Joe Wieskamp and Luka Garza proved too much for the Nebraska men’s basketball team Saturday night, as No. 17 Iowa salvaged a season split with the Huskers with a 96-72 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Wieskamp scored a career-high 30 points, while Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, added his ninth straight 20-point game with 22 points. The duo combined for 52 points while going 19-of-28 from the field, including a 6-of-8 performance from Wieskamp in a 20-point second half. As a team, Iowa shot 49 percent and knocked down 11 3-pointers.
With the win, Iowa (17-7, 8-5 Big Ten) avenged its loss in Lincoln on Jan. 7, while Nebraska fell to 7-16 on the season and dropped to 2-11 in Big Ten play. Jervay Green led Nebraska with 18 points, while Cam Mack and Dachon Burke Jr. joined Green in double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
After the teams traded baskets on their opening possessions, Iowa scored the next 13 points to build an early double-digit lead. The Hawkeyes led 21-5 five minutes into the game and were up 25-9 before Nebraska clamped down defensively.
Trailing by 16, the Huskers held the Hawkeyes scoreless for more than eight minutes, using a 12-0 run to pull within 25-21 with five minutes to play. But Iowa answered by scoring seven of the next nine points, stretching the lead to 31-23 with 3:19 left in the first half. Two minutes later, Green hit the Huskers’ only 3-pointer of the first half, capping a personal 5-0 run that trimmed the lead to six. But Iowa scored the final five points of the period to take a 41-30 lead into the locker room.
Iowa shot 46 percent in the first half and was 5-of-16 from the 3-point line, while Nebraska hit only 35 percent of its shots and was just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc. Green had 11 first-half points off the bench for the Big Red, as Nebraska’s starters combined to go just 6-of-23 from the floor.
Cam Mack made the first basket of the second half before Wieskamp scored the game’s next seven points as help Iowa to a 16-point lead. The Hawkeyes extended their lead, scoring 12 straight points during a 16-2 run that pushed the lead to 66-38. Wieskamp scored 10 points during the run as less than eight minutes into the second half, he and Garza had combined to score 23 of Iowa’s 25 second-half points.
Iowa continued to make shots, hitting 10-of-11 from the field during a six-minute stretch that ended with the Hawkeyes on top 78-45 with nine minutes to play. That marked the Huskers’ largest deficit of the season to that point and the lead grew to as many as 38 after back-to-back 3-pointers with seven minutes remaining. Nebraska closed the game strong, making nine of its final 11 shots to out-score Iowa by 14 over the final 6:37.
Nebraska returns to action on Tuesday, when the Huskers travel to Maryland for a second straight road game against a top-20 team. Tipoff between Nebraska and No. 9 Maryland is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with live radio coverage provided by the Husker Sports Network.