IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa got its revenge on Nebraska by attacking early, then attacking again, and then a little more.
The Huskers seemed always on the defensive, and weren’t really good at it, either.
That’s why 10 three-pointers — including a career-high seven by Ray Gallegos — weren’t good enough Saturday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa shot 72.7 percent in the second half and dominated Nebraska inside, prevailing 74-60 before a sellout crowd of 15,400.
“We didn’t want to take the bit today,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “You break a horse, you’ve got to make him take the bit. We didn’t want to take that bit. We didn’t want to dig in and play defense.”
The Hawkeyes took control with a 17-0 run in the second half while holding the Huskers scoreless for 8:37, that after Nebraska had gotten as close as one point with 15:04 to play.
“It looked to me like it was a mismatch,” said Miles, whose team allowed six dunks, a telling stat for how easily Iowa got to the rim.
“You just don’t allow that many dunks, usually, and have it go your way.”
Iowa (20-9, 9-9) avenged its 64-60 loss to Nebraska two weeks earlier, although that loss might still keep the Hawkeyes out of the NCAA Tournament.
Aaron White scored 19 points to lead four Hawkeyes in double figures, and freshman center Adam Woodbury was 6-of-6 from the floor for 12 points.
Nebraska (14-17, 5-13) had its National Invitation Tournament hopes dashed. The Huskers’ only chances of finishing above .500 — no team has made the NIT with a losing record — is by winning next week’s Big Ten Tournament, which would come with an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Iowa missed only eight shots in the second half, and got the offensive rebound on four of them.
For the game, the Hawkeyes turned 12 offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points.
“They beat us on the glass,” Nebraska forward Brandon Ubel said. “They got into the rim, we were behind the play, and they put it up on the rim and we couldn’t come up with the rebounds.
“We’d contest shots and get stops but wouldn’t get rebounds. Getting stops without getting rebounds is pretty much worthless. That’s what killed us tonight.”
Nebraska fell behind by 10 points three minutes into the second half, but used a 9-0 run to cut the Iowa lead to 43-42 with 15:04 to play.
The score was 46-44 when Iowa put together its debilitating 17-0 run that included six straight points by Melsahn Basabe, and also an offensive rebound from the 6-foot-7 junior forward that led to a three-pointer by Anthony Clemons.
“Every time it seemed like we were getting close, it seemed like they got an offensive rebound or something easy at the rim,” Ubel said. “That’s what can’t happen.”
Woodbury closed the run with back-to-back baskets for a 63-44 lead — Iowa’s biggest — with 6:04 to play.
“One, we didn’t do a very good job containing screen-and-roll, and two, we had a couple of guys that would just overhelp and not protect the rim,” Miles said, explaining Nebraska’s problems defending inside. “I thought we had that down. Maybe not.”
Nebraska twice cut the deficit to 11, including 68-57 on Gallegos’ final three-pointer with 2:57 to play, but got no closer.
IOWA 74, NEBRASKA 60
Three-pointers--10-25 (Ubel 0-1, Shields 1-4, Gallegos 7-14, Talley 1-5, Menke 1-1). Field-goal percentage--37.5. Free-throw percentage--72.7. Team fouls--17. Assists--11 (Ubel 3). Turnovers--6. Steals--6 (Shields 3). Blocked shots--3 (Almeida 2).
|Roy Devyn Marble||2-9||0-0||3||28||6|
Three-pointers--5-14 (White 1-2, Marble 2-5, Oglesby 1-4, Clemmons 1-1, May 0-2). Field-goal percentage--57.1. Free-throw percentage--86.7. Team fouls--11. Assists--21 (May 6). Technical fouls--Woodbury. Turnovers--12. Steals--2 (May, McCabe 1). Blocked shots--7 (Olaseni 3). A--15,400.