IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark had 38 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead No. 5 Iowa over Nebraska 92-73 on Saturday.
Clark, the nation’s leading scorer at 31.7 points per game, had the 53rd double-double of her career. She was 12 of 22 from the field, including 8 of 15 on 3-pointers.
Kate Martin had 16 points and Sydney Affolter added 12 points for Iowa (19-2, 8-1 Big Ten). The Hawkeyes, who had their 15-game winning streak snapped in last Sunday’s overtime loss at Ohio State, pulled away in the second half after struggling to make shots in the first half.
Iowa hadn’t played since that loss, and Clark called the time off a “reset.”
“We had to sit on a loss for a week, that’s tough in itself, too,” Clark said. “But I think the thing about Ohio State is we knew we were winning the game the entire game, and that’s what hurt us more. We didn’t go to Columbus and lay an egg. We went there and played really good basketball. But we didn’t execute down the stretch to put ourselves into position to win.”
Nebraska (13-7, 5-4) made just one of its first 11 shots to open the game, but the Huskers took advantage of cold shooting by the Hawkeyes to take a 31-27 lead late in the first half. Iowa, which started the game with a 9-0 run, went five minutes without a field goal in the first quarter.
Jaz Shelley had 19 points to lead the Cornhuskers. Alexis Markowski had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Callin Hake had 11 points.
“We felt like it was going to have to be a complete, 40-minute game here,” Nebraska coach Amy Williams said. “To come out and just be a little not-locked-into the defensive game plan wasn’t ideal, by any stretch. But we have a team of fighters who continue to fight, and I thought we did that. We started to clue in and lock into what we wanted to do.”
But the Hawkeyes led 36-31 at halftime after a 9-0 run over the final 1:35 of the half, capped by a deep Clark 3-pointer with two seconds left.
“I think those last couple of minutes of the first half were really important, and we kind of took the momentum back before halftime,” Clark said. “That’s a huge swing right there.”
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder had called a timeout 19 seconds before the run began.
“I think she fired us up,” Clark said. “That’s what I love about her. She’s going to coach us, and none of us want to let her down. We want to make her proud. We knew ourselves that we weren’t playing to the standard of Iowa basketball.”
Iowa kept that momentum into the third quarter, shooting 71.4% from the field while leading by as much as 19 points in the quarter.
“Maybe I need to call more timeouts,” Bluder said. “But I really think it was more of a gut check than anything else.”
Nebraska: The Huskers couldn’t take advantage of Iowa’s early struggles, because they struggled themselves. Shelley and Markowski provided most of the offense, and Nebraska was able to outrebound the Hawkeyes. Markowski had her Big Ten-leading 13th double-double, but Shelley had to be helped from the court late in the game after suffering an ankle injury. “It’s going to have to be something to take day-to-day, and hope it’s not a serious injury,” Williams said.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes shook off the Ohio State defeat to stay at the top of the Big Ten standings. Clark and her teammates started slow, but the run late in the first half and in the third quarter woke them up. Iowa has a nine-game winning streak over Nebraska.
Nebraska: Hosts Purdue on Wednesday.
Iowa: At Northwestern on Wednesday.