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Hawkeyes pull away for win over Nebraska

Keegan Murray helped lead Iowa to a win over Nebraska. (Photo: USATodaySports)
Keegan Murray helped lead Iowa to a win over Nebraska. (Photo: USATodaySports)

LINCOLN, Neb. -- — Tony Perkins scored 15 of his career-high 20 points in the second half, Keegan Murray had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 25 Iowa beat Nebraska 88-78 Friday night.

The Hawkeyes (20-8, 10-7 Big Ten) won for the sixth time in seven games and posted their first victory in Lincoln since 2015. The Cornhuskers (7-21, 1-16) lost their fourth straight, all by double digits.

Perkins had his first double-digit scoring game since Dec. 6 against Illinois (16 points) and Murray's double-double was his seventh of the season. However, Murray struggled with his shot early and finished 6 of 13 from the field while seeing his streak of games with at least 20 points end at seven.

Kris Murray had 12 points, Connor McCaffery added 11 and Patrick McCaffery had 10 for Iowa.

Alonzo Verge Jr. led the Huskers with 18 points, C.J. Wilcher had 14 and Bryce McGowens had 13.

Iowa had difficulty pulling away, never leading by more than five points until Jordan Bohannon bounced a pass into the lane that Murray dunked for a 58-51 lead with 11:33 left.

A 3 by Wilcher got the Huskers within 58-56, but Iowa capitalized on a three straight bad passes by the Huskers to start an 11-0 run and build some cushion.

Perkins made two free throws after Verge threw the ball away, Murray scored on a snaking move through the lane after Verge's pass bounced off Walker's chest and went out of bounds, and after McGowens' pass bounced out of Walker's reach, Murray hit a 3 and a layup to make it 69-56.

The Hawkeyes were flat to start. Murray was just 1 of 6 for four points in the first half and they committed seven turnovers. Walker had his way inside and the Huskers shot 52% and led most of the half.

But Connor McCaffery hit all three of his 3s and Filip Rebraca made a lay-in before the buzzer to finish a 12-5 spurt and send Iowa to the locker room with a 36-35 lead.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: The Hawkeyes secured their fourth straight 20-win season and eighth in 10 years. They also posted their third two-game sweep of the season, having also won twice against both Maryland and Minnesota.

Nebraska: The Huskers lost their 24th straight against a top-25 opponent a day after Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts announced coach Fred Hoiberg would return for a fourth season despite three straight years with at least 20 losses. Hoiberg is 6-49 in Big Ten play and 21-66 overall.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts Northwestern on Monday.