Feb. 1, 2004
The Iowa Hawkeyes probably didn’t need a plane for the return flight from East Lansing, Mich., to Iowa City. The energy and excitement created by the Hawkeyes’ 78-67 victory over No. 18 Michigan State Sunday would very easily carry them back to the University of Iowa campus.
Lisa Bluder’s squad, stuck in a toe-to-toe, shot-to-shot, ball possession-to-ball possession battle with the Spartans, were the ones left standing after 40 minutes of hard-nosed basketball inside the Breslin Center. It was Iowa’s fifth straight win and it moved the Hawkeyes into third place in the Big Ten Conference with a 6-2 league record and a 12-7 overall mark.
Iowa took the lead for good when Jennie Lillis dropped the first of what would be six made free throws the senior would make in the game’s final 1:39. Lillis made both of her attempts to break a 67-all tie.
She added two more with 40 seconds left to play and another pair 10 seconds later. Kristi Faulkner then dropped a pair with 20 seconds left on the clock and Tiffany Reedy the game’s final point 10 seconds later.
Jamie Cavey paced the visitors with 21 points. Faulkner added 19 and Lillis 14. Reedy led the Hawkeyes with eight rebounds while Johanna Solverson, Lillis and Faulkner chipped in seven each.
Ironically, Iowa won the game at the line, making all nine of its free throw attempts in the game’s closing minute. the Hawkeyes entered that point of the game having shot only 11 free throws compared to 37 by the home team. Iowa made 18 of its 20 attempts from the charity stripe — a blistering 90 percent. The Hawkeyes also outrebounded the Spartans, 43-35.
Iowa returns to action Thursday at 7 p.m. with a home game against Ohio State.