Feb. 11, 2007
MADISON, Wis. — The Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers played a women’s basketball game Sunday night in the Kohl Center. It could have easily doubled as a heavyweight prize fight.
The Hawkeyes’ Wendy Ausdemore would land a jab. The Badgers would counter. The Badgers would land a left hook. The Hawkeyes’ Nicole VanderPol would reply in-kind with a right of her own. However, when the final bell rang, it was the Badgers who were the victors by a 84-73 count.
Ausdemore paced the Hawkeyes with a career-high 27 points on nine of 15 shooting from the field, a perfect six for six at the line, and three three-pointers. VanderPol added 14 points and five rebounds. Kristi Smith had 12, but only five in the second half and those came in the final minutes when Wisconsin was maintaining a comfortable margin.
Iowa played without sophomore center Megan Skouby for the third straight game. Her size and strength was missed, too. The Badgers outrebounded Iowa 37-24.
Ausdemore twice pulled Iowa to within two points during the second half, the second time at 65-63 with a little more than four minutes to play. Two other times during the final 20 minutes Iowa got to within three. However, each time the Badgers responded and eventually claimed their fifth win in their last six outings.
The Badgers did an excellent job of neutralizing Iowa’s Krista VandeVenter. The determined junior from Osseo had been averaged 9-plus rebounds in her last seven games, but she was shutout by the Badgers and was held to only two points – six under her average.
Wisconsin used a 21-10 advantage on the boards to take a 35-29 lead – a margin that was trimmed by five as a result of a three-pointer and a lay-up by Smith in the final two minutes — into intermission. The Badgers’ Jolene Anderson was white-hot, knocking down all five of her field goal tries and all three of her attempts from behind the arc.
The win was Wisconsin’s first over Iowa in more than two years. The Badgers’ last victory over the Hawkeyes as an 88-78 win in Iowa City on Feb. 6, 2005. The loss snapped the Hawkeyes’ four-game winning streak in the Kohl Center.
The loss dropped Iowa to 12 -13 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten action. Wisconsin improved to 18-8 and 7-6.
Iowa returns to action Thursday when it entertains Illinois in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.