Nov. 11, 2006
KANSAS CITY — The nationally ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team used a 18-11 run in the middle of the second half to pull away from Missouri State and claim a 79-70 victory in first round action of the WBCA Classic. Iowa will play Kansas in the championship game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Iowa time.
Leading 52-49 with a little more than seven minutes to play, the Hawkeyes got six points from Abby Emmert, a pair of three-point buckets from Wendy Ausdemore and two free throws from Kristi Smith over the next seven minutes to stretch their lead to 70-60.
Lisa Bluder’s squad sealed its first win of the season with six straight free throws – two by Megan Skouby and four by Smith in the final 25 seconds. Iowa made 14 of 15 attempts from the charity stripe in the final 20 minutes and shot 90 percent from the line for the game.
Iowa will play Kansas Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Iowa time in the championship game of the WBCA Classic in Kansas City. The Hawkeyes open their 2006-07 home schedule against Indiana State Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I’m very happy with our balanced scoring tonight. I thought we got a lot of people involved in the offense. I thought we moved the ball very well against their zone. I’m happy we out-rebounded them; we crashed better in the second half. We also made our free throws down the stretch, which you need to do in those situations,” said Bluder, who was also pleased with her team’s defensive effort.
The Hawkeyes limited MSU guard Tiff Terwelp to just five points – 17 below her average of a year ago – and the Bears to just 40 percent success for the field. Iowa also outrebounded MSU 38-34 and forced 16 turnovers.
Iowa was led in scoring by Smith with 20 points. The guard was good on 11 of 12 attempts from the line, made four of seven attempts from the field, and also contributed six assists.
“We know teams are going to gun for Megan (Skouby). We need to step up and knock down our open shots that she creates for us and we did that tonight,” said Smith.
Ausdemore and Skouby each had 15 points for the Hawkeyes, Ausdemore’s coming primarily from the outside and including three three-pointers and Skouby’s from in the paint. Skouby also had four blocked shots and five assists.
Jenee Graham continued her success on the glass, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. She also was credited with two blocked shots.
Iowa now has opened its last seven seasons with a victory and improves to 4-3 all-time against Missouri State.