Nov. 29, 2003
MIAMI — Iowa used a balanced offensive attack that included five players in double-digits to claim the championship of the 2003Florida International Thanksgiving Classic with a 93-86 victory over the host school Saturday in Miami.
The Hawkeyes were paced by Kristi Faulkner’s game-high26 points. Faulkner, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, canned nine of 14 field goal tries and was good on six of seven attempts from the charity stripe. She also pitched in four rebounds and three assists.
Jennie Lillis – a member of the all-Tournament team — chipped in 15 points, Jamie Cavey 13 and eight rebounds, and Lindsay Richard and Crystal Smith 10 points each.
Milena Tomova scored 23 points for FIU. Mistoria Brown added 20 for the host school which fell to 1-3 in 2003-04.
Iowa led from start to finish and by as many as 23 in the second half in capturing its third victory of the season against one loss. The Hawkeyes powered to a 53-34 lead at intermission. Iowa has struggled with turnovers, but committed only four in the first frame and just 15 in the game.
“I’m happy that we won this tournament and I’m extremely pleased with our first half performance, scoring 53 points and turning the ball over only four times,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder.
“Kristi Faulkner was outstanding tonight. I think she was just waiting to have a breakout game. It’s nice to see that we had five players in double figures tonight. These two wins in this tournament was good preparation for us heading into a difficult three-game road stretch.”
Iowa returns home for a pair of road games next week. The Hawkeyes play at Iowa State on Wednesday and at Marquette on Friday.