Iowa City, Iowa – Behind double-double from sophomores Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford, Nebraska nearly cut a 20-point second-half deficit to five before falling to No. 22 Iowa, 67-57, Tuesday evening.
Nebraska trailed 55-35 with 8:16 left, only to go on a 20-5 spurt behind the play of Petteway and junior Deverell Biggs, pulling within 60-55 after a Petteway 3-pointer with 1:45 left. The Huskers trailed 61-55 and had the ball with under a minute left, but a costly turnover ended the run, as Iowa 6-of-8 foul shots in the final 47 seconds to hold on for the win.
Nebraska (8-5, 0-1 Big Ten) shot just 30 percent from the field, but stood tall against the Big Ten’s best rebounding team. The Huskers out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 44-42, behind career highs from both Petteway and Pitchford. Petteway led Nebraska was a game-high 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while Pitchford posted his second double-double in the losing effort with 13 points and a season-high 12 rebounds.
Roy Devyn Marble led Iowa (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten) with 13 points, while Aaron White had 13 points, including nine in a 16-3 Hawkeye run to close the first half and seven rebounds.
In the first half, the Hawkeyes took control over the final minutes, overcoming a six-point deficit with a 16-3 spurt over the final eight minutes. The Huskers did a good job defensively, holding Iowa to 46.2 percent shooting and out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 27-21 in the first half. The Huskers struggled from the floor, hitting just 26 percent from the field, including 2-of-9 from 3-point range.
Nebraska led 7-6 early behind strong play from Petteway and Pitchford, but Iowa went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-7 lead on a Marble basket off a putback.
Nebraska fought back, using a 13-1 surge to take its largest lead of the half at 20-14 on a Biggs jumper with 9:03 left in the half. Biggs came off the bench for a pair of baskets in the spurt, which featured 11 straight points from the Huskers over a span of 4:21, and finished with 12 points and a pair of steals.
The Huskers pulled to within 32-27 after a Pitchford puback, but Iowa made an effort to get the ball inside and two straight Adam Woodbury baskets pushed the lead back to 10 at 37-27 and forced a Husker timeout. Woodbury had six of Iowa’s first seven points of the second half and finished with eight points.
Nebraska kept battling, getting to within 46-35 after a pair of Pitchford free throws, but Iowa took control, running off nine straight points capped by a steal and dunk by White to make it 55-35.
The Huskers made one last run behind the play of Biggs, who had seven points in a 13-4 run to pull Nebraska within 59-48. The Huskers took advantage of a poor foul shooting night by Iowa, as the Hawkeyes went just 22-of-39 from the stripe to get back into the game. Trailing 60-48, Petteway keyed a run of seven straight points with a conventional 3-point play before his 3-pointer from the top of the key cut the Iowa lead to five.
The Huskers return to action on Saturday, when they face No. 3 Ohio State. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. (CT) and the game will be on the Husker Sports Network and televised nationally by the Big Ten Network.
*-Nebraska held Iowa to a season-low 67 points and out-rebounded Iowa 44-42. Iowa entered the game leading the Big Ten in rebounding margin.
*-Terran Petteway posted his first career double-double with 20 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. His previous high in rebound was 10 against Texas when he was at Texas Tech in 2011-12
*-Petteway now has a team-high six 20-point games, including each of his last three contests.
*-Walter Pitchford had his second double-double of the year with 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
*-Webster’s four steals is a career high (also vs. Miami on Dec. 4)
Defensively were you able to do what you wanted?
We were close. I thought the second half they got on top of us early. In the first four minutes we made eight errors in our get back defense, and we only made three more the rest of the first half. The first 16 minutes I felt we kept the game tempo under control. They just began to extend on us.
How important was it to keep up with Iowa rebounding wise?
I thought we played pretty well. I do not think the score was indicative at all of how we played, we just missed too many inside shots. At the same time you have to credit Iowa. They are really good, and they are really good here.
Why was it difficult for Ray Gallegos to get off shots tonight?
I do not know if you read what Fran had said, but Ray made seven three point shots here last year, and Fran said, “We are going to pick him up once he gets off the bus.” And they did.