Feb. 6, 2014
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Crucial points from junior Bethany Doolittle and freshman Ally Disterhoft in the final 72 seconds lifted the University of Iowa women’s basketball team to a 73-70 upset at No. 9 Penn State on Thursday in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Doolittle made her only field goal of the second half (in six attempts) with 1:12 left, putting the Hawkeyes ahead 71-70. After Samantha Logic rebounded a miss by Penn State’s Maggie Lucas with 41 seconds remaining, Disterhoft drove to the hoop and was fouled with a second on the shot clock. She made both free throws with 8.7 seconds left for the game’s final points.
Iowa ends a five-game losing streak to the Nittany Lions and improved to 18-6 overall, 6-4 in the Big Ten Conference. League-leading Penn State dips to 17-5, 8-2. The Hawkeyes have won four straight games on the road: Wisconsin (Jan. 12), Ohio State (Jan. 19), Minnesota (Jan. 29), and now Penn State.
“We were incredibly focused and incredibly loose,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder, who tied C. Vivian Stringer with 269 Hawkeye wins, the most in school history. “Even when (Penn State) got the lead in the second half, no one got upset, no one was worried. They believed in each other and it pays forward, especially on the road.”
Disterhoft made 13-of-14 shots in the game (8-of-9 field goals, 5-of-5 free throws) and matched a career-high by scoring a game-high 24 points.
“Great night for her and one I’m sure she is going to remember for a long time,” Bluder said.
Logic added a triple double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
“Most people dream about that, and (Logic) is a triple-double waiting to happen every night,” Bluder said. “It is unbelievable.”
The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent from the field (28-of-56) for the second time in the last four games (53.7 percent against Indiana) and made four more 3-point goals than Penn State (6-to-2). The Nittany Lions were held to 38.8 percent from the field (26-of-67).
“The kids concentrated this week,” Bluder said. “We took smart shots and we didn’t force any shots over the help defense. Instead we found the open player and I thought that was huge for us.”
While the final two points scored by Disterhoft were critical, her biggest “make” came with 3:32 left. Her 3-point field goal off a Logic assist tied the score, 68-68. Iowa trailed by five points with 4:26 remaining.
“It’s big,” Bluder said. “Beating Penn State on their home court is hard to accomplish. It gives us that signature win on the road. That is important at the end of the year when the (NCAA) selection committee is looking at these things.”
One game after being held scoreless for the first time this season, UI junior Melissa Dixon responded by making three 3-point field goals and scoring 13 points. She also had three assists.
It was an evening of firsts for the Hawkeyes: first victory over a top 10 team since defeating No. 10 Michigan State, 66-64, on Jan. 27, 2011; first road win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 18 Purdue, 72-52, on Feb. 14, 2013; first win at Penn State since a 63-57 decision Feb. 15, 2009.
Iowa returns home to face Northwestern (14-8, 4-5) on Monday with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised by BTN.