Coach Fran McCaffery will be back on the sidelines in the Hawkeyes regular season finale at Nebraska on Sunday. In his two game absence the Hawks were 0-2, shot a dismal 33% (38-115) from the field, and an even worse 25% (13-51) from distance. They also had a total of 28 turnovers in that span. Hopefully having Coach back on the sideline will give the Hawks the emotional lift they are in need of.
The Huskers (15-15, 5-14) are on a current four game slide in which they have been outscored by an average of 23 points a game. This current 4 game skid is also part of a 4-11 record since the Hawks and Huskers last met on January 6. Iowa (21-9, 10-9), then ranked 25th won that first match-up in Carver Hawkeye Arena 93-84, over then ranked #24 Nebraska, behind a great shooting night from Jordan Bohannon. Bohannon scored 25 points on 5 of 8 threes and 10 of 10 free throws to lead all scorers. Tyler Cook also contributed 16, while Ryan Kriener, starting in place of the injured Luka Garza, dropped in 15. Iowa was 10-22 (45.5%) from beyond the arc and 29-32 (90.6%) on freebies in the win. Nebraska, who shot a woeful 4 of 23 (17.4%) from three on the night, were led by Isaac Copeland’s season high 24 points. James Palmer and Isaiah Roby joined him in double figures with 20 and 17 respectfully.
The Huskers are lead in scoring by 2017-18 1st Team All Big Ten performer, James Palmer. Palmer (6-6, 207) is third in the league in scoring this season, netting 18.9 ppg. He also leads the team in assists per game with 4. Isaac Copeland chips in 14.0 ppg for Nebraska, and Glynn Watson Jr (12.7) and Isaiah Roby (11.1) also contribute double-figure averages for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska is 7th in the league in scoring at 71.4 ppg., and 6th in the conference in defensive average giving up 65.9 ppg.
The Huskers are 11-5 at Pinnacle Bank Arena this season, while the Hawks are 4-5 away from Iowa City. Iowa is 13-7 all time versus Nebraska, including an 8-4 record since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Hawks are 3-6 all time in Lincoln, 2-3 since the 2011 campaign.
With Minnesota’s loss Friday, the Hawkeyes wrapped up the 6th seed in the Big Ten Tournament, which starts on Wednesday, March 13 at The United Center in Chicago. The key in Saturday’s ,match-up will be the 70 point plateau. Nebraska is 1-13 this season when they give up 70 or more points, the Hawkeyes, who average 79.7 ppg., are 20-4 when they score 70 plus.
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