Iowa downs Indiana, 72-65

Jan. 15, 2004

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IOWA CITY, IA. — Kristi Faulkner took her 1,000th point as a Hawkeye with muted enthusiasm on Thursday as Iowa snapped a two-game losing streak against Indiana, 72-65, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Faulkner went 11-of-15 from the field and 3-of-3 from the line for a season-high 27 points, while hitting the millennium mark with 3:37 remaining in the second half.

“It’s nice,” Faulkner said. “I’m happy to be playing here. I think Jennie (Lillis) did it 3 ? years ago, so coach says it’s about time I did it.”

“Kristi Faulkner was outstanding,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “She shot the ball extremely well and took it to the hole very hard. I’m really thrilled for her to get her 1,000th point tonight and that recognition.

“She’s meant so much to our program the last few years. She’s a great kid and a wonderful person to coach.”

But about a minute later, the Hoosiers started to work away at the 19-point lead the Hawkeyes had built, and Indiana closed the game with nine unanswered points to finish with a less obliterating seven-point deficit.

“I really feel like we had a pretty good 37 minutes of basketball,” Bluder said. “Our last three minutes, we kind of self-destructed at the end. It was a great win. Unfortunately, you just kind of remember the last 2 ? minutes on the floor.”

” Kristi Faulkner was outstanding. She shot the ball extremely well and took it to the hole very hard. I’m really thrilled for her to get her 1,000th point tonight and that recognition.”
Head Coach Lisa Bluder

The business-as-usual tone Bluder and Faulkner both took following the game was emblematic of the steady pace of the routine game.

The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes both went 10-of-31 (32.3 percent) from the field in the first half, but it was Iowa’s 7-of-9 from the line to open and 15-of-20 (75 percent) for the game that was the key in the victory. Indiana went to the charity stripe only in the second half and got 4-of-12.

“I’m thankful for the free throw line tonight,” said Bluder. “That’s really the only area where we beat them. We got to the free throw line and shot a better percentage than they did.”

Faulkner’s 1,000th point came on a routine lay-up, but sophomore guard Crystal Smith teamed up with Faulkner just 30 seconds later with a steal, assist and lay-up play that highlighted the defensive spark Smith continues to bring to the Iowa squad.

Smith had four steals on the evening and six rebounds – five offensively, often nabbing her own missed shot. She also added four points on the night.

“Crystal Smith, I thought, again did a tremendous job on the defensive end of things,” Bluder said. “She pops out of nowhere and gets some rebounds for us, and I thought she just gets everybody excited when she goes on the floor. She gets everyone moving on the defensive end.

“Our defensive intensity was so much better in this basketball game.”

Indeed, Jenny DeMuth, Indiana’s only starting upperclassman, was the Hoosier’s major scoring threat and finished 10-of-19 for a game-high 26 points.

Indiana falls to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten Conference with the loss, while Iowa improves to 8-7 overall and levels at 2-2 in the league. The Hawkeyes will play Wisconsin inside Carver at 2 o’clock on Sunday.

“We have another game on Sunday, and we have to definitely work on playing 40 minutes,” said center Jennie Lillis, who finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds on Thursday.

Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com