For the second straight time, Nebraska started out well and won a Big Ten game, defeating Iowa at home on Saturday night 98-84. A strong first half lifted the Cornhuskers to a victory led by some solid scoring balance.
For the strong start that I’m referring to, it did not happen until under 7 minutes were left in the first half. Nebraska led Iowa by just two points with 7:08 left on the clock before the Cornhuskers would go out and dominate the rest of the way en route to a 14-point halftime lead. Over the next six minutes, Nebraska would go on a 16-6 scoring run which pushed their lead to 14 with one-minute left in the action. After not attempting a shot in the final sixty seconds, Nebraska would go into the break with a 48-34 advantage.
Just when you thought the scoring could not get any higher after 82 combined points in the first half, Nebraska and Iowa were in a battle down to the end for much of the second half. After a solid start to the final twenty minutes, the Hawkeyes would find themselves with just a five-point deficit only 4 minutes into the half. The Huskers lead would slim down to just two points before they would reclaim a sizeable lead, pulling together an 11-0 run in just 1 minute and 17 seconds. That stretch would end up being crucial because Iowa cut not cut into the separation leading towards a 14-point win for Nebraska. The scoring in the second half would take it to a new level, with each side tying the score at 50-50.
James Palmer Jr. would be the leader of an excellent box score for Nebraska, finishing with a team-high 28 points on 7-12 shooting from the field and 11-14 shooting from the charity stripe. In addition, Palmer added 5 assists and 1 steal to a very productive performance. Isaac Copeland also added solid production with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block to go along with turnover-free play. Isaiah Roby added 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks while Jordy Tshimanga had 11 points.
The Cornhuskers were unconscious with their shooting, going an excellent 57.7 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from three. Overall, they would shoot 30-52 from the field while draining 11-of-19 three-pointers. Although it was a sizeable win, Iowa gave it their all as well shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the arc. For an opposing team to put up those kinds of numbers and lose by double-digits shows how special Nebraska can play at times.
In addition to the hot shooting, the Cornhuskers won the “Battle for Boards” with 37 total rebounds including 11 on offense and 17 on defense. Their ball movement was also on point, dishing out 18 assists. Finally, for the defensive playmaking, the Huskers stole the ball five times and rejected four shots.
Nebraska will travel to Madison, Wisconsin to face the Badgers on Monday night at 9:00 PM Eastern. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Even though it’s a long drive for Huskers fans, ticket prices are not too steep going for just $2.