Iowa men’s basketball falls to Nebraska, drops to 1-3 in conference play

A slow shooting night led to a Hawkeye loss in Lincoln on Tuesday.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa guard Joe Wieskamp looks to pass during a menÕs basketball match between Iowa and Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Wieskamp made 5-of-10 shots on the night.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

In his days as head coach at Iowa State, Fred Hoiberg racked up a 4-1 record against Iowa. He continued that hot streak in his first matchup against the Hawkeyes as Nebraska’s head coach on Tuesday.

After falling into an early hole due to a lack of shooting success, Iowa fell to the Huskers, 76-70, in Lincoln to drop to 1-3 in Big Ten play.

Along with a grocery list of injuries, Iowa attempted to overcome its inability to hit shots from deep. It couldn’t.

The Hawkeyes started the game 1-of-17 from beyond the arc.

With CJ Fredrick out and Luka Garza facing multiple bodies in the paint, Joe Wieskamp made a minimal impact from deep by missing his first seven 3-point attempts.

Still, Wieskamp found a way to get his buckets.

The swingman from Muscatine carved his way inside the 3-point line to make a living, finishing with 21 points despite shooting only 1-of-10 from deep.

“He missed shots he normally makes, especially early,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever had at coming right out of the gate making shots. He’s been amazing since the minute he got here. But I’m really proud of him because a lot of times, good shooters, they have an off night — 1-for-10, I don’t think he’s ever probably gone 1-for-10 in his life. But he still fought his way to 21 points.”

Even the points Wieskamp eventually found, the Hawkeyes finished 4-of-33 from beyond the arc.

“I always tell my guys, if you’re open, shoot the ball,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. “I want complete confidence.”

Iowa pushed itself within striking distance late because it never played like the game was out of reach early.

After Iowa scored 11 points in the first 12 minutes of the game, it dropped 20 in the final eight minutes of the first half.

That’s when Garza started to find his rhythm.

The big man from Washington D.C. finished the game with 16 points and 18 rebounds to notch his ninth double-double of the season.

After entering halftime facing a seven-point deficit, Wieskamp hit his first 3-pointer with 12:40 remaining in the second half to give Iowa its first lead of the game.

But down the stretch, Iowa failed to stop Cam Mack and Thorir Thorbjarnarson, who finished with 15 and 17 points, respectively.

“They got a lot of different guys who can score, so they’re not easy to defend,” McCaffery said. “They’re always aggressive, so that makes it sometimes hard defensively when you’ve got a lot of guys who are going and attacking.”

Despite Garza’s presence and the Hawkeyes grabbing 13 more offensive boards than Nebraska, Iowa shot only five free throws, compared to the Huskers’ 26.

Iowa will return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday to face Maryland at 6 p.m.