Nov. 18, 2008
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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Experience, depth, a stifling defense and more than 4,000 screaming elementary school-aged children were too much for the University of Iowa women’s basketball team to overcome Tuesday morning as Bluder’s Bunch was dealt a 76-55 loss by the Kansas Jayhawks inside Allen Fieldhouse despite a career-high 33-point effort by the Hawkeyes’ Megan Skouby.
Skouby, a senior from Mentor, Ohio, was Iowa’s lone offensive force, knocking down 10 of her 17 field goal attempts and 13 of 14 from the charity stripe. She was also credited with seven rebounds and three blocks. Skouby’s previous single-game scoring high was a 27-point effort against Michigan State during her freshman season.
The 6-foot-6 post scored 16 points during the first 20 minutes on a delightful combination of production from inside, outside and at the stripe as she single-handedly kept the Hawkeyes in the game until KU outscored the visitors 10-2 in the final four minutes of the opening stanza to take a 35-27 lead into intermission.
Kansas slowly and steadily stretched that lead into double-digits during the second half when Iowa couldn’t find another source for points and was struggling to hit anything from beyond the arc. Iowa shot just 38 percent from the field and made only one of nine attempts from behind the three-point line.
Unfortunately for Bluder’s Bunch, no other Hawkeye found double-digits in the scoring column. Senior point guard Kristi Smith was Iowa’s second leading scorer with seven points and five assists.
Senior guard Wendy Ausdemore was held to just a pair of free throws, points that acame with 7:14 left to play and the Hawkeyes trailing 66-43. She was also harassed by the Jayhawk defense into seven turnovers. As a team, Iowa was charged with 23 turnovers.
“They were not going to let Wendy score. That’s pretty clear. And the same can be said about their plan on Kristi,” said Jenni Fitzgerald, Iowa’s assistant coach, during her post-game visit on the Hawkeye Radio Network.
“Wendy’s going to be fine. She’ll score her points. We’ll just need to do some things differntly to help her get some better looks, better opportunities.”
Kachine Alexander led Iowa with 10 rebounds.
Kansas was led in scoring by forward LaChelda Jacobs 18 points. Sade Morris added 17 and Danielle McCray 15 for the home team, a squad that sank eight three pointers and had 12 different players score.
“I think we played with them for the first 15 minutes then they went on that little run and then outplayed us in the second half. Kansas showed us how we want to play defense. This was a great learning experience for us becuase they played defense the way that we want to play defense,” said UI Head Coach Lisa Bluder.
“Megan had a great game, but I feel bad for her,” Bluder offered on the perfomance of her starting center. “I just wish would could have gotten the “W,” too, so that we could be celebrating not only Megan’s performance, but Megan’s performance leading us to a big win.”
Iowa, 1-1 three days into the 2008-09 season, returns to action Saturday at noon Iowa time in Carver-Hawkeye Arena when it entertains Boston in first round action of the 2008 KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. Portland and Providence will play in the game scheduled for Saturday. The losers will square off at noon on Sunday and the winners will meet at 2:30 p.m.
The games will be Nos. 3 and 4 for the Hawkeyes in a 14-day stretch during which Iowa will play seven games. The Hawkeyes’ game at Kansas tipped at 11 a.m. as part of ESPN’s day-long celebration of the start of the 2008-09 college basketball season. It was also the first women’s basketball game to be televised this season.