker charge as McCray scored four straight points, including a pair of free throws to make it a 54-52 deficit and set up the final nine minutes.
The first half featured solid shooting by both teams, as Iowa and Nebraska shot at least 50 percent in the opening period, but the Hawkeyes took a 38-31 lead into the second half.
Richardson and Caleb Walker got the Huskers off to a quick start, combining for 13 points, as Nebraska hit nine of their first 12 shots from the floor in the first 8:43 to stay even with Iowa at 19 apiece.
Iowa came right, as McCabe's layup and a 3-pointer from Josh Oglesby began a 12-1 spurt for the Hawkeyes, as Nebraska went over six minutes without a field goal. Iowa eventually extended the lead to 31-20 on a Bryce Cartwright jumper with 6:20 left in the half.
The Huskers came right back, as Spencer had all six of his first-half points in an 8-0 Husker run to pull Nebraska within 31-28 with 3:23 left in the half. Nebraska was within 34-31 following Richardson's second 3-pointer of the half, but a Gatens basket and a put-back by Aaron White gave the Hawkeyes a seven-point lead at the break.
The Huskers are off until next Thursday, Feb. 2, when the Huskers travel to Northwestern. Tipoff for that game is at 6 p.m. The game will be carried on the Husker Sports Network and televised on ESPN2.
*-Tonight's meeting is the first between the schools since the 1976-77 season and first in Iowa City since 1975. Tonight was Nebraska's second-ever win in Iowa City and second in 11 tries all time. Nebraska's only other win in Iowa City was a 41-34 win in 1941.
*-Brandon Richardson finished with a career-high 25 points, topping his previous best of 20 at Texas Tech last season. Richardson hit 9-of-10 shots, including a career-best six 3-pointers.
*-Richardson's six 3-pointers are the most by any Husker this season (previous best was four on five previous occasions). Richardson's previous high was four on two previous occasions (vs. Creighton last year and at USC on Nov. 14)
*-Brandon Richardson reached double figures for the sixth time this season, as he finished with 25 points. Richardson has scored in double figures in three of the Huskers' four Big Ten road games this season. His previous 2011-12 high was 15 points against Central Michigan on Dec. 20.
*-Nebraska is now 3-0 in Big Ten play when scoring at least 65 points
*-Nebraska trailed by 11 points in the first half and now have three wins this season when trailing in double figures (also at TCU and vs. Indiana)
*-Tonight's win was the 100th of Doc Sadler's tenure at Nebraska.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.