Nebraska steals Caitlin Clark’s thunder with 82-79 victory over No. 2 Hawkeyes

Date:

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Jaz Shelley’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds left gave Nebraska its first lead as the Cornhuskers rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat No. 2 Iowa 82-79 on Sunday.

Nebraska and Iowa fans alike came to Pinnacle Bank Arena hoping to see Caitlin Clark set the NCAA women’s career scoring record on a nationally televised celebration of women’s basketball.

What they got instead was a huge performance by the Cornhuskers (16-8, 8-5 Big Ten), whose first win over a Top 25 opponent this season and first over Iowa in 10 tries was punctuated by a student-led court storming.

Clark scored 31 points but missed her final six shots, including one just before the buzzer. She was scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Clark now has 3,520 career points and needs eight more to pass Kelsey Plum’s record of 3,527 for Washington from 2013-17.

Hannah Steulke’s layup with 9:22 left gave Iowa (22-3, 11-2) its biggest lead, at 71-57. The Huskers then scored 23 of the next 31 points.

Shelley, who finished with 23 points including five 3-pointers, gave the Huskers the lead when she launched a 3 from the right corner as the shot clock was winding down.

Clark’s 3-point try nicked off the front of the rim before Shelley made two free throws with 18.1 seconds left. Steulke scored to make it 80-79, but Shelley hit two more shots from the stripe, and Clark and Kate Martin missed 3s at the end.

Iowa had pulled away in the third quarter, making 9 of 12 shots and outscoring the Huskers 30-20.

The crowd was split evenly between Nebraska and Iowa fans. “Let’s Go Hawks!” chants started before tipoff.

Nebraska kept it close in the first half and trailed just 39-35 at the break. Shelley made three 3-pointers, including two straight late in the second quarter to keep Iowa from pulling away.

Clark had 17 points in the first half, but her contributions on defense and as a facilitator were just as important. She ratcheted up her scoring in the third quarter, accounting for 14 points.

BIG PICTURE

Nebraska: The game was the first women’s basketball sellout in program history. A few sellers on the secondary ticket market were asking as much as $2,000 for a seat in the lower bowl. The highest seats on one end of the arena were unfilled, though.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes dropped out of a tie for first place in the Big Ten with Ohio State.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: At Ohio State on Wednesday.

Iowa: Hosts Michigan on Thursday.

___

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