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Jan 12, 2024 12:22 am

Nebraska rides big win into matchup with Iowa

Fresh off a signature victory over the No. 1 team in the country, Nebraska will seek its first conference road win of the season when it visits Iowa in a Big Ten game on Friday night in Iowa City.

The Cornhuskers (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten) picked up their first win over a top-ranked team since 1982 by hitting a season-high 14 of 23 3-pointers. They also held reigning conference and national player of the year Zach Edey in check (15 points), but once the fans stormed the court, it was time to move ahead to the next game.

“It feels like the 18th game in a row where we’ve had two days of prep,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It’s a great win. It’s a huge win for our program, but we’ve got a lot of work left to do.”

Among those tasks is winning on the road. Two of Nebraska’s three losses came away from home in Big Ten play: at Minnesota in December and an 88-72 defeat at No. 15 Wisconsin last week.

An explainer could be the production of leading scorer Keisei Tominaga, who averages 16.6 points at home and 9.5 in road and neutral-site games.

Iowa (9-6, 1-3) also struggles on the road but is 7-1 at home this season, including an 86-77 victory over Rutgers on Saturday. The Hawkeyes won that game without senior forward Patrick McCaffery, who sat out with an illness but is expected to be able to play against Nebraska.

Senior forward Ben Krikke leads Iowa in scoring at 16.7 points per game, while guards Tony Perkins and Payton Sandfort are scoring more than 14 per game.

The biggest surprise, though, has been 6-foot-10 freshman Owen Freeman, who won Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the fifth time on Monday. He is averaging 10.3 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 63.3 percent from the floor.

“It’s well deserved and I’m thrilled for him,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s a hard-working guy and he keeps getting better. To be recognized five times in this league is really hard.”

Nebraska has won the last two meetings with Iowa, including a road win last March. The Hawkeyes have never lost three in a row in the series.

–Field Level Media

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