No. 22 Hawkeyes hold off Husker comeback
IOWA CITY – Iowa looked shaky at times but Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery will take the win.
Devyn Marble had 15 points and eight rebounds and No. 22 Iowa opened its Big Ten season with a win for the first time since 2006 with a 67-57 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night.
Aaron White scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for the Hawkeyes (12-2, 1-0), who led by as many as 20 points in the second half.
For McCaffery, the late struggle doesn’t matter. Iowa preserved the win and he knows the Big Ten gauntlet continues on Sunday with No. 4 Wisconsin.
“You watch the Big Ten today and it’s just brutal,” McCaffery said. “I think you feel good about any Big Ten win. When you look at this league, there is no relief anywhere, there is just none. Whether you’re at home, no matter who you’re playing.”
Terran Petteway had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Nebraska (8-5, 0-1), which shot a season-low 29.9 percent from the field as it lost its 14th straight game to a ranked opponent.
White’s breakaway two-handed dunk put the Hawkeyes ahead 55-35 with 8:16 left – the biggest lead of the game.
Nebraska stormed back with a 20-5 run, capped off by Petteway’s 3-pointer with 1:45 left to cut the deficit to 60-55.
Nebraska got the ball back after an Iowa free throw, but Deverell Biggs’ pass deflected off the rim for a turnover.
The Hawkeyes – who missed 17 free throws in the game – hit 7 of 10 from the line in the final 2 minutes to secure the win.
Missed free throws are becoming a concern for McCaffery, even though the Hawkeyes rank in the middle of the Big Ten in free throw shooting.
Iowa has been inconsistent recently. The Hawkeyes missed late free throws in their losses to Villanova and Iowa State.
“They were going in and out,” said Marble, who made 7 of 11 against Nebraska. “All you can do is keep shooting them.”
Iowa won despite making only one 3-pointer and being outrebounded.
Nebraska put up 19 more field goal attempts than the Hawkeyes behind a staggering 17 offensive rebounds. It didn’t help much as the Cornhuskers had only 15 second-chance points.
“We just missed too many inside shots,” Nebraska coach Tim Miles said. “I don’t know why. It’s going to make us sick watching that tape.”
Walter Pitchford scored 13 points for the Cornhuskers and Biggs added 12.
Iowa shut down Ray Gallegos, who hit a career-high seven 3-pointers against the Hawkeyes last season. Gallegos didn’t get off a shot attempt in 23 minutes.
The Hawkeyes led 30-23 after a tough first half where they went nearly 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal.
White jolted Iowa and the fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena with another dunk – this time an impressive reverse slam in transition.
A couple of minutes later, White made two free throws to tie the game 22-22.
Then White hit a rare 3-pointer – only his third of the season – to put the Hawkeyes back in front. White scored two more baskets down the stretch to help Iowa end the half on a 12-1 run.
Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff scored 11 points.