Lincoln – Jaz Shelley scored 10 of her season-high 23 points in the final five minutes to help Nebraska rally from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to an 82-79 win over No. 2 Iowa on Sunday afternoon.
Playing in front of a school-record, sellout crowd of 15,042 at Pinnacle Bank Arena and a FOX national television audience, the Huskers trailed 69-55 at the end of three quarters before Shelley, Logan Nissley, Natalie Potts and Kendall Moriarty combined for all of Nebraska’s 27 fourth-quarter points to rally Nebraska to its fourth victory over a top-five opponent in school history.
The win matched a 103-99 3OT win over No. 2 and eventual national champion Baylor at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Jan. 12, 2005, for the highest-ranked foe Nebraska has ever defeated in women’s basketball.
Moriarty scored the first two of the fourth quarter for the Huskers before Potts, who finished with 14 points and six rebounds, scored six straight for the Huskers to trim the Iowa lead from 14 to eight at 71-63 with 6:11 left. Moriarty scored he second bucket of the quarter to make it a two-possession game at 71-65 with 5:20 remaining. Moriarty finished with seven points.
Shelley played the biggest role, going 2-for-3 from three-point range in the fourth quarter and 4-for-4 at the free throw line in the closing minute to seal the victory to help the Huskers improve to 16-8 overall and 8-5 in the Big Ten. Iowa slipped to 22-3 and 11-2 in the conference.
Shelley’s three-pointer with 4:39 left pulled Nebraska within 74-68, but Iowa’s Kate Martin answered with her second three-pointer of the quarter to push Iowa’s lead to 77-70 with 3:20 left. Martin finished with 20 points, including 4-of-8 three-pointers, but did commit seven turnovers.
Nissley, a freshman from Bismarck, N.D., then buried her third three-pointer of the game before Martin committed a turnover for the Hawkeyes. Nissley was then fouled by Caitlin Clark on a three-point shot with 2:13 left. Nissley, who finished with 15 points and a career-high seven rebounds, made 2-of-3 free throws to cut the Iowa lead to 77-75.
Neither team scored for the next 1:42 until Shelley splashed her fifth three-pointer of the game with 31 seconds left to give the Big Red its first lead of the game at 78-77 and send the Husker crowd into a frenzy.
Clark, who finished with 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, then missed a three-pointer, and Maddie Krull secured the defensive rebound for the Huskers and called timeout.
Shelley was fouled by Gabby Marshall with 19 seconds and calmly stepped to the line to sonk both free throws to extend the Nebraska lead to 80-77.
Iowa answered with a basket from Hannah Stuelke just one second later after a timeout to advance the ball to the front court. Stuelke, who finished with 15 points just days after getting a career-high 47 in a win over Penn State, then fouled Shelley. Nebraska’s graduate guard from Australia again stepped to the line and sank a pair to put the Big Red up 82-79.
Clark’s three-point attempt with nine seconds left was off the mark, and a second three-point chance from Martin with six seconds left also misfired to close out the Nebraska comeback.
Alexis Markowski contributed her 14th double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds to help keep Nebraska within striking distrance through the first three quarters. Although she did not score in the fourth period, Markowski contributed three rebounds, three of her season-high four assists, and one of her three steals in the game.
Darian White and Jessica Petrie each contributed four points for the Huskers to complete the scoring.
For the game, Nebraska hit 42.5 percent (31-73) of its shots from the field, including 10-of-31 three-pointers (.323), while connecting on 10-of-14 free throws (.714). Nebraska outworked Iowa on the boards, 45-38, and won the turnover battle, 16-13. The Huskers were plus-six on the glass and plus-four in turnovers in the decisive second half.
Iowa hit 45.5 percent (30-66) shots from the floor, including 10-of-32 threes (.313), while going 9-for-15 from the free throw line (.667).
Nebraska returns to Big Ten road action to face its second straight top-five foe when the Huskers face No. 5 Ohio State on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio is set for 6 p.m. (CT)