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Husker women fall at home as Megan Gustafson, Hawkeyes surge down the stretch

LINCOLN — Although their senior teammate talked to pals and family members soon after an emotional ship-off in her remaining residence match, freshmen reserves Ashtyn Veerbeek and Sam Haiby represented the Nebraska women’s basketball players Monday night.

The Huskers had just lost 74-58 to rival Iowa, which, making use of just 6 players in its normal rotation, blasted NU in the second and fourth quarters. That appears counterintuitive — shouldn’t a group with 5 starters actively playing at minimum 32 minutes get worn out? — but the No. 12 Hawkeyes have the Large Ten’s ideal player in center Megan Gustafson. And Nebraska’s impressive depth — 9 players logged at minimum 18 minutes — also belies a disheartening inconsistency.

How a lot? Gustafson’s 29 details and 20 rebounds — that is a normal night for her — outscored and outrebounded NU’s starting 5, which completed with 27 and 15.

Backups Haiby (12 details) and Veerbeek (10 details, 6 rebounds) ended up Nebraska’s ideal players Monday. But some game titles, they’re cold and the starters are scorching.

The Huskers, now 13-15 on the year and 8-9 in the Large 10, have never ever really identified the method for regularity. They had 1 senior — Lincoln Pius X graduate Maddie Simon — this year.

Iowa has a few, including Gustafson. Possibly that is the variation.

“I have a good deal of respect for practical experience, and I consider that it showed for Iowa tonight,” coach Amy Williams reported. Iowa, which nonetheless has a shot to share the Large 10 title, is the type of group, Williams reported, that will make opponents spend when they get rid of aim. Gustafson, a 6-3 scoring wizard whose variety of moves and deft touch set her aside in the women’s faculty match, also will make foes spend when they drop their guard.

“As before long as you get a little fatigued and get rid of aim for a second about how you have to have to be performing and dancing, she’s heading to make you spend for that,” Williams reported. “Lots of groups have experimented with, and quite couple have been in a position to obtain strategies to slow her down.”

For just about all of the 3rd quarter, when it erased a 9-place halftime deficit, NU held Gustafson in check. Her place full stayed on 17 for just about 9 minutes. Nebraska tied the match at 43 on a layup by Simon, who had a prospect to give the Huskers the guide with a free of charge toss.

She missed it. And Iowa (22-5, 13-4) proceeded to retake control by harnessing the dread of Gustafson’s capability.

The Hawkeyes strike two corner 3-pointers — 1 by Tania Davis, the other by Kathleen Doyle — to shut the quarter on a 9-4 operate. On each 3s, Nebraska defenders sagged off Iowa shooters just adequate to give them respiratory area. That, Williams reported, pointed to Nebraska’s need to assistance Husker posts in guarding Gustafson.

Those double daggers gave Iowa a 52-47 guide.

Gustafson, a shoo-in All-American who could be the nation’s ideal player, then iced the earn by scoring her team’s to start with 8 details of the fourth quarter, splashing jumpers. NU designed 4 of 13 pictures in the fourth quarter.

The whimper of an ending dampened the aggressive fireplace of the to start with a few quarters. Bodies ended up on the flooring. Players protested foul calls. The 5,071 in attendance shouted and pointed. Doyle, who backed out of a Nebraska determination to sign with Iowa, had a little enjoyment with the crowd. So did Davis.

“Both groups desired it truly negative,” reported Veerbeek, the Hull (Iowa) Western Christian star who spurned the Hawkeyes to decide on the Huskers. She could have discovered less than Gustafson, if she’d desired. Veerbeek chose alternatively to guard her Monday night.

The 6-foot-2 freshman will also choose crucial classes from Simon, who savored a heat celebration of her time at Nebraska.

“Maddie was the excellent senior that we could have had coming in,” Veerbeek reported. “She was a good role product and teammate … remaining a senior from Lincoln, you’d consider she’d have all these persons she would go to, but she cared about her teammates.”

Williams, who wept on the court when honoring Simon, referred to as her “selfless.” Simon signed with Nebraska when Connie Yori was nonetheless the coach, stayed soon after Yori resigned, battled self-assurance concerns through her sophomore year, switched positions as a junior and was replaced in the starting lineup halfway by her senior calendar year.

Simon was available a starting location for Senior Night. She declined due to the fact she did not want to disrupt chemistry. That, Williams reported, is the type of person Simon is.

“She has taken every little thing that has been thrown at her in her basketball job at Nebraska and she’s taken it in stride,” Williams reported. “And she’s dealt with it with grace and course and poise.”

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