Jan. 3, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — A group of Hawks is known as a cast or kettle. On Thursday, a group of Hawkeyes was known as winners.
Driven by a group of four scoring in double figures, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team upset No. 24 Ohio State, 77-71, in overtime, on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The cast or kettle outlasted the predominantly one-Buckeye show of Tayler Hill, who scored 34 points — 48 percent of her team’s points.
“They have one person in double figures, we have four,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’re all about teamwork, sharing the ball, working for the good shot.”
Theairra Taylor scored the first six points in overtime for the Hawkeyes and put an exclamation point on the outcome with a steal with four seconds remaining. She finished with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, followed by Samantha Logic (17 points), Morgan Johnson (16) and Jaime Printy (14).
The duo of Johnson and Bethany Doolittle combined for 24 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocked shots. Three Ohio State “bigs” finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and one block.
“Clearly, the difference in the basketball game was their post players versus our post players,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. “It was post players not being productive. Their two starting post players were 11-for-23 (from the field) and our two starting post players (Ashley Akers and Aleksandra Dobranic) were 2-for-9.”
Iowa won for a seventh consecutive time and improves to 12-3 overall, 1-0 in the Big Ten. Ohio State is 10-4, 0-1.
That post dominance was reflected in 40 paint points for the Hawkeyes, who shot 51.7 percent for the game (30-of-58). Iowa made 4-of-5 from the field in overtime — highlighted by Taylor, who drove to the basket three straight times that resulted in six points (2-of-2 field goals, 2-of-2 free throws).
“I didn’t want to lose,” Taylor said. “Everyone was playing great and everyone was taking their shots. I needed to step up a little bit, so I figured this was a time to do it. Coach was calling the right plays and it ended up working out. You can’t help off our shooters, so I usually have a wide-open drive to the basket.”
Taylor made all six field goal attempts and both free throws in the second half and overtime.
“I have been waiting for everybody to have the opportunity to enjoy watching Theairra Taylor play like she did tonight,” Bluder said.
Iowa has knocked off four ranked teams in its first 15 games, the most for the program since the 1995-96 season when it had victories against seven top 25 opponents.
“I don’t think we played our best game of the year, but we played well enough to beat another top 25 team,” Bluder said. “We had a little adversity out there: we were up big (55-42 with 9:55 to play), let them come back, but then Morgan hits two big free throws and we get a big defensive stop to put it into overtime. In overtime we were not going to be denied.”
The 13-point lead became a two-point advantage for the Buckeyes (63-61) with 23 seconds left in regulation. Johnson sank two free throws to tie the game for a seventh time, and then Iowa played stingy defense for the final 20 seconds to force overtime. The Hawkeyes never trailed during the extra five-minute period.
Iowa’s depth showed in areas other than scoring. Johnson led the team with 12 rebounds (her fourth double-double of the season), Logic had eight assists, Doolittle blocked six shots, and Johnson, Logic, and Doolittle had three steals apiece.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, Jan. 6, against Michigan (12-2, 1-0), also winners of seven straight games.
“Just starting out the Big Ten with some momentum, that’s really good for us, too,” Bluder said. “We have the opportunity to build on it with another home game Sunday. I need to tell our team, (Michigan) is ranked ahead of us. We’re going to keep letting them know we’re the underdogs, and we’ll keep chipping away at it.”
Chipping away with a cast or kettle of Hawkeyes.
Taylor set career-highs in points (19) and made field goals (eight).
Iowa has now defeated four ranked teams this season. The last time Iowa defeated four ranked teams was the 1995-96 season (seven victories, 7-3 record versus ranked teams in 1995-96).
Iowa has shot better than 50 percent from the field in four of the last five games, including the last three.
Logic has 32 assists in the last three contests.