Jan. 11, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Gutsy. It’s the only way to describe the performance by Coach Lisa Bluder’s University of Iowa women’s basketball team Thursday night inside Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University.
The Hawkeyes trailed by as many as 11 in the second half before staging a relentless, never-say-die comeback that resulted in a 71-67 victory, a win that pushed Iowa’s overall record to 11-7 and its mark in Big Ten Conference play to 3-2.
Indiana used five points from Janie Braun and a bucket from Vanita Smart to build a 51-40 lead with just under 10 minutes left to play. That’s when the Hawkeyes went to work.
Wendy Ausdemore – Iowa’s leading scorer with a game-high 22 points — trimmed the Hoosier lead to nine at 55-46 with a three pointer at the 7:54 mark. Sophomore center Megan Skouby took it down to 57-51 when she nailed a jumper with 6:32 left to play. A pair of free throws by Krista VandeVenter and two more by Ausdemore cut the IU lead to 57-55 with just more than five minutes to play and Skouby on the bench with four fouls.
Iowa claimed its first lead of the second half – 59-58 — when Stacy Schlapkohl dropped a lay-up with 4:22 left to play. Skouby pushed the margin to 63-60 with her own lay-up with just more than two minutes to play.
Whitney Thomas pulled the home team to within one with a pair of free throws with 1:37 on the clock. But Skouby responded with a short jumper before fouling out with 48 seconds left.
The Hoosiers’ Kim Roberson made one of two free throws after being fouled by Iowa’s Kristi Smith, who sank a pair from the charity stripe to give Iowa a 67-64 lead with 18 seconds left to play. Iowa’s point guard then was fouled after stealing the ball from Roberson and sank two more from the line to ice the victory.
Smith scored 14 points, a total that included a perfect six-of-six from the charity stripe. Ausdemore’s line included 7-of-15 shooting from the field. She was successful on four of seven tried behind the arc – Iowa sank six of 10 three point tries — and was a perfect on all four of her free throws.
The Hawkeyes outrebounded the Hoosiers 45-36 thanks in great measure to a game-high 15 rebounds from VandeVenters and another nine boards from Skouby, who also scored 15 points. Iowa also committed just five turnovers in the second half.
Iowa took a 26-22 lead when Smith nailed a three-pointer with 6:33 left to play in the opening half. However, those were the Hawkeyes’ final points and Indiana – thanks to a pair of three-point baskets and lay-up by Roberson – scored 12 unanswered points and carried a 34-26 lead into the lockerroom at intermission.
Iowa was stymied in the first half by turnovers – the Hawkeyes committed 10, a total that resulted in Indiana having nine more field goal attempts.
IU was paced in scoring by Sarah McKay’s 17 points. The center also led Indiana with 10 rebounds. Braun added 12 points, Roberson 11, and Nikki Smith 10 for the Hoosiers, who fell to 13-5 overall and 2-3 in league play.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Sunday when they entertain nationally ranked Michigan State at 2 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game is Iowa’s annual “Girl Scouts Day” and boys and girls who present a report card with an “A” on it will receive free admission.
The UI will also honor Dr. Christine Grant, the UI’s former UI director of women’s intercollegiate athletics at halftime. Grant was presented the Gerald R. Ford Award by the NCAA earlier this month.