Coatney's Call: Iowa Preview
Nebraska (17-6, 7-3) at Iowa (16-8, 5-5)
Monday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. (central)
Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, Iowa)
National TV: BTN (Kevin Kugler-PBP; Debbie Antonelli-Analyst)
Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
(B107.3 FM-Lincoln; The Wolf 93.3 FM-Omaha; 880 AM-KRVN, Lexington; 94.1 FM-KLIQ, Hastings; 960 AM-KNEB, Scottsbluff; 1400 AM-KCOW, Alliance)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
The Nebraska women's basketball team increased the Big Ten's longest current winning streak to five games with a solid 55-50 win at Northwestern last Thursday night. The Wildcats had rallied from 15 points down to defeat Iowa at the buzzer last week and rallied from a similar deficit against the Huskers to pull within three points late in the game, but solid free throw shooting (16-of-18) helped Nebraska hold on for the win.
Big Ten Player of the Week Jordan Hooper and senior point guard Lindsey Moore both went over the 1,500 career point plateau against Northwestern. Hooper finished with a game-high 19 points, while Moore played all 40 minutes and added 16 points and four steals.
The Huskers improved to 17-6 overall and took sole possession of third place in the Big Ten with a 7-3 record. Nebraska has won four conference road games and will look to get its fifth Monday night when the Huskers travel to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes in a game nationally televised on the Big Ten Network.
Two weeks ago, Iowa cracked the national rankings for the first time since 2011 and had won three games in a row, including two over ranked teams. Since that time, the Hawkeyes have lost three straight to fall to 5-5 in the Big Ten and 16-8 overall. Iowa suffered a heartbreaking loss at home to Northwestern 67-65 last week, losing on a last-second shot. Iowa followed with a 72-60 loss at Minnesota Thursday night. The Hawkeyes only shot 28.6 percent from the floor (18-of-63) and got outscored in the paint 32-18 by the Gophers.
Iowa is paced by 6-5 senior center Morgan Johnson. She is expected to make her 120th career start Monday night against the Huskers, one game short of the school record. She leads the team in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounds (7.3 rpg). Johnson is one of the best free throw shooting centers in the nation, making 78 percent from the foul line. She is Iowa's career leader in blocked shots, and ranks seventh in career rebounds and 12th in blocked shots. Johnson averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in her first four Big Ten league games, but in her next five games, her numbers fell to 6.5 points and 5.0 rebounds, largely due to foul trouble. She fouled out against Illinois and Northwestern in losses. In Thursday night's loss at Minnesota, Johnson only committed one foul, played 35 minutes and posted her 19th career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson's sister Taylor is a sophomore at Creighton, sidelined for the season due to injury.
Senior guard Jaime Printy has recovered from an ACL injury that ended her 2011-12 season on Feb. 2. She is second on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg) and second in three pointers (47). Printy had 21 points and five three-pointers Thursday night at Minnesota, but made just 6-of-22 shots from the field. Printy is fifth on the all-time Iowa scoring list and second in career three-pointers. She has scored in double figures the past eight games.
Samantha Logic has developed into one of the top point guards in the Big Ten. The sophomore from Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in assists and is on pace to set the Iowa record for single-season assists. A good-rebounding guard, Logic has 10 double-digit rebound games in her career. However, Logic struggled in the loss to Minnesota, committing five turnovers while going scoreless in 31 minutes. She averages 8.7 points per game.
Junior wing Theairra Taylor has started every game this season for the Hawkeyes. She missed 53 games between 2009 and 2011, suffering from three different ACL injuries. She averages 7.7 points per game. Bethany Doolittle, a 6-4 sophomore forward, rounds out Iowa's probable starting lineup. In Iowa's five Big Ten league wins, she is averaging 10.3 points per game. In their five conference losses, Doolittle averages 5.2 points. She leads the team in blocked shots.
Iowa's top three-point shooter isn't a regular starter. Sophomore guard Melissa Dixon averages just over 20 minutes per game but has thrown in a team-leading 49 three pointers. She adds 8.8 points per contest.
Lisa Bluder is the dean of Big Ten coaches. She became just the 42nd women's basketball coach to win 600 career games in Division I. Bluder has taken Iowa to 11 postseason tournaments, including nine NCAA's. She has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times in her 13 seasons in Iowa City.
The all-time series between Nebraska and Iowa is tied 7-7, but the Huskers have won three in a row, all played last season. NU got its first-ever win in Iowa City 77-72, swept the regular season series with a 60-53 win in Lincoln and then overcame an eight-point deficit to knock off the Hawkeyes 80-68 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis last year.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women's basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Monday night begins with the pre-game show at 7:04 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 7:36 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network, including Lincoln affiliate KBBK 107.3 FM (B107.3), KTWI 93.3 FM (The Wolf) in Omaha, 880 AM-KRVIN in Lexington, KLIQ 94.5 in Hastings, KCOW 1400 in Alliance, KNEB 94.1 and 960 in Scottsbluff, and available to our entire 25 network stations.
All Husker women's basketball broadcasts are also available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker women's basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women's Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!