LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Amir Harris scored the go-ahead layup with 10.8 seconds left, Thorir Thorbjarnarson blocked Jordan Bohanon’s 3-pointer try at the buzzer and Nebraska came back from a nine-point deficit in the last minute of regulation to beat Iowa 93-91 in overtime Sunday.
The win might have served as an emotional sendoff for Cornhuskers’ coach Tim Miles, whose future at Nebraska is in serious doubt after his team’s free fall the second half of the season. The loss, in Iowa coach Fran McCaffery’s return from a two-game suspension, was the fourth in a row for the Hawkeyes (21-10, 10-10 Big Ten).
Nebraska (15-15, 6-14), which had lost 11 of its previous 13 games, trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half and by nine with 50 seconds left. The Huskers made nine shots in a row and 10 of their last 11 in regulation, with Watson making three 3-pointers and Palmer two before Palmer tied it at 81-all with his baseline drive with eight seconds left.
Palmer finished with 27 points and Watson and Isaiah Roby added 23 apiece for a Nebraska team that used only eight players because of injuries and a suspension.
Luka Garza matched his career high with 25 points and Jordan Bohannon had 20 for the Hawks.
When it was over, the 12,000 fans who watched so much bad basketball at Pinnacle Bank Arena were on their feet, the Nebraska players were at center court dancing and Miles made his way back to the locker room to cheers and high-fives.
A 19-3 run over the halves turned a 28-28 tie into a 47-31 Iowa lead, and the Hawkeyes looked ready to win going away.
Their offense didn’t go dormant; Nebraska just kept pushing. Iowa, which made 9 of 10 free throws in the last minute of regulation, seemed almost powerless to stop an inspired Nebraska team.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes looked as if they were on their way to a feel-good win after seeing their potential NCAA Tournament seeding go south following three straight losses and six in their previous 11 games. They didn’t get it.
Nebraska: The game likely was Miles’ last at Pinnacle Bank Arena. What started as a promising season for one of the most experienced teams in the country went into free fall in January, and it’s doubtful he’ll be back for an eighth season. Miles is 113-112 overall and 52-76 in the Big Ten.
Iowa plays Illinois or Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.
Nebraska plays Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday.