Mack records double-double, leaders Huskers past Iowa

Staff Writer
Nebraska City News-Press

Cam Mack had his fourth double-double of the season, while Thorir Thorbjarnarson tied his career high with 17 points to lead Nebraska to a 76-70 victory over Iowa Tuesday night at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Mack poured in 15 points and dished out 10 assists for Nebraska (7-8, 2-2 Big Ten), as the Huskers put five players in double figures in posting their fourth straight win over the Hawkeyes in Lincoln. Mack has produced three of his double-doubles in conference play and had 10 assists and just one turnover in 39 minutes on Tuesday.

In addition to Mack and Thorbjarnarson, who grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, Haanif Cheatham added 14 while Dachon Burke Jr. and Kevin Cross also netted double figures with 13 points and 11 points, respectively.

Nebraska led by as many as 12 in the first half, only to see Iowa (10-5, 1-3 Big Ten) take a 51-50 lead with 12:41 remaining. The Hawkeyes' lead would last just 38 seconds, as Cross keyed a significant run with six points in an 8-2 run as Nebraska took a 58-53 lead with 7:25 left.

Iowa chipped away, pulling even at 59-all after a Joe Wieskamp basket with 5:20 remaining, but Thorbjarnarson's two 3-pointers keyed another 8-2 run to push the lead to back to 67-61, and the Huskers held on down the stretch.

Wieskamp finished with a game-high 21 points, while Luka Garza added 16 points and 18 rebounds, but Nebraska held the All-America candidate below his Big Ten leading scoring average. The Huskers also limited Iowa to just 4-of-33 from 3-point range, while hitting 10 3-pointers.

Nebraska opened the game on a 7-0 run and Iowa responded with a 7-0 run of their own to knot the game up at 7-7. The teams traded buckets before the Huskers went on another 8-0 run, featuring triples by Mack and Cheatham and a jumper from Thorbjarnarson to give Nebraska the 17-9 edge midway through the first half. Iowa was able to cut the Nebraska lead down to seven (38-31) by intermission, despite missing 12 consecutive three-pointers in the first half.

Iowa began pounding the ball down low in the opening minutes of the second half and brought the Husker lead down to two at the 15-minute mark. Mack then buried back-to-back jumpers to push the margin back to six and give the Huskers a 47-41 advantage at the first media timeout of the period. The teams continued battling ,and the Hawkeyes claimed a 51-50 lead after a Luka Garza layup and a Joe Wieskamp basket from beyond the arc with 12:41 remaining in the contest.

The Huskers continue Big Ten play Saturday afternoon when they take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. at 3:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on BTN and carried on the Learfield IMG College Husker Sports Network.