Too Much Buckeye

March 7, 2009

Box Score | Box Score | Notes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The University of Iowa women’s basketball team saw No. 12 Ohio State jump out to an 18-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Buckeyes never looked back as they defeated the Hawkeyes, 72-56, inside the Conseco Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

It was a matchup of the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in the Big Ten, but only Ohio State lived up to their reputation as the Buckeyes defense stifled the Hawkeye offense for a better part of the game.

Iowa (21-10 overall) shot 22 of 59 (37 percent) from the floor and 6 of 15 (40 percent) from three-point range. Ohio State (26-5) shot 28 of 59 (48 percent) from the field and 7 of 17 (41 percent) from deep. The Hawkeyes were hurt on the boards, losing the battle 41-34 with the Buckeyes grabbing 15-rebounds offensively that resulted in 18 second-chance points. Ohio State also scored 15 points off of 14-turnovers.

The Hawkeyes were led in scoring from Kamille Wahlin and Kristi Smith who each scored 11 points. Wahlin also had six assists and grabbed seven rebounds. Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby each had nine points while Kachine Alexander and Hannah Draxten added eight a piece.

The Buckeyes had four players in double-figures, led by Jantel Lavender with 21 points and 17 rebounds. Star Allen had 13 points and 15 rebounds, Ashley Trebilcock had 11 points, and Brittany Johnson added 10 points.

The Buckeyes hit for 13-points in the opening minutes of Saturday’s semifinal. The Hawkeyes failed to score any points during Ohio State’s run. Alexander finally broke through for a layup with 15:30 left in the half for Iowa’s first points, but trailed 13-2.

Wahlin turned the ball over and Brittany Johnson added more frustration for the Hawkeyes with a trey for a 16-2 advantage. The Hawkeyes were hurt by eight early turnovers with 12-minutes still remaining in the half.

There was no panic in the Hawkeyes with plenty of time still left in the game. They slowed Ohio State’s offense and their offense started to pick up. They trimmed the lead to a manageable 10-point deficit.

A few minutes later the Buckeyes offense picked back right back up from how they started after Ashlee Trebilcock hit two long-range jumpers to lead, 30-14. Iowa had trouble figuring out how to penetrate Ohio State’s defense and could not find a rhythm. The Hawkeyes went into halftime trailing, 34-17.

Smith hit a trifecta to open up the second half but Johnson matched it on the ensuing possession. The Buckeyes opened it up for a 44-22 lead with a layup from Star Allen and Samantha Prahalis followed it up with a mid-range jumper and three-pointer. Ohio State was hitting on all cylinders and surged to a 51-26 advantage with 12:13 remaining. The Hawkeyes continued to struggle to get anything on the board. With the commanding lead, the Buckeyes were able to rest some starters.

The Hawkeyes refused to quit. Ausdemore and Wahlin both hit from behind the arc. The three-pointer was part of Wahlin’s seven consecutive points for the Hawkeyes as they trailed 58-43.

Iowa appears to be a clear choice for this year’s NCAA Tournament. And, if so, that means the Hawkeyes will be playing on their home court on Sunday Mar. 22. Got your tickets?

Smith hit a trey to push them even closer but the Buckeyes responded right back with one of their own from Trebilcock. The Hawkeyes started to break through the Buckeyes defense but it was too little, too late for Iowa. Draxton drilled a three to trail by 13-points with 3:52 remaining, but the Buckeyes continued to respond after Prahalis hit a mid-range jumper for the dagger. From that point, Ohio State was able to milk the clock the rest of the way.

Smith etched her name deeper into the UI record books in the loss, The senior becomes the first Hawkeye student-athlete to accumulate 400 points and 100 assists in three seasons. Smith now has 414 points and 100 assists. She assisted on Ausdemore’s 3-pointer at the 9:09 mark of the second half to reach 100 assists and break the record.

The Hawkeyes entered the game with victories in seven straight games, a streak that has propelled Lisa Bluder’s squad to a likely at-large invitation to the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Iowa will be the host school for first and second round games to be played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Mar. 22 and 24.