Feb. 12, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
LINCOLN, Neb. — No. 13 University of Iowa showed off its weapons Thursday during a come-from-behind 69-61 women’s basketball victory over No. 20 Nebraska in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Sophomore Ally Disterhoft connected on a 3-point field goal with 8:45 remaining to pull the Hawkeyes within one point at 48-47, then closed the game with four consecutive made free throws.
Junior Kali Peschel converts three straight points to put Iowa ahead 50-48 with 7:25 left — its first lead since 12-10 at the 16:01 mark of the first half.
Senior Melissa Dixon — quiet most of the night — makes two 3-pointers in the final 4:15 — the first one after a huge offensive rebound by Disterhoft.
Senior Samantha Logic drains a 3-point field goal with 2:51 remaining and the shot clock winding down, giving Iowa a four-point cushion.
Senior Bethany Doolittle finishes a spin move in the lane with a field goal and comes up with a blocked shot in the final two minutes.
It added up to Iowa’s third straight win (and nine of its last 10), giving the Hawkeyes a record of 20-4 overall, 11-2 in the Big Ten Conference. Their second win in a row over Nebraska leaves the Cornhuskers at 17-7, 7-6.
“We haven’t won here in a long time (2005) so it means a lot for our seniors to get two in a row against Nebraska,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought our seniors did a good job at halftime getting our players back on task.”
The Hawkeyes forced 22 turnovers and converted those into 24 points. They trailed, 37-28, at the break.
“That was big,” Bluder said. “They out-rebounded us (46 to 28), so we had to get some opportunities. We ended up taking one more field goal than they do (60 to 59) and it is because of our defensive end and forcing turnovers.”
Disterhoft led Iowa with 14 points and seven rebounds. Peschel did all of her scoring in the second half — 13 points worth — on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. Doolittle added 12 points with five rebounds. For Disterhoft, it is the 16th game in a row and 22nd time this season she has scored in double figures. It is the third time Peschel has scored in double figures this season and the first since Dec. 11 against Iowa State.
“Kali Peschel came in and did a great job,” Bluder said. “She had 13 points and they just weren’t going to (defend) her. Sometimes that can mess with you mentally, but Kali just stepped up and shot the ball. She was a difference-maker for us.”
The Hawkeyes made 43.3 percent from the field (26-of-60) and 42.1 percent from 3-point range (8-of-19).
Logic — the heart and soul for Iowa — played 39 minutes. She handed out 10 assists, scored nine points, and grabbed six rebounds.
“We had huge step-ups from the bench in a tough environment, especially being down in the first half,” Logic said. “I’m proud how we battled back. We locked up the defense, got ready to push and do whatever we could. It shows a lot of maturity to be able to bounce back from a bad start.”
Nebraska, which has lost three games in a row, received 18 points from Tear’a Laudermill and 16 from Brandi Jeffery. Rachel Theriot, the leading scorer for the Cornhuskers at 16.5 points per game, did not play.
It is the third consecutive 20-win season for Iowa. The Hawkeyes have won at least 20 games in seven of the last eight seasons.
Iowa returns to action Sunday against Indiana (14-10, 4-9) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is 5 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes are 13-0 at home this season.