Not even Nebraska coach Connie Yori can explain her Cornhuskers’ dominance over the Iowa women’s basketball teams.
Nebraska got two big offensive performances, including a 25-point, 13-rebound effort from all-Big Ten forward Jordan Hooper, and handed the Hawkeyes an 80-67 loss at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday.
It was the Huskers’ seventh straight win over Iowa, which also got 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds from its best player – Samantha Logic.
“It’s kind of odd because Iowa is a very good basketball team and they have been for three years,” said Yori. “We have just played good basketball against them. It is one of those things.”
It was Iowa’s first loss since coach Lisa Bluder inserted freshman Ally Disterhoft into the starting lineup. The Hawkeyes have now won four of their last five and six of eight overall.
Hooper’s jumper with 7:41 to go in the first half put the Cornhuskers (15-5, 5-3) for good. Tear’a Laudermill made 9-of-12 from the floor and buried four 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 26 points, while Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot both scored 10 to give the winners four in double-figures.
Iowa (17-6, 5-4) also got 16 from Bethany Doolittle, 15 points and six rebounds from Theairra Taylor and 12 points and seven rebounds from Disterhoft, but Melissa Dixon went scoreless and the Hawkeyes got just two points off their bench.
“That was a great crowd we had tonight,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “It was terrific support and we appreciate that very much. Unfortunately, we just went cold from the field in the first half and couldn’t catch back up.”
Nebraska ended the first half on a 19-3 run to take a 38-22 lead into the locker room the break. Iowa was outscored by just two in the second half.
Iowa 64, Minnesota 56
Disterhoft's 13 points and eight rebounds shared game-high scoring honors and the Hawkeyes led nearly wire-to-wire in a 64-56 victory over Minnesota at Williams Arena last week.
The Hawkeyes never trailed in their three previous wins but only trailed for 1 minute, 56 seconds against the Gophers. Iowa also led by 18 points with 2:06 to go in the game.
"I don't remember coming to Minnesota and having that situation ever before," Bluder said of the late lopsided score. "It feels really good. I felt our team's defense was very good, our rebounding in the second half was good. It was such a great team performance."
Junior point guard Samantha Logic was just two rebounds away from a triple-double as she finished with 12 points, 10 assists and eight boards. Dixon (11) and Doolittle (10) were the other two Hawkeyes to reach double-figures.
Taylor also had nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
It was the 21st time this season that Iowa had at least three players reach double-digits in the same game.
And while the offense was good enough, the Hawkeye defense may have been even better against the Big Ten Conference's leading scorer -- Rachel Banham. Banham entered the game averaging nearly 23 points per game but finished with just nine. She was held to one point and 0-of-5 shooting from the floor in the second half.
Shayne Mullaney had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds to lead the Gophers (13-9, 2-6).
Iowa returns to action Thursday against No. 12 Penn State in State College, Penn. The Hawkeyes lost to the Nittany Lions, 87-71, at home earlier this season.
“We know we are up against it,” Bluder said. “We know we have a tough challenge on the road; we’ve played well on the road, so hopefully that will hold true.”