Huskers rally to beat Iowa
Lincoln. — Iowa City, Iowa - Lindsey Moore unleashed one of the best all-around games of her career with 22 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals to lead the No. 19 Nebraska women's basketball team to a 77-72 victory over Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, Nebraska notched its eighth straight win to improve to 14-1 on the season, while moving to 3-0 in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa, which was one of the preseason favorites in the Big Ten race, slipped to 10-7 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
The Huskers, who trailed by eight points in the second half, produced their second straight significant comeback on the road in Big Ten play, joining a late nine-point comeback at preseason Big Ten favorite Penn State on Dec. 30.
Moore, a 5-9 junior point guard from Covington, Wash., was sensational in the second half with 16 points, four assists and three rebounds after the break.
Coach Connie Yori put the ball in Moore's hands play after play in the second half, and Moore pushed all the right buttons in willing the Huskers to victory.
"That was a fun game to be a part of," Yori said. "Obviously, it is more fun when you win the game, but that was a fun game to watch. Lindsey made so many plays for us in the second half, but it was also great to have some other players step up to help us win. We needed all of them today."
Sophomore forward Jordan Hooper added 17 points and four rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 from three-point range. Hooper's three-pointer off a hand-off from Moore with 2:05 left gave NU a 73-66 lead. Hooper's jumper with 16.3 left also gave the Huskers a five-point cushion at 75-70 after the Hawkeyes cut NU's lead to one possession at 73-70 with 19.3 left.
Moore sealed the game with a pair of free throws in a one-and-one situation with 9.5 seconds left to account for the final margin.
But as Yori mentioned, Sunday's win included heroics from some unlikely Huskers.
Junior forward Meghin Williams erupted for career highs of seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. She hit both of her shots from the field, including her first three-pointer of the season, while also connecting on both of her free throws. She did not commit a turnover in the game, executing a nearly flawless stat line.
"I feel so great for Meghin," Yori said. "Talk about a kid who has overcome adversity. She has been hurt since she got to Nebraska and has never really been able to practice at full strength. Now she's a junior and she's still not exactly healthy, but she's been able to put together a series of practices and you can see her getting better. It's made a difference, and she made a difference for us today."
With the Huskers trailing 56-51 with 9:54 left, Williams stepped up and drained a three-pointer from the left wing to cut Iowa's lead to 56-54. Moments later, Williams tied the game at 56 with 8:07 left for the two biggest shots of her career.
Freshman guard Brandi Jeffery also made several big plays in the game's final five minutes. After forcing a tie-up on the defensive end that got the Huskers a possession, Jeffery nailed a three from the left corner off an assist from Moore to give Nebraska its biggest lead of the game at 70-62 with 3:14 left. Jeffery's shot capped a 24-10 Husker surge over an eight-minute span late in the game.
Fellow freshman Emily Cady continued her strong play with her fourth double-figure scoring performance in the last seven games with 14 points and four rebounds. Cady went 2-for-2 from three-point range, including a huge three to put NU up 65-62 with 4:43 left.
Cady joined Hooper, Moore and Jeffery in each hitting a pair of threes, as Nebraska connected on 10-of-19 three-pointers for the game. Iowa went just 2-for-16 from long range. The Huskers hit 57.7 percent (15-26) of their shots in the second half, including 7-of-11 threes. NU finished the game at 49 percent (25-51) from the field, while managing 68 percent (17-25) at the free throw line.
The Huskers also outrebounded Iowa, 34-28, including a 17-9 edge on the glass in the second half. Iowa did win the turnover battle, 17-13.
Iowa hit 45.9 percent (28-61) of its shots from the field, including 15-of-29 in the second half, and drained 14-of-16 free throws for the game.
Jaime Printy led all scorers with 27 points to go along with five assists and three steals for the Hawkeyes. Morgan Johnson added a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds inside for Iowa, but grabbed just one board in the second half. Kamille Wahlin gave the Hawkeyes three players in double figures with 12 points and four assists.
Iowa carried a 33-31 lead into the locker room at halftime after Theirra Taylor's long two-pointer from the right wing with 20 seconds broke a 31-all tie. It was Taylor's first points of the game and just the third and fourth points off the bench for the Hawkeyes in the first half.
Johnson led Iowa with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, while adding three blocks. Printy led all scorers with 13 first-half points, while Wahlin was the only other Hawkeye to score in the first half with six points.
Hooper and Burke led the Huskers with seven first-half points, while Moore and Cady added six points apiece in the opening half. Jeffery pitched in a three-pointer to give the Huskers their biggest lead of the half at 29-23 with 4:23 left in the half. Tear'a Laudermill added a steal and a layup off the bench for the Huskers in the opening period.
Nebraska shot 40 percent (10-25) from the field, including 37.5 percent (3-8) in the first half but connected on just 8-of-13 free throws (61.5 percent). The Huskers were also outrebounded, 19-17, but the Hawkeyes and trailed the first-half turnover battle, 10-9.
Iowa hit 40.6 percent (13-32) of its first-half shots, but just 1-of-10 three-point attempts. The Hawkeyes were 6-of-7 at the free throw line.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action on Thursday, when the Huskers take on Wisconsin in Madison. Tip-off at the Kohl Center is set for 7 p.m. with a free live audio broadcast available from the Husker Sports Network on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.