Following another road loss in which Nebraska had opportunities to close the door, this time against Maryland 74-72, Nebraska now will face rival Iowa on the road. This matchup features the 24th ranked Huskers at 11-3 and the 11-3 Iowa Hawkeyes who are ranked at 25th in the nation. It may seem early to say this for the Huskers, but at this point, dropping two road games in conference play when there were opportunities to take home a win, Nebraska needs to win today to show the nation they can win big road games.
Iowa dropped a contest in conference play to Purdue 86-70. This team is scoring 82 points per game, but they are allowing 72 points per contest as well. The Hawkeyes shoot a nice percentage from the field at 47%. With their offense’s main priority looking for a shot inside, it’s no surprise they are shooting that type of a percentage. From three-point range, they are at 35%, not eye-popping but decent from deep.
Leading the way this season for Iowa is junior forward Tyler Cook. Cook stands at 6-8 and is nearly averaging a double-double this season at 17 points and eight rebounds. His field goal percentage is one to marvel at with that number at 59%. Fellow post player Luka Garza stands at 6-11 and is imposing on both ends of the floor. The sophomore is scoring 13 points per game and grabbing five rebounds. Garza though has been out in the previous three games with a sprained ankle and he is questionable for this game.
For Nebraska, they will have to deal with a lot of size from Iowa and the audience saw that the Huskers struggled with that against Maryland. The Huskers allow on average 59 points per game, but against Maryland, they allowed 74 points. Nebraska did find some success slowing down the big men with a 1-3-1 zone, but for the Huskers it really comes down to rebounding. Maryland grabbed 14 offensive rebounds and the Terrapins posts, Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith combined for 33 points.
Nebraska had great production again from senior James Palmer Jr. at 26 points, but he needs some more help from the secondary scorers as Glynn Watson Jr., Issac Copeland Jr., and Isiah Roby combined for 31 points. The Huskers need more points from that trio as well. A bright spot for Nebraska was senior Tanner Borchardt as he poured in eight points off the bench. Nebraska will need consistent production from the core players on offense, and to tighten up on defense.
The Huskers are looking for a much-needed win against a top 25 team and this rivalry matchup has all the makings of a good one. The Huskers and Hawkeyes tip-off at 4:30 P.M. today and pregame starts at 3:30 P.M. at 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM.