Nebraska women’s basketball will seek redemption, as they face off against No. 10 Iowa on Monday.
Following the game, the team will honor Maddie Simon as part of its senior night. Simon is the only senior on Nebraska’s current roster.
On Jan. 3, Nebraska crawled back from a 12-point deficit in the final quarter to make it a two-point game with 26.8 seconds left. However, the Huskers could not complete the comeback, and Iowa hung on to take a 77-71 win at home.
Freshman forward Leigha Brown had 20 points in the game, while junior guard Hannah Whitish added 14 points.
Since then, Nebraska has gone 6-7 in its last 13 games but have won their last two games, including a top-25 win against Michigan State. Whitish has been a huge asset in those wins, scoring a total of 35 points on 58 percent shooting along with 10 assists.
Sophomore center Kate Cain has been a force on the defensive end, blocking nine shots in the last two games, including a season-high seven against Michigan State.
To win this game, Nebraska will try to slow down the Hawkeye offense. Iowa is 11th in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 80.6 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field, the best percentage in Division I. This does not bode well for the Huskers, as they rank 275th in scoring defense and 210th in field-goal percentage defense.
Iowa also excels at moving the basketball, ranking third in the country in assists per game.
Nebraska’s lone hope on the defensive end maybe its ability to block shots. The Huskers are ranked 17th in that category, sending back 5.2 shots per game.
Offensively, Nebraska can keep up with Iowa. While Nebraska may rank 59th in scoring offense and 70th in field goal percentage, the Hawkeyes’ defense is clearly the weakness of the team. Iowa ranks 261st in scoring defense and 205th in field-goal percentage defense.
Iowa is led led by All-American senior forward Megan Gustafson. Gustafson leads the country in scoring, averaging 27.4 points per game on 70.4 percent shooting. The 12-time Big Ten Player of the Week is also fourth in the nation in rebounding, bringing down 13.1 rebounds a game. On top of that, Gustafson is an intimidating rim protector, averaging 1.8 blocks per game.
In the last matchup with the Huskers, Gustafson had 28 points on 11-20 shooting, 17 rebounds and five blocks.
Senior forward Hannah Stewart, senior guard Tania Davis and junior guard Kathleen Doyle are all Hawkeye players to watch out for, as they all average double-digit points. Stewart also averages 6.2 rebounds per game. Davis and Doyle form a backcourt that excels in ball movement, averaging 4.7 and 5.9 assists, respectively.
The last couple games for the Hawkeyes were up-and-down affairs. After defeating No. 8 Maryland, Iowa lost a close game against Indiana. The loss put the Hawkeyes at 21-6 on the season and 12-4 in conference play.
With two games left on the regular-season schedule, each game is a must-win for the Huskers if they want even an outside chance of making the tournament. Nebraska will take on Penn State in its final game of the regular season March 2.
Tip-off for the game against Iowa will be Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Pinnacle Bank Arena.