Breaking down Iowa’s overtime loss against Nebraska

Nebraska seemingly pulled a rabbit out of a hat, scoring 16 points in the final 47 seconds of regulation.


Roman Slabach

Iowa Guard Jordan Bohannon #3 looks toward the bench during a mens basketball game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Nebraska Huskers at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Sunday, March 10, 2019. The Hawkeyes fell in overtime to the Huskers, 93-91.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

LINCOLN, Neb. – The art of a comeback is one Iowa seemed to have mastered earlier this season.

Nebraska, though, took note, erasing a 9-point deficit in less than a minute. The Huskers took care of business in overtime, defeating the Hawkeyes, 93-91.

Nebraska scored 16 points in the final 47 seconds of regulation.

Aside from two free throws from Amir Harris, Glynn Watson Jr. and James Palmer combined to score all of Nebraska’s points in the final minute of regulation.

Watson Jr. nailed a pair of 3-pointers within 24-second span. Meanwhile, Palmer scored 8 points in the form of two 3-pointers and the game-tying layup with 12 seconds remaining. His two 3-pointers in that sequence were his only makes from downtown throughout the entire game.

“I think you’ve to give them credit,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “Those kids made some tough shots… You have a lead, you don’t want to foul, you don’t want to give up a 4-point play, and they made a bunch in a row. You have to give them credit.”

Iowa managed seven points, all courtesy of free throws, during that same span.

Turning point: a stolen inbounds pass.

With 1:39 left in regulation, Isaiah Roby hit a layup to cut Nebraska’s deficit to 7 points.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Johnny Trueblood came out of nowhere to steal the ball out of Jordan Bohannon’s hands.

Trueblood dished it back to Roby, who finished with a dunk. Not only did Roby’s bucket narrowed the deficit to 5 points, but it electrified a once-dormant Nebraska crowd and sparked life into Pinnacle Bank.

Trueblood finished the game scoreless but posted 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

Luka Garza scored a team-high 25 points.

One positive, if any, from Iowa’s loss was the production the Hawkeyes received out of Garza.

Prior to his performance against the Huskers, Garza struggled; in Iowa’s previous eight contests, the forward had scored 7 points or fewer six times, and he averaged 6.75.

On Sunday, his 25 points came on 10-of-16 shooting, and he also made five of his six attempts from the free throw line.

“Nothing feels good right now, but my teammate [found] me in my spots, and I feel like I was able to finish and shoot,” Garza said. “I’m the type of player – and we have a lot of players in the locker room [like me] – when I had zero points against Northwestern, I felt a lot better than I do right now.”

Both teams struggled from the free throw line.

Iowa attempted 32 free throws on Sunday, but it converted on only 21 of them – 65.6 percent.

With 19 seconds left in regulation, guard Connor McCaffery missed an attempt that would have pushed Iowa’s lead to 3 points. Palmer scored his game-tying bucket on the other end of Connor McCaffery’s miss.

However, Nebraska had an even worse outing, hitting 10 of its 20 attempts at the stripe. The Huskers missed three free throws in overtime.

Roby averaged 20 points against Iowa this season.

Roby scored 17 in the teams’ first meeting of the season. On Sunday, he scored 23 points, which tied for the second-most by any Husker on the day.

Roby also took four 3-pointers in the overtime win, making all of them – a career-best mark.