March 1, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS — Parts of the state of Iowa were under a winter blizzard alert Thursday night as residents of the Hawkeye State braced for the second big-time winter storm to sweep across the Midwest in less than a week.
The University of Iowa women’s basketball team was just as cold against the Indiana Hoosiers in first round action of the 2007 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Conseco Fieldhouse.
Coach Lisa Bluder’s squad shot just 35 percent from the field and made only four of 19 three-point attempts in its season-ending 67-53 loss to the Hoosiers – that from a team that ranked second in the nation in success from behind the arc.
Iowa scored 103 points Sunday against Wisconsin in their regular season finale in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Against Indiana, the Hawkeyes stumbled out of the gate,failing to score in the game’s first six minutes, falling behind 18-6 midway through the first half and 40-25 early in the second stanza. IU’s biggest advantage was 16 at 48-32 with eight minutes left to play
Nicole VanderPol was the only Hawkeye to reach double-digits, scoring 12 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Kristi Smith added nine points and Abby Emmert and Krista VanderVenter eight each. Wendy Ausdemore, Iowa’s second-leading scorer, was held scoreless.
“Obviously, we’re very disappointed,” said Bluder. “We simply have to regroup and work hard to figure out what will make us a better team next year.
“We simply have to get mentally stronger than we are now. Instead of fighting back when challenged, we tend to lose our confidence.
IU’s Kim Roberson led all scorers with a game-high 21 poaints. Sarah McKay added 19 for the Hoosiers, who advance to meet nationally ranked Ohio State, the Big Ten Conference’s regular season champion on Friday.
The Hawkeyes entered the game having defeated Indiana 71-67 in the teams’ only meeting of the regular season. That victory was Bluder’s 700th as a collegiate head coach.
Iowa, the Big Ten Tournament’s eight seed, closes the book on 2006-07 with a 14-16 overall record and a 6-11 mark against league opponents. Indiana, the tourney’s No. 9 seed, improved to 18-12 overall and 7-10 in Big Ten action.