Dec. 19, 2012
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By ERIC CLARK
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Sophomore Bethany Doolittle recorded her first career double-double in a 97-43 rout over Missouri State on Wednesday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
She scored 12 points and gathered 12 rebounds, 10 of both coming in the first half. And Doolittle was one of five Hawkeyes to score in double figures.
UI head coach Lisa Bluder was pleased with Doolittle’s effort, citing her halftime rebound count.
“We would like to get more rebounds out of Bethany all the time,” Bluder said. “I think she has the ability to be a very good rebounder for us.”
Doolittle wasn’t the only Hawkeye with an impressive outing.
Iowa’s bench accounted for 43 of the team’s 97 total points, with every available player getting time on the floor. Reserve guard Kathy Thomas totaled a game-high 15 points, despite not breaking the scorebook until the 10-minute mark in the first half.
“They all played hard coming off the bench, and that’s exactly what I want them to do,” Bluder said. “I thought our reserves came in and did a great job.”
The Hawkeyes held the Lady Bears to 43 points and 20.7 percent shooting from the field, numbers that drop far below Missouri State’s season average.
Bluder was impressed with her team’s defense and its passing and rebounding.
“Missouri State came in here averaging 75 points a game, and for us to hold them to 43 points is significant,” she said. “They’re a plus-seven rebounding team coming in here, and we really took it at them on the boards.
“We had 25 assists, so once again, we’ve passed the ball extremely well. I’m just happy with the way that we’ve played.”
Iowa won the battle on the boards, 60-38.
The Hawkeyes never trailed in the game, holding the lead for all but the first 14 seconds. The 54-point win margin was the largest for the Hawkeyes on the season, and the third-largest in Iowa history.
The Lady Bear’s leading scorer was Hannah Wilkerson with 10 points, the only Missouri State player in double figures. Its second-leading scorer, forward Christiana Shorter, was in foul trouble after picking up two in the first 1:33 of the game.
The Hawkeyes took advantage of their time at the free throw line, making 15 of 24 attempts. All but two Iowa players spent time at the charity stripe. Bluder said although she was pleased with the outcome of the game, there are still things she thinks her team can improve upon.
“This is a game that I can still look at stats and find things [to work on],” she said.
The Lady Bears’ leading scorer, Whitney Edie, was held scoreless, as Missouri State total points fell short of their season average by more than 30 points.
Despite outscoring Missouri State by 26 points in the first half, the Hawkeyes never showed complacency, dominating the Lady Bears in both halves.
Thomas emerged as a 3-point threat, adding herself to the bevy of Hawkeye perimeter shooters.
“I think we have a lot of [outside threats],” Bluder said. “You saw Trisha Nesbitt last week, Kathy went in and played really well today.”
Bluder also addressed the dedication of fans who attended the game, despite threats of an impending storm with blizzard-like conditions.
“The weather reports were so daunting, and for the people who came out here and showed up, that really means a lot to us,” she said. “I just want to wish Merry Christmas to all the Hawkeye fans.”
Iowa returns to action against Texas on Dec. 28 in the San Diego Surf `N Slam Classic.