Nov. 13, 2003
IOWA CITY, IA. — By halftime, Iowa knew that its match-up against South Dakota State would be different than last week’s 90-89 victory against Athletes in Action.
Iowa held a 13-point cushion at halftime, however, the Jackrabbits seemed to have taken notes during the break and cut the lead to just three within the first five minutes of the second period.
But the Hawkeyes pulled away with two consecutive jumpers by Jamie Cavey six minutes later and defeated the Jackrabbits, 86-72, in front of a crowd of 2,678 inside Carver Hawkeye Arena Thursday in the team’s final exhibition game before the 2003-2004 season.
“We went into this game knowing that they would be a very good opponent,” coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought South Dakota State was an excellent basketball team. They were exactly what we needed to see going into our season.”
“We went into this game knowing that they would be a very good opponent. I thought South Dakota State was an excellent basketball team. They were exactly what we needed to see going into our season.”
Head Coach Lisa Bluder
Iowa dominated the first half after posting eight consecutive points midway through, thanks to a foul by Stacie Cizek that step up two easy points by guard Kristi Faulkner and a great block by sophomore Crystal Smith when South Dakota tried to bring the ball back after the free throws.
“Actually, I thought that was a foul,” said Smith, who had two points, three steals and one assist. “I just kind of went up and put my hands up like we’re supposed to do on defense and I just blocked the ball.”
“I thought Crystal, when she came in, really disrupted the flow, even though her line doesn’t show it,” Bluder said. “It changed the way they had to play the game, because of her defensive intensity.
“Crystal does that. Without doubt she brings that defensive energy to our team. I feel we all expect Crystal to come in and change things, but I want everyone to be able to come in with that kind of intensity,” Bluder added.
The game’s complexion changed, though, when South Dakota opened the last half with six straight points to cut the halftime lead in half.
“Obviously, starting off the second half we had problems stopping the drive, and we let them back into the game at the beginning of the second half,” said Bluder, whose team outscored the Jackrabbits by just one point in the second. “I thought South Dakota State came out with renewed intensity to start the second half. I just thought they were penetrating a lot more, and getting to the free throw line and scoring that way.”
Despite having four players score in the double digits and a total of 44 rebounds and 21 assists, the Hawkeyes had a rough 24 turnovers through the game – two more than South Dakota State.
“I was happy with how we shot the ball, and we rebounded well,” said Bluder. “But we had too many turnovers again. We need to solve the turnover problem. (SDS) was using them. They were taking advantage of the miscues.”
But Iowa did come back thanks to strong offensive performances by the junior center Cavey and senior forward Jennie Lillis.
Lillis led the team with 24 points going 10-for-15 with a three-pointer and five rebounds and three assists.
Cavey came through in the clutch, though, with momentum-building jumpers and lay-ups to make the Hawkeyes’ lead a commanding 11 points with 10 minutes remaining.
She went 7-of-17 for 19 points with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block for the game.
“She had a really nice night out there,” said Bluder. “She shot the ball well and was the leading rebounder. I also liked to see the five assists and two steals.”
Iowa returns to action at 7:05pm on Friday, Nov. 21, against Butler in the first game of the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge tournament and the first match-up of the regular season.
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com