No. 18 Iowa Defeats W. Illinois, 76-69

Dec. 21, 2004

Box Score

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)Johanna Solverson scored 19 points and converted a key three-point play in the closing minute to secure 18th-ranked Iowa’s 76-69 victory Tuesday night over Western Illinois.

Solverson fought for an offensive rebound over two Westerwinds, somehow muscled up a shot and hit the free throw to extend the Iowa lead to seven points with 1:14 left. Iowa made six of seven free throws in the final two minutes, hitting a season-best 86 percent for the game.

I probalby should have kicked it out, but I tried to go up and see if I could get two points or get fouled. I got lucky,” said Solverson.

Crystal Smith added 18 points and Jamie Cavey 15 points and nine rebounds for the Hawkeyes (10-0). Jessica Cook scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half for Western Illinois (4-5), and Zane Teilane had 20 points, eight rebounds and blocked seven shots.

“We wanted to be 10-0 going home for Christmas, so that’s a good thing,” UI Coach Lisa Bluder said after her team struggled but remained unbeaten.

Rita Castans added 14 points for Western Illinois.

Smith scorched the Hawkeyes on 7-of-9 shooting after the break. The aggressive guard made jump shots from every angle on the court, sinking turnarounds and fadeaways.

Iowa was flustered by Western Illinois’ matchup defense in the second half, slowing penetration and forcing outside jumpers.

A once-comfortable lead slipped away, sinking to four points four times in the last nine minutes.