Glynn Watson Jr. led the Cornhuskers with 34 points while Tai Webster added another 24 en route to a double-overtime 93-90 Nebraska win in Lincoln.
Nebraska was in control for the first 32 minutes or so, then Iowa took just its second lead of the game with 8 minutes to play. Peter Jok shot unconscious, finishing the night with 34 before fouling out in the second OT. He brought the Hawkeyes back in to the game, notching 18 of Iowa’s last 20 in regulation.
Jok had just 4 first-half points, and Iowa was kept alive by Isaiah Moss who had 15 in the first frame while Jok sat on the bench with 2 fouls. Moss was put in a drawer in the second half, and ended the game with 17 points while Jok took over.
This game was Nebraska’s to lose, and the Skers gave Iowa plenty of chances. With 2 seconds left in the game and the score tied at 74, Evan Taylor missed both his free throws to send the game to OT. Nebraska did its best impression of Iowa from the charity stripe, going just 19-35. Iowa meanwhile shot a decent 13-17 from the line.
With 40 seconds left in the first overtime and the score tied, Iowa had the chance to call a timeout, draw something up and defend the lead.
With 12 seconds left in the first overtime and the score tied, Iowa had the chance to call a timeout, draw something up and win the game.
Jok was absolutely gassed in the second OT, and eventually fouled out, but not after Nebraska’s leading scorer Watson Jr. was sent to the bench as well. Iowa then leaned on Jordan Bohannon to make something happen, opting to shoot from the perimeter rather than trying to get Tyler Cook or Cordell Pemsl involved.
Iowa had the chance to call timeouts with the ball in hand again in the final moments, but Fran McCaffery opted to hoard his timeouts the same way my mom hoards Williams Sonoma catalogs. Iowa didn’t call a timeout until 6 seconds remained, as an attempt to ice Evan Taylor at the free throw line with the score 93-90.
It worked, but Iowa couldn’t get a clean shot off, as a double-teamed Bohannon dumped it off to Brady Ellingson who put up a gross shot.
There was a lot to like from this team tonight, but some of the coaching decisions leave a lot to be desired. Even though Cook had 4 fouls, he was still absent from the floor at the end of regulation and the first OT, where a play to get him the ball under the rim seemed ripe for the picking.
It was a damn good game, but it feels like a wasted opportunity right now.