Iowa State shakes off poor first half to beat Nebraska 60-52

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AMES, Iowa (AP)—Sean Haluska and Jiri Hubalek each scored 12 second-half points and Iowa State rebounded from the lowest-scoring half by a Big 12 team in the league’s history to beat Nebraska 60-52 on Saturday.

Rahshon Clark added 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Cyclones (14-12, 4-7 Big 12), who broke a four-game losing streak with a dramatic turnaround after trailing 24-11 at the half.

Iowa State started its 49-point second half with a 19-3 run that included Hubalek’s three baskets inside and a pair of 3-pointers by Bryan Petersen. Haluska’s 3 capped a 9-1 burst that made it 39-30 and the Cyclones led the rest of the way.

Haluska hit another big 3 with the shot clock about to expire to give ISU a 51-44 lead with 2:11 to play. Iowa State then wrapped up by making nine of 10 free throws in the final 1:24.

The 12 points were a career high for Haluska, who went 3-for-3 from 3-point range. His previous best had been nine.

Nebraska (14-9, 3-7) had been seeking its first season sweep of Iowa State since 1998. But the Cornhuskers couldn’t put the Cyclones away while they were struggling, then shot only 38 percent in the second half and couldn’t answer Iowa State’s runs.

Cookie Miller led Nebraska with 14 points and Aleks Maric had his sixth straight double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. But Maric shot only 4-for-10 after averaging 19.4 points in the previous five games.

Iowa State celebrated 100 years of basketball during the weekend and honored its all-century team. But if the current Cyclones drew any inspiration from the festivities, it evaporated quickly.

They led for only 8 seconds in the half, committed 15 turnovers and shot only 19 percent (4-for-21). Their 11 first-half points were the fewest by a Big 12 team since the league was formed in 1996.

It was not the fewest Nebraska has allowed in a half this season, though. The Cornhuskers, who lead the Big 12 in scoring defense, led North Carolina Central 35-8 at halftime.

The only points an Iowa State starter scored in the first half were Clark’s two free throws. Hubalek’s baby hook over Maric at the 18:51 mark in the second half was the first basket among the ISU starters, who shot a combined 0-for-9 in the first half.

Iowa State played the entire second half without a turnover and matched its first-half point total in the first 4:17 of the final period.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
Aleks Maric Aleks Maric
4-10,  11 Pts
13 Rebs, 4 Assists
 Iowa St.
Jiri Hubalek Jiri Hubalek
4-12,  12 Pts
9 Rebs, 2 Assists

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Saturday, Feb 16