Iowa looked shaky at times but Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery will take the win.
Devyn Marble had 15 points and eight rebounds and No. 22 Iowa opened its Big Ten season with a win for the first time since 2006 with a 67-57 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night.
Aaron White scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for the Hawkeyes (12-2, 1-0), who led by as many as 20 points in the second half.
For McCaffery, the late struggle doesn’t matter. Iowa preserved the win and he knows the Big Ten gauntlet continues on Sunday with No. 4 Wisconsin.
“You watch the Big Ten today and it’s just brutal,” McCaffery said. “I think you feel good about any Big Ten win. When you look at this league, there is no relief anywhere, there is just none. Whether you’re at home, no matter who you’re playing.”
Terran Petteway had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Nebraska (8-5, 0-1), which shot a season-low 29.9 percent from the field as it lost its 14th straight game to a ranked opponent.
White’s breakaway two-handed dunk put the Hawkeyes ahead 55-35 with 8:16 left — the biggest lead of the game.
Nebraska stormed back with a 20-5 run, capped off by Petteway’s 3-pointer with 1:45 left to cut the deficit to 60-55.
Nebraska got the ball back after an Iowa free throw, but Deverell Biggs’ pass deflected off the rim for a turnover.
The Hawkeyes — who missed 17 free throws in the game — hit 7 of 10 from the line in the final 2 minutes to secure the win.