Rosalie’s Reaction: Huskers stumble in OT at Iowa


They knew it was going to be a “dog fight.”  The recent history between the Nebraska women’s basketball team and Iowa has demonstrated that over and over. #15 Nebraska fell to #20 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last night in OT 78 – 72.  The Huskers 8-0 record over the Hawkeyes was a “thorn in the side “of Iowa. The two veteran teams last met on the court in March 2014 when Nebraska prevailed against Iowa to win the Big 10 Championship. Determined to remain undefeated on their home court, Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder drew up a plan she hoped would result in a victory.

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Nebraska came out for the opening tip with high energy.  NU Coach Connie Yori sent out her veteran starters: Cady, Sample, Theriot, Laudermill and Jeffery. Huskers controlled the tip and the play during the opening five minutes of the game. They moved the ball well and built up a 10 – 0 lead. Huskers usually run their offense through Theriot but the Hawkeyes had her so well-defensed that she was ineffective as a shooter. Luckily, Emily Cady stepped up to keep the offense going by scoring a double-double, with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

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On the other end of the court, not much was going right. Iowa offense had open looks but the ball just wouldn’t fall. Hawkeye seniors Samantha Logic, Melissa Dixon and Bethany Doolittle were very aggressive in the half court which led them into some foul trouble. Logic led Iowa with 6 points and six rebounds, while Kali Peschel and Chase Coley added 9 points off the bench to keep the game close.

Throughout the first half, it became obvious that this game was turning into a defensive struggle. Neither offense was stellar. As a team, Nebraska shot just 37.5 percent (12-32) of its first-half shots, going 0-for-5 from the 3-point arc. Iowa hit just 25.8 percent (8-31) of its first-half shots, including 2-of-8 threes. Nebraska carried a 28-21 halftime lead into the locker room but no lead is ever comfortable against Iowa.

The “chess” game continued in the second half. Nebraska offense began to wane against the Iowa defense and Nebraska managed to sink enough baskets to stay ahead of the surging Iowa offense. Back-to-back buckets from Dixon and Logic put the Hawkeyes ahead 58-57 with 3:50 left. Sophomore Ally Disterhoft added a bucket to increase the Hawkeye lead to 60-57.

Clearly the momentum had shifted and suddenly the Huskers looked exhausted. Theriot, who had pretty much become a non-factor in the Nebraska offense, hit a jumper with 4.5 seconds left to give Nebraska a 61-60 lead. On the next possession, freshman guard Whitney Jennings caught an in bounds lob at half court and headed for a lay up from the left side. Theriot blocked the shot but was called for a HIGHLY questionable foul with 1.3 seconds left. Jennings missed the first free throw but made the second to tie the score and send the game to overtime.

Late foul call on Theriot highly questionable

When the teams came out to center court for the overtime tip, Huskers had wary smiles on their faces. They were obviously spent and running on tired legs. In the overtime period, Iowa hit 5-of-8 shots from the field. The Hawkeyes outscored Nebraska 17-11 to collect the OT victory.

On the bright side (if there is one) Emily Cady finished the game with 19 points and 18 rebounds. She moves into #15 on the all-time scoring list for Nebraska women’s basketball.

In her post game radio interview with the Husker Sports Network, Coach Connie Yori was clearly disappointed. “In the second half, we were very casual with the ball and turned it over.  We should have won the game in regulation. We weren’t locked in, really.”

Huskers will open a 2-game home stand Thursday at Pinnacle Bank Sports arena meeting Illinois for the second time this season. In their last meeting, Huskers grabbed a 58-53 road victory. Illinois defense kept Nebraska in check while freshman sensation Chatrice White (from Shelby, NE) was big in their offense. Illini senior stand out Ivory Crawford sat out with a meniscus tear. She had surgery 2 weeks ago and is now back at practice. Will Nebraska see her on Thursday and how will that change the Illinois game plan??

Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; The Nebraska Cornhuskers cheerleaders cheer during the third quarter against the USC Trojans in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Expect the Huskers to return to home court and REBOUND emphatically from the road loss at Iowa. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Show up and be loud and GO BIG RED!!