Aug. 19, 2015
VERONA, Italy — It came down to the final shot, but the University of Iowa women’s basketball team could not get it to fall or draw a foul, ending the game in favor of TK Hannover (TKH), 70-69.
Despite leading by as much as nine points in the second quarter, unforced turnovers, foul trouble, and a lack of rebounding let TKH back into the game. TKH clawed its way back in the second, hung around in the third, and capitalized in the fourth to tie the contest and eventually record the win.
“We have to be sharper,” 16th-year head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We turned the ball over and had too many unforced errors, traveling calls, and passes out of bounds that didn’t have anything to do with the other team.
“This is a good team we played tonight, and we did not box out as well as we had been. They had a key player that hurt us, and when we identified her we didn’t do a good job of knowing where she was.”
The teams fought back and forth taking and regaining the lead several times in the final seven minutes. With 23 seconds left in regulation, sophomore point guard Whitney Jennings netted a three-pointer to put her Hawkeyes out front, 69-68.
A foul sent TKH to the line on its possession, and with two made free throws it regained its lead, 70-69. The Hawkeyes had 11 seconds on the clock to execute a play, but the layup did not go and a foul was not called, ending the game.
Jennings finished strong, netting 16 of her 23 total points in the final half of play and 11 in the fourth quarter alone.
“That’s the Whitney you saw in high school where she puts her entire team on her back and tries to carry them,” Bluder said. “I think it’s good, but at the same time I need her to understand we want five people in double figures.”
“We want her looking for her shots, but at the same time we need everyone to get involved in our offense to be successful.”
Joining Jennings in double figures in scoring was junior forward Ally Disterhoft, who finished with 12 points.
Sophomore forward Carly Mohns led the Hawkeyes with eight boards in the contest. For Bluder, Mohns has been a bright spot in each game of the #ItalianTour.
“Carly Mohns has impressed me the most from last year to this year,” Bluder said. “She’s shooting the ball well with confidence, and she’s rebounding both offensively and defensively. She’s so strong going to the boards, so that’s a bright spot for me.”
Iowa wraps up its #ItalianTour in Verenna before arriving in Iowa City on Saturday, Aug. 22. The Hawkeyes will visit Milan and view Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” on Thursday, before taking a ferry to Bellagio to sightsee on Friday.
All in all, the trip has been a positive for Iowa on and off the court and Bluder is excited for what the future holds for her 2015-16 squad.
“I think we have great potential,” Bluder said. “Carly is playing well, Whitney is getting to be a better point guard for us all the time, and there are some really bright spots for us.
“I’m looking forward to getting back inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and start practicing again.”