Bluder's Bunch bolts to tourney title tilt, 83-58


Nov. 22, 2008

Box Score | Quotes

By Derek Sawvell

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team returned home and returned to its winning ways as it defeated Boston University, 83-58, Saturday afternoon in the opening round game of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge.

With the victory, Iowa moved its record to 2-1, while Boston fell to 2-1.

The Hawkeyes received a balanced scoring attack with points from every player, including double-figures from four starters. Megan Skouby led the way with 21 points. JoAnn Hamlin netted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Wendy Ausdemore added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Kristi Smith also added 13 points including shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the three-point line.

“I have to be a force on the court,” said Skouby. “I’m looking to draw people in on me and if I score great but if not I can kick it out.”

“I like the fact that we had four people in double figures and distributed the ball nicely,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder.

Boston was led by Jesyka Burks-Wiley with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Christine Kinneary scored 13 points and Kristi Dini added 10 for the Terriers.

Iowa shot 56.5 percent for the game (26-46) while Boston shot 31.8 percent (21-66). Iowa won the battle of the boards 48-23 and also shot 25 of 30 from the foul line. The only stat that the Hawkeyes will look to improve is cutting down on turnovers as they had 22 in the game.

“We have to eliminate the turnovers,” said Ausdemore. “There are a lot of correctable things.”

“Teams are really taking advantage of our turnovers,” said coach Bluder. “It’s encouraging though because look how good we can be when we correct that problem.”

After a slow start resulting in a 9-9 tie after the first seven minutes, the Hawkeyes began to heat up behind Hamlin scoring six straight points to spark a 22-4 run. Also contributing to the spurt was Smith with two three pointers. After the run, Iowa opened up a 31-13 lead with 5:41 to play in the half.

Iowa’s largest lead of the half was 22, as it continued to build on the lead and went to the break with a 47-25 lead. The Hawkeyes got point contributions from eight players in the half. Skouby led the way with 10 points while Hamlin and Smith added eight each.

Iowa shot a blistering 72.7 percent (16-22) for the half while holding Boston to just 27 percent (9-33). The Hawkeyes also won the rebound battle 24-8 and made 12-13 free-throws.

“I thought we shot the ball extremely well, especially in the first half,” Bluder said.

“I thought in the first half everything was going well and everything was falling,” said Ausdemore.

After Iowa grabbed a 50-25 lead early in the second half, the Terriers went on a 20-6 run during a six-minute stretch to cut the Iowa lead to 56-45. Dini scored 10 points in that span but the Hawkeyes responded quickly as Smith hit a three-pointer and Skouby and Hamlin added four points each to help Iowa balloon the lead back to 19 points at 71-52.

“We have to be more intense when we’re on the court,” said Bluder.

Iowa continued to make free-throws at the end of the game to help regain the 25-point margin it had earlier in the half as the Hawkeyes closed out Boston 83-58.

“Hopefully we can get on a roll after this win,” said Smith.

Iowa will play in the tournament championship game Sunday at 2:35 p.m.