Feb. 26, 2006
IOWA CITY — All five Iowa starters scored in double figures for thie first time this season to lead the Hawkeyes to a crucial 78-70 triumph over Indiana today in front of 4,752 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The victory secured the Hawkeyes fifth place in the Big Ten standings and gives Iowa a first round bye at this week’s Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis. Iowa will face fourth-seeded Michigan State (21-8, 11-5) at approximately 1:05 p.m. (CST) at Conseco Fieldhouse.
A pair of freshmen sparked the Hawkeyes on “Senior Night.” Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith tallied 19 and 18 points, respectively. Skouby recorded 11 of her team-best 19 at the foul line, while Smith scored eight of her career-high 18 at the charity stripe. The duo combined for 19-21 (.905) from the free throw line.
Skouby also pulled down five rebounds, while Smith dished out a team-best four assists. Smith scored in double figures for the fifth time in seven games, while Skouby posted double figures for the 14th-straight contest.
After only going to the free throw line five times in the earlier loss at Indiana on Dec. 29, the Hawkeyes marched to the charity strip 36 times, converting 29 today. Iowa, who won its its last three games, out-scored Indiana 29-14 at the free throw line.
Trailing 8-4 early in the contest, Iowa went on an 18-0 run to grab a commanding 22-8 advantage at the 12:00 mark of the first period. Indiana kept chipping away at the Hawkeye led and closed within two points (32-20) with 37 second left in the half. A Reedy triple with 10 seconds remaining gave the Hawkeyes a five-point edge (35-30) and momentum going into the half.
Iowa’s lead again swelled to double digits after five minutes of play in the second half, but again Indiana kept fighting and closed the Hawkeye advantage back to two (49-47) with 11:33 left. Iowa responded by scoring the next six points by two of its seniors; a Tiffany Reedy layup, a free throw by Morgan Kasperek and a Reedy trey. Iowa maintained its lead the rest of the way, sinking 12 of its last 13 fouls shots the final six minutes.
Hawkeye seniors Crystal Smith, Reedy and Kasperek all found the scoring column. Smith netted 14 points, Reedy contributed 13, while Kasperek added one.
Indiana (15-12, 9-7) was led by seniors Cyndi Valentin and Jenny DeMuth. Valentin poured in a game-high 30 points, while DeMith recorded a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds). The Hoosiers will face 11th-seeded Michigan (6-22, 0-16) Thursday in the first round of the conference tournament.
Iowa finished its season 11-3 at home, with the three losses coming to ranked opponents (No. 6 Rutgers, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 12 Minnesota).
The Hawkeyes finished the regular season as the Big Ten’s highest scoring team, averaging 73.2 points in their 27 games.