Alexis Markowski erupted for a career-high 27 points on a career-high six three-pointers, but it was not enough to stop Iowa from managing a 93-83 women’s basketball win over Nebraska on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Markowski, a 6-3 forward/center from Lincoln, hit 6-of-7 threes and 10-of-12 field goals overall to lead the Huskers, while fellow post Isabelle Bourne added 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting and another three-pointer for the Big Red. Ashley Scoggin added a trio of three-pointers to finish with nine points, as Nebraska buried 14-of-30 three-pointers on the day.
But the Huskers still slipped to 13-4 overall and 2-4 in the Big Ten, thanks to 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists from Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and 31 points from center Monika Czinano. Those two Hawkeyes combined for 21-of-22 free throw shooting in the game. Iowa improved to 10-4 and 4-1 in the Big Ten with the victory.
Nebraska was forced to overcome not only a pair of missing starting guards in Sam Haiby (injury) and Jaz Shelley (illness) along with the continued absence from the starting lineup of Bella Cravens (injury), but also a first-half foul discrepancy on the road of 16-1 in the first 20 minutes. Iowa hit 18-of-20 free throws, including 12-for-13 in the second quarter after Nebraska built a 30-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The outstanding first period by the Big Red included 12-of-19 shooting (.632) including 6-of-9 three-pointers. Markowski provided a majority of the highlights for the Huskers by burying 4-of-4 three-pointers to finish with 16 first-quarter points, outscoring Iowa by herself, 16-14. Bourne added eight points in the first period, while Annika Stewart and MiCole Cayton added first-quarter threes.
The Huskers held Iowa to 4-for-15 shooting in the first period, including 0-for-4 from long range, but Iowa did hit 6-of-7 free throws. Nebraska did not shoot a first-half free throw but did hit 17-of-34 field goals and 8-of-16 threes in the half. The Hawkeyes hit just 11-of-28 shots, including 1-of-6 threes. Iowa out-rebounded Nebraska 18-17 in the first half, and won the turnover battle 6-4 in the opening 20 minutes.
Seven different Huskers were whistled for two first-half fouls, while Clark, who scored 11 points despite 2-of-10 shooting from the field, was the only Hawkeye to get called for a foul in the opening 20 minutes, which came on the offensive end.
In the second half, Iowa took its first lead at 54-53 on a pair of Czinano free throws with 6:13 left, but Nebraska answered with an 8-0 run that included five points from freshman guard Kendall Moriarty, who made NU’s first free throw of the game with 4:35 left in the third period to give the Huskers a 61-54 lead.
But Iowa answered late in the quarter to take a 67-66 edge to the fourth period. At that point, the foul discrepancy was 20-3. Iowa pushed the lead to nine (82-73) with five minutes left, but Nebraska got Markowski’s final three-pointer, a Bourne bucket and Scoggin’s final three of the night to trim the margin to 84-81 with 2:40 left.
Nebraska got its final points on a driving layup from Allison Weidner, who finished with eight points and five assists in her first career start. With seconds remaining, Iowa called timeout to advance the ball and Clark scored on a driving layup with one second left to give Iowa a 10-point win.
Nebraska finished 32-of-69 (.464) from the field, but just 5-of-8 at the free throw line, as the home-standing Hawkeyes attempted 26 more free throws than the Big Red with a final foul discrepancy of 28-7.
Nebraska returns to Big Ten home action on Thursday night when the Huskers play host to Rutgers.