Jan. 16, 2014
- Iowa vs. Michigan State Highlights and Reaction
- Read the January issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- 2014 Media Guide
- Order Iowa Women’s Basketball Tickets Online
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/ipad app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye android app
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
Doolittle exceeded her season scoring average of 14.2 points per game with 21, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t trade punches with undefeated Michigan State, falling 88-72 Thursday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa (14-5 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) has two days to regroup before playing at Ohio State (12-8, 2-2) on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.
Michigan State remained perfect in league play by shooting 51.7 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Hawkeyes by 15 (44-29). The mystery wasn’t how the Spartans were undefeated in the Big Ten as much as it was amazing they had five losses — three coming on the road.
After the game, a disappointed UI head coach Lisa Bluder was in no mood to discuss her team’s 42-32 edge in paint points, slight advantage in bench scoring (24-22), or a second half stretch where freshmen Ally Disterhoft and Alexa Kastanek scored 16 consecutive Hawkeye points. Disterhoft scored eight in a row from the 6:12 mark until 3:37 remained; Kastenek took over and made four layups from the 3:14 mark until 1:53 was left.
“Way to find a bright spot,” Bluder playfully replied to a reporter in the postgame news conference. “It was kind of out of hand so there was not a lot of pressure at that point. It would be nice to get them playing like that during crunch time. But at the same time, they still did it and they didn’t give up, so that’s a good thing.”
The final 20 minutes looked more like the Iowa team that was coming off back-to-back conference victories and owned a 9-1 record at home. The Hawkeyes outscored Michigan State 44-39 in the second half behind 10 points from Samantha Logic and Disterhoft. Doolittle and Kastanek added eight points.
For the game, Doolittle made 8-of-15 field goals and led all players with 21. It is the fifth time this season she has scored 20 or more points. She blocked four shots.
“My teammates are doing a good job getting me the ball when I’m open and I think we’re getting good at taking advantage of what the other team is giving us,” Doolittle said. “I’ll take what I can get and do the best I can.”
Iowa was 1-of-13 from 3-point range, its lowest total since going 0-for-11 against Notre Dame on March 26, 2013, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hawkeyes forced 21 turnovers, the most since forcing 21 in back-to-back games against North Dakota and Drake.
With 12 points, Disterhoft scored in double figures for the second straight time after pouring in a career-high 20 at Wisconsin on Jan. 12. It was the 12th time this season she has scored in double figures. Logic scored 13 points and handed out a team-high six assists; Disterhoft collected a team-high seven rebounds.
“It’s got to bug you,” Bluder said. “If you’re a competitor, it has to tick you off. If it doesn’t hurt you’re not learning anything from it. If you don’t attack a loss like this, then you might as well hang it up because you don’t have the competitor’s edge anymore.”
Spartan redshirt freshman Aerial Powers, who missed the 2012-13 season with a torn left Achilles tendon, went on a tear for 20 points and eight rebounds.
Like the Hawkeyes, Ohio State is coming off a loss: the Buckeyes fell 66-42 at Penn State on Thursday. Sunday’s contest tips off at 2 p.m. (CT) from Value City Arena.
“In a good sense, we have a game on Sunday we can focus on things we didn’t do well and we’re going to have to do well for the rest of the season to even compete in the Big Ten, let alone win,” Logic said.