Hawkeyes cruise past Quincy, 88-57


Nov. 2, 2008

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by Sean Neugent

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Quick, concise and to the point. That’s how the University of Iowa women’s basketball handled business Sunday afternoon defeating Quincy University, 88-57, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In their first exhibition game of the season, the Hawkeyes proved too much for the Lady Hawks, making a statement from the opening tipoff. Iowa started the game with an 11-0 run with 17:12 remaining in the first half before Quincy made an aggressive comeback.

Quincy cut Iowa’s lead to 27-23 with 4:20 to go, but the confident Hawkeyes — fresh off a co-Big Ten title last year — knew the game was still in their hands. Senior Kristi Smith put a needed surge into the Hawkeyes when she hit a jumper before being fouled and sank the free throw, putting the Hawkeyes up 33-26. Smith and senior co-star Megan Skouby had eight points in the half to lead the Hawkeyes.

Quincy charged back a moment later when Jessica Keller added a three point play of her own to cut the UI lead to four. Keller also put up eight points in the half. The Hawkeyes went into the locker room up 33-29.

The second half started with a boom as both teams traded baskets on their opening possessions. Quincy cut Iowa’s lead to two with a jumper from Courtney Shuman and Keller had another basket with 18:07 remaining to knot the score up at 35. Senior forward Nicole VanderPol hit a basket to regain the lead for the Hawkeyes on the ensuing possession.

The Hawkeyes regained the momentum and took a six-point lead on the heels of VanderPol. But the pesky Lady Hawks again cut Iowa’s lead to one point before Smith was fouled and added two free throws.

The Hawkeyes then took off and never looked back after Keller fouled Skouby with 13:15 remaining. Skouby hit a close-range jumper before being fouled and swished the free throw.

“I was really happy the way we responded when it got to be 41-40,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We really took control at that point.”

Iowa cruised from there with a 22-2 run. A complete team effort helped the Hawkeyes take a 65-43 advantage. It was lights-out for Iowa after Skouby’s three-point play while Quincy went cold from the field during Iowa’s run to put the game well out of reach with 7:54 remaining. The Hawkeyes posted 55 points in the second half.

“I thought they handled it really well when they got within a point,” Bluder said. “Nobody panicked, nobody got upset at that point. We just realized we needed to work a little harder and I think we went out and took another level to our defense after that point. I think Quincy wore down a little bit too because they did play yesterday.”

In a high-scoring contest, the Hawkeyes saw five players reach double figures in points. Skouby had 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Ausdemore had 18, VanderPol had 12, Smith had 14 and Alexander added 10 points.

“We had first-game jitters,” senior forward Wendy Ausdemore said. “Everybody was kind of anxious and hurrying a lot. It was nice to see the way our team responded in the second half. We came out and got some wide open layups. So that was nice to see and we are getting used to playing together.”

Freshman guard Kamille Wahlin hit from outside the perimeter and the following possession added a jumper to put Iowa ahead 70-46 with 5:15 remaining. The Hawkeyes expect big things from their freshmen this year as guard Shante Jones, Hannah Draxten, forward Kelly Krei and Wahlin all saw valuable time on the court throughout the game.

“I am excited for the freshmen,” Ausdemore said. “I thought they contributed well today and I’m looking forward to next week.”

In a high-scoring contest, the Hawkeyes saw five players reach double figures in points. Skouby had 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Ausdemore had 18, VanderPol had 12, Smith had 14 and Alexander added 10 points.

The Hawkeyes went 31 of 66 (47 percent) from the field while the Lady Hawks struggled going 19 of 65 (29.2 percent). Iowa won the rebounding battle, grabbing 50 boards to Quincy’s 43. Iowa also had 22 assists to 14 turnovers.

“I think this was a very good first exhibition for us,” Bluder said. “I think Quincy came out and played extremely hard. It was good for us going against somebody different than ourselves.”

“It felt good to be back out there again in front of the fans,” Ausdemore said. “I’m excited and it is kind of a whole new team. We lost a lot last year but we have a lot of great teammates out there this year.”

The Hawkeyes remain home for their second and final exhibition game next Sunday against Upper Iowa University with a 3:35 p.m. tipoff.