By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — No. 20 Iowa remained in a first-place tie with Maryland in the Big Ten Conference women’s basketball race following a 76-60 victory over Nebraska on Thursday in front of 6,967 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It is the 33rd consecutive home win for the Hawkeyes, who improved to 19-4 overall, 10-2 in the Big Ten. It also allowed Iowa to split the season series with Nebraska (15-8, 5-7). The Cornhuskers prevailed in the league opener, 78-69, on Dec. 28 in Lincoln.
Seniors Kathleen Doyle and Amanda Ollinger posted double-doubles for Iowa: Doyle handed out a school-record 15 assists to go with 15 points; Ollinger pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds to go with 11 points.
“Doyle, 15 assists tonight, that’s outstanding,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She is so good going downhill, but they took away the drive and she found the assists. It’s nice to see her get a double-double. Amanda had a double-double, so that continues to be great.”
And, it’s good to have sophomore center Monika Czinano closer to full strength after suffering an ankle injury against Michigan State on Jan. 26. Czinano scored a game-high 23 points (11 of 20 from the field) with eight rebounds.
Senior guard Makenzie Meyer also pulled down a career-high eight rebounds. Junior Alexis Sevillian scored 11 points and made three 3-point field goals for a third straight game.
Bluder praised Iowa’s 3-point defense, as the Hawkeyes held Nebraska to just 8 of 30 from distance. Iowa was also plus-9 in rebounds.
Nebraska was led in scoring by Leigha Brown with 20 points.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“It feels good to bounce back after the game Sunday (a 78-63 loss at Michigan) where we didn’t feel we gave our best performance. It’s nice to have Monika a little healthier — she is a big difference-maker for us. Then to level the playing field with Nebraska, as we went over there and lost. It’s nice to be able to even the score on that.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
The Hawkeyes combined to make 17 of 34 field goals in the second and third quarters (50 percent). They out-scored Nebraska, 44-32, during that 20-minute span, while holding the Cornhuskers to 35-percent shooting from the field.
Iowa came out on top in rebounding, 47-38, and held Nebraska to a season-low 60 points.
The Hawkeyes travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, for their only regular season meeting against Purdue on Sunday. Tip-off is 1 p.m. (CT). The Boilermakers (15-9, 6-6) lost at Michigan, 66-63, on Thursday.
NEBRASKA AT IOWA PHOTO GALLERY