Nov. 17, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Most times when basketball teams “start to click,” it refers to scoring points on offense. University of Iowa senior Theairra Taylor says the Hawkeye women’s basketball team is starting to click on defense, which was bad news for Stony Brook on Sunday.
Iowa improved to 4-0 on the season by limiting the Sea Wolves to 18.6-percent shooting from the field and 6.7-percent from 3-point range during a 78-40 victory on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Four days after holding Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 38 points, the Hawkeyes held Stony Brook to 21 points in the first half and 19 in the second.
“We have bought into our zone (defense),” said Taylor, who scored 14 points with six rebounds, three steals, and two assists. “Coach makes adjustments each practice and we’re working on new things. We’re starting to click and it’s showing out there.”
Another thing that showed was depth…yes, depth. Despite suiting just 10 players, the “other five” Hawkeyes combined for 82 minutes, 33 points, 19 rebounds, and four assists.
“We really believe in the group that we have,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We may have small numbers but we have full faith in every one in the Iowa jersey. I would rather have the right 10 than having a good five and a suspect backup five or seven or 10. I would rather have what we have.”
Iowa’s leading scorer and rebounder came off the bench in freshman Ally Disterhoft. She scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field (2-of-3 from 3-point), with nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 28 minutes.
“I stepped up when my name was called and hit the open shots,” Disterhoft said. “My teammates did a great job of driving and finding me when I was open. It’s fun to play with a group of girls who are so unselfish. It’s something we pride ourselves on.”
The Hawkeye leader in unselfishness was once again junior Samantha Logic with seven assists. Logic also scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds. Junior Melissa Dixon joined Disterhoft and Taylor in double-digit points with 12. Dixon made two 3-pointers and was 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
Foul trouble limited junior center Bethany Doolittle to 16 minutes and sophomore Claire Till to 19 minutes. Freshman walk-on Hailey Schneden was called on to play nine minutes, three in the first half. She scored two points with a rebound, assist, block, and steal.
“She had to step in and play a considerable amount,” Bluder said. “She had to come in and play well.”
Doolittle made an impact during her time on the court with nine points, seven rebounds, and five blocked shots. Iowa blocked 11 shots in the game. Till added six points, seven rebounds (six offensive), and two assists.
Sophomore guard Kathryn Reynolds also played nine minutes, scoring five points.
Iowa shot 43.8-percent for the game (28-of-64) with five 3-pointers in 28 attempts. The Hawkeyes maintained huge advantages in bench points (33-11), paint points (38-18), and points off turnovers (22-8). Iowa outscored Stony Brook by 23 points in the second half (42-19).
The Hawkeyes remained perfect at home this season; they will have their first road test Wednesday, Nov. 20, at No. 17 Colorado (3-0).
“We have to get ready for new road tests,” Bluder said. “We know we can beat top 25 teams, we did it seven times last year, so we’re prepared.”
They have also done it once already this year with a 97-93 overtime victory against Dayton a week ago.
“We get fired up for ranked opponents,” Taylor said. “We have freshmen who have some in and done wonders for us. It won’t be anything they aren’t used to.”
Tip-off for the Iowa-Colorado game is 9:30 p.m. (CT) at the Coors Event Center in Boulder, Colo.