Sports

No. 16 Nebraska holds off late rally to beat No. 23 Iowa 72-65, earn 1st Big Ten title

  • Iowa guard Melissa Dixon, right, fouls Nebraska guard Tear'a Laudermill in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Iowa guard Melissa Dixon, right, fouls Nebraska guard Tear'a Laudermill in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nebraska guard Tear'a Laudermill, right, and Iowa guard Melissa Dixon fight for the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Nebraska guard Tear'a Laudermill, right, and Iowa guard Melissa Dixon fight for the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iowa forward Kali Peschel, left, drives the base line under Nebraska guard Rachel Theriot in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Iowa forward Kali Peschel, left, drives the base line under Nebraska guard Rachel Theriot in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the finals of the Big Ten women's tournament in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)  (The Associated Press)

Rachel Theriot scored 19 of her 24 points in the second half Sunday, leading No. 16 Nebraska past No. 23 Iowa 72-65 for the Big Ten tournament title.

It's the first time the Cornhuskers (25-6) have ever won a conference tourney crown, clinching the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid. Nebraska also posted its second straight 25-win season and is tied for the second most victories in school history. The Cornhuskers head into the postseason with plenty of momentum after winning 12 of 13.

Iowa (26-8) was led by Ally Disterhoft with 20 points and Samantha Logic with 14 but had a six-game winning streak snapped.

Nebraska never trailed, though Iowa closed to 57-56 with 7:43 to play. Theriot, the tourney's most outstanding player, helped Nebraska pull away with an 8-3 run.