Rosalie’s Reaction: Husker women lose again to Iowa


They very nearly achieved their goal. Nebraska women’s basketball team knew it would require a near flawless performance to get a “W” and exact some payback against the Iowa women’s basketball team. They had to go into that battle Thursday night minus their offensive leader again, Rachel Theriot, who remains day-to-day with an ankle injury. It came down to the last minute of the game before Iowa made critical shots to claim their 2nd victory of the season against Nebraska 69 – 61.

Coach Yori and Husker Basketball (photo J Dilla)

On Wednesday, Feb. 11 during the Connie Yori Radio Show, Coach Yori talked about the current state of her program. She compared her team without Rachel Theriot to a football team who is suddenly minus their starting quarterback.

"“When Rachel got injured, we threw out the playbook, she said.  We’ve run a lot of base offense the last couple of games. We’ve had to rely upon some really young players. We’re trying to find better ways to score.”"

Husker Nation wondered if they could recover from a two-game losing streak on the road.

This game looked reminiscent of games early in the season. It was a tale of two halves. From the tip, Nebraska controlled the game and owned the momentum. Husker offense was clicking with contributions from all the starters including Brandi Jeffery, who started in place of Rachel Theriot. They found better ways to score, shooting 55.2%  from the floor in the first half. At the same time, the NU defense, anchored by Hailie Sample, managed to hold the Hawkeye shooting down to 38.7 %.

At the other end of the floor, the Iowa Hawkeye talent struggled to get their game going. All their starters are tremendous shooters, especially from beyond the three-point arc. Iowa offense is fueled by 6’4″ senior center Bethany Doolittle. When Doolittle was forced to the bench with 2 fouls early in the half, the faltering Iowa offense became even more frustrated. Hawkeyes scored a paltry 12-of-31 from the field, going just 3-of-10 from three-point range. The Iowa defense did their best to slow down the Huskers who maintained a frenzied attack on both ends of the court.

More from Nebraska Women's Basketball

No lead is ever safe when playing the Iowa women. Huskers came out of the locker room ahead by nine points, 37 -28, but no team ever plays mistake free ball for an entire game. Hawkeye senior starters were on a mission and their spark, center Bethany Doolittle, was back on the floor. You could feel the momentum begin to switch sides as everything Iowa shot fell and Husker shooting died.

Suddenly it looked like the Huskers had come”unglued.” It didn’t help when senior forward Hailie Sample came down hard, rolling her ankle with 10 minutes left in the game. Sample went to the bench for more than 2 minutes but willed herself to come back, clearly playing in pain for the rest of the game.

Nebraska held onto lead the game despite their scoring drought and mounting turnovers until just 4 minutes left in the game. Hawkeye senior guard Melissa Dixon sank a huge 3-point shot to give Iowa their first lead of the game at 57-56. That shot spelled the beginning of the end. Huskers tried to answer back but blocked shots and fouls allowed Iowa to gain the victory. The final stats showed the Huskers shot only 26.7 percent while Iowa shot 43.3 in the second half.

In her post-game radio interview, Coach Yori  said she couldn’t be more proud of Emily Cady and senior guard Brandi Jeffery who’ve had to step up following junior guard Rachel Theriot’s ankle injury.“Our kids are gritty,” Yori said. “We had a chance to win that game even without Rachel and Hailie there for a while.”

Huskers back in action on Sunday against Wisconsin at 2pm at the Vault. Get down there and cheer them on. GO BIG RED!!!