Hawkeye Challenge Champions

Nov. 20, 2004

Box Score | Photo Gallery

Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. Coach Lisa Bluder’s Iowa women’s basketball team struggled to score 26 points in the first half of its season opening win Friday night against Southern Illinois.

Saturday in the championship game of the 2004 KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge, Bluder’s Bunch scored 43 points in the opening 20 minutes, setting the tone for a 75-54 victory over Missouri.

Iowa will take its 2-0 record on the road after celebrating Thanksgiving, squaring off against Florida in the Jankanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas on Nov. 26. Akron and Oklahoma play in the opposite side of the bracket. Winner and losers of Day 1 will meet on Nov. 27.

The Hawkeyes were paced by Crystal Smith’s game-high 26 points. Iowa’s floor leader sank nine of 14 field goal attempts and was perfect on all seven of her free throw attempts. Jamie Cavey added 13 points. Krista VandeVenter had a team-high nine rebounds.

Cavey sparked Iowa to its 43-31 halftime advantage, scoring a team-high 13 points. It was Cavey’s pair of free throws at 9:42 left to play that gave Iowa a 26-13 advantage.

Missouri tried to make a run, but each time they had a chance to get the margin to single digits, Iowa responded – a free throw by Tiffany Reedy a 5:08 pushed the score to 31-19 and a jumper by Cavey four minutes later pushed the score to 40-29.

Smith also enjoyed a productive first half, chipping in 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe.

Iowa shot an impressive 58 percent from the field in the opening period. The Hawkeyes also took full advantage of the charity of Missouri by sinking 12 of 14 free throw attempts.

In the second half, Missouri pulled to within nine at 57-49 with just over seven minutes to play. The Hawkeyes proceeded to outscore the visitors 14-4 in the next three minutes to put the game away.