After a win against Michigan on Thursday, IU Coach Teri Moren was asked why her team was so successful early on in the game.
Her answer was straight-forward. Moren said the Wolverines were a really good team that just had a slow start. Michigan could not recover from that poor beginning, and Sunday at Nebraska, IU found itself in a similar situation — in an early hole against a team with a worse record.
IU failed to overcome a slow start on the road and lost 67-64 to the Nebraska Cornhuskers Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
“Just disappointed in the way we started the game,” IU assistant coach Janese Banks said on the IU postgame show on WHCC 105.1 FM. “That urgency, it felt like it was never there.”
The Hoosiers have had struggles with their shot on the road all season and started zero-for-eight from the field against Nebraska, which had its shot going. After one quarter, IU was just three-of-16 from the field.
IU senior guard Karlee McBride keyed the Hoosiers in the first half, much like she did Thursday against Michigan with 12 points off the bench through two quarters.
Sunday, McBride returned to the starting lineup and had nine first-half points, including six that led IU’s 11-0 run to get back into the game in the second quarter.
IU played catch up for much of the game, and despite a slim second-half lead that briefly stretched to seven points, a 39-percent mark from the field doomed the Hoosiers.
IU will host Iowa on senior night Wednesday, and Banks said the game has more importance now given the loss to Nebraska.
“We definitely have to bounce back,” Banks said. “Iowa is going to come in – they had a tough loss today too. It’s our senior night, but they’re not going to care. We have to find that intensity.”
IU’s NCAA Tournament hopes also took a big hit with the loss to Nebraska, which came into the matchup ranked No. 199 in the RPI. IU had not lost to a team with an RPI ranking higher than 100 until Sunday.
The Hoosiers sit in a four-team tie for fourth place at 8-6 in the conference with two games remaining. Their final two games come at home against Iowa and on the road at Illinois.
IU had a scare at Wisconsin a few weeks back, another bottom-tier Big Ten team. Moren has talked previously about any Big Ten team being able to compete in any game. Taking it one game at a time has been a mantra for this team. Sunday was a perfect example of the need to take that mantra seriously against a previously 1-12 Nebraska team.
“It’s really disappointing,” Banks said. “I’m at a loss for words.”
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