IOWA CITY — The message that Nebraska coach Tim Miles sent to junior guard Deverell Biggs by leaving him home from Saturday's game at Cincinnati for being late for a film session apparently soaked in.
Biggs, in his most organized effort of the season, had 12 points, four rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes in a 67-57 loss at No. 22 Iowa.
“Defensively, he played the way I need Deverell Biggs to play to contribute to our program,'' Miles said. “He did his best defensive job of the year, which is why he played more and why he played better.
“You know he's a playmaker. A couple of possessions, I wish he had initiated first and attacked later. Deverell will learn that.''
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Biggs was a handful.
“He's like a fastball pitcher,'' the coach said. “He's coming right at you, and he's not shooting the jumper. He's not playing side to side. Those guys are really hard to guard, especially when they're powerful and quick like he is.''
Biggs said he was eager to play again after staying home from Cincinnati.
“Watching that on TV, I never want to do that again,'' said Biggs, who got together with Miles later that night after NU returned home.
“When I met him after the game, he gave me some guidelines, and I'm striving to do it every day to and be a humble player for the team because I think I can make an impact.''
Nebraska entered Tuesday night last in the Big Ten in rebounding margin at minus-2.1, the only team in the league in negative territory. Yet the Huskers outrebounded Iowa 44-42.
Forwards Terran Petteway and Walter Pitchford each posted career-high totals of 12. The team total of 44 also was a season high.
“We were on the attack,” Miles said. “You can offensive rebound when you are on the attack and not just settling for outside shots.”
Pitchford had eight of Nebraska's 17 offensive rebounds to go with 13 points.
“Walt had a hell of a game,” Petteway said. “He played his butt off. That was his best game by far.”
Bits and pieces
Pitchford has played 296 minutes this season. He has zero turnovers. . . . Iowa point guard Mike Gessell entered the game No. 4 nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio but had three assists and three turnovers. He also missed half of his six free throws. . . . Nebraska plays Saturday at No. 3 Ohio State. Iowa plays Sunday at No. 4 Wisconsin.