Nov. 13, 2007
by Derek Sawvell
IOWA CITY — Scoring runs and droughts told the story as the University of Iowa women’s basketball team defeated Drake 62-50 on Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa is 2-0 overall and Drake is winless in two attempts. The Hawkeyes have won the last six meetings in the series.
The game began with a 9-2 Hawkeye run engineered by junior Megan Skouby, who scored six points within the first five minutes. Drake quickly responded with a run of its own by turning up the defense and holding Iowa scoreless for a five-minute span in the first half. Sophomore Jordann Plummer led the charge for the Bulldogs, making two steals and converting them into two layups giving Drake a 17-16 lead.
The Bulldogs then fell victim to a three-minute drought of their own, resulting in a quick 8-0 run for the Hawkeyes to give Iowa a 24-17 advantage. After Drake’s Ashleigh Brady made four straight points to cut the lead to 24-21, Iowa brought Skouby back from the bench to spark a late first-half run for the Hawkeyes. Skouby scored her 10th point of the game and blocked a shot during the last two minutes of the half, resulting in a 28-21 lead for Iowa.
Drake’s eight first half steals, which led to eight fast break points, allowed the Bulldogs to stay in the game.
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder noticed Drake’s stingy defense.
“Their best offense was us turning the ball over,” Bluder said.
Iowa’s Wendy Ausdemore started the second half with a three-pointer that put the Hawkeyes up, 31-21. The Bulldogs then tried to chip away at the lead until Iowa’s Kristi Smith made three consecutive free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt to push the Hawkeye advantage to 36-25. Ausdemore finished the game with 11 points and four assists, while Smith poured in 12.
Skouby continued to dominate in the second half, completing a three point play with 15:18 remaining to give the Hawkeyes a 41-29 lead. Drake was successful in slicing the margin to single digits with 2:15 left in the game when Jill Martin hit a three-pointer, making it 57-49. But it was Skouby down the stretch shooting 9-of-15 from the floor and scoring 19 points to lead Iowa to victory. She also had a game-high four blocked shots.
When asked about her confidence after the game, Skouby simply replied “it’s growing.”
The Hawkeye defense held the Bulldogs to 26 percent shooting from the floor on the evening (16 of 61).
“We’ve had two good defensive games in a row and I don’t know if I could have said that last year,” Bluder said.
Drake head coach Amy Stephens acknowledged her team’s poor shooting.
“Our seniors went 4-for-27 tonight,” Stephens said. “We had some great looks but it just comes down to shooting the ball.”
Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.