By DARREN MILLER
LINCOLN, Neb. — University of Iowa sophomore center Monika Czinano posted a double-double with 17 rebounds and 16 points in a Big Ten women’s basketball opener Saturday, but the Hawkeyes fell to Nebraska, 78-69, at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Hawkeyes (9-3 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) lost for just the second time since Nov. 20; Nebraska improved to 11-1, 1-0.
Czinano, the nation’s field goal percentage leader, was 6 of 8 from the field. Iowa senior Kathleen Doyle scored a game-high 19 points and made 10 of 14 free throws. Freshman McKenna Warnock made all three of her 3-point attempts and scored a career-high 14 points.
The Hawkeyes shot just 37 percent from the field (21 of 57).
“At the end of the day, we lost this game and it’s probably one we should have gotten,” Czinano said. “Credit to Nebraska, they played a good game, but it still stings.”
Five Nebraska players scored in double figures, led by Kate Cain with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’re capable of. We had good looks that didn’t go down and sometimes that happens on the road.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Nebraska scored 24 points off 18 Iowa turnovers; the Hawkeyes scored nine points off 13 Nebraska turnovers.
“Their defense was good, they forced us into a lot of turnovers and they scored off those,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “They used those opportunities; credit to them for doing that.”
Entering Saturday’s game, the all-time series between the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers was tied, 14-14. Iowa won both meetings last season.
The Hawkeyes will put their 27-game Carver-Hawkeye Arena winning streak on the line Tuesday when they host Illinois. Tip-off from Mediacom Court is 2 p.m. (CT). The Illini (9-3) lost to Northwestern, 77-50, on Saturday in Champaign, Illinois.