Bluder's Bunch Strikes Paydirt

Feb. 8, 2007

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IOWA CITY — Home sweet home…finally.

The University of Iowa women’s basketball team used white-hot shooting from behind the arc and a stingy defense to defeat Michigan 66-49 Thursday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, a win that snapped a five-game losing streak and a five-game losing streak in front of a friendly audience for Lisa Bluder’s squad.

Kristi Smith, the Hawkeyes’ floor leader, scored a game-high 16 points on six-of-12 shooting from the field. The sophomore from Thornton, Colo., was perfect on all four of her three-point attempts. As a team, the Hawkeyes shot a blistering 53 percent from behind the arc, nailing eight of 15 attempts.

Iowa also got 11 points from Stacy Schlapkohl, nine from Wendy Ausdemore, and eight from Krista VandeVenter and Lindsey Nyenhuis. VandeVenter was a monster on the boards, grabbing 14 total and nine on the defensive glass.

“Let’s all just breathe a sigh of relief,” Bluder said with a smile that she hadn’t had an opportunity to flash as much recently.”I’m usually much more emotional over losses than I am over wins, but this one feels good. I’m very happy for the team and for the players to come in here today and get a win at home.”

Ta’Shia Walker paced Michigan with 10 points. The Wolverines shot just 36 percent from the field and made only four of 23 attempts from behind the arc.

UM’s Jessica Minnifield sank a three-point bucket to pull the visitors to within one at 32-31 with 17:05 left to play. Iowa responded by outscoring Michigan 17-1 over the next 10 minutes to take control of the contest. That run was sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Smith in addition to a lay-up from Iowa’s point guard.

The win evened Iowa’s overall record to 12-12 and improved its Big Ten mark to 4-7. Michigan dropped to 10-15 overall and 3-9 in league play. The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday at Wisconsin. Game time in Madison is set for 7:05 p.m.