IOWA CITY, Iowa The Iowa Hawkeyes ran out of time Monday night.
They might be running out of opportunities.
Nebraska's Jordan Hooper scored 29 points, and the Hawkeyes' last-ditch effort came up short in a 76-75 Big Ten women's basketball loss in front of 3,937 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It was Iowa's fourth straight defeat, and the Hawkeyes (16-9 overall, 5-6 Big Ten) fell to 0-4 against Nebraska since Big Red joined the Big Ten.
And with a tortuous stretch coming up No. 8 Penn State at home Thursday, Purdue on the road Sunday, then Nebraska at Lincoln on Jan. 24 – there is valid reason for concern about Iowa's postseason hopes.
"We have some work to do," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said.
Nebraska (18-6, 8-3) led the entire game, and answered every Iowa challenge. It was 72-62 before the Hawkeyes made a final push that came up a point and a few seconds short.
"We made a lot of plays for the first 37 minutes, when they started cutting into the lead," Huskers Coach Connie Yori said.
The Hawkeyes scored seven straight points to get within 72-69, then Iowa missed three straight long-distance shots that could have tied the game.
The second of the three, by Jaime Printy, was halfway down before sneaking out.
"It left my hand and it felt good," Printy said. "You can't do anything but keep shooting the same way."
Hailie Sample hit two free throws, then Lindsey Moore added two more to clinch the outcome. Theairra Taylor hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring Iowa within a point.
"Another tough one, obviously," Bluder said. "You always have those what-ifs. These are the ones that keep you awake at night."
Nebraska has been a sharp thorn in the Hawkeyes' side since joining the league. The Huskers beat Iowa three times last year, including once in the Big Ten tournament.
"The team really locks in when we play Iowa," Hooper said. "We have a different intensity."
Printy said, "It's definitely frustrating. They're the one team Morgan (Johnson) and I haven't beaten."
Nebraska was 10 of 23 from 3-point range, including 7 of 14 in the first half.
Moore added 14 points for the Huskers. Brandi Jeffery, who had scored four points in the previous eight games, tallied 10 points.
Johnson and Melissa Dixon scored 19 apiece for Iowa. Johnson did it on 9-of-11 shooting, and added 10 rebounds.
"It's kind of bitter at this point," Johnson said. "The stats don't matter. What matters is the team, and I'm focused on the loss. It hurts more when you did everything you could."
Printy tallied 16 points, Taylor 11. Samantha Logic posted eight points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Cornhuskers jumped to an 11-2 lead in the first two minutes. Iowa rallied to tie it at 11, then the Huskers retook the lead and didn't surrender it.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Rachel Theriot and Emily Cady gave Nebraska a 41-32 halftime advantage. Nebraska's largest lead was 64-52, with 8:30 to go.