Jan. 8, 2015
- Read the January issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Order Iowa Women’s Basketball Tickets Online
- 2015 Media Guide
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone/ipad app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Melissa Dixon’s game-high 24 points and eight 3-point field goals weren’t enough to rescue the No. 17 University of Iowa women’s basketball team from a 73-61 upset loss to Illinois on Thursday in front of 1,650 inside State Farm Arena.
Dixon made 8-of-16 from long range and moved into fifth place all-time in Big Ten Conference history in that category.
“Melissa was the only one that really came to play,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I don’t know what was wrong with the rest of our team.”
The Hawkeyes, who led by 14 points (35-21) with 4:10 left in the first half, lost for the first time in six outings. While their record dipped to 11-3 overall, 2-1 in the Big Ten Conference, Illinois improved to 11-4, 2-1.
Illinois made 15-of-23 field goals in the second half (65.2 percent) and outscored Iowa, 43-26, over the final 20 minutes.
“To allow 43 points in a half defensively is atrocious,” Bluder said. “Illinois got too many high-percentage shots. We have to go back to work on defense, that’s for sure.”
Iowa entered the game averaging 22.5 free throw attempts in 13 games. Sophomore Ally Disterhoft was the only Hawkeye to attempt a free throw in the game, going 3-for-3 in the first half and 0-for-1 in the second. Meanwhile, the Illini were 11-of-17 from the line, with 13 attempts coming in the second half.
“We needed to penetrate more against the zone than we did,” Bluder said. “We were content passing the ball around the perimeter instead of getting the ball in-out and looking to penetrate to pitch versus the zone. You’re not going to draw fouls when you just pass the ball around the perimeter.”
And you’re not going to win many Big Ten games allowing 26 points off 22 turnovers like Iowa did Thursday.
“The turnovers are alarming because we worked hard on their half-court traps during the week,” Bluder said. “We looked like we had never seen it before.”
An area of strength for the Hawkeyes was rebounding. They pulled down 37 for the game (15 offensive) and held a three-rebound edge over Illinois. Disterhoft, senior Bethany Doolittle, and senior Samantha Logic all had seven rebounds. Five of Logic’s boards came on the offensive end.
Disterhoft joined Dixon with double-digit points (12). Logic handed out 14 assists.
The Hawkeyes shot 38.1 percent from the field (24-of-63) and 37 percent from 3-point range (10-of-27). Junior Claire Till was the lone Hawkeye to make more than half of her field goal attempts, going 2-for-2 with three rebounds and an assist in six minutes.
Chatrice White led Illinois with 22 points and six rebounds; Brittany Carter added 19 points and five assists. The Illini won the battle in the paint (32 to 22) and scored 11 more points than Iowa off turnovers (26 to 15).
Iowa hosts Purdue (9-6, 2-2) on Sunday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Boilermakers lost Thursday at Maryland, 88-64.