Published Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm / Updated at 8:24 pm
Kastanek eyes end to NU win streak

LINCOLN — Alexa Kastanek started every game of her high school basketball career at Lincoln Southeast. Night after night, she was the steadiest Knight of the bunch.

Yet there’s a bounce in her voice Thursday afternoon as she talks after an Iowa practice. She hasn’t started in her freshman year for the Hawkeyes. Considering her mentor, versatile point guard Sam Logic, is a junior, Kastanek may not be a full-time starter next season, either. But she loves it in Iowa City.

“I know my role, and it’s been really fun,” said the 5-foot-10 Kastanek, who averages five points and 13.3 minutes per game. “When Sam’s in foul trouble, I’m the backup point guard, and I try to get the best shot for the offense.”

While she’s “learned a lot” from Logic, Kastanek said she’s worked some at the No. 2 guard spot, too. The goal there: Play defense and hit shots when they’re available. Despite limited minutes, she still has 18 steals for the season.

Saturday, Kastanek will come off the bench against an array of familiar faces in red jerseys when Nebraska pays a 2 p.m. visit to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Kastanek played summer club basketball with several current Huskers — including starting forward Emily Cady. Offered by Iowa as an eighth-grader, Kastanek chose the Hawkeyes in December 2011 over Nebraska, among other schools.

It’s the last time Iowa beat the Huskers in much of anything involving women’s basketball. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, it’s 6-0 against Iowa. Two in Lincoln. Two in Iowa City. Two in the Big Ten tournament. High-scoring games. Low-scoring games.

They’re scheduled to play each other just once in the regular season this year. The Huskers have seen the game as a rivalry. After NU beat Iowa last February, Hawkeye coach Lisa Bluder suggested the game wasn’t as important to her team as it was for the Huskers.

“For Nebraska, it’s the Border War, but we have a lot of Border Wars,” Bluder said at the time. “So it’s not like maybe the intensity that Nebraska feels.”

Kastanek personally feels the intensity for Saturday — and not because it’s the Huskers.

“It’s never fun to lose to a team six straight times,” Kastanek said. “Yeah, Nebraska’s a powerhouse, but if we lost to anyone six times in a row, we wouldn’t like it.”

Is there a key to reversing the trend? Kastanek said Iowa has to play its game. Generally, the high-octane Hawkeyes play well when their defense gets steals and they hit 3-pointers, which opens up post Bethany Doolittle in the paint — and “try to forget” the Huskers’ winning streak.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a close game,” Kastanek said. “It’s not going to be a blowout. We just have to make plays.”

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
< >