IOWA CITY, Iowa – On Monday, members of the Iowa men’s basketball team insisted there would be no letdown against Nebraska.
It took a little while for them to prove it on Tuesday, but they were right.
The 19th-ranked Hawkeyes overcame a sluggish start to defeat Nebraska 77-66 before an announced attendance of 11,736 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa fell behind 10-0, but then outscored Nebraska 31-12 for the remainder of the first half and led 31-22 at halftime
Iowa improved 12-3 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten for first time since the 2002-03 season. The Hawkeyes also have won nine consecutive Big Ten regular-season games dating back to last season. That is Iowa’s longest winning streak in Big Ten play since the 1970 Hawkeyes finished 14-0 under head coach Ralph Miller.
Nebraska fell to 8-8 overall and 0-3 in the conference under fourth-year coach Tim Miles.
Iowa has won six of eight games in the series since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011.
Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff continued to play well for Iowa, finishing with 25 points and four blocks. Uthoff has scored in double figures in every game this season.
Senior point guard Mike Gesell finished with 22 points, while sophomore forward Dom Uhl had another strong performance off the bench with 10 points.
Uthoff made a 3-point basket to expand Iowa’s lead to 63-48 with 7 minutes, 15 seconds left to play in the second half.
Nebraska guard Tai Webster scored five consecutive points to trim the deficit to 63-53 with 6 minutes remaining.
Iowa then answered with three consecutive baskets, with the first two made by Uthoff. Gesell then hit a baseline jumper to expand Iowa’s lead to 69-53 with 4:19 remaining.
Iowa’s 12-3 record marks its best start in six seasons under head coach Fran McCaffery. The Hawkeyes also have a 15-6 record in Big Ten play dating back to last season.