Husker Women Battle Hawkeyes; Lose 77-71

Freshman Leigha Brown scored a career-high 20 points, including six in the final 3:30, to help Nebraska rally from a 12-point deficit to cut the margin to two with 26.8 seconds left, but No. 19 Iowa hung on for a 77-71 women’s basketball win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night.

Brown, a 6-1 wing from Auburn, Ind., scored 20 points in just 19 minutes, while junior guard Hannah Whitish pitched in 14 points, including five points in Nebraska’s furious rally in the closing minutes. Freshman Sam Haiby added three of her nine points in a three-minute stretch where the Huskers scored 14 points to cut a 69-57 deficit to just 73-71 with 26.8 seconds left.

Nebraska slipped to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, while Iowa improved to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Senior All-American Megan Gustafson led Iowa with 28 points and 17 rebounds but the 80 percent free throw shooter missed four free throws in the game’s final 11 minutes that could have put Nebraska away. However, she drew 12 fouls on the Huskers in the game.

Nebraska returns to Big Ten Conference home action next week, when the Huskers take on No. 4 Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Terrapins is set for 7 p.m.