Ausdemore's Hot Hand Powers Bluder's Bunch

March 6, 2009

Editor’s Note — A full report from Iowa’s 79-64 victory over Minnesota in the Hawkeyes’ opening game of the 2009 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis will be available here at later this evening.

INDIANAPOLIS — A little more than a month ago, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team let an opportunity slip through its fingers, dropping a heart-breaker to Minnesota, 64-58, in Williams Arena.

Wendy Ausdemore made just six of 13 field goal attempts and scored just 13 points in that game which, as of Friday night at about 9:30 p.m., was the last time Bluder’s Bunch was on the short end of a final score.

The 6-foot-2 senior took the floor of Conseco Fieldhouse Friday for Iowa’s opening game in the 2009 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament determined to not let the Gophers derail the Hawkeyes a second time.How determined was she? Ausdemore scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Iowa’s 79-64 victory over their neighbors to the north.

“It was good to see the shots go down tonight. I definitely felt like I was in the zone,” said Ausdemore after Iowa’s 14th victory in Big Ten Tournament history.

“I was able to hit some tough shots with the shot clock going down, which gave us a lot of momentum. I give a lot of credit to my teammates getting me the ball.”

The win — Iowa’s seventh straight and ninth in 10 games — improved Bluder’s Bunch to 21-9 in 2008-09 and advanced them to a date with Ohio State – the Big Ten’s regular season champion – in tomorrow night’s second semi-final game. Tipoff inside Conseco Fieldhouse and on the Big Ten Network is set for approximately 7:25 p.m. (Iowa time).

“It was good to see the shots go down tonight. I definitely felt like I was in the zone.”
Wendy Ausdemore after her 25-point performance against Minnesota in opening round action of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament.

The sharp-shooter from Neola, Iowa knocked down 10 of her 16 field goal attempts, a total that included 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc. She was particularly offensive in the first half when Iowa raced to a 44-34 lead. Ausdemore had 16 points before intermission, pacing an offense that shot a blistering 52 percent (16 of 31) from the field and 56 percent (5 of 9) from three-point land.

Iowa’s shooting touch cooled during the second half, but the Hawkeyes ended the game still at 50 percent from the field and a very respectable 37 percent from behind the arc. They also won where Bluder said pre-game they would need to: On the boards. Iowa outrebounded Minnesota 40-31.