Feb. 5, 2009
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by Richie Zawistowski
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa got its revenge on Indiana from a lopsided loss on the road earlier in the season by defeating the Hoosiers 69-67 in women’s basketball Thursday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has now won six of its last seven games, and moves within a game of the Hoosiers in the Big Ten standings. It was Iowa’s 12th straight win over the Hoosiers in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes (14-8 overall, 7-4 Big Ten) moved to 10-1 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season. Iowa held Indiana to 28-percent shooting from the field.
“I’m proud of our team for pulling this out, we hit our free-throws at the end,” said UI head-coach Lisa Bluder. “Obviously I’m disappointed that we let up a significant lead with two and a half minutes left. We wish we could have done it in a little bit better manner then we did, but it’s a win, and it’s a win against somebody that was ranked ahead of us, and it’s a win against somebody who beat us on their home floor.”
The Hawkeyes struggled getting their shots to fall during the first half, as they made 34.5-percent (10-29) from the field. The looks were there, but the shots were not falling. As good teams always do, the Hawkeyes managed to fight through it and found a way to win. Their shots started to fall in the second half as they made 57-percent (12-21) and scored 42 points over the final 20 minutes. Wendy Ausdemore led the way for Iowa with 20 points with Kristi Smith was not far behind with 17. Jamie Braun scored a game-high 21 points for the Hoosiers .
“I’m proud of the team, proud of the win,” said Ausdemore. “We can go back and look at the tape and learn things from this game to help us. We did have a 14-point lead with four minutes to go so it’s a good thing we got the win and now we can learn from it.”
Indiana (15-6, 8-4) scored the first points of the game, but Iowa answered with an 8-0 run to jump out to an 8-2 lead 2:45 into the game. Amber Jackson of Indiana was tagged with a technical foul midway through the first half. Ausdemore went to the charity stripe and converted the free throws to give the Hawkeyes a 14-12 lead. After a few missed baskets by Indiana, Ausdemore nailed a three to make the score 17-12 in favor of Iowa with 8:14 left. This seemed to trigger a series of bombs from both teams as Smith hit a three of her own in the corner, with Wendy Tomas and Braun of Indiana answering for the Hoosiers. Brown drilled a shot from 23-feet away as she showcased her range. Kelly Krei hit a shot in the corner off a nice feed from Smith to put Iowa up 27-20 with a little over a minute remaining in the first half. Iowa went into the locker-room leading, 27-22.
Indiana kept the game close with its three-point shooting, and after an Iowa turnover, Indiana took their first lead of the game since it was 2-0 with a with a 41-40 edge with 9:38 remaining. The Hawkeyes responded immediately. Center Megan Skouby showed a rare sight as she led a fast break for the Hawkeyes and went up with a layup. She missed the attempt, but got her own rebound. The follow-up didn’t fall either, but Hannah Draxten was right there to get the ball and put it in for an and-one opportunity, which she converted.
“I’m proud of the team, proud of the win. We can go back and look at the tape and learn things from this game to help us. We did have a 14-point lead with four minutes to go so it’s a good thing we got the win and now we can learn from it.”
Later, after an air-ball by Indiana, Kamille Wahlin led the fast break and dished off to Kachine Alexander who converted the layup and got the foul. She made the best of the and-one opportunity to make the score 58-44 which capped an 18-3 run by the Hawkeyes with 3:58 remaining.
Wahlin knocked down a three at the top of the key to give Iowa a 61-48 lead with three minutes left. Indiana made a strong push and went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to six with Iowa leading 61-55, but Ausdemore answered with two clutch free throws to make the score 63-55 with 2:17 left. Indiana would not go away. Another deep three-pointer from Braun brought the Hoosiers to within four with the score 63-59 with 1:32 remaining. Iowa was able to hold on for the win by making free throws and making stops on the defensive end when it needed. The Hawkeyes went into the game leading the Big Ten in free throw percentage at 78.5-percent. Thursday’s game was no different as Iowa shot 80.8-percent (21-26) from the charity stripe.
“I was pretty confident in my team and our ability to win the game,” said Smith. “Like coach said, we were well-prepared, and we needed to dig deep and take care of the ball while playing well on defense.”
JoAnn Hamlin missed her fourth consecutive game with a sprained ankle. Her status for Sunday’s game remains questionable. Iowa is set to play Minnesota on Feb. 8, with both teams positioning in the Big Ten standings. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.