Jan. 13, 2016
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By DARREN MILLER
MADISON, Wis. — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team returned to its winning ways and returned above .500 in the Big Ten Conference by borrowing a page from their latest victim’s playbook.
Wisconsin entered the game second in the conference in 3-point field goal accuracy (38.9 percent) and the Badgers were three days removed from a 20-point win where they made 12 from distance. Iowa turned the table Wednesday by sinking 7-of-19 from beyond the arc and then holding on for a 57-54 victory in front of 3,235 inside the Kohl Center.
The Hawkeyes (13-4 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) held a scoring advantage of 40-19 in the second and third quarters. Wisconsin fell to 6-9, 2-3, but rallied from a 16-point deficit (51-35) to pull within two points with under a minute to play.
“We did struggle again in the fourth quarter and something we will have to figure out is keeping that attack mode when everybody else brings their defense up a level,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We have to be able to handle that. We only had 13 turnovers, but too many in the fourth quarter and that’s unfortunate.”
Iowa turned the ball over six times in the final 10 minutes.
UI junior Ally Disterhoft was her sensational self, finishing 8-of-9 from the field with five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and 18 points. She was one of five Hawkeyes with a 3-point field goal.
“We did shoot well from the 3-point line,” Bluder said. “Ally was 1-for-1, Kali (Peschel) was 2-for-4 — it was nice to see here get her 3-point shot back — and Whitney (Jennings) was 2-for-4. We also outrebounded them 36-28 — that is a tremendous job on the boards again. Christina Buttenham came in and did a great job off the bench for us.”
Iowa’s reserves outscored Wisconsin, 12-2, but also contributed 14 rebounds and three assists. Buttenham scored five points and pulled down six rebounds (four offensive).
“It shows a lot about our team how we were able to come together and finish out the game,” Disterhoft said.
Iowa owned the second quarter, outscoring the Badgers, 19-9, to take a 30-25 lead at the break. A 7-0 run by the Hawkeyes that included a layup by Disterhoft, 3-pointer by Alexa Kastanek, and layup by Chase Coley, gave them an 18-16 lead. Iowa took its largest lead of the first half at five points with 45 seconds left before the break. Disterhoft swished a long two-point field goal from the top of the key giving her a team-high 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Six Iowa players scored during a 21-point third quarter, led by Disterhoft with five points and Megan Gustafson and Whitney Jennings with four apiece. The Hawkeyes made 8-of-13 field goals and all three 3-point attempts in the third quarter.
For the game, Iowa shot 43 percent from the field (23-of-54) and 37 percent from 3-point range (7-of-19). Indiana was 4-of-18 from distance. Buttenham led the Hawkeyes with six rebounds, Kastanek handed out three assists.
The Hawkeyes play their fifth game in 12 days Saturday when they take on Michigan State in East Lansing, Michigan. The No. 18 Spartans were upset Wednesday on the road at Indiana, 81-65, dropping to 12-4 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. (CT).
“We’ll get ready for a very physical Michigan State team,” Bluder said. “We won by two points at their place last year (52-50), so I’m sure we’ll have their full attention going in there. It sure feels better going in with a win.”